In his first-ever pro race Gaves Motorsports' Garrett Gerloff scored a victory at New Jersey after passing James Rispoli.
In his first-ever AMA Pro race Graves Motorsports Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff claimed victory in Saturday’s Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport contest in New Jersey. The 16-year-old crossed the finish line more than 11 seconds ahead of ANT-Racing Suzuki’s James Rispoli, with David Gaviria rounding out the podium as the final round of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing Championship got underway.
"I have to thank the Graves Monster Energy team," said Gerloff. "They've given me an incredible bike to ride, they've done a great job helping me with the bike and making sure it's set up right. I've raced with a lot of these guys, but I was able to concentrate on staying in front and it feels pretty good to have won ... I didn't expect to run this well. I know some of the riders here, but it's really great to win."
Rispoli got the early lead in the race ahead of Gerloff with Benny Solis, Tomas Puerta, Dustin Dominguez, Elena Myers and Miles Thornton. In the opening lap Rispoli’s lead was just 0.704 seconds as Dominguez shot by Puerta for sixth. By Lap 3 Gerloff was right on Rispoli’s rear wheel, and two laps later the rookie had taken over the lead. Meanwhile Hayden Gillim was attempting to recover from a difficult start back in 15th as Eric Stump pulled out of the race early.
In the following laps Gerloff continued stretching his lead ahead of Rispoli while Gaviria passed Corey Alexander for third. Shortly afterward, Alexander crashed out of the top-five as Gerloff was now more than three seconds ahead of Rispoli. In the end it became a race between the top-two riders as Gaviria remained more than 10 seconds off the pace of the duo. The ultimate honors went to Gerloff as the young gun launched a great start to his pro career with a victory. Rispoli finished runner-up in the 19-lap race with Gaviria, Solis and Dominguez rounding out the top-five.
"It's been a long year, but we've worked so hard," said Rispoli. "It's thanks to our team and the many companies that support us -- ANT-Racing.com, Star School, the National Guard, Suzuki, and so many others -- that it's possible to go racing. Now we can get after it tomorrow and give [Gerloff] a better run!"
AMA SuperSport New Jersey Race 1 Results:
James Rispoli (#43) claimed second at New Jersey and won the 2011 AMA SuperSport Championship.
1. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
2. James Rispoli (Suzuki)
3. David Gaviria (Yamaha)
4. Benny Solis (Honda)
5. Dustin Dominguez (Triumph)
6. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha)
7. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
8. Miles Thornton (Yamaha)
9. Tyler Sweeney (Yamaha)
10. Stefano Mesa (Suzuki)
11. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
12. Ryan Kerr (Kawasaki)
13. Alex Shaw (Yamaha)
14. Rocco Horvath (Kawasaki)
15. Mark Miller Jr. (Yamaha)