In what thus far has been a repeat of the late-May 2020 MotoAmerica Series opener at Road America, HONOS Racing’s Richie Escalante and BARTCON Racing’s Dominic Doyle repeated their victories from Round 1 with the duo winning their third in a row in the Supersport and Liqui Moly Junior Cup classes, respectively.
In Saturday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race, South African Doyle started from the pole aboard his BARTCON Racing Kawasaki with defending class champion Rocco Landers slotted in behind. And that’s the way they stayed, Landers, aboard the Landers Racing Kawasaki, in hot pursuit of Doyle through the entire seven-lap race.
While Doyle maintained his ultra-narrow gap at the front, Landers stalked and planned his move. It all came down to the final run up the hill to the checkers on the final lap. Landers pulled out of the draft and made his move, but he wasn’t quite able to nip Doyle at the line whose margin of victory was a mere .006s.
Farther back, Quarterley Racing/On Track Development’s Ben Gloddy rode a quiet race, securing third place on the day.
“I could feel him coming, and I definitely thought he had me,” Doyle said of Landers’ strategy to draft past to the finish line. “I kept it pinned all the way to the line (and) kept the lead somehow. I’m just happy I could hang on for the win.”
The final race on Saturday was the Supersport class, but the 11-lap event was red-flagged and eventually shortened when Altus Motorsports rider Kevin Olmedo crashed on the opening lap.
After the restart, polesitter Sean Dylan Kelly repeated his holeshot on his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki and took the lead again. HONOS Kawasaki rider Escalante, in second, went to work trying to figure out a way to pass Kelly for the race lead.
In a classic display of patience and racecraft, Escalante finally was able to get around Kelly and move into the lead where he steadily built his margin and took the checkered flag by 3.676s over Kelly. Third place went to Celtic HSBK Racing Yamaha rider Brandon Paasch.
Escalante, now three for three in Supersport race wins so far this season, explained: “After Road America 1, I (decided) to try different things on the bike. Some are working; some not. I’m working with a completely different bike all weekend. I need to adapt to race again my riding style to this setting.
“I’m happy,” he continued. “For sure, the ZX-6R is a really good bike, but I had some big moments — two or three — during the race. These guys for sure are coming, so I need to improve a little bit — especially to exit. Really happy, though. The HONOS Racing Kawasaki working really good; my crew, I’m really happy.”
- Richie Escalante (Kawasaki)
- Sean Dylan Kelly (Suzuki)
- Brandon Paasch (Yamaha)
- Jason Aguilar (Yamaha)
- Benjamin Smith (Yamaha)
- Nate Minster (Yamaha)
- Lucas Silva (Suzuki)
- Nolan Lamkin (Yamaha)
- Carl Soltisz (Yamaha)
- Xavier Zayat (Yamaha)
Liqui Moly Junior Cup
- Dominic Doyle (Kawasaki)
- Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
- Benjamin Gloddy (Kawasaki)
- Gus Rodio (Kawasaki)
- Samuel Lochoff (Kawasaki)
- David Kohlstaedt (Kawasaki)
- Cody Wyman (Yamaha)
- Liam Grant (Kawasaki)
- Joseph LiMandri Jr. (Kawasaki)
- Isaiah Burleson (Kawasaki)