Warhorse HSBK Racing’s Xavi Fores won his third Supersport race in succession on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park and it was a good one to win as the first-ever MotoAmerica “Extended” Supersport race paid double points. For many, however, it probably felt like two races as changing weather conditions prolonged the proceedings despite the race ultimately being shortened from 37 to 28 laps.
Fores completed the 28 laps in 44 minutes, 43.653 seconds to beat Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Stefano Mesa by 9.8 seconds with the pair battling until the mandatory pit stop left Mesa at a disadvantage that he couldn’t recover from.
Third place went to North East Cycle Outlet Racing’s Anthony Mazziotto with the New Jerseyan keeping his nose clean to earn his second career podium in the Supersport class.
Michael Gilbert Racing’s Michael Gilbert was fourth, some eight seconds behind Mazziotto, with Squid Hunter Racing’s Josh Hayes fifth after starting the final portion of the race on rain tires – a mistake that forced him to pit quickly after the restart to change to slicks.
“It was more stressful inside the pits trying to understand which tires to use, which tires to put on the bike, after the couple of red flags. After the first red flag, I didn’t know it was a huge crash and they red-flagged the race. Because I was pulling meters away. I see some drops coming initially, but I was still quite on my pace. I was pulling me and Josh (Hayes) pulling meters away. When I saw the red flag, I was a bit disappointed because I was waiting, waiting, waiting to come in when the proper rain was coming to put the rain tires. But, anyway, we came out again with the rains and was okay. I was still leading and fighting with Josh (Hayes) for one and a half laps. Then the red flag came again. I thought that it’s going to be challenging. So, I stayed inside the pits until the very last minute before to rejoin the grid. At the very last minute, we decided to put the slicks because the sun was coming out and I had some experience on endurance that you can run the slick tires even if it’s slightly wet. So, when the race restarted, I saw Stefano (Mesa) was with me all the time. I was trying to manage a little bit the tires. I put a medium compound in the rear, and it was not feeling so good. But I was so convinced on our pit stop, we did a good job there in the garage. Then I put the soft tire and I was trying to stay on the 27s (1:27 lap times). That was pretty much our race. It was a little bit crazy because two red flags in less than 20 minutes is not usual. When it’s raining coming, everything is quite challenging, but we did well. We got 50 points back home. So, I put my experience from the world endurance in this race and I think it was worth it. Thanks to all the team. They did a massive job inside the garage on the pit change. And all the sponsors. KYT, Alpinestars, Parts Unlimited, everyone who has been involved. They have supported me quite a lot. It has not been easy to arrive here, learn the tracks, being fast, try to learn the races. These guys are fast. They have a lot of experience here. I try to learn as much as I can in a short time.”
REV’IT Twins Cup – Landers Takes His Second
The changeable weather conditions on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park had an effect on some of the day’s races, and REV’IT! Twins Cup race one was one of those. The first feature race of the day, the Twins Cup battle was red-flagged and restarted because of a quick shower that unfortunately led to a couple of crashes.
Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering’s Rocco Landers had his Aprilia in the lead when raindrops fell. Landers signaled that it was raining, and he dropped back in the pack until the race was stopped. On the restart, Landers made his way back to the front to notch his second race win in a row. Landers bested The WagBar MP13 Racing Yamaha’s Kayla Yaakov, the 15-year-old finishing as runner-up in her REV’IT! Twins Cup debut. Rounding out the podium was Team Iso Yamaha’s Dominic Doyle.
“That’s how you want races to go,” Landers said. “The second half, for sure. The first half was a little bit gnarly. But Kayla (Yaakov) is riding amazing. I did not expect this. I don’t think anyone on the grid expected her to come back this strong. So many good races with Dom (Doyle). So many good races. Been on the podium with him so many times. It’s an incredible feeling to share the podium with these two people. It’s awesome.”
Landers’s victory was the 11th REV’IT! Twins class win, which moved him to the top on the all-time win list for the class.
Steel Commander Stock 1000 – Hayden Gillim Rebounds
Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim had a “terrible” opening round to his Steel Commander Stock 1000 series campaign, but that was then, and this is now and Gillim put his Road Atlanta hiccup behind him to win the first of two Stock 1000 races at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday.
