Mesa Gets His First at Road America

Henny Ray Abrams | June 3, 2012

ELKHART LAKE, WI, JUNE 3 – Yamaha’s Stefano Mesa came out on top of a furious three-way last lap battle to win his first Supersport race in spectacular fashion on a sunny, windy day in the Subway Superbike Doubleheader at Road America.

For most of the ten-lap race, Mesa was locked in battle with Riders Discount/Vesrah Suzuki’s Jake Lewis and Celtic Racing/Orient Express/National Guard Racing’s James Rispoli. Lewis led across the stripe every lap, but there was little among them and it came down to the final lap.

Rispoli drafted into the lead past Lewis into turn one, with Lewis second and Mesa third. The next straight coming up was the middle infield straight that leads downhill to turn five. All three riders were sideways to varying degrees as they braked almost side by side. Rispoli leaned over while sliding the rear, and lost the front. He crashed, but re-mounted and finished sixth. Mesa was in front until the hard braking kink, where Lewis went into the lead. Then came the third straight, on the run to Canada Corner. Mesa was again sideways as he ran up the inside of Lewis, but somehow kept it on two wheels. The Colombian then led for the next few corners and out of the final right.

On the run up the ramp to the line, Mesa moved to his right, trying to shake Lewis. Lewis was coming on strong, but missed out on victory by .024 sec., about the length of a motorcycle.

National Guard/Fairhills Group National/Celtic Racing’s Corey Alexander inherited third when Rispoli fell, then finished ten seconds back having shaken Tomas Puerta (Road Race Factory/American Supercamp Yamaha).

Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha’s Hayden Gillim, who won last weekend at Miller Motorsports Park, finished fifth, 3.28 secs. ahead of Rispoli.

Rispoli lost one championship point to Gillim. He now has 181 to 155 for Gillim after seven of 12 Supersport West rounds.

Road America Supersport West Results:
1. Stefano Mesa (Yamaha)
2. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
3. Corey Alexander (Suzuki)
4. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha)
5. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
6. James Rispoli (Suzuki)
7. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
8. Tyler Linders (Yamaha)
9. Ryan Matter (Yamaha)
10. Devon McDonough (Yamaha)

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.