The 2016 MotoAmerica Championship headed to New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend for round three of nine. Though chilly on Saturday, the rain held out. This was not the issue on Sunday, though, when rain plagued the track in Millville, N.J.Splitting the wins – both firsts of 2016 – were the reigning MotoAmerica Supersport Champion JD Beach (Saturday) and SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen (Sunday).
Under cloudy conditions, the reigning Beach’s losing streak finally ended. The Y.E.S/Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 pilot Beach, who won eight races last season, was able to oust the man who won the opening three races of the season so far – Beach’s teammate Garrett Gerloff.Beach eventually earned the win by 2.834 ahead of Gerloff, with the pole sitter, Wheels In Motion/Motorsport.com/Meen Motorsports Yamaha’s Joe Robert. This was Robert’s first podium in Supersport after claiming the Superstock 600 Championship.“My plan each race is to get the best start I can and just go. You never know what’s going to happen so if there’s guys going down or something, I’d rather be out front. I was able to get a good start and somehow go faster than I did this morning. I wasn’t really expecting that, but it just feels really good to get a win this year,” Beach said.“The team has been working so hard and I’ve just kinda felt like I kept letting them down. Back home I’ve been training so hard and working hard and doing the things I did last year, but we just couldn’t get something to click. It was getting to the point of being like ‘Can I still do this?’ It came easy last year. I’d just get on the bike and go and it’s what Garrett’s been doing. He goes out there and if it’s wet, dry, whatever he just hammers and is fast. This year I couldn’t get it figured out. It’s still just one win, but it’s nice to finally be heading back to that direction.”Fourth went to Team H35 Honda’s Benny Solis Jr. who was followed by M4 Sportbike TrackGear.com Suzuki’s Valentin Debise.Sixth place overall went to Superstock 600 class winner and championship leader Bryce Prince, who finished ahead of Conner Blevins on the EMR Excel Racing Kawasaki. Third in the Supersport class and eighth overall went to HB Racing/Meen Motorsports’ Dakota Mamola.
2016 NJMP MotoAmerica Supersport Race 2 Recap
Sunday’s race was held under downpour conditions, but one rider braved it all – Petersen. The South African GSX-R600 rider was chasing Roberts after a restart due to various crashes, but the race-one podium finisher crashed. This allowed Petersen to earn the first victory of his career.Petersen’s teammate Debise finished 7.6 seconds behind, with Beach earning the final podium nine seconds back.“It was a tough race. I knew that I stood a better chance in these conditions. The first part of the race this morning before the re-start was tricky. There was a lot of standing water. Like these guys said, thanks to MotoAmerica for keeping our safety in mind. We just had to put that behind us (the crash) because we knew it wasn’t our fault,” Petersen said.“I lined up for the second part, got a pretty good start and then once Joe passed us it seemed like he had a really good pace. I followed him around for most of the race and on the last lap he was pushing hard and pulled a gap on me. Then he kind of gifted me the win and I couldn’t be happier.”Beach’s third-place finish combined with Garrett Gerloff’s crash in the first portion of the race (a crash that also involved Beach and Petersen) and non-start in the second part, moved Beach to within two points of Gerloff in the championship. Gerloff now leads Beach, 95-93. Debise is third in the standings with 87 points and Petersen has 59 points in fourth. Roberts slips to fifth with 53 points after his crash in race two, MotoAmerica reports.The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of round four at Virginia International Raceway.New Jersey MotoAmerica Supersport, Race 1 Results: 1. JD Beach (Yamaha); 2. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha); 3. Joe Roberts (Yamaha); 4. Benny Solis Jr. (Honda); 5. Valentin Debise (Suzuki); 6. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 7. Conner Blevins (Kawasaki); 8. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha); 9. Mike Selpe (Yamaha); 10. Shane Narbonne (Yamaha).New Jersey MotoAmerica Supersport, Race 2 Results: 1. Cameron Petersen (Suzuki); 2. Valentin Debise (Suzuki); 3. JD Beach (Yamaha); 4. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha); 5. Andy DiBrino (Yamaha); 6. JC Camacho (Yamaha); 7. Benny Solis Jr. (Honda); 8. Travis Wyman (Yamaha); 9. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 10. Mark Rhoades (Kawasaki).