A MotoAmerica Mid-Term Report: Part 3, Liqui Moly Junior Cup

Championship leader Alex Dumas (23) leads Cory Ventura (64), Sean Ungvarsky, Jackson Blackmon (hidden), Aaron Yates (22) and the rest of the Liqui Moly Junior Cup class at Road America. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

KTM Orange Brigade/JP43’s Alex Dumas has been dominant thus far in the debut season of the MotoAmerica Liqui Moly Junior Cup. When he starts and finishes, he wins. At least so far.

Dumas has five victories as the series readies to start its second half of the season. In fact, he’s won every race he’s started. And finished. His only non-wins came at Road Atlanta, when he couldn’t get the bike to start for race two, and at race two at Road America when he crashed out of the lead. Other than that, he’s done nothing but win.

While the talk of the first-ever MotoAmerica Liqui Moly Junior Cup Series has been focused as much on attempts to level the playing field as they have been on the racing itself, MotoAmerica is confident that the tweaking of the technical rules may be over. In the last round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the various brands were as close as they’ve been at any point in the season as the search for parity has been virtually non-stop.

Dumas and his KTM takes a 26-point lead into this next weekend’s round six at the Utah Motorsports Campus on the outskirts of Salt Lake City. And his lead is over fellow KTM rider, Sean Ungvarsky. Ungvarsky has yet to win but has been Mr. Consistent with five podium finishes in seven races.

Then comes Yates Racing’s Aaron Yates and his Kawasaki Ninja 400. Yates is just a point behind Ungvarsky and is the only rider other than Dumas to win a race, the Georgian winning in the rain at Road Atlanta and again when Dumas crashed out at Road America.

The top Yamaha in the series belongs to MP13 Racing’s Cory Ventura, who had scored in every race this season until crashing out of the last round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Ventura also has a second-place finish to his credit with that coming in race two at Road America. Still, Ventura is 57 points behind Dumas in the championship chase.

When he finishes, Gavin Anthony has been strong on his Yamaha. The Attack Performance/Herrin Compound rider has two second-place finishes on his tally, but he also has three non-scores that have put him 59 points out of the championship chase.

Quarterley Racing/On Track Development’s Jamie Astudillo has been a revelation this year after moving to the new Kawasaki. It didn’t take long for her to make her mark in 2018 as she became the first woman to finish on the podium of a MotoAmerica race when she was third in race two at Road Atlanta in the rain.

AGVSPORT America MonkeyMoto’s Jay Newton has also been the podium, in race one at VIRginia International Raceway. Newton is in a tightly knit group fighting for fourth in the championship as 15 points separate Ventura from eighth-placed Jackson Blackmon on the Riderz Law Racing Yamaha.

Aces High Racing’s Dylan Deutschlander and AGVSPORT America MonkeyMoto’s Kevin Olmedo, who scored his first career MotoAmerica podium at VIR, are ninth and 10th in the championship, respectively.