Three New Winners In MotoAmerica Support Classes

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Richie Escalante (54) won his first career Supersport race after Sean Dylan Kelly (40) crashed out of their battle. Brandon Paasch (21) finished second. (Brian J. Nelson Photo)
Richie Escalante (54) won his first Supersport race after Sean Dylan Kelly (40) crashed out of their battle. Brandon Paasch (21) finished second. (Brian J. Nelson Photo)

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – There were three new winners in the four MotoAmerica support classes at Road America Saturday, with P.J. Jacobsen, Dominic Doyle and Richie Escalante scoring victories in the Stock 1000, Liqui Moly Junior Cup and Supersport classes, respectively.

Jacobsen, a veteran of World Supersport and World Superbike and the runner-up in last year’s Supersport Series, won his first Stock 1000 race on a sunny Saturday at Road America. South African Doyle won his first career Liqui Moly Junior Cup race by just .078 of a second over defending champion Rocco Landers. Escalante dominated the Supersport race, finishing 11.5 seconds ahead of Brandon Paasch.

The Twins Cup race, meanwhile, was won by Kaleb DeKeyrel by .002 of a second over Landers, with DeKeyrel taking his second career win in the class in what was just his second race in Twins Cup.

In Saturday’s Supersport race, HONOS team rider Richie Escalante notched his first career Supersport win with an impressive performance aboard his Graves Motorsports-built Kawasaki ZX-R. For Team Green, it was their first Supersport victory in an AMA-sanctioned road racing since Leandro Mercado’s win at Daytona in October 2009.

Second place went to Celtic HSBK Racing’s Brandon Paasch aboard a Yamaha, and Altus Motorsports rider Kevin Olmedo rounded out the podium in third on a Suzuki.

“I’m really happy,” Escalante said about his win. “The Graves Kawasaki is a very good bike. I’m really happy for me, the team, the bike, (the) new year. I’m working really hard this weekend. I’m riding a little bit on my limit. Today, I started really good. I pushed and I arrived in my rhythm. Tomorrow is another race. I need to keep working. Thanks to HONOS, the sponsor for the team. I’m ready for tomorrow.”

In MotoAmerica’s first race of the season, not to mention the first motorcycle road racing National anywhere in the world since COVID-19, the Series’ literbike riders competed in the lone Stock 1000 race of the weekend at Road America.

South African Cameron Petersen got a great jump off the line, got the holeshot, and maintained the race lead aboard his Altus Motorsports Tucker Hagerty Suzuki for the majority of the eight-lap event. Polesitter PJ Jacobsen stalked Petersen aboard his Celtic HSBK Racing Ducati, then made his move around Petersen, and managed to pull out a gap of more than four seconds at the stripe to take the win. Petersen finished second, and Ride HVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander brought his Kawasaki home in third.

With 2019 Liqui Moly Junior Cup Champion Rocco Landers returning to the class to defend his title, the expectation was that he would continue his winning ways unabated. However, polesitter Dominic Doyle had other plans.

The BARTCON Racing rider rode a masterful race and, even though Landers got by him on a couple of occasions, Doyle fought back and had enough of the lead coming up the hill to the finish line that he managed to hold off Landers’ Kawasaki by .078 of a second to capture his first-ever MotoAmerica victory. Landers, also aboard a Kawasaki, was second, while Celtic HSBK Racing’s Sam Lochoff finished third, also on a Kawasaki.

The closest race of the day was in Twins Cup, which was the final race on Saturday’s schedule. And, what a finish to the race day it was. Rocco Landers, who was competing in his second-consecutive race of the day, looked to have the measure of the field in the eight-lap event, but Kaleb DeKeyrel had other plans.

DeKeyrel, riding a 1833CJKNOWS Yamaha, put a perfect draft pass on Landers, who was riding an American Racing/SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki, to take the win. The margin of victory for DeKeyrel was a scant .002 of a second over Landers. Meanwhile, Syndicate Racing/Apex Assassins Yamaha rider Jason Madama won an intense battle against Chris Parrish to finish third.