Jake Johnson won his second Springfield TT Monday. Read about it here.
Tooele, UT (May 29, 2011) – LTD Racing’s David Gaviria leads the AMA Pro West Division SuperSport points after earning second in a wet race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on Sunday.
Gaviria took his fourth podium finish of the season with a calculated but quick ride in the 13-lap race. Tomas Puerta finished fourth and unfortunately saw his podium streak end but the Colombian rode hard and finished less than one second behind Gaviria. Huntley Nash took 15th place in his wet Daytona SportBike battle and nearly took an even better result in the competitive class before a late-race issue.
Gaviria pushed early and led the SuperSport race before eventually taking second place. “I think it was a good result for me and for the team also,” said Gaviria. “If you crash, it’s done; you don’t win anything, you don’t win any points. It’s difficult to know how fast you’re going in the rain, especially when you’re in the front, because you can’t feel the tires too much. It’s very fast when you lose your traction in the rain. It’s very fast when the rear tire goes and you crash. I was pushing so hard to do a good race but we are also trying to win the championship for our sponsors like Yamaha Extended Services, Akrapovic, K&N, and Motul.”
The resilient Colombian Puerta still managed to impress despite adversity. “I had an issue with seeing the track in the wet conditions and we tried several things with my equipment before the race to help but it didn’t work out for us today. I had a hard time seeing my braking points and so I couldn’t give it my best,” said Puerta. “I’m disappointed with fourth place and it was my first time off the podium this year. What is important is we finished and did not crash. I am looking forward to the race next week at Elkhart Lake and think we can do well.”
Heading into Elkhart Lake next weekend, LTD Racing’s pilots lead both the East and West SuperSport Divisions.
Huntley Nash took 15th in a challenging event held on a wet but drying track. The young racer ran as high as 13th in the contest and continued his improvement in just his third event (fourth race) in the Daytona SportBike class. He diced with several more experienced racers in Utah. “At one point, I thought I could catch the group in front of me but I ended up fading,” sad Nash. “The track started drying and conditions were tricky. I probably would have gotten 13th but my visor started fogging up with four laps to go. So the race went okay, probably a little better than the result looks. We’re trying to get some momentum going and start moving forward. I’m excited to go back to Elkhart, a track where I won last year in SuperSport, and see how we fare there.”
LTD Racing’s Director of Competition Gary Medley said, “I think today went pretty well. Huntley is getting better and better. He may not be happy with the results but the team is pleased with how he’s progressing. David and Tomas rode smart today. They used their heads and not their bodies, so to speak. The team has taken a step forward in riding ability and performance. The riders were really mature out there for this event. We have a race in Wisconsin in a few days and it would not help us at all if guys fighting in the season’s points chase and fighting to get better each weekend had crashed and faced a setback. The crew worked hard and we also got a performance increase with Akrapovic coming on board with the team, which I think is a big plus. We’re looking forward to Road America and seeing what we can do there.”
A nearly four-year AMA Grand National winless drought for Jared Mees came to an end Sunday at the Springfield Mile. Mees said the winless streak couldn’t have ended at a better place.
1 Jared Mees
2 Sammy Halbert
3 Jake Johnson
4 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr.
5 Brad Baker
6 Willie McCoy
7 Chris Carr
8 Johnny Lewis
9 Michael Kirkness
10 Robert Pearson
11 Matt Weidman
12 Nichole Cheza
13 Brandon Robinson
14 Shawn Baer
15 Steven Bonsey
16 Jake Mataya
17 Bryan Smith
18 Justin Hittle
M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby put forth a Herculean effort to battle for the win and ultimately claim a top-five result in Sunday’s thrilling AMA Pro Daytona SportBike final at Miller Motorsports Park.
After a difficult qualifying session on Friday, Westby demonstrated front-running pace in the morning’s final qualifying session held in the wet. While he did not improve his grid position, his third-place session ranking was merely a hint of things to come.
Immediately charging up to the front from his starting slot on outside of Row 3, Dane proved aggressive and skillful in the tricky cool, damp-but-drying conditions in which the 16-lap race was contested.
Slicing up to second position on the opening lap, Westby regularly swapped positions with the lead group, running creative lines in a bid to both gain position and keep his tires cool by piloting through patches of standing water.
Routinely out-dueling the field entering the hard-braking Turn 1, Westby slotted his #5 GSX-R600 into first position on multiple occasions and was officially credited with two laps led.
His tires eventually faded after the spirited battle, forcing Westby to accept fifth at the conclusion of a hugely encouraging performance.
Westby said, “I thought pretty much had a podium in the bag and I was just going to let those guys lead me around until the end. But a couple more guys came and I got a little agitated and we were just dicing. I had nothing left at the end. I was trying to go for the water to save the tires but I just couldn’t make them last to the end. I was really diving in there to catch them on the brakes in Turn 1 but in the end I had to tip toe around a little bit.
“Overall, it was a really positive weekend for us. We got some major issues worked out and I feel like we’re competitive now in the rain or dry. I think this race shows what we’re going to be like at the upcoming rounds.”
Santiago Villa charged forward on Sunday as well. The Colombian found himself in 18th at the conclusion of the opening lap but patiently worked his way forward, ultimately finishing in 13th position.
M4 Suzuki Superbike star Martin Cardenas will contest the weekend’s AMA Pro Superbike race Monday afternoon. The reigning SportBike champ will start from the second row based on the strength of Saturday’s sixth-place qualifying effort as Sunday’s wet conditions did not allow for a chance to improve on the competitors’ previous times.