Rispoli Over Lewis in Supersport Thriller

Henny Ray Abrams | April 21, 2012

BRASELTON, GA, APR 21 – Celtic Racing/Orient Express Racing/Army National Guard’s James Rispoli took advantage of lapped riders on the final lap to win a racelong battle over Jake Lewis (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) in Saturday’s Supersport race at Road Atlanta.

“Luckily we got the lapper and i just kinda fired it in there and had a little bit of a gap and brought it home,” Rispoli said.

Rispoli and Lewis had no peers on the day. The longtime rivals and former dirt trackers pulled away from the pack immediately to begin a battle that would go down to the final lap.

Lapping more than a second faster than the best of the rest, the pair had about a ten second lead halfway into the 16-lap race with no end in sight.

“It was a good race and James (Rispoli) rode awesome,” Lewis said.

The lead went back and forth right up until the final lap when Rispoli drafted by Lewis into Road Atlanta’s right hand first turn. It would prove to be decisive move. The pair encountered lapped riders as they dove down the hill into the esses. Rispoli made better use of them there and again into turn seven, the all important second of two rights that leads onto the back straight. Without the benefit of Rispoli’s draft, Lewis was pushing his own air. The Kentuckian closed down on Rispoli in the hard braking turn 10, but Rispoli didn’t put a wheel wrong and sped to victory, his second in two races this season.

The margin of victory was .535 sec.

There was a nine-rider battle for the final podium spot that eventually broke up. When it did, it was Dustin Dominguez (Castrol Triumph) who took control. Dominguez finished 19.677 secs. behind Lewis.

AMA Pro Road Race Supersport Results:

1. James Rispoli (Suzuki)
2. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
3. Dustin Dominguez (Triumph)
4. Travis Wyman (Suzuki)
5. Stefano Mesa (Yamaha)
6. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
7. Miles Thornton (Yamaha)
8. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
9. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha)
10. Corey Alexander (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.