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RoadRace Factory - NJMP Race Recap

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New Jersey Motorsports Park Race Recap
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Round 9
FIM Superbike World Championship RoundSept 27-29
Mazada Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA
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JD Beach talks about his incredible save at New Jersey Motorsports Park
JD Beach talks about his incredible save at New Jersey Motorsports Park
Sept 18, 2013 

The Devil's Showdown from New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ was the scene of the latest round of the AMA Pro Road Racing Series and also the place where fortunes were mixed for the team.  On one hand, we had the most incredible weekend with Tomas, and watching him receive his Number 1 plates for his West Series and Overall SuperSport Championships. On the other hand, we had our first DNS and DNFs of the season.
Race Report
GoPro Daytona SportBike - The Devil Wins This Round


The penultimate round of GoPro Daytona SportBike was to be a battle for the ages with Jake a solid 2nd in points and JD running neck and neck with Garrett Gerloff for 3rd.  By the time the riders took to the track on Friday, the stage was set for a fantastic showdown.  After the first practice session, Jake and JD were a little behind the factory mounted riders but that was nothing that the team couldn't overcome.  Qualifying 1 was Friday afternoon and both Jake and JD had found some extra speed.  The problem was that the other guys had, too.  When the session was over, Jake and JD sat in P5 and P7 respectively.

Dawn broke on a chilly Saturday morning, the smell of fresh wet concrete from the night's shower was heavy and the humidity was somewhere north of 70%.  Q2 was 

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approaching and the team worked most of the night adjusting, mounting, dismounting, readjusting, and remounting fast bits for their riders.  The boys suited up and took to the track to try and improve their starting positions.  It wasn't to be. The greasy track surface and low temps blocked most attempts to go faster than Friday afternoon only Jake would advance one spot.  Come race time, Jake would start on the front row in P4.  JD wouldn't improve past 7th after his heroic save of a high-side. It was an amazing save that you have to see to believe.  (Video Attached) 

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Race one took to the grid and JD had made the call to go to medical and get checked out.  As a result, Race 1 would be his and the team's first DNS of the Season.  It was a hard call but the safe and right one to make.  Jake was left solo to fly the RoadRace Factory colors.  As soon as the lights went out, Jake was flying those colors with distinction.  In what would be one of the most competitive races of the season, Jake was in a 4 battle for 3rd with Dane Westby, James Rispoli and Bobby Fong.  Corner to corner it was anyone's guess as to who would cross the line in the last podium position.  At one point, each of the four riders were leading the group, but at the checkers, Jake managed to hold off Bobby Fong to take the 3rd.  

For Race 2, 

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the situation would be different.  Jake was joined on the grid by JD who, battered and bruised, was ready to battle on.  Lights out and the pack roared through the first few laps before a red flag brought them all back in.  Adjustments were made and the guys gridded back up and the race was restarted with Jake and JD up front and showing the factory boys the way around NJMP.  However, a few laps into the restarted race, JD suffered a mechanical failure that forced him to retire.  Jake would suffer a worse fate.  Jake was once again embroiled in a 5 rider battle when he crashed out of the race.  Although he walked away from the incident, it was later confirmed that he had broken his collar bone.  

NJMP turned out to be the worst finish for the team this season, but considering all the things that had happened, we are lucky that both Jake and JD are safe and capable of returning for Laguna in 2 weeks time.

Jake Gagne - 2nd in Series Points

"Definitely not the weekend we were hoping for. Struggled to get a comfortable bike underneath me but managed a decent 3rd Saturday. Crashed out of 2nd on Sunday with a broken and dislocated right shoulder but we'll be back and stronger than ever! Check out the wing"
JD Beach - 4th in Series Points

"In the morning qualifying session it was a little cold but I was trying to put down a good lap time and I got into Turn 6 normal but by about mid turn I tried to pick up the gas and I picked it up just a little too hard and the thing slid and tried to buck me off. 

