Jacobsen, Herfoss Perfect At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

Jacobsen, Herfoss Perfect At Michelin Raceway Road AtlantaIt was a breakthrough weekend for Rahal Ducati Moto. The brand-new Supersport team had some teething pains at Daytona, but it all came together for them at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

First, it was Corey Alexander who earned provisional pole in Friday’s first qualifying. Then, on Saturday, PJ Jacobsen got the team’s first victory of the season aboard his bright-yellow Ducati Panigale V2.

In Sunday’s Supersport race two, the riders faced an additional challenge of a fully rain-soaked racetrack. Jacobsen handled the conditions well, and in fact, the New Yorker led all 15 laps to get the double win. Alexander, who finished just off the podium in fourth on Saturday, was second for a one-two Ducati Rahal Moto finish. Altus Motorsports Suzuki rider Jake Lewis completed the podium in third.

“I feel like it was a very fast race,” Jacobsen said. “Between the three of us, I think our pace was super-fast, to be honest. I kept looking down at my lap timer, and I’m being caught instead of opening a gap, which is not a good sign. Then Corey (Alexander) has Jake (Lewis) doing the same behind him, so that’s not a good sign. So, you just keep pushing and pushing. I feel like our lap times were really fast. I felt like near the limit. I don’t know how they felt. But they were pushing me and kept pushing me. It was a really good race. If we were going out in superbike right now, we’d be out there doing the same thing, all three of us. I got the W again today so it’s really good to have it in the dry and in the wet. It’s kind of a perfect weekend. You don’t really get these. I guess I’m on a high right now. I’m just going to wait for the low weekend, but I’ll just keep on riding this out right now. The team has done a great job, the whole Rahal Ducati team. We have great sponsors, XPEL and Roller Die. It’s been great, and then having Richie come on board and also getting help from Bobby and Simone at Ducati Corse. So, it’s been a huge thing for the whole entire team. I think that we made a huge step with the right people behind us and getting everything organized and in the right direction. So, it’s been a really positive weekend for us over there.”

Jacobsen, Herfoss Perfect At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
Troy Herfoss ran away with the Mission King Of The Baggers race on Sunday at Road Atlanta and the win vaulted him into the championship points lead. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Mission King Of The Baggers – All Herfoss

If those racing for the Mission King Of The Baggers Championship weren’t already worried about Troy Herfoss prior to the Road Atlanta round, they most definitely are now. Herfoss rode his S&S/Indian Motorcycles Challenger to a runaway victory in Sunday’s race held on drying pavement, beating his teammate Tyler O’Hara by 13.887 seconds.

The two factory Indian riders’ choice of using slick tires instead of full rains pretty much sealed the victory for Herfoss. The Australian took off from the start and motored away from the field, with O’Hara taking a bit more time to work his way to the runner-up spot.

Third place, and the first rider using rain tires, was the ever-popular Max Flinders on his Mad Monkey Motorsports Indian Challenger with the New Hampshire resident putting in maximum effort to keep RevZilla/Motul/Harley-Davidson’s Hayden Gillim behind him to score the final podium spot.

After three rounds and six races, Herfoss is now leading the championship by nine points over Harley-Davidson Factory Racing’s Kyle Wyman, who was fifth today.

“I was very confident it would be slicks, but I was unsure of the ruling whether I could start from pit lane,” Herfoss said. “We’ve got two bikes in Australia. I haven’t had a one-bike rule… Or one bike only. I don’t know if it’s a rule or not, but we’ve got one bike. So, that made me a little bit more cautious. But once we established, we had a lot of time to change the tires on the grid, I figured definitely I was going to go slicks but roll out in the wets. Take a nice slow lap, look at the track, get a bit of an idea of the guys going around pit lane. You can usually see what the confidence levels are like. It was slicks all the way. The only problem was two laps to go there was a couple of specks of rain. So, if the skies would have opened one to go, a big gap can come down. It was a weird race for me. I got a really big gap in the first two laps. The first lap especially, three seconds. Then it said five after lap two. I had already slowed down in my mind, and I assumed that everyone was on wets. Dane took the pit board down after the gap went out and just had the lap count. So, I was like, ‘Okay, the gap is going out a long way.’ Then when I hear Tyler’s (O’Hara) on slicks, I’m like, ‘Wow. I was way too cautious. He could have been coming fast.’ That’s what it was like. I’ve never been in that situation where I’ve literally gone off the start and in my mind, it was like, ‘Okay, I’ve won the race. Just don’t mess up.’ You’ve got no idea how nerve-racking that is when you’re in that position. How good is this? Indian one, two, and three. It’s a perfect weekend for me. I never would have dreamed that. A perfect weekend in this championship at all, let alone third weekend in the championship. So, it’s a real credit to the team that they can give me a bike that I can just concentrate on racing on and learning tracks. That’s the reason I’m able to be so competitive. So, I want to say thank you to them.

Jacobsen, Herfoss Perfect At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
Yandel Medina (39) led every lap en route to taking his first MotoAmerica victory in Sunday’s Junior Cup race at Road Atlanta. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Junior Cup – Medina’s First

Sunday dawned with rain in the forecast, and the riders in Junior Cup were first up with their feature race, which was shortened by two laps due to the prodigious precipitation. Yandel Medina, who was third in Saturday’s race one, was hoping for a wet race, and that’s exactly what he got. And, he made the best of it, as the New York Safety Track Racing rider notched the first win of his MotoAmerica career. Meanwhile, Ryan Wolfe followed up his runner-up result on Saturday with another second-place finish in Sunday’s race two. BARTCON Racing’s Eli Block, who won both Junior Cup races in the rain at New Jersey Motorsports Park last year, rounded out the podium in third.

“You were just holding your breath for the whole race, especially being in the front,” Medina said. “I didn’t get passed the whole race. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, nobody is passing me.’ I would just hear bikes right there in the end of 10A. I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re coming.’ I was thinking about yesterday when everybody just swooped in with the draft. But other than that, it was just keep your head down and go. I didn’t know what was going on. I tried to communicate, but my team didn’t understand what I was trying to say. But it all went well. I’m happy. Finally got first place. Everything went well. I’m happy with the results.”

Jacobsen, Herfoss Perfect At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
Jack Roach (112) leads eventual BellissiMoto Twins Cup race winner Dominic Doyle (25), Rocco Landers (97) and the rest of the pack. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

BellissiMoto Twins Cup – Doyle In the Wet

South African Dominic Doyle has paid his dues in the BellissiMoto Twins Cup Championship. Doyle, who raced for a different team last year and finished fourth in the 2023 Twins Cup Championship, got the win in Sunday’s race two aboard his Giaccmoto Racing Yamaha YZF-R7.

British rider, by way of Canada, Jack Roach powered his Wrench Motorcycles Yamaha to second place, albeit a little over three seconds behind Doyle. Twins Cup Championship leader Gus Rodio completed the podium in third after finishing second on Saturday aboard his Rodio Racing – Powered By Robem Engineering Aprilia.

“I got an okay start,” Doyle said. “Jack (Roach) came around me. I just tried to see what kind of pace the other guys had. I felt like I could roll up on them a little bit. So, I made the move in the last turn and kind of just put my head down and tried to ride my own race and click off the same laps I was doing in warmup, like 50, 51. I could kind of stay in that range. I saw my pit board. Got up to about sixth. I came down to three, so I just tried to stay on the same pace. It went back up to four and I had two laps to go. So, I just kind of cruised around and rode my own race. No real problems. Had one little problem in turn one going up the hill. Lost the rear a little bit. But pretty smooth race other than that.”
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