Photography by Andrea Wilson
RoadRace Factory Yamaha’s Tomas Puerta won a riveting SuperSport final Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The race was a battle to the final lap between four riders and the championship wasn’t decided until the final few feet of the race.
In the end Puerta took the win over Hayden Gillim, but it was Corey Alexander, crucially passing Stefano Mesa to the line for third and that helped him secure the SuperSport East title by one point (199-198) over Gillim.
It marks the first road race championship for Alexander, who rides for National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki.
The race quickly developed into a four-rider break with Tomas Puerta, Hayden Gillim, Corey Alexander and Stefano Mesa. Each lap the quartet swapped positions primarily in the traditional NJMP passing zone going into turn one. Puerta was about the only rider figuring out a way to pass in other sections of the track.
On the final lap it was anyone’s race. Gillim knew he needed to win or get some help to win the championship. He moved up and had the position he needed, with Alexander falling back to fourth behind Mesa. Going into the final set of turns Gillim was in a perfect to draft Puerta for the lead, but he didn’t quite get it done. At the same time Alexander was able to draft back past Mesa to nail down third. That was the difference in the championship for Alexander.
Puerta’s margin of victory was 0.106 seconds and just 4-10ths of a second covered all four of the top riders. Puerta had previously clinched both the West SuperSport title and the overall crown.
Miles Thornton finished fifth, heading up the best of the rest of the 32-rider field.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com SuperSport results, NJMP, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013
1 12 Tomas Puerta Medellin, Colombia Yamaha YZF-R6 18 Laps
2 69 Hayden Gillim Philpot, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 +00.106
3 5 Corey Alexander Carmel, NY Suzuki GSX-R600 +00.545
4 37 Stefano Mesa Boca Raton, FL Yamaha YZF-R6 +00.559
5 72 Miles Thornton West Point, GA Yamaha YZF-R6 +18.723
6 9 Wyatt Farris Calistoga, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 +19.899
7 73 Sebastiao Ferreira Parauna, Brazil Yamaha YZF-R6 +19.935
8 777 Mark Miller Jr. Rising Sun, MD Yamaha YZF-R6 +20.789
9 64 Erick Sanchez Mexico City, Mexico Yamaha YZF-R6 +29.617
10 68 Alex Shaw Hackettstown, NJ Yamaha YZF-R6 +29.658