MotoAmerica: Five Classes, 137 Entries Slated For Road Atlanta (Updated)

MotoAmerica: Five Classes, 137 Entries Slated For Road Atlanta (Updated)

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By MotoAmerica:

Ready, Set, Go: The 10th Anniversary Season Of MotoAmerica Begins In Earnest At Road Atlanta

Superbike, Supersport And Junior Cup Get Their Championships Started This Weekend At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
 

IRVINE, CA (April 18, 2024) – While Mission King Of The Baggers and BellissiMoto Twins Cup already have races under their belts in 2024, Steel Commander Superbike, Supersport and Junior Cup will start their championships this coming weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta as the 10th anniversary of the MotoAmerica series begins in earnest in Braselton, Georgia, April 19-21.

Excitement is high as a full contingent of five classes and 10 races are slated for the iconic Road Atlanta with 137 entries spread over the five classes.

Here’s a closer look at the Support classes after yesterday’s preview of the Steel Commander Superbike opener.

Supersport – 44 Entries! Say What?

Forty-four entries will attempt to qualify for the two Supersport races at Road Atlanta. That’s right. Forty-four.

Where do we begin?  Since defending class champion Xavi Forés, who won both races at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta last year, isn’t defending his title, we can’t start there. And since Daytona 200 winner Josh Herrin is racing Superbikes for the rest of the season, we can’t start there.

So, let’s begin with how they finished behind Forés last year and go from there.

That puts us right smack dab on the rider who really has to be the pre-season favorite – Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott. Scott ended up second in the title chase in 2023, winning four of the last seven races and standing on the podium a total of 11 times. The youngster from Pennsylvania returns with the same team and the same aspirations. Last year, Scott was second and fourth in the two races at Road Atlanta.

Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Stefano Mesa, fourth in the standings last year with one win and five other podiums, is the second-highest finisher in Supersport who is returning to the class (Josh Hayes, who was third in last year’s title chase, isn’t entered at Road Atlanta).

Scott’s teammate from last year, Teagg Hobbs, is also returning to the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki fold after finishing fifth in last year’s championship with three podium finishes.

Jake Lewis, seventh last year, is another returnee and he will do so with the Altus Racing team on a Suzuki GSX-R750. Ditto for racer/team owner David Anthony who was eighth in 2023 on his own Wrench Motorcycles-backed team.

Super Carl Racing’s Carl Soltisz rounds out the list of those finishing in the top 10 who are returning to the Supersport wars again.

So, who is new? That list is long, and it starts with the new three-rider Rahal Ducati Moto w/XPEL team of PJ Jacobsen, Kayla Yaakov, and Cory Alexander (who will race with Roller Die + Forming sponsorship) on Ducati Panigale V2s.

The biggest new name in Supersport is Mathew Scholtz, the South African winner of five MotoAmerica Superbike races in his career. With the demise of Westby Racing, Scholtz drops down to the Supersport category with Strack Racing (nee Squid Hunter Racing) on a Yamaha YZF-R6. The team has Yamaha support and Scholtz should be up front from the get-go.

Two-time MotoAmerica Twins Cup Champion Blake Davis makes the move to Supersport full time for the N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto team and its Yamaha YZF-R6.

Melissa Paris’s MP13 Racing has changed brands and will field a two-rider team of Italian Roberto Tamburini and Hunter Dunham on MV Agusta F3 800.

There are a few moving up from other classes, namely Max Van who will race a Suzuki GSX-R750 for SportbikeTrackGear.com. after several years of Junior Cup wins and podiums.

Mission King Of The Baggers – The Battle Has Begun

With four races under its belt, the Mission King Of The Baggers class is in full swing while the majority of the other classes have yet to dip a toe into the 2024 MotoAmerica pool.

While it’s obviously still early in the season, it’s not too early to see how this is going to play out. Simply put, it’s going to be a war.

