Gillim’s Race, Rispoli’s Title

Henny Ray Abrams | October 6, 2012

AVONDALE, LA, OCT 6 – Celtic Racing/Orient Express Racing’s James Rispoli (Suzuki) became the first two-time Supersport champion by adding the Supersport West title to the East crown he’d won in 2011. Rispoli did it by finishing fourth in a race won by Hayden Gillim (Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha), the Kentuckian who was streaming away when the race was stopped on the 12th of 15 laps.

Rispoli had to finish seventh or better if Gillim won Saturday’s Supersport race at NOLA Motorsports Park. Gillim’s win was never in doubt. Gillim sped to the front and gapped the field with surprising ease. He was lapping the 2.75-mile, 16-turn road course 1.5 secs. faster than the rest, and even faster on some laps, until he built his lead to over 11 secs.

Gillim was in the lead when Latus Motors Racing Castrol Triumph’s Dustin Dominguez crashed early on lap 12 while in third. Dominguez appeared to suffer a leg injury, though that was not confirmed officially. Still, he required medical attention and was removed from the track by an ambulance. Because he caused the red flag, he was dropped from third to 25th in the results.

Gillim won by 11.082 secs. with Jake Lewis (Suzuki) second and Gillim’s teammate Tomas Puerta third.

Rispoli was fourth, earning enough points to become a two-time title winner; his lead is 297 to 251 over Gillim. Elena Myers ( finished fifth and retains third in the championship. Rispoli also wrapped up the overall Supersport title.

Dominguez lost his Supersport East lead to Lewis, who’d come into the race trailing by eight. Lewis now has 246 points to 229 for Dominguez. Those two are the only riders with a mathematical chance of winning the title in Sunday’s final race.

AMA Supersport Results:
1. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
2. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
3. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha)
4. James Rispoli (Suzuki)
5. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
6. Frankie Gillim (Yamaha)
7. Ryan Kerr (Kawasaki)
8. Travis Wyman (Suzuki)
9. Ryan Matter (Yamaha)
10. Miles Thornton (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.