Kneedraggers.com/Triplecrown Industries Stefano Mesa returns to the podium while Austin Dehaven delivers his best finish of his AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike career in round 7 at Mid-Ohio.
NEWS July 16, 2012
Photo by Brian J Nelson
Courtesy of Hasten Media Group on behalf of KneeDraggers.com/Triple Crown Industries:
(July 17, 2012) - In a weekend that produced a number of action packed, paint swapping races, Stefano Mesa and Ryan Kerr had fans out of their seats in the first AMA Pro SuperSport race of the weekend. Stefano started in 3rd with Ryan in 5th, as the lights went out it was easy to see that both of these riders wanted to win this race. Mesa led the first lap of the race and Kerr fired back to lead the second, the fight was on. As Dustin Dominguez and James Rispoli worked their way through the pack, Stefano Mesa settled in behind Ryan Kerr and Tomas Puerta. Stefano stalked Kerr and Puerta for 8 laps until he passed both of them going into the 9th lap of the race. Kerr wasn't giving up that easily and fired back at Mesa with a pass to lead the 10th lap. Stefano, who remained cool under fire made a smooth pass for third which is where he stayed for laps 11-14. Stefano Mesa had found his rhythm in the first segment where he held the second fastest segment time but Ryan Kerr wasn't ready to let Stefano out of his reach. With Mid-Ohio being Ryan's home track he wanted to take one more shot at a podium but Stefano Mesa's smart tactics and ability to stay calm made it impossible for Kerr to get by. Stefano crossed the finish line two tenths ahead of Ryan to take a hard fought podium finish and valuable points in the East Coast SuperSport standings. In the second race of the weekend, Mesa had another good battle with Elena Myers but came just shy of the podium with his 4th place finish.
Stefano Mesa #37: "I knew that Ryan (Kerr) and Tommy (Tomas Puerta) were going to be there, they had both been running good since Friday. The three of us got mixed up pretty early and we let Rispoli get away from us, we all knew Dustin was going to checked out, he had been running a second faster in practice. In the 8th lap I felt like I was starting to lose a little rear grip so I wanted to pass them and slow the pace down a little bit so I put a pass on Kerr. It worked for me, I still had some grip on the last two laps. Kerr was right there the whole time, it’s his home track, he knows where he’s going and he wouldn’t back off. I knew Tommy was there but he wasn’t passing me like Ryan was. I looked back around the 11th lap and they were close but I just kept my focus on being smooth and getting to the finish line.”
Austin Dehaven started his AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike career at Laguna Seca in 2011 where he finished in 11th place. Fourteen races later Austin beat his previous best when he crossed the finish line amongst the top 10 in race 2 at Mid-Ohio.
Austin Dehaven #56: "Set up has been a struggle this season but this team and my crew has not given up and we can see that we are finally going in the right direction. This is my first full season in this class and I still feel like I'm learning. I think I have a different riding style and it's always taking me time to get a bike to do what I want it to. This weekend was the best the bike has been, I've only ridden Mid Ohio once before and I'm happy to make it into the top 10. I'm really looking forward to Laguna where we hope to keep this momentum going."
Coming off his best finish of the season at Barber Motorsports Park, Benny Solis was looking to move into the top 5 at Mid-Ohio. Race 1 was heading in the right direction until a fuel line became pinched under the gas tank. In race 2 on Sunday, Benny worked his way past JD Beach and Joey Pascarella to get into 9th place behind Cory West. In the 11th lap of the race Benny Solis was about half a second faster than West and looking to make his move but his foot peg had other plans.
Benny Solis #20 "My pace was faster in a few areas but those areas were tight so I couldn't really pass there, I could only really pass in the key hole and the long sweeper back by the carousel. I passed JD and Pascarella and had West in front of me, he was holding me up a little but as I was starting to set him up for a pass I leaned the bike over and my foot peg touched the ground. This made the front really light and I low sided but this race showed me that I have the pace to run with the top 5 and Laguna will be a great opportunity to show what I can do."
In race 1, David Gaviria had worked his way up to 10th place but an attempt at passing two riders at once had him finish the race in 14th place. His luck didn't improve on Sunday where he still had the pace to run with the top 10 but a push to stay with the front runners put David and the bike on the pavement.
David Gaviria #175 "In these last couple races I have proven to myself that I can run in the top 10. We have learned so much and I know we will get it right in the near future, we're right there, just have to line it all up."
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