I ended up hitting my chest real hard and had to go get a CT Scan and some x-rays and stuff because it got real swollen up.  Nothing is broken, nothing is bad with my spleen or my liver so I tried to race again in race 2.  But we just had some bad luck and I'm hoping we have a good weekend at Laguna."

Motorcycle SuperStore SuperSport
There aren't too many things in this sport that are as big as winning a championship, so when you win two championships it's a special occasion.  Tomas Puerta knew coming into this round that he would be presented the #1 plates from the AMA for his West Series and Overall SuperSport Series Championships.  The only thing left to do this weekend was to win races and play spoiler to East Series to the three main title contenders; Corey Alexander, former teammate Hayden Gilliam and Stefano Mesa.  

NJMP is a track that Tomas knows but has struggled at in the past.  His determination to win was evident during practice and both qualifying sessions as he was at or near the top 3 all weekend long.  When the riders would line up for Race 1, Tomas was sitting in P2 and looking set to have a great 

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race with no pressure.  As the lights went out and the riders made the long stretch to T1 at a blazing pace, Tomas was still in P2 behind Hayden.  As the race went on, it was evident that neither Hayden, Corey, Stefano or Tomas were going to back off and let this East Series contest be decided easily.  The group stayed tight with each rider taking a turn at the front until a red flag brought them all back in and added to the drama of a 6 lap sprint to the finish.

The restart was almost a carbon copy of the first one.  The same group of 4 riders were dicing it up and pulling away from the herd.  In an incredible last minute effort, Hayden pipped Corey at the line and Tomas crossed in P3 with Stefano in his wake.  On the podium, Mr. Dave Atlas the AMA Managing Partner, presented Tomas with those beautiful Number 1 plates 

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.  The excitement and importance of the moment was not lost on Tomas as he thanked everyone for helping him accomplish his goals.

In racing, there is no time to sit and reflect, especially on a double header weekend.  Race 2 still had to be run and a championship was in the balance.  The riders all lined up on a picture perfect Sunday afternoon and awaited the start.  Lights off, riders away and a repeat of Race 1.  The 4 main protagonists were out doing their thing and again pulling away from the rest of the field.  This time, there would be no stops.  And as the laps were being counted down, it was anyone's race, another fantastic battle that was decided on the last few corners.  Tomas had a great drive coming down the line and beat Hayden for the win while Corey made it across in 3rd only a fraction of a second ahead of Stefano.  

As this was the last SuperSport race of the season, it's fitting to see the Champ on top of the box.  Congratulations to Tomas Puerta for an incredible 2013 season.

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Tomy Puerta - West Series and Overall SuperSport Champion
"It was a really good weekend for us.  A bit more relaxed because points didn't count as much as before.  So I'm really happy to bring both West Coast and Overall Championships home.  

In race 2, I set up my mind to win the last race of SuperSport I'm gonna race so I gave 100% for the race.  18 laps, 4 riders in the pack.  It was a really fun race, I just put my head down and go for the win.  I'm really happy for the team and thanks to everyone for their support this season."

Wrap it Up - Danny Walker

"This weekend at New Jersey, we came in with pretty high expectations.  We felt like we were a little behind at Miller.  So we came in with high hopes.  

The team did a spectacular job this weekend.  JD made a monster of a save, that's gonna be the save of saves.  We had our first DNS ever in the team's history and our first mechanical of the season with JD's clutch.  You know the team proved they had heart and soul as everyone jumped into to repair the clutch and get him back in the race, so I'm really proud of the guys for that.  Jake was pushing as hard as he could and unfortunately threw himself on the ground.  He was going faster than he had all weekend up to that point so that was a real positive aspect.

I couldn't be happier for Tomas and what he's accomplished and to end on the top of the podium is a real special thing.  He's a great kid and we're looking forward to seeing what he can do on the DSB bike at Laguna.

It was a rough weekend for us in DSB but I'm not feeling too down about
it because I know we can finish strong at Laguna.  We showed again that we are a cohesive team and that's what's important to me and I'm feeling good going into Laguna."

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