Leading the battle thus far is Harley-Davidson Factory Racing’s Kyle Wyman, with the New Yorker winning three of the four races from the two rounds held at Daytona International Speedway and Circuit of The Americas. In the race he didn’t win, Wyman finished second.

But before we start handing out number-one plates, there’s plenty left to fight for and plenty of those willing to fight. At the top of that heap is class rookie Troy Herfoss and his S&S/Indian Motorcycle Challenger. Herfoss won his first career Mission King Of The Baggers race in the first of two races at COTA, and he’s been a close second to Wyman in the three races the Road Glide-mounted Wyman has won.

Wyman leads the Australian by 10 points as the series heads to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

The top two have been consistently fast at both racetracks and that has put them 34 (Wyman) and 24 (Herfoss) points ahead of Wyman’s Harley teammate James Rispoli, who has three third-place finishes and a fourth so far in 2024. Herfoss’s teammate Tyler O’Hara started his season with a few bumps in the road at Daytona, but he rebounded nicely with his first podium of the year at COTA.

Then comes the RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson’s duo of defending Mission King Of The Baggers Champion Hayden Gillim and rookie Rocco Landers. Gillim has been in the mix in all four of the races held so far and Landers is learning the ropes with a best of fifth place so far in his debut at Daytona.

Even though he is currently eighth in the title chase behind RydFast Racing’s Kyle Ohnsorg, a wise man would never bet against SDI/Roland Sands Racing/Indian Motorcycle’s Bobby Fong winning races. After a wretched Daytona, Fong was fourth in the battle and finished fourth in race two at COTA.

BellissiMoto Twins Cup – Gus. Rodio.

The takeaway from the opening round of the BellissiMoto Twins Cup season is that Gus Rodio isn’t messing around. Rodio and his Aprilia RS 660 dominated both races at Daytona International Speedway, winning by big margins in each and breaking the lap record for the class on several occasions.

But Daytona is Daytona. At least that’s what you’re saying if you were on the losing end of the runaway train that was Rodio in Florida.

Although he lost 19 points to Rodio at Daytona, you won’t see much in the way of panic from RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki’s Rocco Landers. After all, no one has won more Twins Cup races (15 wins) than 2020 class champion Landers. Considering he was on a new bike (the Suzuki GSX-8R) and with a new team, fifth and second wasn’t a bad beginning at Daytona.

Landers heads to Road Atlanta trailing Rodio by 19 points.

Third in the title chase after the opening round is Rodio’s Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering teammate Alessandro Di Mario. Di Mario was fourth and third in the two races.

Rossi Moor made his BellissiMoto Twins Cup debut at Daytona and was seventh and fourth on the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-8R, which puts him fourth heading into Road Atlanta.

Dominic Doyle won a Twins Cup race last year at Pittsburgh International Race Complex and was also up front at Daytona, finishing second in race one. Doyle’s Giaccomoto Yamaha Racing’s teammate Sonya Lloyd will also be in action after a pair of 12ths in her Twins Cup debut at Daytona.

Last year’s Junior Cup Champion Avery Dreher will be pulling double duty and adding BellissiMoto Twins Cup to his weekends after finishing third in race one at Daytona before DNFing race two.

Former Junior Cup racer Sean Ungvarsky returned to MotoAmerica action at Daytona with a pair of top-10 finishes and he will be in action at Road Atlanta on a Koch Racing Yamaha YZF-R7.

Junior Cup – Who Will Battle Dreher

It would be extremely hard to pick someone other than defending champion Avery Dreher to win the 2024 MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship. After all, Dreher and his Bad Boys Racing team won six of the 12 races last year against the Rossi Moors, Levi Badies and Eli Blocks of the world. And other than Block, those race winners from 2023 have moved on.

But as certain as we are that Dreher starts the season as the favorite, we’re equally confident that there will be someone who steps up to challenge the Floridian. We’re just not sure who that will be, and that’s half the fun of MotoAmerica’s Junior Cup class. New year, new faces.

