2011 AMA SuperSport: The Season So Far

2011 AMA SuperSport

In the following report, AMA Pro Racing provides an AMA SuperSport review after six rounds. The SuperSport series heads to Laguna Seca this weekend for a one-race schedule in conjunction with MotoGP

AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport competition has never been better, with eight different competitors having won races this year as a field full of up-and-coming racers continues to vie for the $25,000 Motorcycle-Superstore.com Year-End Points Fund.

Overstocked with potential victors, the class features intensely close racing in both East and West Division Championships, and the battles for divisional top-three, the Young Gun Award, and the overall championship have riders going head-to-head at every round.

While the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Year-End Points Fund will be paid out to the top three finishers in each division, the overall champion will collect an additional payout, as will the highest-scoring 16- to 21-year-old upon receipt of the class’ Young Gun Award.

After six races, ANT-Racing.com/STAR School’s James Rispoli leads the East Division with Tomas Puerta (LTD Racing Y.E.S. Yamaha) and Hayden Gillim (Bell Helmets Yamaha) behind, while LTD Racing Y.E.S. Yamaha’s David Gaviria heads Benny Solis (Roadracingworld.com) and Vesrah Suzuki’s Corey Alexander for West Division honors.

With a victory and four additional podium finishes, Rispoli’s built a comfortable points margin over runner-up Puerta, at 143 to 104. Gillim’s breakthrough win at last round’s Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course pushed him to third in the standings with 99 points, but the talent of Puerta and Gillim is such that the Monster Energy-sponsored Rispoli cannot afford to relax – and he knows it.

Daytona marks the only time thus far Rispoli’s failed to finish on the podium, while Tomas – one of the series’ several talented Colombian riders – went 1-2 on the opening weekend but suffered a podium drought until his third-place finish at Mid-Ohio. Gillim, meanwhile (cousin to road race superstars Nicky, Tommy, and Roger Hayden), turned in podium finishes at Barber and in Mid-Ohio’s Race 1 before taking his career-first AMA Pro Road Racing win on Sunday.

In the fiercely contested West Division, Gaviria holds his championship lead by virtue of two wins and three additional podium finishes. His 154 points provide a solid but not safe margin over young sensation Solis, who’s taken two division victories of his own (as well as an East Division win at Barber) to net 133 total points. Alexander, who scored his own career-first class victory in a rainy Miller Motorsports Park event, lurks just ten points behind with 123 credits total.

Twenty-year-old Rispoli also leads the Young Gun Award chase. If he’s able to extend his success through remaining rounds, he’ll become the first rider to collect Motorcycle-Superstore.com checks in two entirely separate series, as he also finished third in the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles Flat Track Championship last year.

In addition to the race winners listed above, the dynamic Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class has seen two more riders take home first-place trophies this year: Travis Wyman (Harv’s Harley-Davidson Yamaha), who took his first class win at Elkhart Lake’s Road America, and Dustin Dominguez, who rode his Team Latus Motors Triumph to victory at Mid-Ohio, giving Triumph its first AMA Pro Road Racing win since 1999.

With live coverage of the races on SPEED 2 and highlights shown on regular AMA Pro Road Racing SPEED broadcasts, the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class is enjoying a banner year, both on and off the track.

The AMA Pro Road Race Championship next heads to Monterey, California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 7 on the season calendar, run as part of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix MotoGP weekend. For tickets and information, visit mazdaraceway.com or call (800) 327-7322.