Josh Herrin put his head down and gapped the Supersport field on the opening lap en route to his second victory of the weekend at Road Atlanta.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Only one racer during the MotoAmerica round at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta was perfect and that was Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Josh Herrin, the 2013 AMA Superbike Champion winning both MotoAmerica Supersport races in Georgia.
While Herrin was perfect, the rest of the races featured a lot of parity.
Twins Cup – Barry Wins A Close One
The day started with the 12-lap Twins Cup race, which was red-flagged on the first lap due to a group of riders who crashed out unhurt, and the race was restarted with a seven-lap sprint to the finish line. Polesitter Jody Barry got the holeshot and led the first four laps aboard his Veloce Racing Aprilia, but Robem Engineering’s Teagg Hobbs was in hot pursuit. Hobbs overtook Barry on lap five and held the lead until the seventh and final lap when Barry got around Hobbs and held off the New Hampshirite’s strong challenge to take the checkered flag by just seven one-hundredths of a second.
Hobbs’ Robem Engineering Aprilia teammate had his own battle with Jackson Blackmon Racing Yamaha rider Jackson Blackmon, but he managed to get around Blackmon on lap four and maintain his third-place position all the way to the checkers.
When asked about the brave move that Hobbs tried to put on Barry on the final lap, Barry said, “I definitely expected him to try to make something happen. I would have done the exact same thing. I guess I broke late enough to the point where he couldn’t make it stick. Just after that, I tried to hit my markers and finish a clean lap, but don’t kill my drive on the front straight or anything. Everything worked out pretty good.”
Mission King Of The Baggers – The Champ Fights Back
In the eight-lap Mission King Of The Baggers race, defending class champion Kyle Wyman returned to form after a tough day on Saturday, in which he crashed out of the three-lap King Of The Baggers Challenge. Ironically, Challenge winner Bobby Fong, who earned the pole for today’s race based on his victory in the Challenge, mimicked Wyman and crashed his Roland Sands Design Indian. That opened the door for Wyman, who went on to get the win. Second place went to Vance & Hines Racing Harley-Davidson’s James Rispoli, the two-time AMA SuperSport Champion returning to MotoAmerica after an eight-year hiatus. Mission Foods/S&S Cycle/Indian Challenger Team’s Tyler O’Hara rounded out the podium in third.
“It’s been a tough weekend,” Wyman said. “I took an opportunity on a Superbike on Thursday night, so it’s been a busy weekend and that has kind of played into going back and forth on the bikes, trying to just be more focused than ever. Honestly, I think if I didn’t crash yesterday and learned that lesson, I might have crashed out today because it was way greasier. I had to exercise some patience today that I didn’t yesterday. I decked out on the cases just flicking it into 10B and lifted both tires off the ground. Had to remind myself that thing is not quite there yet where I can just pancake it on the side of the tire that quick. Today, I tried to exercise a little bit of patience, be there at the end. If I can get a clean run through the esses, I know I can get away. That was my game plan. Yesterday was tough. A tough pill to swallow being sixth on the grid the way the challenge sets the grid, even though you have the track record. It’s kind of weird. I’m really happy just to redeem ourselves from Daytona. The long off-season that these guys have been developing this bike, it’s truly an arms race that’s just still on such a steep incline. It’s crazy. I think 31.7 in the race. Does that sound right? That’s what I saw. That’s five seconds faster than last year. It’s just silly what we’re doing on these things. I think we’ve still got some big chunks to take out of them.”
Supersport – It’s Herrin Time Again
The only double win of the weekend was delivered by Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC rider Josh Herrin, who followed up his dominant win in Saturday’s Supersport race with another dominant win is Sunday’s race. Starting from the pole, just like yesterday, the former Superbike Champion got another great jump off the line and led the 18-lap race from start to finish, stretching his lead our to nearly five seconds by the time he took the checkers.
Finishing second and also holding his position for the entirety of the race was Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider Sam Lochoff, who was aboard the only GSX-R750 in the field. Third place went to Landers Racing’s Rocco Landers, the young, but talented rider notching his 50th podium in MotoAmerica competition.
