MotoAmerica: More From The Races At Road Atlanta

MotoAmerica: More From The Races At Road Atlanta

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.:

Gagne Returns to the Top in Epic Superbike Battle at Road Atlanta

Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne wins MotoAmerica Superbike Race 2 at Road Atlanta

MARIETTA, Ga. – April 24, 2023 – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne came out on top in a thrilling MotoAmerica Superbike battle in Race 2 at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. It was a strong start to the season for the reigning back-to-back MotoAmerica Superbike Champion, whose second and first-place finish at the opening round has him tied for the points lead. Unfortunately, his teammate Cameron Petersen had a technical issue early in the restarted race and did not finish.

Once again, Gagne grabbed the holeshot, but he would have to make another attempt at a perfect start from pole position as the race was red-flagged on the second lap. The race was shortened to 15 laps with a complete restart, and this time he found himself second but moved into the lead at the end of the opening lap. From there on, it was a heated battle with multiple lead changes. Around the halfway point, a third rider was added to the mix, and shortly after, a fourth, making it an absolute dogfight for top honors. Sitting third, Gagne reclaimed the lead after the frontrunners made contact on the final lap and rode on to his 30th-career superbike victory and first of the season.

Petersen went into the final race of the opening round looking to fight for a win. The South African had a good start both times in third, but unfortunately, on Lap 3, he had a technical issue and had to withdraw from the race.

The Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team returns to action next month for Round 2 of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at the Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, on May 19-21.

Richard Stanboli – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“I think it was a super exciting race for the fans. It’s something different than they’ve seen in the last three years, with us pretty much dominating every single weekend. So I think it was fun for the fans. I’m glad some of the other manufacturers are in the mix, and we get to bring a lot of excitement. Jake rode really well, despite his arm pump. The pace was quite a bit slower than we were last year, so we’re trying to figure out why. It could have been Jake’s arm pump, or maybe it’s the new Dunlops. We haven’t got our heads around it quite yet, but we’ll work on that. I think Barber should be a much better track for us, and we look to get back to dominating the competition.”

 

Jake Gagne (1). Photo courtesy Yamaha.
Jake Gagne (1). Photo courtesy Yamaha.

 

Jake Gagne – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing

“That was a crazy one! I got off to a good start. I really wanted to push the pace, but Cam (Beaubier) and I went back and forth in those first couple of laps. He knew I wanted to get away, so any opportunity that he could, he went past me, especially down into Turn 10. Then after that, the pace was pretty slow. I think at that point, we knew no one was getting away, so we were kind of sizing each other up for the last lap. I was in third, and I was kind of planning on that I could get a good drive up over the hill in the second-to-last turn and maybe make a pass there, but those guys came together in the kink at like 180 (mph). The seas just kind of parted, and I got straight down the center of them. I got a little lucky on that one, for sure. I was kind of counting on something crazy happening on that last lap. All things considered, I’m really happy leaving here. I had a lot of struggles with arm pump this weekend. From lap three on, I couldn’t ride as hard as I wanted to ride, so to come out of the first round with a second and first is pretty awesome.”

Cameron Petersen – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing

“There’s not much to say, to be honest. It’s just one of those things; it’s just part of racing. I felt really good all weekend, other than the crash I had on Friday. I had some really good race pace, and even in the second race there, I felt really great. I really felt like I had the pace to go win one of these things this weekend. So I’m a little bit bummed out, but like I said, it’s part of racing. At least the next few tracks we go to are ones that I really enjoy. So, I’m going to bounce back and try and get some wins under my belt and claw my way back into this championship.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Harley-Davidson:

KYLE WYMAN DOES THE DOUBLE ON FACTORY HARLEY-DAVIDSON AT ROAD ATLANTA

Two Wins and Three Lap Records as Wyman Takes MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Points Lead

 

Kyle Wyman (33) leads Bobby Fong (50) and the rest of the King Of The Baggers field at Road Atlanta. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Harley-Davidson.
Kyle Wyman (33) leads Bobby Fong (50) and the rest of the King Of The Baggers field at Road Atlanta. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Harley-Davidson.