Gillim bested championship points leader Ezra Beaubier with Beaubier’s Orange Cat Racing teammate Kaleb De Keyrel finishing third for his first career podium in the class in just his third race on the BMW M 1000 RR.
Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman lost out on his battle with De Keyrel for third, but the Las Vegas resident held on for fourth with Tom Wood Powersports’ Nolan Lamkin rounding out the top five.
Beaubier leads the title chase by 24 points over Wyman, 70-46 with De Keyrel third on 40 points. Gillim trails Beaubier by 35 points.
“Road Atlanta was terrible. I felt like I could do a little bit more at Road Atlanta than I did. Road Atlanta was just everything that I didn’t need to start the season. So, I’m happy to bounce back from a DNF and a 6th or 7th or something and get this win. I knew this weekend was going to be good for me. I needed to capitalize on this track because Road America is going to be freaking hard. It’s going to be another kind of Road Atlanta situation. So, I needed to capitalize on this track. These guys need to slow it up a little bit and let a couple guys get in front of them in order for me to get back in this thing. But it was a good race. I’m happy for the team, myself. I’ve gotten a little bit slower than I did last year, which I’m not happy about. Me and the bike this year just aren’t clicking quite like I did last year. So, I’ve got some stuff I still have to work on. I’m happy. My kid was happy on the podium, so that’s all that matters to me right now.”
Junior Cup – Dreher. Again.
His team may be called “Bad Boys Racing,” but 16-year-old Avery Dreher is anything but a bad boy when it comes to motorcycle road racing. The Floridian is so far undefeated in the 2023 MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship.
Dreher followed up his double win at Road Atlanta last month with another victory in Saturday’s race one at Barber Motorsports Park. Riding a Kawasaki Ninja 400, Dreher took the victory by just a little more than half a second over SportbikeTrackGear.com’s Max Van. Third place went to New Yorker Yandel Medina who celebrated his first career MotoAmerica podium.
“Based on qualifying, I definitely felt like I had the pace to break away a little,” commented Dreher. “In the beginning, though, Alessandro (Di Mario) and I think one or two other riders got by me, and I just stuck behind them out there a little bit. Made the pass. Just put my head down. The bike felt amazing. A few weeks ago, we came here to do a test and we got the suspension dialed in. I feel great. Let’s keep this momentum going. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Mission Mini Cup By Motul – Friday
Nathan Gouker Racing’s Nathan Gouker and Historic GP’s Mahdi Salem split wins in Friday’s FIM Mini Cup Ohvale 160 classes on the mini track at Barber Motorsports Park with Alpha Omega’s Ryder Davis sweeping to victories in both of the FIM Mini Cup 190 Ohvale classes.
The support classes on Friday afternoon featured names at the top that also were at the top at Carolina Motorsports Park two weeks ago.
Peterman Racing’s Cole Peterman had another great afternoon of racing with three wins after a sweep of the Stock 50 class and a win in race two of the Stock 110 class. Ryan Clark won the stock race that Peterman didn’t win with his victory in the first of two Stock 110 races. Both of Friday’s Stock 125 races were won by Jacobsen Motorcycle Training/Bettencourt Racing’s Nathan Bettencourt.
Mission Mini Cup By Motul – Saturday
Saturday’s Mission Mini Cup By Motul produced identical podiums in both races in the two Ohvale classes with Nathan Gouker Racing’s Nathan Gouker beating Macc Racing’s Mac MacClugage and Reese Frankenfield Racing’s Reese Frankenfield in the 160 Ohvale class and Alpha Omega’s Ryder Davis topping Historic GP’s Mahdi Salem and Jacobsen Motorcycle Training/Bettencourt’s Racing’s Nathan Bettencourt in the 190 Ohvale class.
Bettencourt had more success in the support classes with victories in both Stock 125 races.
The Stock 50 class featured two different winners on Saturday with Cory Texter Racing/Roof Systems-backed Cruise Texter taking his first victory in race one before SWG Motorsports’ Weston Fager won race two.
Ryan Clark Racing’s Ryan Clark made it a perfect Saturday with a clean sweep of the two Stock 110 classes.