RoadRace Factory Race Report From Virginia International Raceway

After taking a considerable break from Virginia International Raceway (VIR), the premiere series returned this past weekend to the historical circuit in Alton, VA. Making a special appearance during the weekend’s festivities, the sun! The previous two rounds had been absolute soakers and the team was looking forward to a nice dry race weekend. The trio of Supersport riders were also looking to make those critical steps forward in their chase for the championship.

The weather was perfect, the track conditions on day one were as close to perfect as one could ask for, so when the first practice session was green flagged, Tomy, Ben, and Cam launched their weekend. With the new schedule of events and qualifying session one taking place on Friday, the boys needed to find their pace quickly and for newcomer Cameron, it was yet another track to learn on the fly. Using his teammate as a guide, he soon found his rhythm and his pace was coming up quickly. Tomy, on the other hand, had a minor crash but as is the case when a sliding motorcycle hits the grass, the bike needed major repair. All three riders headed into Q1 with confidence and determination. As the session wore on and the crews and riders worked out their set-ups, it was clear that all three had a decent pace and would be factors in the races.

Saturday morning was the final opportunity to go fast and claim top grid positions. As is often the case, times on Saturday morning aren’t faster than Friday afternoon usually due to track temp. This held true for our riders as only a few of the Supersport pilots improved on their times. Our guys did not. The best possible outcome during that session is improved set-up for both Ben and Cam as they continue to learn their Yamaha R6s. Tomy was the fastest of the three in P5 with Ben in P8 and Cam right behind him in P9.

Race one was held in the early afternoon under ideal conditions. All three riders were within reach of the hole-shot if they got solid starts. The lights went out and grid hurled down the long straight away towards a treacherous Turn One. Everyone made it through the first corner cleanly and Tomy was leading our tightly packed trio in 6th 7th and 9th. As the 23-lap race progressed, there were two distinct breakaway groups. JD Beach was leading Josh Herrin, while 3rd through 5th was being sorted by David Anthony, Garrett Gerloff and Bobby Fong respectively. Tomy was having a good scrap with Kyle Wyman for 6th before clearing away from him and running solo for the remainder of the race. Ben Young would eventually catch Kyle and make the pass to move up to 7th. Sadly for Cameron, his race would be decided by a mechanical in the opening laps and by the time he re-entered the race, he was a lap down. With the leaders swapping places on the final lap, Tomy would bring it home in 6th. Ben would stay in 7th and Cameron continued to dice it up and learn the track as he crossed the line in 15th.

Race 2 on Sunday was almost a complete carbon copy of Saturday’s action. Conditions… perfect. Riders… amped. Cameron’s crew was confident that there would be no mechanical issues and that he would be able to run near the top. Revs up the lights go out and again the herd roared towards T1. By lap 3 it was exactly the same running order as race one. “See carbon copy comment earlier.” The only difference this time was that Bobby Fong had crashed moving Tomy to 5th and Cameron was hot on his heels by mid race. Ben was a few tenths back battling with Wyman again. Unfortunately, the race between Tomy and Cam would come to a premature end as Cam suffered massive arm pump and lost all feeling of his Yamaha R6. He would begin the painful last 1/3rd of the race. This played into Ben’s favor as it brought Cam within grasp. Ben would run out of laps, however, and finish a respectable 7th behind Cameron in 6th and Tomy in 5th.

It was a solid performance from the Supersport trio, and now they rest up and prepare for their next challenge, Road America and Round 4 of the MotoAmerica Series.

Ben Young, 5th in series points: “It wasn’t the best of my weekends but in the end it was solid and helped my points. I started out struggling in the free practice. The crew and I got that sorted out for qualifying one and it was a little easier from there on.

“The races were good. I got two solid 7th place finishes and had some decent battles. I felt that my pace was picking up as the races went on. It’s my starts! Again, I had two not so great starts and that’s hard to overcome in this class. That’s the thing I need to work on as we head to Road America. That track favors those who can get out front quick so I’m focused on improving that aspect of my racing.”

Tomy Puerta , 6th in series points: “Its always good to go race in VIR ! It’s an awesome track and the fans are really good too. It was a hard weekend for me and my crew. Starting off with a big crash on Friday morning and had to do a lot of work on the bike and put us behind on the other work we wanted to do.

