MotoAmerica Mini Cup: More From The Ridge

MotoAmerica Mini Cup: More From The Ridge

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By Shawn Smith.

By Shawn Smith

A total of 24 young racers from across the United States gridded up for MotoAmerica Mini Cup races on the kart track at Ridge Motorsports Park last weekend. Nathan Gouker, Kensei Matsudaira, and Anthony Lupo Jr. all won races riding spec Ohvale 110, 160, and 190cc racebikes.

The 110 class saw Nathan Gouker of Lexington, North Carolina dominate both qualifying rounds. Anthony Lupo Jr. out of Carlsbad, California lined up second on the grid with Mac MacClugage taking the last spot on the front row. Race One started with all three getting good starts and maintaining their running order for entire race, with Gouker winning, Lupo finishing second and MacClugage taking third.

Race Two for the 110 class was a repeat of race one, with the only difference being that Lupo was able to keep Nathan in sight. As the white flag flew Gouker crossed the line in first, Lupo in second and MacClugage in third. But that didn’t last as Gouker made a slight bobble in Turn Five, and Lupo grabbed the lead while MacClugage closed in on Gouker. MacClugage showed Gouker a wheel in the last sector but was unable to make the pass. At the finish line second-generation racer Lupo was out front, with Gouker in second and MacClugage in third. Gouker leads the 110 title chase with 95 points, followed by Lupo in second with 85 points, and MacClugage third with 64 points.

In 160 qualifying Gouker and Lupo traded fast laps back and forth for most of the session. When the checkered flew Gouker was the quickest with Lupo for second. Ryder Davis of Oil City, Pennsylvania filled out the front row by qualifying third. Kensei Matsudaira, the 160 points leader from Los Angeles, California, would start from fifth on the grid.

When the red lights went out for the start of Race One Lupo jumped out to an early lead as Gouker’s aggressive launch resulted in a big wheelie, his bike’s front wheel reaching for the sky. But within four corners Gouker was able to pass Lupo for the lead and never looked back. Meanwhile, Jesse James Shedden had an off-track excursion that would cut his race short. When the checkered flag flew Gouker took the win, Lupo was second, Davis was third, MacClugage was fourth, and Matsudaira rounded out the top five.

Race Two for the 160 class saw Lupo jumping out to an early lead with Gouker trailing him. This would last just over a lap and a half until Gouker set up a pass going into the chicane dropping down the ridge. Matsudaira moved into fourth place, pressuring Davis for third, but lost the rear when he tried to pass Davis and take third in Turn Seven.

While Gouker checked out, MacClugage worked through the pack to finish second behind Gouker and ahead of Joshua Raymond.  Davis and Lupo’s early race speed was thwarted when they both had separate incidents that would result in them finishing seventh and eighth, respectively. Nathan Bettencourt put in his best performance of the year and grabbed fourth and Mahdi Salem was fifth while Shedden finished sixth. Gouker now leads with a commanding 83 points;  MacClugage is second in the points with 69; and Matsudaira, who was the points leader going into this event, is now third with 58.

 

Kensei Matsudaira (74) won both Mini Cup 190 races at Ridge Motorsports Park. Photo by Dustin Ishikura/Fast Glass Media.
Kensei Matsudaira (74), seen here approaching a waving checkered flag, won both Mini Cup 190 races at Ridge Motorsports Park. Photo by Dustin Ishikura/Fast Glass Media.

 

Matsudaira dominated in the 190 class, qualifying on the pole and sharing the front row with his American Racing Team teammate Raymond along with fellow Californian Shedden. In Race One Raymond jumped inside of Matsudaira in Turn One to grab the lead. The pace out front was blistering and the two leaders put a gap on the field. Shedden, stuck deep in the field after a bad start, made a mistake trying to make a pass to keep the leaders in sight and retired early-on.

Matsudaira soon found an opening to grab the lead back from Raymond and increased his advantage to the finish. When Raymond bobbled, Mahdi Salem grabbed second and Kyle Botkin finished out the podium in third.

Race Two for the 190 class saw Matsudaira out front the entire time after grabbing the holeshot. Shedden and Raymond were able to stay close, but Matsudaira’s consistency allowed him to build a small gap by the time the checkered flag flew. These three put in the fastest laps of the weekend and ended the race with Shedden in second and Raymond in third. As the 190 class heads to Pitt Race for the next round, Matsudaira is the points leader with 90; Shedden has 80 for second place; and Raymond sits in third with 59.

 

RESULTS:

