MotoAmerica: Three Champions Were Crowned at COTA, Race Day 2 Recap

September 11, 2023Ramon Jones
Featured ArticleMotoAmerica

With the Medallia Superbike championship already decided, the focus was on three classes. Stock 1000, Supersport and Super hooligans; as all three classes crowned champions this weekend at Circuit of the Americas. Here are how the events unfolded.

Stock 1000 – Hayden Gillim Dominates to Secure Championship

Hayden Gillim came into the race weekend with one goal in mind, to win both races. He entered the race weekend 8 points behind the championship points leader, Ezra Beaubier (Orange Cat Racing). However, as the weekend progressed, it was soon discovered that Beaubier was suffering from a severe stomach sickness that would eliminate him from contention in the championship race. Yet, the job was not done. Gilliam had to fend off Orange Cat Racing rider Kaleb De Keyrel as well. De Keyrel came into the race weekend in third place, behind Gillim, but with the news of his teammate not being able to compete in the season finale, the opportunity to win the class was on the table.

Unfortunately for De Keyrel, the tides were not in his favor after a P7 finish in race 1. After a win in race 1, Hayden Gillim rode with a purpose in Race 2. Gillim only needed to finish at minimum fourth place to clinch the title; but, that didn’t stop him from going toe to toe with Travis Wyman (Travis Wyman Racing) for the entire race. Fans were in for a treat because Gillim was not in the mindset to settle for fourth place. He was racing like it was any other weekend. Wyman and Gillim pulled away at the front by the 3rd lap of the race. Wyman led the race until a pivotal pass by Gillim on Lap 5 of the race. From this point on, Gillim took off, and Wyman wasn’t able to find the pace to catch him again. Unfortunately, Kaleb De Keyrel had to win the race to have any chance at the championship. He finished P4 in race 2.

Gilliam Had the Following Words After the Race

“Everybody before the race was telling me where I needed to be and everything. Like I said yesterday, I’m not good at math, so I wanted to win the last one. I didn’t want to sit there. I knew Travis (Wyman) from the first couple of laps was going to be hard to pass. It took me a while. The first pass I made on him, immediately he came back by. So, the second pass, I made sure to kind of block a little bit going into that next-to-last corner. Knew I had a little bit on the brakes going up into one, just from the first time he came back by me. But it was good. It was so much fun to race with him. We’ve raced so hard over the years. For us to be dicing it out the last race of the year is a lot of fun. He definitely made me work for it today, though. But the whole team, Disrupt Racing 4SR team, has been working their butts off this year.”

Hayden Gillim, Gillim’s mother and Disrupt Racing team Owner Jesse Hwilka FaceTime with Hayden’s wife after Gillim secured the Stock 1000 championship. Photo by Ramon Jones/Chroma Visual

Gillim Continued

“We had a really bad start to the season and to be able to finish it off with the couple wins we did here is pretty special, and to have the whole Nickell family here running 4SR in the U.S. is amazing. They’re like family to me. Having them here with us is really awesome. To be able to bring it home for Jesse and Dani Hwilka this year is really special. They’ve been wanting it really bad. I got their first win for them and the first podium. And now, the first championship. So, it’s really special. It’s a bummer because my wife isn’t here and my son isn’t here, but they’re at home watching. She made me tear up a little bit on the podium because she was crying on the phone. So, I wasn’t able to get out some of the stuff I wanted to say on the podium. This is really awesome.”

Supersport – Tyler Scott Wins Consolation Race 2

Xavi Fores has had a very dominant season this year aboard his Warhorse HSBK Ducati V2. But that hasn’t stopped Tyler Scott (Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki) from making his presence known. Scott won Race 2 ahead of championship winner Fores. Scott had the following words.

“This morning we made a few changes from yesterday,” Scott said. “They were all very minor, one or two very minor changes. But the big question was we were running out of gearing on the back straightaway. So, we were hitting the limiter. Before the restart, I tried to draft him and then see if I could pass in the braking zone. But the gearing, I started hitting the limiter at the first braking marker and was actually losing ground. So, I knew for the rest of the race and what eventually would become the restart that I would have to be really aggressive, really deep into the brakes, or lead down the big straightaway and hopefully he gets beside me.”

Scott Continued on the Events During the Race

“I had the confidence in the front end to be able to out-brake Xavi (Forés) for one of the first times this season. I was able to match him in the braking zones and came out on top in those battles…can’t give enough thanks to the whole Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team for preparing a beautiful bike this weekend, dialing in the electronics, Barry from Öhlins dialing in the suspension. It couldn’t be more perfect. The one thing also, I went with the zero front tire which was super soft. About halfway, I started tucking the front a little bit and I just had to be careful in the closing laps not to put a lot of bar input at the apex.”

Super Hooligans

Tyler O’Hara (Indian Motorcycle/Progressive/Mission Foods) wrapped up the 2023 Super Hooligans title on Saturday. That didn’t stop him from racing until the end. Race 2 O’Hara Edged out his teammate Jeremy McWilliams by 1.7 seconds in the final race of the season. The two Indian Motorcycle/Progressive/Mission Foods riders finished 1-2 in the championship. This was the best possible results for the Indian Motorcycles team.


Josh Herrin (Warhorse HSBK Ducati) secured his second Superbike win of the season ahead of championship winner Jake Gagne. The race was red flagged and restarted with 10 laps to go. Herrin got a great start and led the race for all 10 laps. A feat that was in contrast to Saturday’s race. While the championship had already decided, Herrin had the following words after the race.

Josh Herrin (2) held off Jake Gagne (1) to earn his second Medallia Superbike win of the season. Richie Escalante (54) crashed out of third place, handing the position to PJ Jacobsen (99). Photo by Brian J. Nelson

“I feel like a broken record saying this, but getting track time at this track prior to coming here and having some time on this bike before we came here to race is what we needed…I knew all year that we were struggling with just trying to get up to speed. It took all the way until the second half of the Saturday race for us to be comfortable and then Sunday would be good for us. I don’t want to celebrate too much. I feel like a linebacker getting a sack or something in a football game when you’re down by 30 points because we lost the championship. But it feels good to get this win. I’m so happy to be a part of this team.”

Mission King of the Baggers

Day 2 of racing in the Baggers class did not go in race 1 winner Kyle Wyman’s favor. Wyman finished P9 leaving the door wide open for Vance & Hines/Mission/Harley-Davidson riders James Rispoli and Hayden Gillim. A late off by Travis Wyman opened up a second place finish for Gillim which allowed him to retain his lead. The result is a one point loss in margin after the weekend. Gillim leads the title chase by just two points over Rispoli with Wyman third, 11 points behind Gillim. The championship will be decided at the MotoAmerica season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park in two weeks time.