Seven northeast Ohioans are among the more than 180 entries for this weekend’s MotoAmerica round at Pittsburgh International Race Complex.
That group includes Jordan Tropkoff of Cleveland, Ohio, and C.J. LaRoche of Bellaire, Ohio, competing in the Supersport Class; Gabriel Mount of Mansfield, Ohio, and Greg Reisinger of Leroy Township, Ohio, racing in Twins Cup; Logan Monk of Canton, Ohio, in Junior Cup; and Nicole Pareso of Carrollton, Ohio, and Kayla Theisler of Youngstown, Ohio in Royal Enfield’s Build Train Race program.
Of the seven northeast Ohioans, three compete in MotoAmerica full-time. LaRoche, a member of the North East Cycle Outlet team, races a Yamaha YZF-R6 and is currently 11th in the Supersport points standings. Pareso and Theisler are 11th and 14th, respectively, in the Royal Enfield Build Train Race class standings.
Tropkoff has competed at two MotoAmerica rounds this year, and Reisinger raced at the round at Virginia International Raceway in May. Tropkoff’s entry indicates he’ll race a Suzuki GSX-R750, and Reisinger is one of 14 riders who are set to race a Suzuki SV650 in the Twins Cup.
For Monk and Mount, the Pitt Race round will mark their 2022 MotoAmerica debut. Like the rest of the Junior Cup field, Monk is expected to race aboard a Kawasaki Ninja 400. Mount is to compete on a Suzuki SV650.
Attendees also will likely be treated to some hard-nose racing at Pitt Race, as the event could be a make-it-or-break-it round for several class championship battles.
In the flagship Superbike Class, it’s a two-rider dogfight between reigning Superbike Champion Jake Gagne and former FIM MotoGP rider and MotoAmerica rookie Danilo Petrucci.
The Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing rider Gagne had a sensational 2021 season – winning 16 consecutive Superbike races en route to securing the title. 2022 has been a very different season, with Gagne clawing his way up the Superbike points standings after a lackluster start to the season.
But a crash at the most recent Superbike race at Brainerd International Raceway on July 31 has put Gagne 14 points behind Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC rider Petrucci.
The MotoGP castoff won the first three races of the 2022 campaign, as well as the July 31 race that Gagne crashed out of. With six races remaining in the 2022 Superbike season, the Pitt Race round could see the championship tighten up – or one of the two contenders crack under the pressure.
The only class that has a runaway leader in the points standings is Supersport, where former AMA Pro Superbike champion Josh Herrin has amassed a 76-point lead over second place Rocco Landers. If the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC rider Herrin finishes the Pitt Race round with a championship lead of 100 points or more he will have clinched the Supersport title.
In Stock 1000, Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander has been the class of the field. He’s won every race he’s started this year, but missed two races at Virginia International Raceway in May due to an injury. If Alexander should falter at Pitt Race, his teammate Travis Wyman and Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim are within 47 points of Alexander with several races to go this season.
The chase for the Junior Cup title is currently led by the elder statesman of the class – 28-year-old Cody Wyman. The pro road racing veteran is contesting the last season he’ll be eligible to compete in Junior Cup and has a 22-point lead over second place Joseph LiMandri Jr. With six races remaining, there are five riders with a realistic chance of catching up to Wyman, all of whom have one at least one race this year.
The weekend’s two Twins Cup races will see title hopefuls Anthony Mazziotto and Jody Barry try to get the upper hand before the penultimate round of the season at Mazziotto’s home track – New Jersey Motorsports Park. Barry had an impressive run earlier in the season when he reeled off four consecutive victories. But Barry has struggled in three rounds prior to Pitt Race, which has allowed Mazziotto to overtake Barry in the standings by a single point.
In the Royal Enfield Build Train Race Class, Marion, N.Y., resident Kayleigh Buyck sits atop the standings. She’s won two of the class’ three races this season and has a seven-point lead over Jennifer Chancellor – who hails from Tumwater, Wash.
One MotoAmerica class that will not be in action at Pitt Race is the popular King of the Baggers class.
Other Ohioans who are expected to compete at the Pitt Race round include Jared and Heather Trees of Marengo, Ohio, in Twins Cup.
All three classes of the MotoAmerica Mini Cup also will run at Pitt Race on the facility’s kart track. Among the 29 entries for the Mini Cup’s three classes are Stanley Gustafson and Brayden Fager from Haskins, Ohio. Both are entered to compete in the 110cc Class.
It’s the sixth consecutive year that the nation’s professional motorcycle road racing championship – formerly known as AMA Superbike – has visited the Wampum, Pa., Pitt Race facility. The field of competitors for the Pitt Race round includes riders from 16 foreign countries and Puerto Rico.
Riders in the Superbike, Stock 1000, Supersport, Twins Cup, Junior Cup and Royal Enfield Build Train Race classes compete on Pitt Race’s 2.78-mile, 19-turn road that includes a chicane between Turns 15 and 16.
The track is located at 201 Penndale Road, Wampum, Pa., 16157, about two miles north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange with Pennsylvania SR 18.
For more information about the MotoAmerica Pitt Race round, visit http://www.motoamerica.com/pittsburgh.
Header photo caption: The MotoAmerica Superbike field rides through Turn 3 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in 2021. Photo courtesy of MotoAmerica