2022 NEMRR Round One Wrap-Up
The NorthEast Motorcycle Road Racing (NEMRR) series round one was held under blustery cold conditions for much of the weekend of April 30-May 1 at the freshly improved New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). The sun came out on Sunday afternoon and gave riders the opportunity to experience the revitalized racetrack surface at full pace for the first time.
NEMRR president John Grush worked with the staff at NHMS over the off season and coordinated a plan to make some significant improvements to the track in several areas. Together with several NEMRR veteran riders, Grush helped NHMS to use the budget to the fullest and the crew smoothed out critical bumps in Turn 1, Turn 8, two places in Turn 10, Turn 11 and Turn 12. The feedback from the paddock was universally positive. The track is safer and more enjoyable to ride and the series may see faster lap times as the series holds its next few events.
While practice times were off due to the cold and windy conditions on Saturday morning, there was a mix of familiar faces and some new winners as the sun came out and the races unfolded during the day.
NEMRR #1 plate holder Rick Doucette led off the weekend in the GTL by #74 class with a win on his Plaistow Powersports Yamaha R5 over a hard-charging Eli Block on his Built by Block motard bike.
A special congratulations went out to 18-year-old Renee Franco on her Penguin Racing Ninja 400 as she scored her first ever Expert class victory over Souhegan Valley Motorsports’ Shane Lewis in the FirstTrax GT500 Class.
Perennial NEMRR champion Scott Greenwood dominated the Adrenaline Performance GTO and Dunlop Tires GTU classes on his Argo Cycles Yamaha R6, running times in the low 1:13 range in spite of the sub-50 degree temperatures!
The feature Saturday was again the Michelin Motorace $1500 challenge, which features many of the strongest riders in NEMRR on the popular middleweight class machines. This was an all-Yamaha affair at the front as 2021 Champion Greenwood grabbed the holeshot and used a steady stream of 1:13 laps to separate himself form the field. The real battle was between veteran riders Rick Doucette and Tony’s Track Days’ Paul Duval. Duval got the jump off the line but Doucette got aggressive early and took over the second spot for a few laps. Duval struck back as the two approached the halfway point and ran some defensive lines on the final lap to secure his runner-up position.
2022 also marked the launch of a new era of lightweight class racing with NEMRR with the advent of the Dunlop Talent Cup. Corey Maynard, Tony Romo and Chad Geer of Dunlop Tires were all in attendance to show their support of this new class, which was designed to support young riders on MotoAmerica Junior Cup-level machinery. Dunlop is offering both special weekend Dunlop contingency awarded to the top 5 Dunlop finishers and championship bonus cash at the end of the year.
NEMRR and Dunlop are excited to provide this opportunity for these promising young riders, and the series is excited to continue to have more riders follow in the footsteps of successful NEMRR riders like Ben Gloddy, Teagg Hobbs, and Eli Block at the MotoAmerica level.
Renee Franco continued her breakout weekend by grabbing the early lead and making her way though traffic with confidence as the race progressed. She was followed by her Penguin Racing teammate Brianna McHugh and Shane Lewis to round out the podium.
NEMRR Round 2 is May 21-22 and the 99th running of the Loudon Classic is June 18-19.
For more information on NEMRR event visit www.nemrr.com