 

MILWAUKEE  – Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® factory rider Kyle Wyman scored two convincing wins in MotoAmerica Mission King of the Baggers races on Saturday and Sunday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Wyman has now won three consecutive races on the team’s race-prepared Harley-Davidson® Road Glide® motorcycle and leads the King of the Baggers series in points.

“This is so awesome to win three in a row and grab that points lead,” said Wyman after Sunday’s victory. “We had no changes to the bike today from yesterday. That’s how good this Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson bike is. I’m having a lot of fun with our Road Glide. Let’s keep the momentum going for Road America.”

Wyman paced the field in Friday’s qualifying session on the 2.55-mile Road Atlanta course, setting a new track record for the King of the Baggers class with a lap of 1:30.427. Wyman took the lead at the start of the eight-lap race on Saturday and pulled away from the field, opening a gap of 2.67 seconds by lap 5 and breaking his own track record with a best lap of 1:30.304. Factory Indian racer Tyler O’Hara finished second, 3.09 seconds behind Wyman. Hayden Gillim finished third on the Vance & Hines Racing Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® factory rider Travis Wyman finished in sixth place.

 

Travis Wyman (10) at speed on his Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Harley-Davidson.
Travis Wyman (10) at speed on his Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Harley-Davidson.

 

On Sunday, it was O’Hara leading the field from the start with Kyle Wyman on his rear tire. But before the end of the first lap, O’Hara ran off the track as Wyman challenged him on the brakes in turn 6 with O’Hara ultimately over-shooting the turn. Kyle then began to pull away from the field and led by 2.56 seconds after lap 4 and set yet another class record with a best lap time of 1:30.036. O’Hara recovered to finish second, 1.83 seconds behind Wyman, with Bobby Fong finishing third on the Roland Sands Indian. Gillim and James Rispoli finished fourth and fifth respectively on their Vance & Hines Racing Harley-Davidson Road Glide motorcycles. Travis Wyman finished seventh on the Factory Harley-Davidson Road Glide.

After four of 14 rounds in the 2023 MotoAmerica Mission King of the Baggers series, Kyle Wyman leads the championship with 75 points, followed by Rispoli with 67 points and Gillim with 65 points. O’Hara sits in fourth place with 61 points. Team Saddlemen Harley-Davidson rider Jake Lewis is fifth with 37 points.

The Mission King of the Baggers series features race-prepared American V-Twin touring motorcycles. Harley-Davidson® Factory Team Road Glide® motorcycles are powered by modified Screamin’ Eagle® Milwaukee-Eight® 131 Performance Crate Engines. The team bikes also feature upgraded suspension components, including Screamin’ Eagle/Öhlins Remote Reservoir Rear Shocks, plus competition exhaust, race tires and lightweight bodywork.

The Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® factory team returns to action June 2-4 in the MotoAmerica Superbike Series at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Race Results – Road Atlanta Race 1

  1. Kyle Wyman (H-D) Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
  2. Tyler O’Hara (Ind) Progressive/Mission Foods
  3. Hayden Gillim (H-D) Vance & Hines Racing
  4. Bobby Fong (Ind) Sacramento Mile/SDI Racing/Roland Sands
  5. James Rispoli (H-D) Vance & Hines Racing
  6. Travis Wyman (H-D) Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
  7. Jake Lewis (H-D) Team Saddlemen
  8. Max Flinders (Ind) M3/Revolution Performance
  9. Kyle Ohnsorg (Ind) Roland Sands Design
  10. Hawk Mazzotta (Ind) Lloyds Garage

MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Race Results – Road Atlanta Race 2

  1. Kyle Wyman (H-D) Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
  2. Tyler O’Hara (Ind) Progressive/Mission Foods
  3. Bobby Fong (Ind) Sacramento Mile/SDI Racing/Roland Sands
  4. Hayden Gillim (H-D) Vance & Hines Racing
  5. James Rispoli (H-D) Vance & Hines Racing
  6. Jeremy McWilliams (Ind) Progressive/Mission Foods
  7. Travis Wyman (H-D) Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
  8. Kyle Ohnsorg (Ind) Roland Sands Design
  9. Jake Lewis (H-D) Team Saddlemen
  10. Patricia Fernandez (H-D) Team Saddlemen
  11. Eric Stahl (H-D) Jiffy Tune Racing

Harley-Davidson invites you to enhance the 2023 MotoAmerica King of the Baggers season with some adrenaline pumping action. Check out, ‘Push the Limit,’ a film that shares the story of defending 2021 champion Kyle Wyman, teammate Travis Wyman and the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle race team’s 2022 championship pursuit. Watch it now on Harley-Davidson’s YouTube channel.

