Road Atlanta in Braselton Georgia hosted round two of the 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM Road Racing Championship series this past weekend. The Supersport and Superstock 600cc bikes were battling it out Saturday and Sunday just as hard as the Superbike classes out in the Georgia sun.If you caught both races, you might have noticed that the podium results mirrored each other. So let’s break it down: defending Supersport champ JD Beach had his fears confirmed as fellow Y.E.S/Graves Motorsports Yamaha R6 rider Garrett Gerloff has kicked off the season with three straight wins – one at the opening round at Circuit of the Americas, and both this past weekend in Georgia.
This is a story we’ve seen before, especially when it comes to Yamaha; teammate against teammate as direct competition to one another. Road Atlanta brought someone new into the mix – the Frenchman Valentin Debise, who followed up second place finishes in both Supersport races aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600. In third, defending MotoAmerica Supersport Champion JD Beach trailed but Gerloff’s dominance in both races was established, having completed the race 10.3 seconds ahead of his competition in the second race.“Two rounds in so it’s still super early,” Gerloff said. “But I’m having fun though and really enjoying riding my bike right now. Everything is working pretty good right now. As far as the race today, I found it a little harder to be more consistent. The first couple of laps were a little bit faster than yesterday so that felt good, but after that I kinda struggled to be as consistent as I was yesterday. Toward the end of the race I was able to get more in the zone and hit my marks. The race actually felt shorter. All in all, it was a good day and a good weekend and I’m looking forward to going to New Jersey, which is a track I like.”The California-based motorcycle retailer, Wheels In Motion/Meen Motorsports’ rider Joe Roberts claimed fourth place, followed by Debise’s M4 teammate Cameron Peterson. For Roberts and Peterson, they seemed to have swapped positions. Peterson finished one ahead of Roberts on Saturday afternoon.Benny Solis, the lone Honda rider of the group for H35 retired the second race but made a good showing on Sunday with a sixth place finish. He retired Saturday due to a clutch failure.Gerloff now walks into the New Jersey Motorsports Park in two weeks with a significant advantage over the competition, having a perfect 75 point championship standing. But as we saw in Superbike, things can change in the matter of one race.The Superstock 600 win went to Kyle Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman, the Las Vegas resident ending up seventh overall and 3.2 seconds ahead of yesterday’s winner Bryce Prince. Xavier Zayat was third on his M4 Sportbike TrackGear.com Suzuki.That was it for Supersport this weekend. Though we saw similar finishes, the heart that these kids were putting into their races was indisputable. Flawless riding was witnessed from the likes of Gerloff and now, we can only hope that the manufacturers step in.It’s been some time since the 600cc Sport bike has seen an update from any of the major manufacturers. Blame it on waning sales or more accurately, the lack of updates but this is the future of racing in the United Sates. From here, these riders could move into Superbike and as we’ve seen before, the world stage.So let’s hope for that these kids get some new bikes soon – their skill level warrants it and the league needs it. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to tool around on a new 600cc sport bike?
2016 Road Atlanta MotoAmerica Supersport Results, Race One:
Garret Gerloff (Yamaha)
Valentine Debise (Suzuki)
JD Beach (Yamaha)
Cameron Peterson (Suzuki)
Joe Roberts (Yamaha)
2016 Road Atlanta MotoAmerica Supersport Results, Race Two:
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!