DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 11, 2012) - With 54 riders signed up for the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race at Infineon Raceway, the field was large and competitive. Unlike Road Atlanta, where James Rispoli and Jake Lewis ran away, a trio of riders challenged in Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 1 on Saturday and no less than five riders battled at the front in Race 2 on Sunday.
Dustin Dominguez (Castrol Latus Motors Racing Triumph) and Rispoli (Orient Express Celtic Racing) split the victories in Sonoma, Calif., trading the first two spots on both days. Some of their competitors were much closer than at the previous race at Road Atlanta, however. On Saturday, a red flag came out on lap 4 when Cameron Gish (Z2 Racing) crashed in front of a helpless Hayden Gillim (RoadRace Factory/Red Bull). The on-track incident injured Gish, who was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. According to a team representative, the young standout was diagnosed with multiple pelvic fractures and minor injuries to his foot, knee and hands and is currently recovering at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
After the restart, Dominguez trailed Rispoli and Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki's Jake Lewis. Dominguez made a nifty double pass on lap five to take the lead, but could not split from his rivals until three laps from the end. He eased a slight gap, which evaporated with a wild celebratory wheelie over the stripe. Dominguez was glad to be able to challenge his rivals in California after disappointment in Georgia, showing that he and his Triumph could best Rispoli and Lewis. "At Road Atlanta, I got terrible starts," Dominguez said. "I think I was like 11th going into turn one and just happened to work up through all that traffic. By the time I got there they were pretty much gone. We got a good start today and just being in that league pack gives you momentum to keep going and I think that was the key."
James Rispoli #1 leads Tomas Puerta #12 and Jake Lewis #85 during AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Series action over the Infineon Raceway round weekend. AMA Pro Road Racing photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Tomas Puerta took fourth place. The RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha pilot wasn't pleased with his setup, but promised to do better on Sunday. Garrett Willis (GWR Leo Vince Honda) came out on top after a hot fight for the top five. After taking a couple of seasons off from road racing, Willis returned to beat out young rider Wyatt Farris (Mach 1 Motorsports), Stefano Mesa (Kneedraggers.com Yamaha) and Travis Ohge (Meen Motorsports).
Corey Alexander (National Guard Fairhills Group Celtic Racing) finished in ninth position despite a five-second penalty for anticipating the start. Gillim's bike was repaired during the red flag with no time to spare and he managed to pass 37 riders on the track to take one of the hardest-fought top ten finishes on record.
For Sunday, Rispoli wasn't to be denied, and neither were the red flags.
The first red flag stoppage came on lap 5 when Nadr Riad (Meen Motorsports) and local rider Nick Hayman (Munroe Motors) came together. Hayman was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition. Team representatives have set up a status update page for those wishing to offer support for Hayman at http://www.munroemotors.com/service
The second red flag situation led to a ten-lap showdown. Puerta led the early stages just like he had on Saturday but was passed, first by Rispoli and then by Dominguez five laps later. Rispoi rebounded to earn his third win of the year and has established a 44-point lead in West points over Elena Myers (Suzuki Scoop Fans Sportbiketrackgear.com M4 Suzuki). After the race, James (sporting a platinum blonde hairstyle for the event) said he could hear the Triumph triple of Dominguez closing in on him. "It was like 'Jaws' out there, getting louder and louder. I could here him out there. I just tried to run my own pace and if he came by, he came by," said Rispoli. "I only made a couple of mistakes and it was really good."
Domiguez was pleased with second and a great weekend. The Triumph ride collected the brand's first win of the year along with a second on Sunday. "It was a little chaotic with the red flags and I didn't really get a good start in any of the starts," he said. "I had to put my head down and make some pretty aggressive passes to get up there. I caught up with James with two to go but he was on rails. I'd used up my tires and it started spinning up. Hats off to him for the win."
Puerta was 14 seconds closer to the front on Sunday and the former AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race winner said his 2012 season was finally on the right track. "We made a lot of changes for this race. The first red flag helped me a lot, too." said Puerta. "We made a couple more changes that were really good. We're a new team and working really hard. We struggled the first two races but now we're on the podium." Lewis passed Gillim for fourth on the last lap. The top five finished within 2.65 seconds of the winner. Mesa was 6th on his Yamaha ahead of Alexander. Willis was 8th on Sunday ahead of Ohge and Gearzy Yamaha's Colter Dimick.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport, the AMA Pro series for up-and-coming riders and fast local club racers, will return at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah later this month at a more wide-open circuit that offers a different challenge than Infineon Raceway.
Top 10 Finishers from Infineon Raceway:
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport West Division Point Standings After Round 3
Year-End Award Updates
With a total of 659.93 miles and 243 laps completed so far in the 2012 AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport season, Stefano Mesa leads the Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award.
Current Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award Standings After Round 3
AMA Pro Road Racing will next head west for Round 4 with a stop at Tooele, Utah. The BigM Weekend will take place at Miller Motorsports Park in three weeks time, May 26-28. For tickets and event information, please visit http://www.millermotorsportspark.com
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
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