“For qualifying we were better and lap times were dropping. I got P5 and started from the second row. The race on Saturday was really hard. Somehow I got a bad cramp in my leg that made me slow down in the race as it was hard to ride like that in a long race. But it was a good job to finish 6th. On Sunday I felt a little bit better about my leg but still not perfect. Rode a pretty smart race securing a top 5 in not my best race weekend and with some pain.

“I’m now in Colombia making sure I’m healthy and ready to go in Road America!!! Can’t thank RoadRace Factory team enough and all my personal sponsors Addict by Bosi Cards for Caring and Indeportes Antioquia for make this happen!”

Cameron Petersen, 8th in series points: “We had some mixed emotions at VIR. Qualifying didn’t go as planned and I qualified a bit too far down making my race harder. First race I had an electrical problem on the first lap forcing me to come into the pits, where the team sorted it out and got me back on track finishing in 15th.

“The next day I went out in morning warm up and felt a lot more comfortable and confident on the bike. I had an average start to the race and made a few passes early on in the race putting me in 6th, I worked hard to catch Tomy but around lap 12 I started getting serious arm pump and could no longer hold on to the bike and ended up P6. I’m really starting to work well with the team and we keep making steps in the right direction. Bring on Road America.”

Danny Walker, Team Manager: “Coming into this race, we had mixed expectations. We always want that win and we feel we are getting closer all the time but with no data to go from on this track and having to rely on memory was making this a challenge.

“Tomy got back into the top five which is where we know he can ride and we feel that he can be challenging for the top spot on a more consistent basis. Ben had two great and solid performances this weekend and he continues to work with his crew and coaches to continuously improve. Cameron had that unfortunate mechanical in race one but went back out and showed he’s capable of a fast pace. Arm pump in the second race hampered him a bit but he was up there battling with Tomy. He continues to impress every weekend.

“Now we’re off to Road America where anything can happen. We know our bikes are fast there as Jake and Tomy showed last year. So, we have high expectations, and I’m sure our guys will be back up toward the front.”

After taking a considerable break from Virginia International Raceway (VIR), the premiere series returned this past weekend to the historical circuit in Alton, VA. Making a special appearance during the weekend’s festivities, the sun! The previous two rounds had been absolute soakers and the team was looking forward to a nice dry race weekend. The trio of Supersport riders were also looking to make those critical steps forward in their chase for the championship.

The weather was perfect, the track conditions on day one were as close to perfect as one could ask for, so when the first practice session was green flagged, Tomy, Ben, and Cam launched their weekend. With the new schedule of events and qualifying session one taking place on Friday, the boys needed to find their pace quickly and for newcomer Cameron, it was yet another track to learn on the fly. Using his teammate as a guide, he soon found his rhythm and his pace was coming up quickly. Tomy, on the other hand, had a minor crash but as is the case when a sliding motorcycle hits the grass, the bike needed major repair. All three riders headed into Q1 with confidence and determination. As the session wore on and the crews and riders worked out their set-ups, it was clear that all three had a decent pace and would be factors in the races.

Saturday morning was the final opportunity to go fast and claim top grid positions. As is often the case, times on Saturday morning aren’t faster than Friday afternoon usually due to track temp. This held true for our riders as only a few of the Supersport pilots improved on their times. Our guys did not. The best possible outcome during that session is improved set-up for both Ben and Cam as they continue to learn their Yamaha R6s. Tomy was the fastest of the three in P5 with Ben in P8 and Cam right behind him in P9.

Race one was held in the early afternoon under ideal conditions. All three riders were within reach of the hole-shot if they got solid starts. The lights went out and grid hurled down the long straight away towards a treacherous Turn One. Everyone made it through the first corner cleanly and Tomy was leading our tightly packed trio in 6th 7th and 9th. As the 23-lap race progressed, there were two distinct breakaway groups. JD Beach was leading Josh Herrin, while 3rd through 5th was being sorted by David Anthony, Garrett Gerloff and Bobby Fong respectively. Tomy was having a good scrap with Kyle Wyman for 6th before clearing away from him and running solo for the remainder of the race. Ben Young would eventually catch Kyle and make the pass to move up to 7th. Sadly for Cameron, his race would be decided by a mechanical in the opening laps and by the time he re-entered the race, he was a lap down. With the leaders swapping places on the final lap, Tomy would bring it home in 6th. Ben would stay in 7th and Cameron continued to dice it up and learn the track as he crossed the line in 15th.

