Photography By: Andrea Wilson
LEEDS, AL, JUNE 24 – Celtic Racing/Orient Express Racing’s James Rispoli waited out a pair of red flags and a trio of equally aggressive Supersport riders to win his fourth Supersport West race of the year on a hot and cloudy bright day at Barber Motorsports Park.
The first two attempts to start the race both ended in red flags and for similar reasons. In the first incident, Stefano Mesa got squirrely entering the Turn 10 kink left, ran through the grass and gravel, then collided with Dustin Dominguez as he was exiting the following Turn 11. Both made the re-start, though from the back of the grid.
The second incident involved Matt Schrag and Frankie Gillim. The pair collided just exiting Turn 10, their bikes and bodies tumbling through the grass and gravel, with Schrag ending up on the track as the pack approached. Luckily he wasn’t hit, but he didn’t make the re-start. Gillim did.
The final 15-lap race began 40 minutes after the first start and quickly a five-rider pack developed, soon shedding one of the quintet. Rispoli was always in the mix, as were Jake Lewis (Riders Discount/Vesrah Suzuki), Tomas Puerta (Road Race Factory/American Supercamp Yamaha), and Hayden Gillim (Road Race Factory Yamaha).
Lewis, Rispoli, and Gillim all took turns leading. Puerta gave up his chance for victory when he was chucked out of the saddle exiting Turn 4 on the tenth of 15 laps. He lost touch, caught back up, and moved forward, but was never in a position to lead or win.
Those spots would be fought between the former dirt track buddies Lewis and Rispoli. They swapped the lead, with Rispoli taking the lead on the 14th lap and leading for the duration. Lewis made a final run on the race to the stripe, but Rispoli held him off by a scant .039 sec. Puerta was third at .343 sec. with Gillim fourth at .551 sec.
SuzukiScoopFans on Facebook’s Elena Myers was fifth, taking the spot when Corey Alexander (National Guard/Fairhills Group/Celtic Racing) dropped down to tenth on the final lap.
Dominguez (Latus Motors Racing Castrol Triumph) and Mesa (Kneedragger.com Yamaha) were sixth and seventh, respectively.
Rispoli now has 232 Supersport West points to 173 for Gillim. Elena Myers has 143.
Barber Supersport Results:
1. James Rispoli (Suzuki)
2. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
3. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha)
4. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
5. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
6. Dustin Dominguez (Triumph)
7. Stefano Mesa (Yamaha)
8. Ryan Matter (Yamaha)
9. Eric Stump (Yamaha)
10. Corey Alexander (Suzuki)