More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Two Support Class Titles Still Up For Grabs At Barber Motorsports Park
Tomorrow Will Bring A Close To The 2022 MotoAmerica Championship
BIRMINGHAM, AL (September 24, 2022) – With the championships in both Stock 1000 and Supersport already having been decided at New Jersey Motorsports Park two weekends ago, the championship chase in SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup was in the spotlight on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park.
Alpha Omega Kawasaki rider Cody Wyman had a 20-point lead coming into the weekend and is still the odds-on favorite to clinch the title, but it didn’t happen based on the result of the penultimate race of the season for MotoAmerica’s entry-level riders. Wyman’s fourth-place finish was countered by a race victory from Altus Motorsports Kawasaki’s Kayla Yaakov and podium finishes from Bauce Racing/JL62 Team’s Joseph LiMandri Jr. and Rodio Racing Kawasaki’s Kevin Rodio. Yaakov and Rodio are still in the hunt for the title, and there is just one more race on Sunday to decide it all.
Yuasa Stock 1000 – All Gillim
Yuasa Stock 1000 started off the day, and it was the final race of the year for MotoAmerica’s literbike riders. With the championship already decided in Corey Alexander’s favor two weekends ago at New Jersey Motorsports Park, this race was all about just taking the checkered flag and standing on the top of the podium with a win.
That win went to Disrupt Racing Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim, which was his fifth victory of the season. Gillim, who started from the pole position, got the holeshot and was never headed. At the checkered flag, the Kentuckian had stretched out his lead to more than eight-and-a-half seconds. Second place went to Vision Wheel/Discount Tire/KWS Honda rider Geoff May who withstood a near highside on the way to his runner-up result. Cycle World/Octane/Chuckwalla Racing Andrew Lee completed the podium in third aboard his Suzuki.
“It was a really good year,” Gillim said. “We had a couple little things that kind of kept us from really fighting for it until the end, but over the past two years, I haven’t raced full-time. Last year, I did Baggers three rounds and then the year before that the only thing I did was the one Bagger race at Laguna at the end of the season. So, it was really good to come back into it and be able to do what we were able to do as a team. Myself, I came back after two years away. Disrupt Racing team member Mark Junge came back after being out for ten years or nine years or something like that. Saw him pull out of retirement. It took us a little while to get our feet under us. It took me a little while to get my head up to speed and be able to process what was going on with the bike and being able to relay that to the guys. That’s something that you lose, being away for a little bit. The past three rounds, everything started clicking. I was able to start feeling things with the bike that I haven’t felt in a long time. Being able to relay that to them and then being able to turn it into a great bike underneath me has been a lot of fun. Getting to do so many laps in Stock 1000 and Superbike has been a freaking blast. It helps me every weekend having that many laps under my belt. This week on Monday, my son turns one year old. The wife has been crying about that. She’s upset we’ve got a big boy now. The team got me a little tribute helmet to it, a little tribute to Nicky (Hayden) and then got some pictures of me and (wife) Summer and (son) Stone at Virginia on the podium. A little picture of me and Stone on there. So, it’s pretty cool for them to do that. It’s been a really good year. I’m glad that they were able to bring me on board.”
Supersport – Landers Gets His Fourth
The 2022 Supersport Championship was also decided at New Jersey Motorsports Park, with Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC rider Josh Herrin clinching the title, so the final two races of the Supersport season were also all about pride.
In race one, Herrin started from the pole and chose softer-compound Dunlop tires than Landers Racing Yamaha’s Rocco Landers did. With better grip than Landers had at the beginning of the race, Herrin was in the lead and looked to be headed for a dominant win. However, Landers’ strategy paid off. As Herrin’s tires wore and lost some of their grip, Landers closed the gap and overtook him for the lead. Herrin hung tight to Landers, however, and Mesa37 Racing Kawasaki’s Stefano Mesa also joined the battle for the win. At the checkered flag, it was Landers who got the win over Herrin by just .364 of a second. Mesa finished third, but only .061 of a second behind Herrin.
“I definitely made a gamble, that’s for sure,” Landers said. “It definitely paid off. If you asked me an hour ago if I thought I’d win the race, there’s a slim chance, I felt like. But it worked. Josh (Herrin) is one of the toughest people I’ve ever raced against, and whenever I throw a shot, he immediately takes a stab back. It’s actually really fun. I enjoy it. Same with Stefano (Mesa). Just love racing with these guys. They’re super-aggressive. It’s super-awesome.”
SportbikeTrackGear.Com Junior Cup – Yaakov Does It Again
SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup is down to its final two races of the season, and Saturday’s race one ensured that the championship will be decided in race two tomorrow at Barber Motorsports Park.