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 190 RACE ONE (All on Ohvale motorcyles and Dunlop tires) (June 25): 1. Kensei Matsudaira, 13 laps, 9:09.998, 85.091 mph; 2. Mahdi Salem, -13.118 seconds; 3. Kylie Botkin, -28.548; 4. Juliana Fernandez, -1 lap; 5. Joshua Raymond, -1 lap; 6. Jesse James Shedden, -7 laps. Race Distance, 13 laps, 13.000 miles; Race Time, 9 minutes, 9.998 seconds; Race Average Speed, 85.091 mph; Victory Margin, 13.118 seconds; Fastest Lap, Matsudaira, 41.544, 86.655 mph.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 190 RACE TWO (All on Ohvale motorcycles and Dunlop tires) (June 25): 1. Matsudaira, 13 laps, 9:17.480, 83.949 mph; 2. Shedden, -1.404 seconds; 3. Raymond, -5.987; 4. Salem, -21.346; 5. Botkin, -42.593; 6. Fernandez, -2 laps. Race Distance, 13 laps, 13 miles; Race Time, 9 minutes, 17.480 seconds; Race Average Speed, 83.949 mph; Victory Margin, 1.404 seconds; Fastest Lap, Matsudaira, 41.211, 87.355 mph.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 190 QUALIFYING ONE: 1. Matsudaira, 41.829, 86.065 mph; 2. Raymond, 41.877; 3. Salem, 43.291; 4. Fernandez, 43.898; 5. Botkin, 44.389.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 190 CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS (After 4 of 8 races): 1. Matsudaira, 90 points; 2. Shedden, 80 points; 3. Raymond, 59 points; 4. Botkin, 53 points; 5. Salem, 33 points; 6. Fernandez, 23 points.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 160 RACE ONE (All on Ohvale motorcycles and Dunlop tires) (June 25): 1. Nathan Gouker, 13 laps, 9:24.084, 82.966 mph; 2. Anthony Lupo Jr., -0.996 second; 3. Ryder Davis, -2.027; 4. Mac MacClugage, -5.460; 5. Kensei Matsudaira, -10.022; 6. Mahdi Salem, -12.577; 7. Joshua Raymond, -12.977; 8. Nathan Bettencourt, -19.791; 9. Juliana Fernandez, -30.640; 10. Evan Lamb, -32.691; 11. Kylie Botkin, -36.038; 12. Aden Parker, -1 lap; 13. Ryan Clark, -1 lap. Race Distance, 13 laps, 13.000 miles; Race Time, 9 minutes, 24.084 seconds; Race Average Speed, 82.966 mph; Victory Margin, 0.996-second; Fastest Lap, Lupo, 42.365, 84.976 mph.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 160 RACE TWO (All on Ohvale motorcycles and Dunlop tires) (June 25): 1. Gouker, 13 laps, 9:28.269, 82.355 mph; 2. MacClugage, -2.221 seconds; 3. Raymond, -8.913; 4. Bettencourt, -9.184; 5. Salem, -14.070; 6. Shedden, -14.410; 7. Davis, -14.497; 8. Lupo, -22.394; 9. Fernandez, -30.827; 10. Botkin, -32.187; 11. Lamb, -32.398; 12. Parker, -1 lap; 13. Clark, -1 lap; 14. Matsudaira, -2 laps. Race Distance, 13 laps, 13.000 miles; Race Time, 9 minutes, 28.269 seconds; Race Average Speed, 82.355 mph; Victory Margin, 2.721 seconds; Fastest Lap, Gouker, 42.514, 84.678 mph.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 160 QUALIFYING ONE: 1. Gouker, 42.533, 84.640 mph; 2. Lupo, 42.585; 3. Matsudaira, 42.891; 4. Davis, 42.896; 5. MacClugage, 43.050; 6. Raymond, 43.366; 7. Salem, 43.435; 8. Shedden, 43.533; 9. Bettencourt, 44.127; 10. Lamb, 44.237; 11. Fernandez, 44.561; 12. Botkin, 45.025; 13. Parker, 48.235; 14. Clark, 48.600.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 160 CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS (After 4 of 8 races): 1. Gouker, 83 points; 2. MacClugage, 69 points; 3. Matsudaira, 58 points; 4. Davis, 57 points; 5. Lupo, 48 points; 6. Salem, 38 points; 7. Shedden, 36 points; 8. Raymond, 32 points; 9. Bettencourt, 30 points; 10. Fernandez, 28 points.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 110 RACE ONE (All on Ohvale motorcycles and Dunlop tires) (June 25): 1. Nathan Gouker, 10 laps, 7:16.434, 82.487 mph; 2. Anthony Lupo Jr., -2.429 seconds; 3. Mac MacClugage, -5.462; 4. Connor Raymond, -14.591. Race Distance, 10 laps, 10 miles; Race Time, 7 minutes, 16.434 seconds; Race Average Speed, 82.487 mph; Victory Margin, 2.429 seconds; Fastest Lap, Gouker, 43.260, 83.218 mph.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 110 RACE TWO (All on Ohvale motorcycles and Dunlop tires) (June 25): 1. Lupo, 10 laps, 6:38.689, 90.296 mph; 2. Gouker, -2.058 seconds; 3. MacClugage, -2.863; 4. Raymond, -13.896. Race Distance, 10 laps, 10 miles; Race Time, 6 minutes, 38.689 seconds; Race Average Speed, 90.296 mph; Victory Margin, 2.058 seconds; Fastest Lap, Gouker, 43.334, 83.076 mph.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 110 QUALIFYING ONE: 1. Gouker, 43.094, 83.538 mph; 2. Lupo, 43.477; 3. MacClugage, 43.554; 4. Raymond, 44.489.

MINI CUP BY MOTUL 110 CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS (After 4 of 8 races): 1. Gouker, 95 points; 2. Lupo, 85 points; 3. MacClugage, 64 points; 4. Raymond, 52 points; 5. Brayden Fager, 22 points; 6. Stanley Gustafson, 20 points.

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