Harley-Davidson stands for the timeless pursuit of adventure and freedom for the soul. Go to H-D.com to learn more about the complete line of 2023 Harley-Davidson Grand American Touring, Sport, Adventure Touring, Cruiser and Trike motorcycles, Harley-Davidson Certified™ pre-owned motorcycles, Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories, Harley-Davidson MotorClothes and gear, and Harley-Davidson Financial Services.

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia USA:

LANDERS WINS, RODIO EXTENDS MOTOAMERICA TWINS CUP POINTS LEAD ABOARD RS 660 AT ROAD ATLANTA

RODIO RACING, POWERED BY ROBEM ENGINEERING, RIDERS FINISH FIRST AND SECOND IN RACE 2 ON SUNDAY

BRASELTON, GA – 24 APRIL 2023 – Three years ago, the Aprilia RS 660 made its debut in the MotoAmerica Twins Cup Championship at Road Atlanta, each year showing new competition, with no shortage of challenges at the Georgia circuit. After a competitive weekend, and Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering riders Rocco Landers and Gus Rodio claimed half of the MotoAmerica Twins Cup podium finishes at the April 21-23 event to give the Aprilia RS 660 its second victory in four races this season, with Gus Rodio adding to his lead in the Twins Cup points standings.

The three-time MotoAmerica class champion Landers – who was filling in for injured rider Ben Gloddy – claimed a pole position and a win in his first weekend competing aboard an Aprilia and ended the weekend in eighth place in the Twins Cup standings. Gus Rodio’s pair of second place finishes allowed him to end the weekend with a 26 point advantage over the second rider in the championship as they head to Barber in May.

Optimum Performance Motorsports’ Jody Barry put in a strong performance, qualifying second on the starting grid, before an injury prevented him from competing in either of the round’s two Twins Cup contests.

The weekend began with an Aprilia RS 660 at the top of the time sheets. Landers was the fastest rider in Friday morning practice and was more than half a second faster than the next-fastest rider. Rodio finished Friday practice third fastest, while Barry struggled in the session to finish 11th. Later Friday, Landers was again the top rider in the first of two qualifying sessions. He posted a best lap time of 1:31.907 and was nearly a second faster than Barry — who was the second-fastest rider. Rodio finished the session in fourth to give Aprilia three of the top four provisional qualifying positions.

Landers again paced the field in Saturday morning’s Qualifying 2, but track conditions did not allow riders to improve their lap times from Qualifying 1 — which handed Landers pole position and ensured Barry and Rodio would start the weekend’s races from second place and fourth place, respectively.

In the lead up to Saturday’s Race 1, Barry had an unfortunate incident on the warm-up lap and crashed near Turn 5. The damage to his motorcycle did now allow him to participate in the race. When racing did get underway, Rodio got a good jump when the lights went out and was running in second as the field took the holeshot. Landers didn’t get off the line well but was running just behind Rodio and another rider. That group of three riders steadily broke away from the rest of the field during the first lap. Landers’ race was unfortunately cut short by a mechanical failure that his motorcycle suffered near the end of Lap 3, leaving Rodio and the other rider to vie for the win. Both riders took turns in the lead, and Rodio made a calculated attempt to get the lead back on the last lap. His effort came up short, but he still managed to finish second and add 20 points to his championship bid. Rodio was one of two Aprilia riders to finish in the top 10, as Righteous Racing’s Ray Hofman came home in 10th.

