2016 Laguna Seca KTM RC Cup Results
For the third time in the 2016 KTM RC Cup Series – a support championship for MotoAmerica – Ashton Yates claimed victory. The KTM RC 390 pilot dominated the race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – only one due to MotoAmerica occurring with World Superbike – earning his second-straight victory, and third of the season.
Joining Yates on the Laguna Seca KTM RC Cup podium were the current points leader, Brandon Paasch, and Anthony Mazziotto, respecrtive.
With one round remaining at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Yates has 210 points; with 50 remaining, there’s no way he can earn the title. The only riders capable of this are the two who joined Yates on the podium – Paasch, who has 266, and Mazziotto, who has 247.
Yates showed promise all weekend. He first earned pole, and then took the lead at the start of the race, which was red flagged due to a pileup with Jody Barry, Benjamin Smith, Daniel Costilla, Nolan Lamkin and Brandon Paasch.
The riders once again took to the grid, and the race was shortened from 12 to eight laps. Out of the crashers, Paasch was able to re-grid, but unfortunately the other riders were not able to continue.
Yates shot back to the front immediately after the start, where he led the first few laps of the race. Paasch jumped into the second place position early on, with Josh Serne, Anthony Mazziotto III and Alejandro Gutierrez close in tow, KTM reports.
Mazziotto interjected himself into the lead around the halfway point as he and Yates battled back-and-forth for the top position. Paasch joined the battle for the final laps of the race and it was once again a three-way showdown to the finish between Yates, Mazziotto and Paasch. On the final lap, Mazziotto put himself into a favorable position out front, with Paasch in second and Yates in third. However, Paasch made a mistake exiting the last corner, which allowed Yates to draft by for second. Yates capitalized on a good line choice that allowed him to catch Mazziotto and the two drag-raced to the finish line, KTM reports.
Yates had the edge, earning his third race-win of the season in California.
“I knew it was going to be a battle to the finish,” Yates said. “Coming into the last lap that wasn’t where I wanted to be, I made a little mistake and they pulled a gap but I was able to make that up in the final corner and get by Brandon and clean up Anthony’s mistake, so I got a little lucky there, but I’m happy with the way it ended up.”
Paasch bested Mazziotto in the final moments, providing him with second.
“I had no idea how close they were to me so I rode a little bit defensive in the last corner,” Mazziotto said. “After I realized how early I apexed the turn, I knew where I was going, so I just committed and tried to make the best out of my situation but it didn’t go our way.”
Following a great start, Gutierrez rode a solid race to ultimately finish fourth behind Mazziotto, with Serne also putting in a good ride for fifth place and Cory Ventura in sixth. In only his second MotoAmerica appearance of the season, Ruben Casarez captured a season-best seventh place, followed by Jaret Nassaney with a season-best eighth-place finish. Draik Beauchamp and Ezra Beaubier rounded out the top 10 with 9th and 10th place, respectively, at Round 7.
The MotoAmerica Series will now take a small break before returning to action in September for the KTM RC Cup final in New Jersey September 9-11.
2016 Laguna Seca KTM RC Cup Results:
1. Ashton Yates
2. Brandon Paasch
3. Anthony Mazziotto III
4. Alejandro Gutierrez
5. Josh Serne
6. Cory Ventura
7. Ruben Casarez
8. Jaret Nassaney
9. Draik Beauchamp
KTM RC Cup Championship Point Standings:
1. Brandon Paasch – 266
2. Anthony Mazziotto – 247
3. Ashton Yates – 210
4. Jody Barry – 150
5. Alejandro Gutierrez – 142