2011 AMA Supersport
In a repeat of Saturday’s dominant performance at Infineon Raceway Round 2, Roadracingworld.com’s Benny Solis took Sunday’s AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport victory by a big margin, besting Y.E.S. LTD Racing’s Tomas Puerta along with the rest of the twenty-rider field.
Puerta’s hard-charging teammate, David Gaviria (Race 1 third-place finisher), was also in line to notch another podium finish until misfortune struck on Lap 5.
Puerta seized the lead off the line, followed closely by Solis and Gaviria, the latter sliding underneath to take over second position before the end of Lap 1. Behind them, Vesrah Suzuki’s Corey Alexander headed a six-rider line of riders but began to quickly outpace the rest of the field behind him.
The top three Supersport riders sailed around the track just tenths apart, the battle putting space between the trio and fourth place. While Solis hunted Gaviria, Gaviria was intensely looking for a way past Puerta, a hope that ended when Gaviria highsided in Turn 11 of Lap 5, his bike coming to rest in the corner itself while the rider scrambled to the sidelines.
Solis, meanwhile, had been forced to check up significantly to avoid both bike and rider but quickly made up time on Puerta, passing him within laps and almost immediately beginning to put time on the second-place rider. Suddenly, heartbreak hit Alexander, the Vesrah rider sliding into the grass then scrambling to get his bike upright and back on track.
While Solis continued to stretch his lead, Alexander began an inspired charge up through the pack, picking off riders until he reached fourth, where the dwindling laps fated him to remain. What would have been Alexander’s career-first AMA Pro podium instead became Ohge’s, while Solis and Puerta brought their machines home in first and second, respectively.
The top-ten was rounded out by Alexander, Sebastiao Ferreira (GP Bike Parts), Jason Lauritzen (Z2 Trackdays), Nadr Riad (San Jose Yamaha), Jett Chandler (GPBikePartsRacing.com), Rocco Horvath (Zen Motorcycle), and Sam Nash (Y.E.S. LTD Racing Yamaha).
Travis Ohge, third, says: "This is only my second time here…. Last year I came for the first pro race of my life, just as I was turning 16, and this year my birthday fell on the day of qualifying. I went out on Friday and wasn’t sure what to expect, but after the first practice I was in first, so I was pretty happy about that.
"I kind of fell back after that, but I went out in the race yesterday and pulled out a good race, finished in the top-five. Today I went off the start and thought I was in gear but was actually in neutral, so by the time I was in Turn 1, I must have been close to in fifteenth place. I rode my butt off to get up to the front, and I was in fifth when Gaviria went off … then a little later I saw Corey off the side of the track. I rode the best race I could and just tried to be consistent. My plans are to keep getting on the box and eventually get to that first spot."
Thomas Puerta, second, says: "We did a couple changes on the bike from yesterday…. I had a good start and put my head down to see if I could make a gap, looked back and Gaviria and Benny were there. I just was trying to be stable on the times, then I made a mistake and Benny passed me. I tried to keep up with him, but I didn’t have enough. I tried to stay in his draft, and I almost crashed like five times. I just wanted to be on the podium and keep it on two wheels today to fight for the championship."
Benny Solis, first, says: "I got a good start, then Tomas got a better start. My plan was to stay behind Tomas for a while and see what I could learn. David got by, and I just decided to follow both of them. When David crashed it kind of missed me up-I saw his bike get sideways, I was trying to avoid it, then he jumped off and I was almost going to hit him; it definitely scared me. But once I got in front, I was able to put my head down and get a good gap."
The AMA Pro Road Racing Series next travels to Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park for the "Big M Weekend," where it will run alongside the World Superbike series in a combined May 28-30 event. For tickets and information, visit bigmweekend.com.Google+