Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Apr 10, 2019

MotoAmerica: The Final Round Of Press Releases From The Races At Road Atlanta

Kevin Olmedo (14). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

MotoAmerica: Altus Motorsports Tucker VP Lubricants Race Report “FLASHES of BRILLIANCE “ at Road Atlanta

(Atlanta, GA) Altus Motorsports Tucker VP Lubricants Team rolled into Road Atlanta primed and ready for Round 1 of the MotoAmerica Championships. Altus Motorsports raised the bar again for 2019 with an impressive new team of championship caliber riders and new pit setup which is equally impressive. George and Janette Nassaney, Team owners have a strong and long commitment to the MotoAmerica Championships and to the sport of motorcycle road racing.

George Nassaney of Altus Motorsports summed up the weekend like this: “Team Riders Miles Thornton and Kevin Olmedo showed flashes of brilliance this weekend. Both riders were on point with their machines and pushing the envelope to be on top of the box. We also suffered some unfortunate difficulties in Supersport and Twins Cup competition. Professional racing is a roller coaster of extreme highs and extreme lows, the teams that can manage and make adjustments under these conditions are the ones that win championships and we are working to do just that”.

Liqui Moly Junior Cup: Kevin Olmedo showed his skills and grit in Atlanta. In spite of crashing in qualifying, he still ended up 6th on the starting grid. On lap 4 of Race 1, he made contact with another rider. The incident didn’t slow Olmedo one bit. He started the last lap leading a four bike battle for 3rd. A nail biting fight left him across the line in 6th, missing the podium spot by just half a second. Race 2 looked to be even better. Olmedo rode the wheels off his bike, barely missing out on second place at the line. Saturday evening while preparing the bike for Sunday, it was discovered that one of the front wheels had ceramic bearings - an illegal modification. Unfortunately, the mechanic got distracted before being able to change them out and, as a result, Kevin’s Sunday was disqualified from the Sunday race. “This was an honest mistake and we feel horrible for the kid. He rode his butt off. We are going to pay him the contingency he lost because of this oversight. It wouldn’t be fair otherwise. He did his job and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do the rest of the year,” said George Nassaney.

(Above) Miles Thornton (72). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Stock 1000: In spite of a minor mechanical issue that sidelined him for part of Q2, Miles Thornton managed to qualify at the front of the second row in 4th position on his Suzuki GSX-R 1000. During the race he showed amazing pace and set the fastest lap on several occasions. Unfortunately, a slight mistake on lap 6 sent him into the gravel trap at 170mph. Thanks to Arai Helmets and RS Taichi, Miles suffered no significant injuries and is excited to grid up at VIR and try again to put the Altus Motorsports GSX-R 1000 on the podium. The final timesheet shows him with the second fastest lap of the race and Thornton knows he can run with the guys up front and contend for the championship.

(Above) Lucas Silva (23). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Supersport 600: Lucas Silva qualified in P13 on his Altus Motorsports GSX-R 600. In the first 600 race of the year, Lucas scored in impressive top 10 finish. Bringing the bike home in 9th. He scored points again on Sunday by crossing the line in 12th. A great start to the season.

(Above) Jaret Nassaney (59). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Jaret Nassaney’s first race didn’t go as well. 12 laps into Race 1, some electrical gremlins from an earlier crash began limiting the top speed of his GSX-R 600 forcing him to retire. Jaret started from 16th in Race 2 and quickly jumped into a battle for 14th. In an exciting fight that went from flag-to-flag, Nassaney took the position by a tenth of a second at the line. Despite the DNF on Saturday, he scored points on Sunday and is pleased with the bike, his progress throughout the weekend, and his improvements over last year.

Twins Cup: The weekend started strong for Austin Phillips and the Altus Motorsports MT07; 7th place in the first practice session. Halfway through Q1 the bike started smoking. Adjustments were made Friday night but the issue was not resolved for Saturday’s Q2 session. The motor was still making good power but there was clearly an issue and the decision was made to not run it. Unfortunately, after the test day at Jennings a couple of weeks ago the motor was torn down for inspection and cracks were discovered. Because there were no cases available in the U.S., the spare motor was scavenged to put a bike on the grid for round 1. Austin went to work and found a stock motor to put into the chassis to make the start of Race 1. With the underpowered bike, the race was a struggle and Austin crossed the line in 31st understandably disappointed. After a discussion with the team, Austin has chosen to change direction. “It’s unfortunate. Austin has talent and I believe we have a great package. I know he had high hopes for this weekend and not being on a competitive bike for the race was hard. We wish him luck in the future.” said George.

“I’ve been in business a long time and one thing is true expect the unexpected. We will learn from this weekend, apply it and make adjustments and be ready for the top of the box in Virginia,” said George Nassaney.

The Altus Motorsports team is supported by our great family of sponsors: Altus Motorsports, Tucker Powersports,, Conquest CBD, VP Lubricants, RS Taichi, Arai, Moto D, Bonamici, Hotbodies Racing, SBS Brakes, Vortex, Motion Pro, STACYC, Law Tigers, Dunlop, Team Hammer, and Altus Factory Racing.

