Garrett Gerloff ran away with both middleweight races at the penultimate round of the series
JD Beach was leading his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha teammate, Garrett Gerloff, at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Saturday, September 9, when the first of two Supersport races was stopped for another rider’s crash, but the order was reversed after the restart.
Showing complete dominance, the Texan got out front and instantly went to work on pulling away from Beach and the rest of the field. Gerloff steadily increased the gap until he crossed the line for his ninth win, 10.6 seconds clear of M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Valentin Debise.
“We were kind of feeling weird yesterday in practice and qualifying with the way the bike was handling,” Gerloff admitted. “It was so fast, I just couldn’t do it every lap. We came up with a plan this morning and in qualifying it worked really well. I didn’t even go as fast as I did yesterday, but I was able to do it every lap. That was really nice to be able to know going into the race, knowing that I just needed to do my laps. Luckily, I was able to get a good restart, ride my own race, and hit my marks.”
Debise got the better of Beach on the final lap. Team H35 Honda’s Benny Solis was fourth with Michael Gilbert fifth on the Team MG55 Yamaha, the Californian winning the Superstock 600 race in the process.
Beach is never happy finishing anywhere other than first, but he was smiling more than normal on Sunday because he was closer to Gerloff in Supersport Race 2. Gerloff took the victory—his 10th of the season and seventh in succession—but this time Beach was only 3.6 seconds behind. He might have even closer if he wasn’t slowed by lapped traffic in the closing stages.
Third place went to Debise after an early race battle with Solis. Gerloff left New Jersey with a 46-point lead with two races remaining in the championship. “With JD right there, I had to be super consistent,” Gerloff said. I made a couple mistakes, and he was right there and kept trying to make a move on me in Turn 1. I don’t know how I was out-braking this guy, but luckily I had a little more in the tank, so I was able to get into Turn 1 before him.”
Heading into the 10th and final round of the season, the real battle was in Superstock 600. With Anthony Mazziotto III and his YCRS/Mazziotto Racing Yamaha winning Sunday’s race, the battle for the title tightened to just three points as Gilbert bested championship leader Jason Aguilar by one position to move within three points of his fellow Californian, 250-247.
M4 medAge Suzuki’s Nick McFadden finished second to Mazziotto, and Tuned Racing’s Braeden Ortt rounded out the podium in third.