Three Winners In MotoAmerica Preliminary Action

Richie Escalante (54) kept his perfect season alive in Supersport with a win over Sean Dylan Kelly (40) and Brandon Paasch (21). (Brian J. Nelson Photo)
Richie Escalante (54) kept his perfect season alive in Supersport with a win over Sean Dylan Kelly (40) and Brandon Paasch (21). (Brian J. Nelson Photo)

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – If nothing else, Sunday at Road America proved one thing: No one’s perfect.

Well, okay, Richie Escalante still is.

HONOS Racing’s Escalante won his fourth MotoAmerica Supersport race in a row on a sunny Sunday in Wisconsin, but he was the only one of the undefeated riders going into day two at Road America that came out unscathed.

Dominic Doyle, who was unbeaten until Sunday, lost out in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup race to Rocco Landers; Landers stopped the Kaleb De Keyrel win streak in Twins Cup; and Cameron Petersen took advantage of P.J. Jacobsen’s crash in the morning session that knocked him out of the race to win the Stock 1000 class.

Even four-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier failed to win for the first time in 2020 when he crashed out of the HONOS Superbike race.

Escalante is having quite the start to his 2020 season. In Sunday’s Supersport race two, Escalante once again notched the win, which was his fourth consecutive victory. Early in the 11-lap race, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly was giving Escalante all he could handle at the front of the pack, but Escalante maintained his focus and was able to pull away as the laps wound down.

He took the checkers by a little less than six seconds over Kelly. Second place was very much in contention between Kelly and Celtic HSBK Racing’s Brandon Paasch. Kelly versus Paasch turned out to be the biggest skirmish of the race, and it was hotly contested, going right down to the final run up the hill to the finish line. At the stripe, Kelly prevailed over Paasch by a scant .044 of a second to take second place and Paasch filled out the podium.

“After finishing the two tests in the preseason and then it stopped for two months,” Escalante said. “I don’t have the feeling to this year win. Last race I am feeling very good in the bike. So, this track for this bike is good. Right now is the moment to change the track for the next race, so we’ll see. I’m really happy. The race is very fun. I take a long-time battle like this. So, it’s fun to pass on every corner. I’m really happy. The HONOS Racing Kawasaki is working really good and my team all weekend. I’m happy and ready for the next races.”

The final race of the weekend was Liqui Moly Junior Cup race two, and the two frontrunners from Saturday were the same on Sunday. BARTCON Racing Kawasaki’s Dominic Doyle, who was the victor in race one, had another showdown with Landers Racing Kawasaki’s Rocco Landers. Defending class champion Landers tried the same draft pass as yesterday in the run up the hill to the finish line, and he timed his move perfectly this time as he took the win over Doyle by .069 of a second. Third place went to Celtic HSBK Racing’s Sam Lochoff, the South African notching his second podium finish of the season.

The lone Twins Cup race of the weekend went green on Sunday morning, and polesitter Rocco Landers, who is new to the two-banger class this season, got a good jump off the line aboard his Roadracing World Young Guns/ Suzuki. Kaleb De Keyrel, winner of the first two Twins Cup races of the year at Road America 1, challenged for the lead a couple of times during the eight-lap event, but the 1-833-CJKNOWS Accident & Injury Law Yamaha rider ultimately settled for second place, just .799 of a second behind Landers. Brittenum Construction/Hayden Schultz Racing’s Hayden Schultz, who formerly raced in the MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup spec series, finished third to record his first podium in the Twins Cup class.

In Sunday morning’s Stock 1000 morning warmup, current points leader PJ Jacobsen had a technical issue on his out-lap aboard the #99 Celtic HSBK Racing Ducati, which caused him to crash. He was unable to start the morning’s Stock 1000 race as a result, and Altus Motorsports Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen got the holeshot at the start.

In the early stages of the race, MESA37 Racing’s Stefano Mesa ran close with Petersen and tried to take the lead, but Petersen held on and stretched out his lead. At the checkers, Petersen took the win by over six seconds over Mesa. For Petersen, it was his first victory in the class and second-ever MotoAmerica win, which concluded a memorable week for the South African. On Thursday, Petersen also got engaged. Third place in the race went to Michael Gilbert Racing Kawasaki’s Michael Gilbert, who prevailed over Alex Dumas for the final spot on the podium.