Will Xavi Forés Keep His Undefeated Supersport Streak Alive In Minnesota?
If someone has won the first eight races of what will be a 16-race championship, is it too early to start talking about a perfect season?
When it comes to Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Racing’s Xavi Forés, the answer may just be a big fat “no.”With eight straight MotoAmerica Supersport wins, including two “Extended” race wins at Barber Motorsports Park and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and with six of those coming at racetracks the Spaniard had never seen before, a perfect season is most definitely not out of the question. Four months into his first season of MotoAmerica racing and Forés has proven that he’s not only fast, but he’s a quick study and he’s not prone to making mistakes. Bottom line: He’s a difficult man to beat.
With eight wins under his belt, Forés will put his perfect record on the line again this coming weekend when the MotoAmerica series takes on Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota – another racetrack that’s new to the well-seasoned rookie.
The win streak is really the only thing to talk about as far as the Supersport Championship goes. Put it this way, if this was a prize fight, they’d stop it. But let’s go ahead and look beyond Forés and we find there is still a fight worth watching. It just happens to be for second place.
Forés has a 100-point lead in the 2023 MotoAmerica Supersport Championship over Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Stefano Mesa, who is having his best MotoAmerica season with four second-place finishes behind you know who. And Mesa is just six points ahead of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott with the youngster’s scorecard featuring three podium finishes. A single point behind Scott comes Squid Hunter Racing’s Josh Hayes – the four-time AMA Superbike Champion still chasing the all-time win record across all classes. Hayes will be a busy boy this weekend as he will be doing double-duty as he fills in for the injured Cameron Petersen on the second Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing YZF-R1 in the Medallia Superbike class.
So, if we you were to throw Forés’s domination out the window there would be three riders separated by just seven points fighting for the title. But Forés has made sure that’s not the case.
Mission King Of The Baggers – Indian Comes Home
Indian is hoping some home cooking will fix what ails them as they chase victory at the track nearest to home this weekend. With rival Harley-Davidson winning seven of the eight Mission King Of The Baggers races so far in 2023, the Indian boys will be going all out to put a stop to that in their backyard.
But it won’t be easy.
H-D Screamin’ Eagle’s Kyle Wyman pulls into the Brainerd paddock with five wins in seven races and as the championship points leader, albeit by just five points over Vance & Hines/Mission/Harley-Davidson’s James Rispoli with his perfect 2023 finishing record. Rispoli won the season opener at Daytona and has six podiums in the eight races.
Rispoli, meanwhile, is only 13 points ahead of his teammate Hayden Gillim, with the veteran taking his first-ever Mission King Of The Baggers win in race one at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca a few weeks ago.
The first non-Harley in the point standings is the Indian Motorcycle/Progressive/Mission Foods Indian Challenger ridden by defending series champion Tyler O’Hara. O’Hara has four podiums on the year but has yet to win a race in 2023. Don’t expect O’Hara to give up until the final checkered flag has been thrown.
Sac Mile/SDI Racing/Roland Sands/Indian’s Bobby Fong sits behind O’Hara in the title chase but is the last Indian rider to win a race in 2023 with that win coming in race two at Road America the first weekend of June.
Steel Commander Stock 1000 – Back On Track
The Steel Commander Stock 1000 class, which has been on hiatus for two rounds as the MotoAmerica series headed west, will be back in action at Brainerd International Raceway.
Orange Cat Racing’s Ezra Beaubier probably can’t remember what his BMW looks like, but he most definitely can recall that he leads the championship by 31 points. Beaubier has five podiums, including three wins in the first six races, and that puts him well clear of his teammate Kaleb De Keyrel with the Minnesota native returning to the site of his first-ever road race.
De Keyrel, meanwhile, has his hands full with Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman with Wyman winning his first race of the season the last time out at Road America. Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim is hoping the second half of the season goes better than the first. Even though the veteran has won two races, he trails Beaubier by 37 points. Tom Wood Powersports’ Nolan Lamkin rounds out the top five.
Junior Cup – The Kids Are Back
Like the Steel Commander Stock 1000 class, the MotoAmerica Junior Cup was another class that didn’t make the trip west. Thus, they will return this weekend with round four.
Bad Boys Racing’s Avery Dreher leads the series standings by 26 points after scoring four wins and six podiums in the six races. Dreher is trailed by SportbikeTrackGear.com’s Max Van who has four second-place finishes on his scorecard. Bicknese Racing’s Hayden Bicknese is third, 19 points behind Van and 21 points ahead of Fairium NGRT – Gray Area Racing’s Rossi Moor. Badie Racing’s Levi Badie rounds out the top five in the title chase as we head to Brainerd.
Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. – Much Moore To Come
Xavi Forés isn’t the only rider who arrives in Minnesota without a blemish on their season. The other is Mikayla Moore who has won all four Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. events in 2023. And she’s done so in dominant fashion.
Not sure you’d find many takers on her win streak stopping anytime soon.
Defending series champion Kayleigh Buyck is second in the championship with three second places, trailing Moore by 40 points. Buyck, meanwhile, is just two points ahead of Sonya Lloyd and her three podium finishes in the four races.
Pre-Brainerd Support Class Notes
Bobby Fong won last year’s Mission King Of The Baggers race at Brainerd International Raceway. Fong made some impressive passes along the way in topping Travis Wyman and Tyler O’Hara in the lone Baggers race.
The two Junior Cup races a year ago went to Kayla Yaakov and Max Van. Yaakov beat Joseph LiMandri Jr. and Cody Wyman with Van besting Yaakov and Wyman.
Rocco Landers was unstoppable in the two Supersport races last year with the youngster beating eventual class champion Josh Herrin in both races. Josh Hayes was third in both.
There was only one Stock 1000 race at Brainerd last year, and the win went to Corey Alexander, giving him a a 33-point lead in the Stock 1000 Championship as he departed Minnesota. Alexander beat Brandon Paasch and Andrew Lee in taking the win.
Kayleigh Buyck scored the victory in the Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. over Chloe Peterson and Jennifer Chancellor at BIR a year ago.
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