James Rispoli (#43) had the fight of his life in Race 2 but managed to hold on for his first win of the season.
ANT-Racing Suzuki’s James Rispoli put in tremendous work for his first Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport win at Barber. The Rocket had to hold off 16-year-old Benny Solis who was going for the double victory in Race 2, but Rispoli managed to squeeze ahead of the Honda rider for the win by less than a tenth of a second. Meanwhile, Hayden Gillim clenched his first podium of the season in third more than 13 seconds behind Rispoli and Solis.
Rispoli had a great lead off the starting line to claim the early advantage ahead of Solis, Myers, Travis Wyman, Hayden Gillim, Tomas Puerta and Corey Alexander. For the second time this weekend LTD Yamaha’s David Gaviria crashed out of the race as James The Rocket Rispoli broke away from the field with a 1.5 –second advantage before the end of the first lap. Determined to repeat his double victory performance at Infineon last month, Solis picked up his pace to stay with Rispoli but it wasn’t easy as Rispoli was clearly aiming for the win.
By Lap 3 Solis was making steady progress on the leader, the two now separated by less than a second. Meanwhile Myers was just a few bike lengths behind Solis in third when Wyman made the pass on her. Shortly after, however, Wyman made a mistake which allowed Gillim to come from behind for the final podium spot as Myers and Alexander trailed.
Hayden Gillim (#69) earned his first podium of the season with his third place finish aboard his Honda CBR600RR.
Solis continued to lurk behind Rispoli waiting for the right time to make his move. It was turning into an exact replica of Race 1 and tension was high as Solis remained right on Rispoli’s rear wheel. Then it happened. Solis decided it was time and went for the front with five laps left. The 16-year-old made a clean pass and for the first time in the contest left Rispoli trailing, but it wasn’t the last Solis would see of him. With four laps to go Rispoli shot back up front. The two kept swapping the lead as Gillim continued behind them in third with Alexander and Myers nearly three seconds behind.
The fight went down to the finish line with Rispoli taking his first win of the season just 0.063 seconds ahead of Solis. Gillim held his own in third more than 13 seconds behind the two front-runners with Alexander coming in 4.8 seconds later. After taking her first podium finish of the season in Race 1 Myers returned with a top-five result on Sunday.
“I made a couple mistakes toward the middle of the race,” said Rispoli. “I looked back a couple times and saw he was right there, so I knew it was going to be pretty hard to gap him and then keep the tires. So I slowed the pace down a lot — I think it was about a half-second slower through the middle of the race — I was really trying to conserve tires. I saw him try that pass and said, ‘It’s not gonna happen, dude’ [laughs], but it was clean race, and I really trust him, so it was cool.”
“The whole race was just exciting for me,” said Solis. “I was nervous the whole time, but having a lot of fun. I tried really hard to close the gap [on Rispoli], but once I was there I think I wore out my front tire. Every time I tried to catch him on the brakes, it started stepping out.”
“I started on the third row, but I knew I could run the same time as these guys,” Gillim said. “I got a decent start and was seventh going into Turn 1. From there, I was just trying to work my way up to front.”
AMA SuperSport Barber Race 2 Results:
Elena Myers (#21) followed up her podium finish in Race 1 with a top-five result for Team SuzukiScoopFans Suzuki.
1. James Rispoli (Suzuki)
2. Benny Solis (Honda)
3. Hayden Gillim (Honda)
4. Corey Alexander (Suzuki)
5. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
6. Dustin Dominguez (Triumph)
7. Ricky Parker (Yamaha)
8. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha)
9. James Dellinger (Suzuki)
10. Ben Young (Yamaha)
11. Sam Nash (Yamaha)
12. Ryan Kerr (Kawasaki)
13. Jacob Morman (Yamaha)
14. Travis Ohge (Yamaha)
15. Miles Thornton (Yamaha)