DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MAR. 16 - They don't get much closer than this. Even at Daytona. James Rispoli rode his Celtic Racing Suzuki to a .031 of a second victory over the Vesrah/Riders Discount Suzuki of Jake Lewis today in the AMA Motorcycle-Superstore.com Supersport final at Daytona International Speedway. And the next five riders were just as close with up to nine riders running in the lead pack for the majority of the 10-lapper.
Rispoli showed that you can win these drafting battles from the front, the New Yorker leading out of the final chicane, grabbing a bit of a draft off a lapper as they got to the tri-oval, then held Lewis off at the flag.
"It was a great race," Rispoli said. "It looks like we've all been training in the off-season and I think it'll be a tough year."
Third place went to Stefano Mesa on the Kneedraggers.com Yamaha R6, the Floridian just .592 of a second behind Rispoli and just .073 of a second ahead of fourth-placed Tomas Puerta on the Red Bull Road Race Factory Yamaha. Then came pole sitter Corey Alexander, the National Guard Suzuki rider just .008 of a second behind Puerta and only .054 of a second ahead of SuzukiScoop.com's Elena Myers. Dustin Dominguez was next, the Castrol-backed Triumph 675 only .071 of a second behind Myers.
Only then came a gap and it was just 1.5 seconds to Hayden Gillim, the RoadRace Factory rider alone in eighth place after also running in the lead pack. He was over eight seconds clear of ninth placed Eric Stump, the New Jersey resident beating Ryan Kerr to the line by just .145 of a second with Kerr rounding out the top 10.
1. James Rispoli (Suzuki)
2. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
3. Stefano Mesa (Yamaha)
4. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha)
5. Corey Alexander (Suzuki)
6. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
7. Dustin Dominguez (Triumph)
8. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
9. Eric Stump (Yamaha)
10. Ryan Kerr (Kawasaki)