Sunday’s Race 2 featured a notable absence on the starting grid, as Barry was not cleared to take part in the race.

Landers made his presence known from the start of Race 2 and put in a commanding performance. He got a good launch off the line, grabbed the holeshot, and continued with a lead that was never in doubt. As Rodio labored through a three-way battle for second, Landers gradually built a lead that topped out at more than seven seconds. He took the win by 4.166 seconds. Rodio finished nine of the race’s 12 laps in second place and pulled away from the third-place rider during the last two laps to secure his second runner-up finish of the weekend and give the Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering team its first 1-2 finish of the 2023 season. Landers’ best lap time of 1:31.950 in Race 2 lowered the Twins Cup race lap record by more than 0.8 seconds.

Two other Aprilia riders also finished in the top 10 in Race 2. Unreal Racing’s Daniel Garver finished in ninth place and Hofman secured his second 10th-place finish of the round.

Rodio’s pair of second place finishes added 40 points to his tally, giving him 85 points on the season and a 26-points lead in the Twins Cup points standings. Though he didn’t score any points in Race 1, Landers’ victory on Sunday elevated him to eighth in the class standings with 25 points to his credit.

Of the 38 riders registered to compete in MotoAmerica Twins Cup at the Road Atlanta round, 18 were slated to race aboard Aprilia RS 660s.

MotoAmerica Twins Cup has a three-weekend break before it’s back in action May 19-21 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

 

Rocco Landers (97). Photo courtesy Aprilia USA.
Rocco Landers (97). Photo courtesy Aprilia USA.

 

Rocco Landers / No. 97

“My first time on the Aprilia RS 660 was amazing. It handled very similar to a 600cc bike, in that it gave me a ton of feel on the front tire. I really like riding it. It’s really easy to adapt to, which is a blessing when you get on a new bike. Once I got on it, I knew I was going to gel with it immediately. Saturday’s race was a bit of a bummer, but a day like today always makes you feel better about a day like yesterday. I’m very, very happy to be able to ride the Aprilia to a win today, and I’m excited about the rest of the season.”

 

Gus Rodio (96). Photo courtesy Aprilia USA.
Gus Rodio (96). Photo courtesy Aprilia USA.

 

Gus Rodio / No. 96

“Overall, it was a pretty good weekend here at Road Atlanta. I’m super happy to get a double podium and extend my points lead to 26 points. I feel really good and learned a lot this weekend from riding with Rocco and other riders. I’m excited to take what we learned here to Barber and have a good weekend there.”

MotoAmerica’s Twins Cup heads to Barber Motorsports Park, in Alabama, for the third round of the Championship,May 19-21. The championship schedule, competitor information and class rules can be found at https://motoamerica.com/.

 

 

 

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

ESCALANTE AND SCOTT EARN TOP FIVES IN ATLANTA

Suzuki Making Gains in MotoAmerica Series

BREA, CA – April 24, 2023 – Suzuki Motor USA and Team Hammer continued to flash race-winning potential, scoring two top-five finishes as the first points-paying round of the 2023 MotoAmerica Superbike and Supersport championships concluded on Sunday at Road Atlanta.

Race Highlights:

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki

Supersport

Tyler Scott again raced for the win before finishing a close fourth on his next-generation GSX-R750.

Teagg Hobbs mounted an incredible comeback after running off course to finish in sixth.

Superbike

Richie Escalante made strides to significantly improve his pace and break into the top five.

Toni Elias picked up valuable points in his return to active Superbike competition.

 

Tyler Scott (70) battled for the lead on Sunday, finishing fourth at Road Atlanta. Photo courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.
Tyler Scott (70) battled for the lead on Sunday, finishing fourth at Road Atlanta. Photo courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott looked to improve upon his Supersport runner-up finish Saturday. The early going looked promising in both regards, as Scott powered off of pole position with the lead and repeatedly dove with confidence into the corner at the end of the long back straight aboard his next-generation GSX-R750. However, after leading multiple laps, the 17-year-old ace took the checkered flag in fourth, just 0.085 seconds removed from a second podium in as many days.