The highest-ranking Junior Cup racers from last year staying in the class are Fernandez Racing’s Jayden Fernandez (sixth in 2023 with two podiums) and Yandel Medina, the New York Safety Track Racing rider from New York who was seventh in last year’s title chase with two podiums. Then there’s the aforementioned Block, who will ride a BARTCON Racing Kawasaki Ninja 400 alongside Maryland’s Matthew Chapin.

Also keep an eye on last year’s Nicky Hayden AMA Road Race Horizon Award winner Trenton Keesee.

Two foreign riders will line up at the Road Atlanta opener – El Salvador’s JT Rivera and Brit Kobe Garbett. Garbett will also be on the only non-Kawasaki Ninja 400 in the class as he will grid up on a Yamaha YZF-R3.

Pre-Road Atlanta Notes…

Kyle Wyman won both of the Mission King Of The Baggers races at Road Atlanta last year, besting Tyler O’Hara in the pair of races. Third in race one went to Hayden Gillim with Bobby Fong finishing third in race two.

Wyman earned pole position for the two Bagger races with his 1:30.427 to lead O’Hara and his 1:31.092 and Gillim’s 1:31.366.

Last year’s two Supersport races were won by Xavi Forés in his first time to Road Atlanta. Forés beat Tyler Scott in race one and Stefano Mesa in race two. Josh Hayes was third in both races.

Forés earned pole position for the Supersport races with his 1:28.977, just over a second off Garrett Gerloff’s lap record of 1:27.860 from race two in 2017.

In Twins Cup action from a year ago, Blake Davis and Rocco Landers split wins with Gus Rodio finishing second in both races. Both Davis and Landers had issues in the races they didn’t win with Davis 11th in race two and Landers DNFing in race one.

Landers was on pole position for the two Twins Cup races with his 1:31.907 at new Road Atlanta lap record for the Twins.

Avery Dreher was perfect at Road Atlanta last year with two victories in the Junior Cup class. Dreher topped Max Van in both races with Hayden Bicknese third in both.

Eighteen of the 44 Supersport entries will be mounted on Suzuki GSX-R750s, the highest of the six manufacturers in the class. Kawasaki is next with 10 ZX-6Rs entered. Yamaha will be represented by seven YZF-R6s with five Ducati Panigale V2s, two Triumphs and two MV Agustas filling the entry list.

Nine countries will also be represented among those 44 Supersport entries: South Africa, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, El Salvador, Australia, Uruguay, Canada and the USA

About MotoAmerica

MotoAmerica is North America’s premier motorcycle road racing series. Established in 2014, MotoAmerica is home to the AMA Superbike Championship as well as additional classes including Supersport, Stock 1000, Twins Cup, Junior Cup, and King Of The Baggers. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership including three-time 500cc World Champion, two-time AMA Superbike Champion, and AMA Hall of Famer Wayne Rainey; ex-racer and former manager of Team Roberts Chuck Aksland; motorsports marketing executive Terry Karges; and businessman Richard Varner. For more information, please visit www.MotoAmerica.com and follow MotoAmerica on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. To watch all things MotoAmerica, subscribe to MotoAmerica’s live streaming and video on demand service, MotoAmerica Live+ 

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Rahal Ducati Moto:

RACE PREVIEW: ROAD ATLANTA
 
The Rahal Ducati Moto team prepares for the first two rounds of Supersport points competition at Road Atlanta.
 

ZIONSVILLE, Ind (04.17.2024) – After a six-week break, the trio of Rahal Ducati Moto riders and their teams are preparing to begin their MotoAmerica Supersport championship journey. 

Since the Daytona 200, the team has made several changes to prepare the Ducati Panigale V2s for regular-season competition. Additionally, the team has welcomed former Supersport champion and industry veteran Richard Alexander Jr. to the team as team manager. 

The team heads to the 2.550-mile track just outside of Atlanta after a successful test at Barber Motorsports Park on Monday. 

The trio of riders will take the track for Practice and Qualifying 1 on Friday, followed by Qualifying 2 and Race 1 on Saturday, and a warm-up and Race 2 on Sunday. 

