JD takes double win in New Jersey season finale
Yamaha Extended Service (Y.E.S.)/Graves/Yamaha rider and defending MotoAmerica Supersport Champion JD Beach won Saturday’s Supersport Race 1 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, while current points leader Garrett Gerloff finished second to set the stage for the final race of the season, which will decide the Championship between the two teammates.
JD started from the pole, and Garrett was right next to him on the front row of the grid. The bLU cRU tandem got off the line perfectly, and in the same order, with JD getting the holeshot. During the race, Garrett tried a couple of times to make a pass on JD, but he was unable to make it stick and, as the laps wound down, backmarkers came into play. JD made some well-timed passes on slower riders, while Garrett was balked a couple of times, which was all it took for JD to widen his gap and force Garrett to settle for second place.
JD crossed the finish line a little more than four seconds ahead of Garrett, which broke the 6-6 tie in race wins between the teammates. Garrett goes into Sunday’s race with a nine-point lead over JD, so the MotoAmerica Supersport finale is sure to be a barn-burner.
After his win, JD said, “With the points gap to Garrett, I’ve got to do what I can and play all the tricks in the book. That’s what I did today, and I kept my Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha in the lead the whole race. Hopefully tomorrow, we can mix it up a little bit, too. I’ve got to get the win, and then we’ll see what happens from there.”
In the end it was teammate Garrett Gerloff who took the Championship, in spite of yet another win from JD, as he brought his #31 Yamaha YZF-R6 in second to clinch his first MotoAmerica professional road racing title by a mere four points over JD.
JD, who carried the #1 plate on his R6 in 2016 as a result of the Supersport Championship that he captured last year, dominated Sunday’s race from start to finish and recorded his eighth victory of the season.
JD commented, “Losing the Championship by just four points is a tough pill to swallow, but Garrett rode great this year. As I always say, I’m here to win races, and after getting off to a little bit of a slow start this year, to win seven races in a row is an accomplishment that I’m very proud of. And, since I didn’t win it, I’m glad that my teammate did. It was a fun season, for sure, and I really enjoy racing in Supersport, and also for Yamaha. I lose the number 1 plate on my R6, but I get to go back to running the 95, which is a very special number to me.”
Source & photo: Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.