16-Year-Old Roberts Goes 5 for 5 in AMA SuperSport
2013 Miller AMA SuperSport
Joe Roberts is on a tear. The 16-year-old rider made it five wins in five starts with his victory on Sunday in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series’ Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 2 at Miller Motorsports Park.
Roberts, who raced for the final time in the series on Sunday because of racing commitments in Europe, started on the pole and rode his California Superbike School RoadRacingWorld.com Honda CBR600RR from the lead for the first half of the 13-lap race.
“It is great coming out and winning all the races,” said Roberts, who posted a best lap of 1:56.912. “It has been really awesome to come race in SuperSport with this California Superbike School Road Racing World team. They are a bunch of great guys who have put my bike to the top, so it is great.”
But it almost wasn’t to be for Roberts after a mid-race red flag bunched the field back up.
Once the race restarted, he was able to hold the lead, but that changed on the final circuit of the 16-lap race.
The teenager lost the lead going into Turn 1 on that final circuit and dropped back to third as Tomas Puerta, who finished second, and Wyatt Farris, who finished third, went by him.
But Roberts wasn’t shaken and returned the favor to Farris in Turn 5 and then passed Puerta in Turn 8. Puerta had one final shot at the win and went for the pass on the inside of Roberts on the final right turn but was too far back to make it work.
“I knew it was going to be hard to pull a gap,” Roberts said. “I got a good start and pulled a gap going into Turn 1 and just tried to manage it. Tomas was there, Wyatt was there, and I think Stefano Mesa was there as well. It was a really great race. I made some great passes, so I’m really happy with this weekend.”
Puerta, who had a best lap of 1:56.865, settled for second but claimed the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport West championship with his finish.
“I am feeling great,” Puerta said. “This has been a great season. It started out a little strange yesterday; I didn’t have my head on the race. Today I was focused enough to win the race. On the red flag we fixed something on the rear tire that helped a little bit to come out of the corner faster.
“When Joe passed me (on the last lap), I knew I had to try to pass him again. I did my best and went inside of him on the last right and it didn’t work. But I’m happy to bring the bike home and really happy for the championship.”
Farris, who claimed a spot on the podium for the first time this season in Race 1 on Saturday, followed that up with his second podium finish in as many races.
“It was a good race,” said Farris, who posted a best lap of 1:56.876. “I didn’t get a real good start, got pinched off, and dropped back to eighth or ninth. I worked my way through and got up into third, but (Roberts and Puerta) had checked out at that point, so I was like, ‘Let’s see what kind of lap times we can do.’ Luckily the red flag came out and that was a huge gift.”
Roberts finished his five-race run in the SuperSport series third in points with two races left in the West.
“This is it for AMA this year,” Roberts said. “I have to see what opportunities come up this year. Who knows, maybe I will be back here.”
Puerta and the rest of the SuperSport field will return to action at the New Jersey Lottery Devil’s Showdown on Sept. 13-15 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.