QUOTE BOARD:

COREY ALEXANDER (No. 23 Roller Die + Forming Ducati Panigale V2): “I’m super excited for Road Atlanta. The anticipation since Daytona has been building up and I know the team has made a lot of really big changes to the bikes and the overall structure to make sure we have the best possible weapon to race with. I’m eager to see how the weekend plays out. Thanks to Graham and everyone at RDM for the huge effort the last several weeks to keep us competitive.”

PJ JACOBSEN (No. 15 XPEL Ducati Panigale V2): “Between myself and the team, we’re really looking forward to Road Atlanta. We are starting with a clean slate compared to Daytona – we learned a lot from that weekend. The team is preparing very well for this weekend – having been at Barber [Motorsports Park] for the track day and then straight to Atlanta for a few days has given us a chance to get to know each other and work closely with one another and the bikes. It’s going very well and I feel very confident with the team going into the start of the points season. I think it is going to be a great season, and we’ll see how the weekend goes with all the changes we have made. I like the Road Atlanta circuit and think we will have a strong package going into the race.”

KAYLA YAAKOV (No. 19 XPEL Ducati Panigale V2): “Road Atlanta has always been one of those tracks that I really enjoy going to – from the fan atmosphere to the racing, it’s a great track. Although I haven’t raced [at Road Atlanta] in over two years, the last MotoAmerica race that I raced there, is one where I was able to cross the line in first place. While the position inevitably was changed due to some post-race penalties, I know I have the pace at the track to win! After completing our final “pre-season” test, where we made major changes and improvements to the bikes, I am extremely excited and confident going into the first round of the Supersport championship!”

BEN SPIES (Team Principal): “We are looking forward to Road Atlanta this weekend. We’ve had a lot of changes with the team and the bikes over the last several weeks, so we feel like we’re headed in an upward trajectory and are able give our riders a good mechanical package, hopefully giving them more confidence as the season goes on and providing them with the best tools to take home hardware each event. Everybody likes Road Atlanta because it’s a good track, so it is a nice place to start the championship battle. Hopefully, we can have some great results and some good weather.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Suzuki Motor USA, Inc.:

SUZUKI PREVIEWS MOTOAMERICA SUPERBIKE

Suzuki Teams Look to Build Momentum at Road Atlanta
 

BREA, CA – April 18, 2024 – Suzuki Motor USA (Suzuki) and its two primary road race teams- Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki, and RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki both look to build on their current momentum this weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Team Hammer’s Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki will focus on the 2024 MotoAmerica Steel Commander Superbike series fielding two established riders, Richie Escalante (54) and Brandon Paasch (96) each racing the Suzuki GSX-R1000R Superbike. 

Richie Escalante (54) looks to continue the podium momentum from the past weekend going into New Jersey.
Veteran Richie Escalante (54) aims to build on 2023’s solid results in this year’s championship on the Suzuki GSX-R1000R. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

 

Road race veteran and 2020 Supersport champion Escalante (54), from Tizayuca, Mexico, is the first Mexican athlete to card a MotoAmerica championship. With consistent results in his second Superbike season, Escalante placed fourth overall in the 2023 Superbike championship, earning 11 top-five finishes. 

Starting 2024 racing in the Daytona 200, Escalante raced a next generation GSX-R750 and spent most of the 200 pressuring the race leader. Escalante further displayed the speed that earned him the track record during qualifying. It wasn’t to be however, as he ran short on fuel on the final lap to earn fourth overall in the 82nd running of the iconic race.

 

Two-time Daytona 200 winner Brandon Paasch (96) looks to bring consistent results in his first full Superbike season. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.
Brandon Paasch (96) will be in the mix in his first full MotoAmerica Superbike season. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

Brandon Paasch also looks to advance with Team Hammer since joining last year. 2024 marks Paasch’s first full season with Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. Coming on board midway through 2023, the veteran road racer is a two-time winner of the Daytona 200. 

