MotoAmerica: Circuit of the Americas Race Day 1 Recap
Day 1 of Racing is complete for the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship. Here are the results from today’s races.
Jake Gagne (Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha) continued to display his dominance winning race 1 by a margin of 2.5 seconds ahead of Richie Escalante (Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki). The win marks Gagne’s 10th victory this year. He wrapped up the championship prior to this round so the races are really just a formality now. JD Beach (Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha) who has stepped in for the injured Cameron Petersen finished 3rd. The podium came in his second race of the season. Beach ended the race just under 2 tenths behind Escalante, but ran out of time to close the gap when the checkered flag flew.
Gagne had the following words after the race, “We’ve talked about it enough, but it’s nice to not have to think about the championship. That’s priority number one of the year. That’s the primary goal. To get that done, it feels nice. We can just kind of go racing. Obviously, there’s been some bummer luck for some of those guys. I feel like I’ve been on the lucky end all year. But regardless, I’ll take it.”
Gagne Continued on the Hot Track Temperatures
It was a tough, hot race for sure. The first lap was kind of wild. Me and (Josh) Herrin went back and forth a little bit, which was fun. I think even just going into turn one, he was up the inside. I released the brake, he released the brake, and we just kind of played that game for a little while. It was a bummer. I think he had a bike issue. Just kind of put my head down. I saw on the big board that it was Richie (Escalante) and JD (Beach) up there second and third after a few laps or mid-race. Congrats to both these guys. They really earned it. I know Richie has been at this Superbike game for a while now. The guy is so talented. And JD, he’s okay.
Congrats to JD. It’s a great day for the team and Richie. It’s just cool to get up here on the podium with these guys. Tomorrow I’m sure will be another burner. I know these guys want to get a win, both of them. Hopefully we can learn a little bit overnight and go out there and put on a show again tomorrow.”
Elsewhere on the Grid
There were two retirements in the race. The first being Brandon Paasch (Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki) who crashed early on and the second was Josh Herrin (Warhorse HSBK Ducati). Herrin experienced a mechanical failure which required him to retire. Unfortunately leaving the race empty handed in terms of points is the exact opposite of what Herrin needs in the championship race. PJ Jacobsen is now 32 points behind Herrin.
Xavi Fores wrapped up the supersport championship in race 1 to clinch the title with three races to go. The win didn’t come easy. Tyler Scott ran a hard fought race keeping the pressure on Fores for the entire race. However at lap 8 the race was red flagged and eventually was ruled complete due to time constraints and more than 2/3 the lap distances being completed. At the time of the flag Fores was in first and thus inherited the win.
Fores states, “When I accepted this challenge, I was expecting to fight for victories, but I was not expecting to fight for winning the title, winning eight races in a row and then win again. It was a very nice season for me because at the end of the last year I was considering with my wife to retire, because I was not enjoying racing. I was doing Moto-e, something that I didn’t want to do. But then when I contact Ducati again and the team, they offered me the Supersport and I said, why not?
Stock 1000 – Gillim takes the Lead
Hayden Gillim (Disrupt Racing) put on a dominant performance in Stock 1000 Race 1. After starting from pole position Gillim took off and never looked back. By the second lap Gillim had already built a substantial cushion and he’d never be challenged for the lead again. Travis Wyman held on to Gillim for the first few laps but Gillim finished nearly 8.5 seconds ahead of Wyman when the checkered flag flew. Coming into the weekend championship leader Ezra Beaubier (Orange Cat Racing) had the opportunity to write his legacy in the class. Unfortunately it is reported that he was dealing with stomach sickness and would not be able to participate in Race 1.
Gillim spoke with the MotoAmerica media after the race stating, “It sucks whenever one of the guys that has been up front all year and the guy that we’ve all been chasing isn’t here to defend his points lead and everything. We’re all feeling pretty rough this weekend with the heat and everything, so hopefully he gets better and is able to be out here tomorrow with us. It sucks, but honestly, it’s so tight at the front that it wasn’t just Ezra (Beaubier) that we had to think about. Kaleb (De Keyrel) was four points behind me coming into this race. Travis was 15 points behind me. So, really for me, my whole goal this weekend was just to win. That’s the only way I know.”
“I’m from Kentucky, so I don’t do math too good, so I just figured if I’m in front of everybody I don’t have to worry about it. It’s been a good weekend. This morning, like Travis (Wyman) said, we found a little bit. I was able to follow Diego Perez one lap this morning and it helped me quite a bit because he was faster in a couple spots that I thought I was going pretty good in. I learned a little bit from him and was able to use that and get my lap times down into the time range that I needed to have a chance to fight with Travis. So, it’s good. I did what I needed to do today. We’ve got a lot of racing left this weekend still. Just focusing on staying healthy, staying hydrated, staying cool and just having a good weekend.”
Gillim has not yet clinched the title. Gillim needs to finish 4th or better to clinch the championship or he just need to finish ahead of Kaleb De Keyrel and Beaubier if he races in race 2.
King of the Baggers
H-D Screamin’ Eagle’s Kyle Wyman was the fastest of the of the King Of The Baggers field. He edged out former points leader Hayden Gillim (Vance & Hines/Mission/Harley-Davidson) who now sits 2 points behind in seconds place after coming into the weekend with a 3 point lead. Gillim’s teammate James Rispoli (Vance & Hines/Mission/Harley-Davidson) finished third, two seconds behind.
The championship race is far from over. We will see how the points swing this afternoon in race 2.
Tyler O’Hara clinched the championship for the second year in a row after his teammate Jeremy McWilliams crashed out of a red flag plagues Race 1. Stefano Mesa rode his electric Energica Eva Ribelle RS to second place making history by being the first to put an e-bike on the podium. Andy DiBrino finished third after inheriting the position when McWilliams crashed. Zone 9 Racing/EDR Performance’s AJ Peaslee and Vigilante Racing’s Nate Kern rounded out the top five.
O’ Hara had the following words, “It started in 17/18,” O’Hara said of the last lap. “Well, it started in 16, and he protected and then I rolled it to get a good exit. Then I was on the outside of 16/17 and he kept going wider and wider and wider. I about had my shoulder on his tire. Then it was just a battle into 19. We both stopped. Then basically going down the straightaway we were rubbing, and rubbing is racing. Then he parked it in the corner and then we both go for it.
I think he just lit the tire up and then highsided, otherwise he would have had me. Honestly, I was expecting it to come down to tomorrow. I’m glad that he’s okay. He’s a true competitor. He’s the salt of the earth, as he would say…I’m so glad that he’s my teammate. He has made me a better rider this year. He has made the whole team better.”