Kayla Yaakov (31) became the first female to win a MotoAmerica race when she took victory in Sunday’s SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup race.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Anthony Mazziotto, Josh Herrin and Corey Alexander completed perfect weekends at Ridge Motorsports Park on Sunday with victories in Twins Cup, Supersport and Yuasa Stock 1000, respectively, but it was Kayla Yaakov who made history on a scorching hot day in the Pacific Northwest.
Yaakov became the first female racer to win a MotoAmerica race on Sunday when she stormed to victory in the SporbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup race, leading the majority of the laps, including the only one that really mattered. The victory came just days after the Pennsylvanian celebrated her 15th birthday and it was a popular victory that was embraced by everyone in the MotoAmerica paddock.
Yuasa Stock 1000 – Alexander Perfect
In Sunday’s Yuasa Stock 1000 race two, Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing BMW rider Corey Alexander followed up his Saturday race one victory with another win. In fact, Corey is undefeated at Ridge. The New Yorker has won every Stock 1000 race at the Pacific Northwest track since MotoAmerica started racing at Ridge in 2020.
Alexander withstood a challenge from Hayden Gillim, who made an attempt to overtake Alexander, but ran out of track and had to take to the grass, which ruined his chance at a podium. Instead, it was a 1-2 finish for Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing BMW with Alexander’s teammate Travis Wyman. Local rider Andy DiBrino finished third, the Precision Iron Works/DiBrino Racing Kawasaki rider notching his second MotoAmerica podium in as many days.
“Unfortunately, it’s a bummer that (Gillim) ran off like that, but it is good for us in the points standings,” Alexander said. “I’m honestly trying not to focus too much on that. Two rounds ago I’m like, ‘I’m out of this thing. I’m just going to go out and have fun and try to win races.’ That’s literally all we focused on, and we’re back in the points lead, which is pretty surreal. Moving forward, I just want to keep doing the same thing. I just want to keep pushing the envelope and trying to win more races. If we win more races, then the championship will come. Really excited to be up here with Travis again. That’s our goal. We want to be one and two every weekend, whether it’s him or I. Everyone puts a lot of effort into this team. It’s a big structure, for sure.”
Twins Cup – Mazziotto Perfecto
Rodio Racing/HSBK Racing Aprilia rider Anthony Mazziotto is from New Jersey, but his weekend in the Pacific Northwest couldn’t have gone better. First, he earned the pole position and the high-dollar timepiece that came from Wilbur Watch Company for being the fastest qualifier in the Twins Cup class. He then followed that up with a win in Saturday’s race one and capped things off with the win on Sunday, as well. Second place went to Cycle Tech Yamaha rider Hayden Schultz, who improved by one position from his third-place result on Saturday. Third on Sunday went to Alpha Omega rider Cody Wyman.
“I knew the last lap was the lap that I wanted to make the pass on, I just wasn’t sure what corner I wanted to do it in,” said Mazziotto. “I got a good run-on Hayden coming up the blind kink coming into that real sharp left-hander. He covered that really tight, and I couldn’t get in there. Chopped my wheel off a little bit, so I had to slam on the binders a little hard. But then I knew coming out of that corner it was either up in the corkscrew or that was it. That was my last shot. He actually pulled a little bit of a gap on me since I got a bad drive out of that corner that he cut my nose off on. I just hammered down the throttle and just went really, really deep into that corkscrew. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to get it stopped. I started folding the front there at the apex and almost went up onto the curb. I heard him coming around the outside of me, so I knew I just had to keep it tight through the last two corners and maybe I was going to have it at the line. It turned out that way. Couldn’t get the drive out of the last corner, and we were able to hold onto it.”
SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup – Yaakov Makes History
History was made in Sunday’s SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup race as Altus Motorsports Kawasaki rider Kayla Yaakov became the first female rider in history to win a MotoAmerica race. Yaakov, who turned just 15 years old on Friday, had been knocking on the door of a victory for the past few rounds, and she had recorded four third place finishes so far this season. And then, in Sunday’s race two, after leading the morning warmup, Yaakov got her breakthrough win.
Second place went to SportbikeTrackGear.com Kawasaki rider Joseph LiMandri Jr., who was battling a respiratory infection but managed to get through the weekend and notched two podium finishes in the process. Rodio Racing/HSBK Racing Kawasaki rider Gus Rodio finished third as a follow-up to his win on Sunday.
“Since Atlanta, it’s been a big thing, even before Atlanta, even before I started really racing, this is where I wanted to be.” Said Yaakov. “To do it is really cool. This is crazy. It’s actually really cool to be up here with these guys because I’ve raced with them both. We all started around the same time, and it’s really cool.”
Supersport – Herrin Again
Like Corey Alexander in Stock 1000 and Anthony Mazziotto in Twins Cup, Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC rider Josh Herrin also had a perfect weekend at Ridge. Herrin earned the pole, won Saturday’s race one and also won Sunday’s race two. It was a dominant victory for Herrin, who crossed the finish line more than six seconds ahead of second-place finisher Tyler Scott aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto Yamaha rider Kevin Olmedo finished third for his first podium result so far this season.
“It’s pretty unbelievable how good this bike is,” Herrin said. “We’ve never turned any laps at any of these tracks on this motorcycle. The guys work really hard behind the scenes, even at Ducati Corse over in Italy just trying to compare V4 data from last year to this year to try and help us with gearing choices and things like that. It’s huge. We have guys from Ducati Corse flying in every weekend from Italy, which is insane. Just a huge shout out to those guys. It obviously wouldn’t work without them and the rest of my crew really working hard. I’m just happy to be able to get these wins. Road America, we knew going into it, it was a really tough weekend. We knew we were going to struggle there. These next two coming up are tracks that I really like and also tracks that I think will favor the V2. I’m really excited to go to Laguna. We’re doing a special livery for Medallia there, so it will be a really cool all-black bike that weekend. Just having fun. Like I said at the beginning of the year, this team has really allowed me to be myself, which is huge in my opinion for anybody. It’s hard going up to do your job, especially when there’s as much pressure as there is on all these guys to perform well, and they do a really good job at making me feel like I’m just spinning laps at a cart track or something. Just a huge shout out to everybody. Looking forward to going to Laguna and seeing a bunch of friends and family.”
North American Talent Cup – Di Mario Doubles
The North America Talent Cup was in action this weekend, and they had race two races, with one on Saturday and the second one on Sunday. The spec race series features young road racers aboard identically prepared Aprilia RS250 motorcycles.
Both races were won by B&M American Racing team’s Alessandro Di Mario, who dominated each event by more than three seconds over his closest competition. Second place in race one went to Mini Cup by Motul Championship regular Chris Clark, while fellow Mini Cupper Logan Cunnison was third.
Second place in race two went to Jesse James Shedden, who is also a Mini Cup veteran, and once again, Cunnison was third.
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