The final NEMRR event of 2022 was the culmination of a seven-race series and featured double points in all championship categories. This format left nearly all class championships and the NEMRR overall #1 plate to be decided. Cooler temperatures and cloud cover on both days challenged riders to stay sharp and ride with just a touch of caution. This was especially true early in the day in key right hand corners at the left hand dominant New Hampshire Motor Speedway venue. The specter of a mistake effecting a season championship weighed on many riders minds.
Saturday opened with a pair of races aimed at newer riders. Starting off the day, the Super Street class ran the first of its two Saturday features. Super Street was designed a few years ago to allow track day riders an opportunity to participate in NEMRR in a low-pressure environment with an emphasis on rider safety and fun. This new opportunity has been a resounding success as it has lowered the barrier for entry to participate in a NEMRR weekend and has also given many riders the confidence to move on to the full race classes. Both heavyweight winner Josh Stewart and lightweight winner Henry Woodman impressed with their performances. Stewarts smooth style on his Aprilia RSV1000 led him to run times that would have run at the front of the NEMRR Amateur classes, and 15-year-old Woodman ran times on his Yamaha R3 that would qualify him for Expert status! Stewart also claimed the prize for the Super Street rider scoring the most points in 2022, winning him a brand new custom racing suit from NEMRR sponsor Antham Racing.
Next up was the Rookie Race, which NEMRR uses as the final test to qualify for a full racing license and makes for great way for new racers to ease into competition. Current Novice riders are invited to run in the first wave of this race, and rookie riders make up the second and third waves in their respective heavyweight and lightweight class divisions. A crowd of veteran racers looked on as Rookie Race heavyweight was won by Conner McCormack and Rookie Race lightweight was won by Nathan Tower.
The feature races for Saturday are always the Middleweight GP classes. In the Plaistow Powersports-sponsored Amateur division, 2022 standout Micheal Lee took over the lead from Geoffrey Bonnard on lap two and then put an exclamation point on his fantastic season by running times in the low 1:15’s. Lee’s Yamaha R6 is a completely stock bike with the bare minimum to make it race legal, and is scheduled for some upgrades in the off season. Lee should make an immediate impact as he starts 2023 as an Expert racer.
The Michelin / MotoRace $1500 Challenge was the highlight of the weekend. Scott Greenwood had been undefeated all season long but the young duo of Eli Block and Ben Gloddy had demonstrated the pace to be legitimate contenders in this final round. Greenwood got a bad start as he was shuffled back to fourth place from his polesitter’s spot, and by the end of lap one Block had pulled almost a full second on the pack. By lap two Greenwood made his way to second place and the two Yamaha R6 riders began to pull away. However, starting from the back row on his Robem Engineering Aprilia RS 660, Ben Gloddy made his way to third place and began to chase down the leaders. As Greenwood caught Block and started looking for a way by, Gloddy put his head down and in the process ran a 1:12.1, breaking a 13-year-old lightweight class record and closing up to the back wheel of the lead duo. However, Gloddy burned up his tire in the valiant effort to catch up and fell back from the leaders to claim a solid third place. Meanwhile Greenwood made a pass on the brakes in Turn Six and pulled out a few bikelengths each lap until two laps from the end. Block then made a valiant effort and closed on Greenwood as the two encountered lapped traffic, but in the end the cagey veteran Greenwood secured an undefeated season in this premier class.
As Sunday unfolded the focus was on several season championships. In the tight battle with two other riders, young Trase Beadreau secured the title of the Vanson Leathers Rookie of the Year and will get a free custom suit from the Vanson. Vanson is one of the longest standing supporters of racing in the Northeast and the Rookie of the Year award has always been one of NEMRR’s most prestigious titles. Riders who start the season as a Novice and Advance all the way to Expert in a single season, while demonstrating sportsmanship and character, are given the award and the free suit.
In the quest for the overall #1 plate, the battle came down to three of the most successful veteran racers the series has had in its history. Rick Doucette was able to hold off the challenges of Greenwood and multi-time class champion Brett Guyer to secure his record 12th career overall place for the series. The Plaistow Powersports rider rode a selection of Yamahas to secure his title including an R3, a 565cc version of an R6, and a full R6 superbike-spec motorcycle.
Big things are in store for NEMRR in 2023. In addition to an anticipated six rounds of racing, 2023 will feature the 100th running of the Loudon Classic, the oldest continuously running motorcycle race in the United States. Saturday of the Classic weekend will be a Pro-only feature day with 4 classes and big purse money. Several MotoAmerica riders and teams have expressed interest in attending, please check www.NEMRR.com for details. The series expects to have the full details of classes and purses announced by the end of this year.