“I was really happy with how the race was going,” Scott said. “We had a good pace and it felt great to be back at the front. I can tell the bike is improved from last year, and the team worked well all weekend. I felt really comfortable while I had the lead. We had a problem in the last couple of laps that cost me some drive out of the corners, so we ended up a close fourth. We’ll come back stronger, and I am really happy for Barber coming up.”

 

After a challenging Sunday start, Teagg Hobbs (79) brought home another sixth-place finish. Photo courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.
After a challenging Sunday start, Teagg Hobbs (79) brought home another sixth-place finish. Photo courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

Teagg Hobbs was encouraged by his Saturday sixth and hoped for even more in Sunday’s rematch. However, those aspirations were sunk nearly from the start as he ran off the track at the end of the back straight on the Sunday contest’s opening lap. Undeterred, Hobbs mounted a remarkable come-from-behind ride, working his way back up the field from outside the top ten. That charge ended with one final pass on the last lap to equal his Saturday sixth.

“This weekend has been a dream,” Hobbs said. “Riding for Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki has been amazing, and it’s a dream come true to be racing full-time in MotoAmerica Supersport. I had a great weekend. We started strong, and my crew did a great job all weekend tuning the bike for me. Today’s race didn’t exactly go as planned, so I had to claw my way back. But we showed some good pace this weekend, and if we put it all together, we can be at the front fighting for the podium.”  Scott and Hobbs were joined by four other Suzuki GSX-Rs in the top ten of Sunday’s Supersport race, once again showing Suzuki’s hallmark consistency.

 

Richie Escalante (54) is showing real promise in Superbike, carding a fifth on Sunday. Photo courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.
Richie Escalante (54) is showing real promise in Superbike, carding a fifth on Sunday. Photo courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

Richie Escalante enjoyed a hugely promising outing at Road Atlanta as he made major strides aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R Superbike. Escalante bettered his Saturday sixth with a Sunday fifth, but even the reward of a top-five failed to adequately illustrate his improvement. The second-year Superbike ace cut his best lap by more than a half-second while slashing the gap to the leaders by a mammoth 17 seconds, finishing just 12.345 seconds back of the race winner.

“I’m super happy with the weekend, a P6 and P5,” said Escalante. “This morning, we tried something a little different with the setup, trying to provide more rear grip. In the end, we went back to yesterday’s settings for the race because I knew we could run the whole race consistently. I had a good start, and I stayed with the lead group for a couple of laps. It was difficult to continue the pace because I had an issue with how the rear brake was working. In racing, things like this happen. I dropped into the 1:26 range for a couple of laps but told myself to focus and got back in the ‘25s. I did a 1:25 on the last lap on worn tires. I can’t wait for Barber and am still working hard to get my first Superbike podium.”

 

Toni Elias (24) battled to eighth place on Sunday as he returns to MotoAmerica Superbike. Photo courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.
Toni Elias (24) battled to eighth place on Sunday as he returns to MotoAmerica Superbike. Photo courtesy Suzuki Motor USA, LLC.

In his return to active racing, former MotoAmerica Superbike champion Toni Elias backed up his Saturday seventh with an eighth on Sunday. The battle-proven Spaniard will take the points and focus his efforts on regaining his momentum to fight for victory once again like he’s done so many times.

“Today’s race was similar to yesterday,” Elias said. “The pace was better, but the problems were the same, transfer of weight to the front. We tried to find an improvement for today’s race, but we couldn’t. It wasn’t the comeback I was expecting but we will work hard to finish stronger for the next race.”

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki will return to action when the 2023 MotoAmerica season continues at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 19-21.

For more racing news, results, and special team content please visit https://suzukicycles.com/racing/road-racing.

ABOUT SUZUKI

Suzuki Motor USA, LLC. (SMO) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automotive Parts, Accessories, and ECSTAR Oils & Chemicals via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles, Outboard Motors, and related products. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has business relations with 201 countries/regions. For more information, visit www.suzuki.com.

ABOUT TEAM HAMMER

The 2023 season marks Team Hammer’s 43rd consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Race bikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 129 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 346 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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