All The Class Championships Are Decided But The Racing Is Hectic In Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, AL (September 18, 2021) – Mother Nature chose to dump rain on Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday, but nothing could dampen the spirits of Tyler Scott as the 16-year-old captured the 2021 MotoAmerica SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup Championship in style in his debut season of MotoAmerica.
Meanwhile, newly crowned MotoAmerica Champions Sean Dylan Kelly and Jake Lewis earned victories in the Supersport and Stock 1000 classes, respectively, while Kensei Matsudaira and Jesse James Shedden won in Mini Cup by Motul action on a purpose-built racetrack on site at Barber Motorsports Park.
SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup: Scott Crowned!
The 2021 SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup Championship wrapped up on Saturday, and Scott Powersports/KTM rider Tyler Scott clinched the title in the best way possible, by also winning the race. The Pennsylvanian started from the pole, but he was overtaken by Veloce Racing Kawasaki’s David Kohlstaedt on the first lap. Scott bided his time in second, and Kohlstaedt crashed in the wet conditions on lap three of the seven-lap event, which handed the lead to Scott, who maintained it all the way to the finish line.
Second place went to 14-year-old female racer Kayla Yaakov, the BARTCON Racing Kawasaki rider becoming the first female rider to finish on a MotoAmerica podium since Jamie Astudillo finished third in race two at Road Atlanta in 2018.
Landers Racing Kawasaki’s Ben Gloddy, who had a mathematical chance to catch Scott for the championship until today, finished third. The New Hampshirite was hampered by a wrist fracture that he suffered a few weeks ago.
When asked about the wet track, Scott said, “It was definitely a little sketchy. More stressful, because I just wanted to keep the bike on two wheels and get points towards the championship. But I’m super happy with the result. I wasn’t expecting to lead most of the race, actually. I thought David Kohlstaedt was going to lead the race. I kind of would have let him win just to not risk any overtakes. But it was a great race and congrats to these guys.”
Supersport: Kelly Vs. Escalante – Again
It’s been an incredible two weeks for M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider Sean Dylan Kelly. After clinching the 2021 Supersport Championship last weekend in New Jersey, Kelly started off the weekend with the announcement that he will race in the Moto2 World Championship next year. And then, on Saturday in Supersport race one, he not only overcame another classic battle with HONOS HVMC Racing Kawasaki’s Richie Escalante, but he also prevailed despite the race being red-flagged and restarted.
Weather was a factor in both legs of the race, and in the six-race second leg, Kelly was in the lead at the beginning, but Escalante overtook him with three laps left to go. On the final lap, Kelly got past Escalante to take the checkered flag by .040 of a second for the 12th time this season. Finishing third and a little over 2.5 seconds back was MESA37 Racing Kawasaki rider Stefano Mesa.
“For being in the rain, I think we were doing more passes than usual,” said Kelly. “From before the red flag, to even after on the restart, we were going head-to-head, and it was great. It was definitely a little bit scary, which we see a guy highside right in front of me. I thought the red flag was for him for a second, but he was able to get restarted. Once I heard there was a six-lap restart, I was like, it’s going to be a little sprint to the end. I had a really good feeling with my bike. I had a few moments before the red flag, and even after. Conditions were tough out there. I think there was more water on the track after the red flag. So, difficult conditions, but this is something that I’m pretty happy with. To be able to ramp up wins in the season, and then we have our first wet race in at least two years. To be fighting for the win and then end up with another victory, it’s something to be proud of. So, great fight. It was cool to have some fun up there.”
Stock 1000: Lewis Again
In the only Stock 1000 race of the weekend, which started race day one at Barber Motorsports Park, recently crowned class champion Jake Lewis overcame the wet track conditions to notch his sixth win of the season and fourth in a row. Lewis started from the pole and led from start to finish, deftly negotiating the very tricky race surface aboard his Altus Motorsports Suzuki. Chuckwalla Valley Raceway/Octane Lending Kawasaki rider Michael Gilbert finished second, and Motul/Travis Wyman Racing BMW’s Travis Wyman rounded out the podium in third.
“It dumped down rain this morning,” Lewis said. “I don’t think I’ve rode in the rain since 2018. For that first session, I was just going pretty slow, honestly. Struggled for the whole practice. Made some changes before the race. I just told them to soften it and I’ll just ride it. Luckily, it rained before the race and it dried out a whole lot, actually. There were a couple streams and stuff, but the first part of the track was really dry. Midway through the race, the thing was sliding around and moving around quite a bit, which is nice for me, growing up flat tracking, and I still ride in the woods a lot. It feels nice to win. I wanted to go out on top. It’s nice to click off four wins in a row at the end of the season. Like I said on the podium midway through the season, we made a change, and I’ve got to thank the mechanics by my side. That kind of lifted the program forward a whole lot. It feels good. Can’t thank the whole Altus Motorsports team enough for giving me the opportunity this year.”
Mini Cup by Motul: Titles Earned
In the final round of the 2021 Mini Cup by Motul, which was held on a purpose-built racecourse at Barber Motorsports Park’s Proving Grounds skid pad, the 110cc class was swept by American Racing Team’s Kensei Matsudaira. Fernandez Racing’s Jayden Fernandez rode his Ohvale GP-0 to victory in race one of the 160cc class, while race two was won by Atlas Speed Factory’s Jesse James Shedden. And Shedden was also the winner of both races in the 190cc class.Matsudaira clinched both the 110cc and 160cc season championships, while Shedden was presented with the number-one plate for wrapping up the 190cc title.
For information on how to watch the 2021 MotoAmerica Series, click HERE
Saturday photos and video are available HERE