Gerloff Wins in Professional Debut at NJMP

Henny Ray Abrams | September 3, 2011


Graves Motorsports/Monster Energy Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff made an auspicious professional debut by thoroughly decimating the competition in the SuperSport East final on a warm, sunny Saturday at New Jersey Motorcycle Park.The 16-year-old from Texas had served notice that he’d be a factor by qualifying second to James Rispoli ( School Suzuki) by .062 sec. earlier in the day. When the race began, Rispoli and Gerloff broke quickly, while third fastest qualifier Hayden Gillim stalled on the line. Gillim sat still while a potentially disastrous situation was averted by the rest of the field avoiding him. Then the Kentuckian began an impressive recovery.Rispoli led the first four times around the 2.25-mile, 14-turn road course before Gerloff took over. Gerloff had never been to NJMP before and his confidence grew with every lap. Rispoli hung with Gerloff until the 11th of 19 laps when he increased the lead from a second to 2.6 secs. From there to the end it continued to grow, ending at 11.795 secs.”In the race everything went really smooth,” Gerloff said. “It’s definitely a dream weekend. It couldn’t have gone any better for me.”Rispoli was second, which was good enough to clinch the SuperSport East and overall SuperSport championships. He finished the day with 174 points to 120 for Gillim.”It feels awesome,” the New Yorker said. “This is my first pro championship. Not just to win the East but to win all of it, it’s a great accomplishment on my part.”Vesrah Suzuki’s Corey Alexander had been an early third before crashing on the sixth lap. His crash elevated David Gaviria (LTD Racing Yamaha) to a distant third. Racing Honda’s Benny Solis had a lonely ride to fourth, same for Dustin Dominguez (Latus Motors Racing Triumph) in fifth. Then came Tomas Puerta (LTD Racing Yamaha), with Gillim recovering for a surprising seventh.Supersport Results: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. Todd Sweeney (Yamaha)

10. Stefano Mesa (Suzuki)


Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.