HONOS SUPERBIKES RACE ONE AT
Take a ride around Pittsburgh International Race Complex with professional superbike racesr at speeds up to 190mph!
“Race on Sunday, sell on Monday”, has long been a regular saying in all of racing from the very beginning. It is no different today in the 21st century as it was for Mr. Harley and Mr. Davidson. The biggest difference is William and Arthur could not have even fathomed tools like the internet to be a battlefield for manufacturers to go toe to toe. Competition is closer than ever as manufacturers jockey for position. In this case, the position being market share and your dollars. So how does racing in the 21st century affect sales and growth for manufacturers like Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and KTM? Is it simply he who wins on Sunday truly sells more on Monday? Or is there more to it than that? Hold that thought, we have racing to talk about!!!
Pittsburgh International Raceway was the battleground of choice for MotoAmerica August 13th, 14th and 15th. A great round of racing with all the thrills and chills you’ve come to expect from MotoAmerica racing!
Royal Enfield’s Build, Train Race program had its second round and did not disappoint. These young women have all built their machines and have been mentored by the likes of Melissa Paris and now they race to flex their newly acquired skills. CJ Lukacs brought home first place followed by Becky Goeble and Trisha Dahl clipped past Michaela Trunbull just before the line to take home 3rd. This program has its roots in Flat Track and has made the transition to road racing. I personally hope they can grow the program to at least 20 in the field, or give them their own series. The ONLY thing I don’t like about the program is the fact that it means that either Twins Cup, Stock 1000 or both have to give up one of their races on the weekend. It’s a bit of a bother that 7 racers can displace a grid of 20 plus racers. Don’t get me wrong here. I love this program. Our sport needs more women and our sport needs to build more enthusiasts. Kudos to Royal Enfield for stepping up to be the brand to make it happen. Unfortunately, the Continental GT doesn’t fit into the JR Cup or Twins Cup programs. I’m not sure what the fix is, but I think a lot of people would like to see less of a disruption to the regular classes. If Streaming and TV time are to be given to a class of racing, then give it to the kids in the Mini Cup program. Again, I love the program and congratulations to Royal Enfield for having the vision to put it together. Just please don’t displace the other series.
Speaking of Twins Cup what a great race. Anthony Mazziotto carving up the field to go to first place and stay there with Teag Hobbs hot on his heels. The new R7 of Hayden Schultz swapping places with Hobbs on the Suzuki and a hard charging Jody Barry just outside of the fight. At the line is was Mazziotto, Hobbs and for the first time ever, a Yamaha piloted by Hayden Schultz. End of race right??? NO! Teag Hobbs would be disqualified for improper equipment bumping Schultz to 2nd and handing the 3rd place trophy to Jody Barry making it an Aprilia, Yamaha, Aprilia podium. Great racing as always!
The Sportbike Track Gear Jr. Cup went the full 2 races this weekend and did not disappoint. Ben Gloddy and Ty Scott diced it up for 1st place all race long and looked to make a break for it early on. But a hard charging Joe Limandri Jr singlehandedly pulled a group of about four riders into the mix. Limandri would get into the fray and mix it up with Ty Scott. We saw Gus Rodio and David Kholstaedt all jockeying for the top spot. In the end, it was Ben Gloddy, Joe Limandri Jr and David Kohlstaedt taking the top 3 spots for race one. Day two was more of the same with the top 5 bobbing and weaving for position. Ty Scott hit on the appropriate gearing for race 2 and managed to hold on to 1st place with Gloddy in second and Joe Limandri Jr doing the double podium weekend! Great racing all around. I’m hoping I can rejoin the grid for the last two rounds at New Jersey and Barber.
Stock 1000 was not without some drama with a red flag caused by an off rider and a fire! Luckily there were no injuries except to the race budget for that rider and the delayed race was shortened to 10 laps and it was Jake “the Snake” Lewis who took the top step followed by Travis Wyman and a hard charging Hayden Gillim who didn’t even sit on his fill in ride until Saturday morning. Why the delay??? He has to work. Gillim was turning the fastest laps of the race and had the race gone the distance, who's to say that GIllim wouldn’t have been on the second if not the top step! I hope we see some more of Gillim.
Yamaha’s Jake Gagne continues his record-setting season of MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike racing as he made it an even dozen today at Pittsburgh International Race Complex with his 12th straight victory of the year. Source: MotoAmerica
Super Sport 600 racing was fantastic! Richie Escalante was in top form swapping 1st place with Sean Dylan Kelly on several occasions. SDK had championship on his mind and chose to live to fight another day and took his second place to Escalante. Rocco Landers rounded out the podium in 3rd and really showed us all that he is very close to figuring out the 600. Day 2 race 2 and SDK sorted things out from the day before to put the M4 Ecstar Suzuki in the first place spot followed by Escalante and out of nowhere, Rocco Landers secured 3rd. The racing was close and exciting. It’s great to see a mixed manufacturers podium with Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha all being represented.