More, from a press release issued by Hudson Motorcycles/HB Racing:

Richie Escalante Pushes To a Podium Finish at Road Atlanta

(Above) Richie Escalante (54). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Los Angeles, CA - After several extremely successful testing days during the off season, Richie Escalante and The Hudson Motorcycles-HB Racing team arrived in Atlanta, Georgia for the season opener of the MotoAmerica SuperSport Championship with their eye on the prize.

With a P3 starting position and a podium finish after race 2, the Hudson Motorcycles HB racing team came back stronger than ever but not without a few bumps in the road.

On Tuesday night the team’s chassis mechanic, Patrick Goujonvaldes was checking into the hospital instead of his flight to Atlanta for the birth of his healthy second son. The team had to act quickly to find a replacement and was able to connect with Craig “Huey” Stewart, an Atlanta native and a staple at the Road Atlanta track. Goujonvaldes was able to join the team Friday night, just in time for the weekend.

After day 1, Richie Escalante had secured a 3rd place finish in qualifying securing a P3 starting position. Escalante did not have the best start putting him in 7th but with constant grit and determination, Escalante was able to move his Hudson Motorcycle-HB Racing Yamaha R6 into 4th place, just .7 seconds behind the 3rd place contender.

After a reset that evening with a few minor setup changes, the team was ready to come back and fight for a podium finish. However, late that evening, the Hudson Motoryclces- HB Racing team was notified that Escalante’s heroic grandfather had passed away. Despite his profound sorrow, Escalante continued to portray the professionalism and attitude that he has come to be known and respected for, and finish race 2 of round 1. With the support and love of his team, Escalante kept his head down and pushed his way into 3rd place, a podium finish and a tribute to his grandfather

“I cannot begin to say how proud I am of the whole crew. From day 1 they worked hard to put a great bike under Richie and we have really grown to be a team on and off the track.” stated Mark Shinder, Team Manager/ Co-Owner. “Despite a personal hurdle that Richie was going through on Sunday, he carried himself with such grace and poise through an extremely difficult and emotional day. I couldn’t be prouder of him and feel incredibly lucky to have him as our rider.”

“ The new team continues to add pieces and a working relationship is beginning to emerge. Richie’s feedback is more precise with each session allowing us to improve his feeling and confidence” Exclaims Curtice Thom, Crew Chief. “A podium result is a great payoff for a winter of hard work for the entire team. Thank to all of our technical sponsors as we push onto round 2 in Virginia.”

Richie Escalante and The Hudson Motorcycles-HB Racing team would love to give a special thank you to Josh Hayes for helping this weekend by not only finding a chassis tech replacement but also for all the work he has been doing with Richie and the Team. A big thank you to HB RACING for the support along with our other sponsors including: Akropovic exhaust, Bel Ray Lubricants, Vortex EK, Vesrah, Motion Pro, Velocity Tape, Sprint Filter, Dynojet, CoreMotoUSA, Galfer, Shoei Helmets USA, Spidi,Cap It,Lightech, Pitbull and StomGrip. 

More, from a press release issued by RiderzLaw Racing/Aguilar Racing:

RiderzLaw Racing Bounces Back at Road Atlanta

(Above) Jason Aguilar (96). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

RiderzLaw Racing came into Road Atlanta with momentum from a front row start in the Daytona 200, and despite a nagging ankle injury, hopes were high for a successful start to the 2019 MotoAmerica Supersport season. With the weather cooperating, Jason was able to qualify 8th. In Race One, Jason got a good start and held 8th place. With the setup changes the team made in between rounds, Jason was able to run almost a full second faster in the race than he did in qualifying. Moving up to 7th place on the fifth lap, Jason just did not have the pace to catch the group ahead of him that was battling for podium positions and brought home a 7th place finish.

The team went to work making changes to prepare the bike for Race 2. That work paid off with Jason again improving by almost a full second and able to battle for a podium. Jason settled into a 5-rider group that was battling for 3rd place. Jason was patient and when the opportunity presented itself, he charged into 3rd place. The battle for 3rd was some great racing, and was featured for several laps in the MotoAmerica Live+ broadcast. Jason ended up 4th place but showed that he can battle for podiums now.

RiderzLaw Racing Team Crew Chief Rocky Stargel and Team Rider/Manager Jason Aguilar welcomed new mechanic Manny Macias to the team. The pieces are falling into place and the team is hitting its stride as they look forward to the next round at Virginia International Raceway on May 4-5.

Jason Aguilar: “I was not 100% this weekend, but we knew we could run a good pace. The Team is new, and we are learning as we go, and getting stronger each time out. We showed we can run with the leaders and compete for podiums now. Overall, it was a very positive weekend. I am really looking forward to VIR.”