Championship leader Cody Wyman started from the pole, but his lead was short-lived as Rodio Racing’s Gus Rodio overtook Wyman on the opening lap. Rodio was then overtaken by Altus Motorsports Kawasaki rider Kayla Yaakov, and the battle for the lead was on between Rodio and Yaakov. And then, as seems to happen in most of the Junior Cup races, especially this season, “the shuffle” was on among the lead riders. Yaakov made a strategic and gutsy pass for the lead on the final lap, and at the finish line, the Pennsylvanian prevailed by half a bike length over Bauce Racing/JL62 Team’s Joe LiMandri Jr. who stalked the leaders until the end of the final lap, then put himself in the runner-up position over third-place Rodio and very nearly won the race.
When asked about her pass for the lead on the final lap, Yaakov said, “I honestly didn’t think it was going to work. I saw when I was sandwiched in-between them, I knew Joe (LiMandri) was either going to drift out and try to kind of block pass me in, or Gus (Rodio) was going to close on me, or Joe was going to hold it and square it up for the next corner, which I think he was trying to do because I saw him right next to me. I went up on the curbing coming out of the chicane, and I knew I had a good run. That’s what I was setting up for from the beginning of the museum (turn). I knew if I got a good run out of there, I was going to try to be able to make a good lunge, either going into 11, or if I had to, the last corner. We made it happen. I’m really happy with it. Going to the finish line, I hadn’t really been in a position behind anyone for too long coming out of the last corner. When I was behind Gus going into the last corner, I made some small mistakes on the curbing. So, I was just planning if someone got a perfect drive and they wanted to go on one side, just to try to break the draft a little bit. Obviously, in the end, I saw he went on the other side, but either way, it worked out.”
More, from a press release issued by Suzuki Motor USA, LLC:
VISION WHEEL M4 ECSTAR SUZUKI’S TYLER SCOTT EARNS ANOTHER TOP FIVE AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
Suzuki Powered Machines Show Competitiveness in all Classes
BREA, Calif., September 24, 2022 — Suzuki Motor USA and Team Hammer flashed front-running form as they opened the race action of the 2022 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing season finale at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday afternoon.
MotoAmerica Supersport sensation Tyler Scott notched the eleventh top-five result of his maiden Supersport season and was in contention for much more than that deep into the 19-lap contest.
The 16-year-old blasted off the middle of the front row aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R750 to lead into the race’s opening corner before quickly settling into second. Scott was in stellar form during the race’s opening half, reeling the race leader back into his sights and then proceeding to challenge him for several laps.
On lap 11, however, Scott began to suffer from grip issues and was unable to persist in his assault for the race win. He eventually lost three positions, salvaging a fifth-place finish in the end.
“The first half of the race felt really strong,” said Scott. “I felt great and was comfortable battling for the lead. Unfortunately, the tire lost grip about halfway so I had to manage that and get as many points as I could. We’ll make a change for tomorrow, either a different compound or with tire pressure. Hopefully the rain holds off.”
Things were even more difficult for the still-mending Sam Lochoff, who was collected in a multi-rider incident that knocked him onto the ground and out of the race on Lap 2. While the South African was ruled out early, the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s second Supersport rookie, Liam Grant, stepped up to battle well inside the top ten.
In the end, Grant scooped up the second-best result of his debut Supersport season with an eighth-place result.
“I got a strong launch and passed two riders right at the start,” said Grant. “Getting a fast first lap set me up for the race. It put me in a position to avoid drama. This year has been a nice experience learning how to work with the team and we’ve found a great setup for the bike that works for me. I have a lot of confidence in this setup and was able to make some moves in Turn 5. We have really gelled lately and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
A very promising Superbike race took a disappointing turn with less than two laps remaining. Premier-class rookie Richie Escalante rediscovered his midseason feel and confidence, vaulting back into podium contention aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R.
Escalante picked up a couple positions early after starting on the outside of Row 2 and then sat locked onto the rear-wheel of third place in the middle of the fight.
Escalante seemed at least a sure bet to equal his career-best Superbike finish of fourth late in the race. Unfortunately, he suffered a crash on the penultimate lap and was unable to properly celebrate his return to form.
“The mentality was to push and try to finish on the podium and I lost the front,” said Escalante. “It was a small crash in Turn 2. This weekend has been much, much better and my confidence is back. I had a fast pace all weekend and qualified on the second row. I am very happy with the GSX-R and the team, and feel very optimistic about trying to finish on the podium in the next race.”
Superbike vet Jake Lewis fought in seventh for much of the race before finally taking the checkered flag in eighth position.
Congrats to Hayden Gillim aboard his GSX-R1000R for taking the victory in Race 1 in the Stock 1000 class. Across all MotoAmerica classes, Suzuki’s showing their competitive edge.
Team Hammer will complete the 2022 season in tomorrow’s season finale at Barber Motorsports Park.
ABOUT TEAM HAMMER
The 2022 season marks Team Hammer’s 42nd consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 129 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 344 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.
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.