“To be honest, from the beginning of the race, I’m just doing what I always do and just push as hard as I can,” said Herrin. I’ve never been one for strategies. It just so happened the last two days, it worked out that way. But I’m just putting my head down and riding as hard as I can. I was a little nervous. The start yesterday and today, just a full load of fuel, the thing is all the way to the max to make sure that we make it the distance. I was a little nervous at first with it, but it was good. I’m happy with the results.
“Bobby, the team owner, has been calling me fat all weekend so it’s been giving me a little bit of motivation. I have a little dad bod going on this off-season. A lot of late nights with the baby, a lot of snacking. It’s time to go to work. The Georgia heat beat me up this weekend, that’s for sure. Hayes has been telling me all weekend he’s coming for us at VIR, so I need to step it up and be ready for him because I know when he gets here, it’s going to go up another level. Just having fun. I’m excited to be on this team, the whole Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC. Our team is a lot of fun to be around. I’m just enjoying myself. It’s awesome having (son) Griffin here, and (wife) Rachel here, and my whole family here from the Herrin Compound. Thank you, everybody, for coming out and all the fans for coming out. I’m looking forward to going to VIR.”
SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup – Van Gets His First
The 11-lap SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup race two got off to its usual rousing start, with nearly 20 of MotoAmerica’s youngest riders racing in close formation aboard their lightweight 400cc motorcycles. But it was the ending of the race that brought the most attention. After the race concluded, the podium result ended up being changed due to a MotoAmerica rule about passing in a corner where there is a standing yellow flag. As a result, Altus Motorsports Kawasaki rider Kayla Yaakov unfortunately rode an emotional roller coaster where she went from the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat as her race win was nullified and she was moved from first to third. That handed the victory to SportbikeTrackGear.com’s Max Van, with second place going to Calishine Racing’s Aden Thao, and aforementioned Yaakov completing the podium.
Also adding to the drama of the final lap was the fact that a couple of riders crashed out just before the final run to the finish line.
“Today, I don’t really feel like I deserve this win, but I’m really sorry to Kayla,” said Van. “She rode a great race and, honestly, I feel like she deserves this. But I’ll take the points and I’ll take them into VIR with a lot of confidence. I just hope everybody is okay in that wreckage in the last corner. Levi, I think something happened. I feel like he highsided, and he landed into me. I have marks all on my boot. I really hope everybody is okay, including my teammate (Joe LiMandri) and (BARTCON Racing’s) Levi (Badie). I hope you guys are well soon.”
Roland Sands Design Super Hooligan – O’Hara Wins The Fight
The MotoAmerica race weekend at Road Atlanta concluded with Roland Sands Design’s Super Hooligan race two. The series features naked bikes with up to 125 horsepower, which include everything from Harley-Davidsons and Indians, to KTMs, Ducatis and a BMW. Roland Sand Design Indian rider Tyler O’Hara won the eight-lap event over his teammate Jeremy McWilliams, who passed for the lead on lap six, but couldn’t make it stick.
JLC Concrete/KTM/DiBrino Racing’s Andy DiBrino stalked Saturday’s Hooligan race winner Cory West, who was in third place until the final lap. DiBrino finally made his move and overtook West to snatch the final spot on the podium.
“It was such a blast,” O’Hara said. “To be able to start up front where we belong and be able to go with the boys and really kind of let the race unfold. Got a few clean laps out front and Jeremy came around me in turn one early in the race, and it was a great pass. I knew I needed to clean up turn one and get that figured out. Then he passed me again going back into 10 like I was standing still. Obviously, I was going in there soft. He went around me like a MotoGP rider. He took me to school. I figured out what I needed to work on. I think, with two to go, he was on the opposite side of me going up into turn one again, and we played chicken all the way up into turn three. We both went off the track, but it was fun. I ended up coming out of the deal. Just so fun riding these FTR1200 Indians. Just such a beautiful motorcycle and so much fun to ride. We’re still developing it, really. Just, every session, we’re figuring them out and getting more comfortable. We still have a ways to go. I think there are some big chunks still to get more comfortable. The whole Mission Foods support and Roland Sands Design and shout out to Patricia Fernandez for basically loaning us her motor. We lost a motor, and she had crashed and totaled her bike, so we took her motor yesterday in-between sessions. Big hats off to her. It was super fun with my teammate and (Andy) DiBrino. It’s just a fun class. It’s the Super Hooligan class. It’s supposed to be fun.”
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