Superbike was more of the same. The Jake Gagne show out front. Gagne seems to have such a command over the field. He did the double win and scored his 13th win in a row. It was the story behind him that brought the only excitement of the race. Tony Elias filling in for Josh Herrin took his first ride on a Yamaha all the way to the podium finishing second! Matthew Scholtz recovered from a lap one collision with Loris Baz to finish 3rd. Day two saw a bit more of a podium shake up. Sure, Gagne got the top spot, and Elias looked set to podium twice on the weekend, but it was Scholtz who pulled out the 2nd place and Bobby Fong bringing it home in 3rd. Fong really charged his way to that well earned podium. He’s been plagued with tons of little things all season long and it was really great to see the stars align for that podium spot.
So, does all this winning or podium positions really sell more motorcycles or products? Does “Win on Sunday sell on Monday” still apply? The short answer is YES. However, it’s a bit more nuanced than just simply being the number one bike or product in the race. In a world measured by likes and click throughs, there are probably a thousand or more ways to measure how winning on Sunday really plays out to a manufacturer. In the end however, it really still comes down to you the fan. Whether you drive in or point and click your way to purchasing, it is still your dollars that drive our sport. SO I would encourage you to not only buy the bike, or buy the helmet or buy the oil, but take a moment and shoot an email to the company and let them know that you saw your favorite rider take your favorite brand around the track. Let them know that you saw their brand on the die of a hauler traveling down the highway. Let them know that you saw the broadcast on a streaming service or Mav TV. By helping to simplify the data, you can actually help the manufactures to spend less. Less spending on their part equals savings for you the customer, or even more opportunities for young racers like myself. The manufacturers want to spend and they want to support racing. Let's all help them out by being proactive in letting them know how we see their efforts on the track and in other places. I personally took a photo of a Missions food display at my local grocery store and sent it to Mission Foods to let them know that I see their support on the track and make the connection to the store for purchase. I received a nice thank you and a coupon. That type of info is HUGE to a manufacturer. SO please, take a minute every now and then and support those who support our sport. Help them get that data. Don’t be afraid to name drop a rider. I know it feels a little futile, but I promise they love the input! Until next time!!! KB73
AHRMA NATIONAL NEXT GENERATION
MOTOCROSS SERIES WEATHERTECH RACEWAY
Charging up the hill...bend to the right then back to the left on the brakes to make the entry and back on the gas for a quick right left, back to the right and then left sweeper out of one of one of the biggest thrills in motorsports down the 3 story drop of the Laguna Seca CorkScrew! The elevation changes at Laguna Seca are legendary and something you have to see to appreciate.
Skill is only part of getting around a track like Laguna Seca. With technical twists and turns and a stomach in your throat drop like the Corkscrew, confidence is king! Confidence can come from hours of training and seat time, it can come from a great bike set up and even some words of encouragement from a mentor. But one of the most important confidence inspiring aspects of racing is great equipment!
I consider myself very fortunate to have some of the best gear in the game. LS2 Helmets keeps my head safe and Forma Boots keep my feet and ankles well protected. Everything in between is covered by my great friends at Bison Track Gear. Safety is paramount to the sport and all three of these companies make up my super suit that gives me the confidence to huck a motorcycle that weighs two and a quarter times as much as me off into a corner at insane lean angles and either full throttle or under heavy braking.
This article’s paddock pics come from the owner of Bison Track. A great guy by the name Robert Lackey. Robert and his wife Tosha rolled the dice two years ago and sold their home, a bulk of their belongings, quit their cubical farm gigs and bought an RV to live the American dream from the road. Since then, Bison Track has become a regular sight around not only the MotoAmerica Paddock, but at track days and club races all around the country! Rob and Tosha make it to every round of MotoAmerica offering trackside service to the Bison Track riders and in between MA rounds, you may even catch them at your local CCS or WERA race providing that excellent customer service that we as Pro riders enjoy! In a world of internet dominated shopping, it is great to have in person support and the firm handshake of folks like the Lackeys. The combination of LS2 Helmets, Bison Leathers and my Forma Boots have seen me through more than a few tangles with gravity and friction. That is what inspires confidence. Knowing you can push the limit and if you cross the limit, the great equipment is there to keep you safe and allow you to walk away to fight another day! So if you find yourself in the MotoAmerica paddock, make it a point to look for the big Bison flag atop of their RV and say hi. Then swing on through my pit to check out the latest in LS2 Helmets. We racers are always happy to share information on the great companies that support us and keep us safe.
While I had certainly hoped that I would be putting Bison Track on the podium this season, it just hasn’t worked out for me yet. However, Jody Barry, Teagg Hobbs have certainly been able to get it done! Jody Barry did it again at Laguna Seca. We’ll get to that in a bit. In the meantime, let's recap the races for round 5 at the historic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.