Gillim Second, Gagne Fifth for RoadRace Factory/Red Bull at Laguna Seca
NEWS August 1, 2012
Photo by Brian J Nelson
Courtesy of RoadRace Factory/Red Bull:
Monterey, CA (July 30, 2012) - The USGP weekend proved to be a successful one for RoadRace Factory/Red Bull, with the team's four young riders racing in support of MotoGP in California.
Hayden Gillim earned a close second in the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race. He was narrowly edged out after a race-long battle for the win and came up just 0.036 short of his second win of the year in an exciting race.
"The last lap, I knew it would be tough," said Hayden. "The whole race, I was right behind James (Rispoli), sizing him up. I knew there were some spots where I was quicker. I knew there were some spots he was quicker, and I knew I had to get past him early in the lap or he could stick with me and get me in the last turn. That's what he ended up doing. I broke pretty late in turn five and just decided to go for it. I made a little mistake in the last turn and got in there a little deep, and he was able to get past me at the line. I was glad to give the fans one of the best shows of the weekend."
Tomas Puerta had a tough race after a crash in the morning, but the Colombian managed to race anyway. Tomy finished 8th.
"I crashed in the morning qualifying," said Puerta. "I got a good start, but I did not feel well as the race went on. I dropped down to about P10, but I was able to improve some. It's not how I wanted to race, and I was feeling strong before, and I always go fast here, so I leave a little disappointed."
Jake Gagne earned a fine fifth in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, but it wasn't easy. The Californian, who has had terrible luck this season, collided with a crashing rider on the opening lap but managed to stay upright. Gagne was able to show his competitiveness despite a damaged bike and an ankle injury from the collision.
"A top five is not bad, and the goal coming in was to get in the top five, so I'm happy with that," said Gagne. "The race itself was disappointing in some aspects. The first lap, I had another rider crash in front of me, and I had nowhere to go so I plowed into him. In the next corner, I had a huge moment and got passed by three more guys, and I hit my foot hard. From then on, I ran the same pace as some of the guys in front of me in the lead pack, but they were gone. It was good to finish a race in a decent position, and I feel like I learned some things."
J.D. Beach earned 9th in the GoPro Daytona SportBike race but was in the pack that contested sixth place. "It wasn't our best weekend," said Beach. "We struggled with the bike some, and I struggled with the track. We needed all the track time we could get and there wasn't much to be had, unfortunately."
RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's Danny Walker said, "It was so tough because of the lack of track time, but it gave the young riders a good challenge, that's for sure. J.D. had a little issue on Friday, and it jacked him all weekend because of the limited time with the GP, and the weather and everything. That being said, he charged up there in the race, and then, the tire went off a little bit at the end. He rode well, and we were pleased. I don't know what we have to do to get Gagne a break. He had the speed to run with the frontrunners, and we have to give the credit to the crew for working hard and making improvements to the bikes. Hayden...what a race. In my opinion, he didn't get the trophy, but that pass he made around the outside of turn five was the pass of the weekend. Tomy, he smacked himself up, and there was no time for that here. We're heading in the right track, but I think we took some big steps this weekend, and we'll continue to keep building."