Race 2 on Sunday was almost a complete carbon copy of Saturday’s action. Conditions… perfect. Riders… amped. Cameron’s crew was confident that there would be no mechanical issues and that he would be able to run near the top. Revs up the lights go out and again the herd roared towards T1. By lap 3 it was exactly the same running order as race one. “See carbon copy comment earlier.” The only difference this time was that Bobby Fong had crashed moving Tomy to 5th and Cameron was hot on his heels by mid race. Ben was a few tenths back battling with Wyman again. Unfortunately, the race between Tomy and Cam would come to a premature end as Cam suffered massive arm pump and lost all feeling of his Yamaha R6. He would begin the painful last 1/3rd of the race. This played into Ben’s favor as it brought Cam within grasp. Ben would run out of laps, however, and finish a respectable 7th behind Cameron in 6th and Tomy in 5th.

It was a solid performance from the Supersport trio, and now they rest up and prepare for their next challenge, Road America and Round 4 of the MotoAmerica Series.

Ben Young, 5th in series points: “It wasn’t the best of my weekends but in the end it was solid and helped my points. I started out struggling in the free practice. The crew and I got that sorted out for qualifying one and it was a little easier from there on.

“The races were good. I got two solid 7th place finishes and had some decent battles. I felt that my pace was picking up as the races went on. It’s my starts! Again, I had two not so great starts and that’s hard to overcome in this class. That’s the thing I need to work on as we head to Road America. That track favors those who can get out front quick so I’m focused on improving that aspect of my racing.”

Tomy Puerta , 6th in series points: “Its always good to go race in VIR ! It’s an awesome track and the fans are really good too. It was a hard weekend for me and my crew. Starting off with a big crash on Friday morning and had to do a lot of work on the bike and put us behind on the other work we wanted to do.

“For qualifying we were better and lap times were dropping. I got P5 and started from the second row. The race on Saturday was really hard. Somehow I got a bad cramp in my leg that made me slow down in the race as it was hard to ride like that in a long race. But it was a good job to finish 6th. On Sunday I felt a little bit better about my leg but still not perfect. Rode a pretty smart race securing a top 5 in not my best race weekend and with some pain.

“I’m now in Colombia making sure I’m healthy and ready to go in Road America!!! Can’t thank RoadRace Factory team enough and all my personal sponsors Addict by Bosi Cards for Caring and Indeportes Antioquia for make this happen!”

Cameron Petersen, 8th in series points: “We had some mixed emotions at VIR. Qualifying didn’t go as planned and I qualified a bit too far down making my race harder. First race I had an electrical problem on the first lap forcing me to come into the pits, where the team sorted it out and got me back on track finishing in 15th.

“The next day I went out in morning warm up and felt a lot more comfortable and confident on the bike. I had an average start to the race and made a few passes early on in the race putting me in 6th, I worked hard to catch Tomy but around lap 12 I started getting serious arm pump and could no longer hold on to the bike and ended up P6. I’m really starting to work well with the team and we keep making steps in the right direction. Bring on Road America.”

Danny Walker, Team Manager: “Coming into this race, we had mixed expectations. We always want that win and we feel we are getting closer all the time but with no data to go from on this track and having to rely on memory was making this a challenge.

“Tomy got back into the top five which is where we know he can ride and we feel that he can be challenging for the top spot on a more consistent basis. Ben had two great and solid performances this weekend and he continues to work with his crew and coaches to continuously improve. Cameron had that unfortunate mechanical in race one but went back out and showed he’s capable of a fast pace. Arm pump in the second race hampered him a bit but he was up there battling with Tomy. He continues to impress every weekend.

“Now we’re off to Road America where anything can happen. We know our bikes are fast there as Jake and Tomy showed last year. So, we have high expectations, and I’m sure our guys will be back up toward the front.”