Thanks to all of our 2019 sponsors: RiderzLaw, Lexin, Honos, Torco, CL Auto Group, Moto Station, Graves Motorsports, Evol Technology, TaylorMade Racing, Dunlop Tires, Yamaha Motor USA, FTECU, Superlite Sprockets, Motion Pro, Arai Helmets, Alien Motion Batteries, SBS Brakes, EF Signs, SBK Paint, RFA Designs.

More, from a press release issued by Team RiderzLaw/Finishline Machine Racing:

Challenging weekend for Jackson Blackmon at Road Atlanta

(Above) Jackson Blackmon (18). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

This past weekend we were racing at Road Atlanta with MotoAmerica in the Junior Cup class, As usual the track had some crazy weather throughout the weekend similar to the year before. Friday started out with a wet FP1 and then some mixed conditions for Q1. Blackmon ended up 3rd in Q1 and was looking forward to Saturday morning. Saturday morning was the first fully dry session of the weekend Jackson was feeling pretty good and with roughly 10 minutes to go his chain broke causing him to retire from the session. This situation put us starting 9th for the race. The chain breaking did a lot of damage to the bike, meaning a lot of work to do before the race. With Qualifying and the race being so close together time-wise, we barely made it out for the race and Jackson had to start last on the grid. He rode hard from row 7 and managed to work his way up to 11th by the end of the race. After Race 1 we made big changes to the bike for race 2. Race 2 was much better, especially starting from row 3 and not row 7. Jackson got a good start and ended up in a 4 rider battle and ended up 6th by the end. 

“This past weekend was very challenging for the team and I. We had a lot of bike issues on Saturday causing us to start last on the grid for Race 1. Race 2 was much better, but still some things I need to improve on. Now it’s time to get back to work and training so I’m 100% for VIR!” says Blackmon 

Thank you to all our sponsors: RiderzLaw Racing, Blud Lubricants, Finishline Machine, HJC Helmets, Yamaha, D&D Cycles, Motion Pro, SBS Brakes, Rock Hill Powersports, Graves Motorsports, GWR, MotoD, Fast Bike Industries, Fast Frank Racing, DrippinWet, HotBodies, Norton Motorsports, John DeMasters, Papa Charlie, Chuck Blackmon, and Dainese.

More, from a press release issued by Team Hammer:


(Above) Bobby Fong (left) and Kyle Martin of M4 Performance Exhaust (right) celebrate on the top step of the podium at Road Atlanta. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Bobby Fong stormed to Team Hammer's first victory of the 2019 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing season with an emphatic win in Sunday's MotoAmerica Supersport race.

Starting from pole and eager for redemption, Fong proved unstoppable in the rematch. The 28-year-old Californian and his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600 were obviously the class of the field, leaping into the lead and building an immediate advantage.

A minor miscue brought back bad memories from Saturday's race and saw Fong run off the track and momentarily drop to second. However, Fong regained both his pace and his composure and quickly reasserted himself at the front where he would stay until the checkered flag.

Fong ultimately took the win with a 2.373-second margin of victory. The triumph also handed him an early 14-point advantage in the MotoAmerica Supersport championship standings.

After the race, Fong said, "Honestly, my M4 ECSTAR Suzuki was by far the best bike out there, and we rode great. I can't give it up to my team enough. We deserved this win, and my guys deserved this win. I can't wait to do it again in Virginia in a few weeks' time."

Fong could have easily been joined by his young teammate, Sean Dylan Kelly, on the podium once again if not for a racing incident beyond Kelly's control.

The 16-year-old established himself at the front of a five-rider battle for third, but was pushed wide and off-track as a result of a rival rider's overzealous overtaking attempt.

Kelly survived his sideways ride through the gravel and returned to the fray several positions back. He was also forced to make one final evasive maneuver in the race's final corner when another rider crashed in that same corner and came to a stop on the racing line.

Kelly successfully avoided the fallen rider and gained one additional position in the process, finishing the race in sixth position.

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's Jake Lewis had a less dramatic ride in Sunday's Superbike contest. Lewis opened the race from the outside of Row 2 after qualifying sixth.

He then proceeded to register a strong and steady ride aboard his Superbike-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000 to finish in that exact same position at the conclusion of the 21-lap race.

Meanwhile, Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki's Alex Dumas narrowly fended off Autovest Suzuki's Joseph Blasius as the Team Hammer Twins Cup entrants finished Sunday's Race 2 in sixth and seventh, respectively, aboard their Suzuki SV650s.

Premier-class pilot Lewis will be back in action next weekend as the MotoAmerica Superbike field joins the superstars of the MotoGP World Championship at the Circuit of The Americas, in Austin, Texas, from April 12-14.

The remainder of Team Hammer will rejoin Lewis when the full MotoAmerica tour heads to Virginia International Raceway on May 4-5.

About Team Hammer

The 2019 season marks Team Hammer's 39th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 71 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA and MotoAmerica National podiums 208 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 135 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.

Top 5 This Week