Fully healthy from a back injury that shortened his 2023 season, Paasch is working to return to the consistent performance displayed in 2022, racing in Stock 1000. Paasch captured four podiums, finishing runner-up in the MotoAmerica Superbike Cup on a GSX-R1000R. Paasch also showed promise in the recent Daytona 200, with good speed and a seventh-place result.

 

Tyler Scott (70) is on the gas for the Supersport title on the Suzuki GSX-R750. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Tyler Scott (70) is on the gas for the Supersport title on the Suzuki GSX-R750. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

Tyler Scott (70) is on the gas for the Supersport title on the Suzuki GSX-R750.
With Road Atlanta also kicking off 2024’s Supersport season, Team Hammer’s riders include Ty Scott (70), and Teagg Hobbs (79), both riders showing flashes of excellence in 2023. Scott earned a hard-fought second place in the 2023 championship with four race wins and several podium finishes. 

Hobbs looks to enhance his 2023 success, earning multiple podiums last year. With the Suzuki GSX-R750 continuing as the bike to race in the Supersport class, both Scott and Hobbs feel 2024 offers an excellent opportunity to take their racing careers to the next level.
 

Teagg Hobbs (79) continues his promising Supersport career with Team Hammer. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Teagg Hobbs (79) continues his promising Supersport career with Team Hammer. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

Debuting as a Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider at Road Atlanta is Joel Ohman (92). Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Ohman joins Team Hammer to race a GSX-R750 in Supersport. Ohman began his MotoAmerica racing career in 2022 with Open-Source Racing.

For MotoAmerica Twins Cup, the new Suzuki GSX-8R is raced by RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki’s Rocco Landers (97), who battled at Daytona’s Twins Cup Race 2 to earn the new GSX-8R’s first-ever podium in its debut race weekend. A former Twins Cup series champion, Landers anticipates much racing success on the new GSX-8R as the bike continues its swift development as a first-class series contender.

 

RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki’s Rocco Landers (97) plans to extend his Daytona success on the GSX-8R. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki’s Rocco Landers (97) plans to extend his Daytona success on the GSX-8R. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

 

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki newcomer Rossi Moor (92) also plans to continue his strong Twins Cup start with the Suzuki GSX-8R. At Daytona, Moor contended for a podium, ultimately finishing fourth after battling throughout the race with Landers.

 

Rossi Moor (92) on his new Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-8R racebike. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Team Hammer’s Rossi Moor (92) seeks consistent Twins Cup results in 2024. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

With experienced pro teams noted for their racing success and their first-class race bike and rider development programs, Suzuki is enthusiastic about competing in the 2024 MotoAmerica season, seeing it as a prime opportunity to showcase the GSX-R’s racing legacy and begin a new heritage of success with the GSX-8R.

The 2024 MotoAmerica Steel Commander Superbike series, along with the full schedule of MotoAmerica racing classes begins April 20th at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. 
For Suzuki road racing news, results, and team updates, visit suzukicycles.com/racing/road-racing. For more information and updates on Team Hammer, visit teamhammer.com.

ABOUT TEAM HAMMER

The 2024 season marks Team Hammer’s 44th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 133 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 362 times, and have won 11 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships (in Superbike and Supersport). The team has also won 137 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles, and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running “Methanol Monster” GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won four F-USA Championships.

ABOUT VISION WHEEL

Founded in 1976, Vision Wheel is one of the nation’s leading providers of custom wheels for cars and trucks, and one of the first manufacturers of custom wheels and tires for ATVs, UTVs, and golf carts. Vision Wheel looks beyond the current trends and to the future in developing, manufacturing, and distributing its wheels. Vision’s lines of street, race, off-road, American Muscle, and Milanni wheels are distributed nationally and internationally through a trusted network of distributors. Vision Wheel also produces the Vision It AR app to allow users to see how their wheel of choice will look on their vehicle before purchase and installation. For more information on Vision Wheel, visit www.visionwheel.com.

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