Three MotoAmerica class leaders’ points leads shrink Saturday at Pitt Race

The championship leaders in MotoAmerica’s Superbike, Supersport and Stock 1000 classes saw their points advantages shrink Saturday, while the front runners in the Junior Cup and Twins Cup improved their bids to secure their first MotoAmerica titles. 

Reigning Superbike champion Jake Gagne won the day’s Superbike race that was restarted twice to cut championship leader Danilo Petrucci’s lead to eight points. And Rocco Landers and Hayden Gillim notched commanding victories in Supersport and Stock 1000, respectively, to claw back points on runaway class leaders Josh Herrin and Corey Alexander.

The day couldn’t have gone any better for Junior Cup leader Cody Wyman, who scored a hard-fought victory to pad his championship lead. And Twins Cup points leader Anthony Mazziotto managed to extend his points lead despite enduring a finish outside the top five.

Two race stoppages in the day’s Superbike contest didn’t faze Gagne, as the Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing rider got off the line well for the race start and both restarts and secured his ninth victory of the 2022 season by more than two seconds. Finishing second was Petrucci, who assumed the points lead at the previous MotoAmerica round at Brainerd International Raceway.

Saturday’s MotoAmerica Superbike podium finishers: second place Danilo Petriccu (far left), winner Jake Gagne (right-center) and third place Mathew Scholtz (far right). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of MotoAmerica

Rounding out the podium was Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, who steadily closed the gap to Gagne’s teammate Cameron Peterson during the race’s closing laps and bested him to the finish line by 0.127 seconds.

In Supersport, Landers Racing’s Rocco Landers methodically built an advantage over points leader and Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC rider Herrin, increasing his gap to Herrin by about one second per lap on several consecutive laps at one point. His margin of victory over Herrin was 6.587 seconds, while Herrin was fending off Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider Tyler Scott in the closing laps before a race stoppage on the last lap brought the race to a premature conclusion. 

Landers reduced Herrin’s points lead from 76 to 71, and Herrin blamed his lack of pace on a joint decision between him and his team concerning tire choice for the race.

Two northeast Ohioans raced in the Supersport contest. C.J. LaRoche had a good outing at his home track with an 11th-place finish, and Cleveland, Ohio, product Jordan Tropkoff was unable to finish the race due to a last lap crash after running as high as 14th. After the race, Tropkoff reported he was physically fine — though his Suzuki GSX-R750 appeared to have suffered a substantial amount of damage.

The Stock 1000 race saw championship leader Corey Alexander suffer a setback, as the Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing BMW rider got a good start but have to pull off track on Lap 3 due to a problem with his motorcycle. He was able to rejoin the race and finished 10th. Alexander’s chief rival in the Stock 1000 title fight – Disrupt Racing Suzuki rider Hayden Gillim – said Alexander’s bike was making a different engine note than he’s used to hearing and made an odd sound before Alexander pulled off track. 

Alexander’s troubles handed the lead to Gillim, who posted lap times about one second better than the rest of the field on several laps. Gillim went on to take the victory by a margin of 5.120 seconds, and his points gap to Alexander was reduced from 33 to 14. 

Finishing second was two-time MotoAmerica Stock 1000 champion Andrew Lee, who was filling in for injured Cycle World/Octane/Chuckwalla Racing rider Michael Gilbert. Third place went to Altus Motorsports rider and 2016 MotoAmerica KTM RC 390 Cup Champion Brandon Paasch. The other rider in the Stock 1000 championship chase – Alexander’s teammate Travis Wyman – wasn’t feeling well Saturday and faded from second to fourth in the race’s closing laps.

The 10-lap Junior Cup contest provided the most exciting racing of the weekend, as a group of seven riders were vying for the lead for most of the race. Championship leader and Alpha Omega rider Wyman came out on top, winning by a margin of 1.132 seconds and improving his lead in the points standings from 22 to 38. 

The battle at the front was reduced to a two-rider affair between Wyman and Rodio Racing/Warhorse HSBK Racing rider Gus Rodio due to the other front runners having to take evasive action after BauceRacing/JL62 Team rider Joseph LiMandri Jr. had a near-crash as he exited the chicane between Turns 15 and 16 on Lap 8

Canton, Ohio, resident and Ohio Mini Roadracing League competitor Logan Monk made his MotoAmerica Junior Cup debut at Pitt Race. He finished the race in 14th, but was assessed a time penalty for cutting the chicane on the last lap and was reclassified in 16th place.

“I had a wheelie off the start and was battling back and forth,” Monk said. “…I thought it would be competitive, and it definitely is. I thought I was going to be up there in the top 10.”

Twins Cup was the last of the day’s races, and fans were treated to a race-long duel between 2019 Nicky Hayden AMA Road Race Horizon Award winner Blake Davis and reigning Twins Cup champion Kaleb De Keyrel. The race saw Veloce Racing Aprilia’s De Keyrel hounding N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto Yamaha rider Davis and briefly take the lead on the last lap before Davis powered past him in the final corners to win by 0.053 seconds. 

Davis remains third in the Twins Cup standings, but narrowed his gap to the points lead from 28 to 13. Current points leader Anthony Mazziotto had a tough start to the weekend when he qualified in 10th. But the New Jersey product persevered to salvage a sixth-place finish and extended his championship lead over second place Jody Barry – who finished 10th in Saturday’s race – from one point to five points.

Two northeast Ohioans took part in the Twins Cup race. Leroy Township’s Greg Reisinger and Mansfield’s Gabriel Mount started the race in 29th and 30th, respectively. Reisinger finished 28th and Mount 29th.

Header photo caption: Landers Racing’s Rocco Landers (No. 97) leads MotoAmerica Supersport championship leader Josh Herrin (No. 2) during Saturday’s MotoAmerica Supersport race at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of MotoAmerica


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