Action Aplenty In MotoAmerica Support Class Racing At Barber

A Day Of First-Time Winners And Veteran Domination At Barber Motorsports Park.

This is 15-year-old Logan Cunnison’s second year of racing in MotoAmerica, and May 18, 2024, is a date the Arizona-based Junior Cup rider won’t soon forgot. Not only did Cunnison earn his very first MotoAmerica pole position, but he also notched his first career podium and finished on the top step as the winner of Saturday’s Junior Cup race one in a dominant performance.

The rain stayed away on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park. Right up until the point when it didn’t. The rainstorm that was expected in the afternoon finally reared its ugly head prior to the start of the BellissiMoto Twins Cup race, but with a small delay the race started and was completed under cloudy but sunny skies. The Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race., however, was delayed until tomorrow morning with the BTR women set to race twice on Sunday.

Motoamerica Support Series - Barber - Sunday Morning
Gabriel Da Silva (74) leads Hayden Gillim (1), Benjamin Smith (78) and Bryce Prince (17) battle for Stock 1000 glory. Gillim ended up taking the win. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Stock 1000 – Gillim Gets It Done

The Stock 1000 Championship finally got started with its opening round at Barber Motorsports Park and while many were thinking the race would be a thriller, it wasn’t part of Hayden Gillim’s plan.

Real Steel Motorsports Honda’s Gillim ran away and hid from the 36-rider field to win the opening round in the defense of his 2023 Stock 1000 Championship by some 11 seconds. The win was the 12th of Gillim’s Stock 1000 career, and it moved him into a tie with Andrew Lee and Corey Alexander as the winningest rider in the history of the class.

Gillim’s start wasn’t a good one and he had to fight his way to second place early before moving into the lead for good on the third lap after getting ahead of GMR/Jones Honda’s Gabriel Da Silva. Once in front, Gillim put his head down and left the others in his wake as he rode his Honda CBR1000RR-R SP to victory to give Honda its first win in the MotoAmerica Stock 1000 class.

Da Silva was a rather lonely runner-up, some four seconds ahead of BPR’s Bryce Prince with the Californian taking a weekend off work to try his hand at the Stock 1000 class. Bryce was in a battle with Benjamin Smith early on, but there was contact between the two with Smith coming out the worst of it as he crashed his FLO4LAW Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.

Visit Indiana/Tom Wood Powersports’ Nolan Lamkin finished fourth on his BMW M 1000 RR with Jones Honda’s Ashton Yates fifth, giving Honda three CBRs in the top five.

Gillim leads the championship point standings by five over Da Silva and nine over Prince.

“I knew I could do the laps consistent just from all the practice sessions,” Gillim said. “We actually kind of had some miscues and didn’t get to put any new tires on the bike during the sessions. So really most of the sessions I was just doing race stints. So, I knew I could do the lap times. We had some stuff going on with the front end and made a couple clicker changes and it was pretty well fixed. I was super happy with that. I felt from the first lap of the race that I had a little bit extra from what I had in qualifying. It’s been a good weekend. The start wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. After Road Atlanta, I was getting some really good starts, and all my practice starts, testing and everything have been good. Then that light was a little long. If you go and watch the race, you see me about fall over to the right because I was sitting with my rear foot on the rear brake. As the lights hold, I started falling over and I had to end up taking that foot off right as the light went. It threw me a little bit, but it was a good race. These guys were putting up a good fight at the beginning. I had a couple runs on Gabriel (Da Silva) those first two laps. He was doing a good job of kind of blocking the real passing zones and made me work for it. It was a fun race. I was happy to get out front and get into a good pace and get the win. This is a new team. I’ve got the same crew guys from last year, but new bikes, new trailer, new title sponsors. So, it’s great to get the first win on the Honda. See how tomorrow goes. See how the rest of the season goes.”

Motoamerica Support Series - Barber - Sunday Morning
Mathew Scholtz (11) beat PJ Jacobsen (15) to the finish line to win his first MotoAmerica Supersport race. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Supersport – Scholtz Gets His First

Rahal Ducati Moto’s PJ Jacobsen was content to sit on the rear of TopPro Racing’s Maxi Gerardo. Lap after lap after lap. But with four to go, the New Yorker took the lead, and it seemed like it would be smooth sailing to victory for the championship points leader.

Enter Mathew Scholtz and his Strack Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.

After a horrible start from the inside of row one. Scholtz was able to make some moves to end the lap in a battle for fifth. On the ninth of 18 laps, Scholtz was free and started to move forward. On the 10th lap, he went past Blake Davis to take over fourth, but he didn’t stop there.

Meanwhile, up front, Jacobsen decided to go to the lead with four laps to go. Little did he know there was more racing in store for him as Scholtz was past Gerardo and into second. And the South African wasn’t content to finish there. On the last lap, Scholtz made his move and held it to the flag, winning his first MotoAmerica Supersport race by .269 of a second over Jacobsen with Gerardo just a tick over a second behind.

Scott rode the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki to fourth, some eight seconds behind Scholtz and just .5 of a second ahead of Davis and his N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto Yamaha YZF-R6.

Equitea MV Agusta by MP13 Racing’s Roberto Tamburini was sixth, less than a second ahead of Wrench Motorcycles’ David Anthony. Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Stefano Mesa, Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis and Rahal Ducati Moto’s Corey Alexander rounded out the top 10 finishers.

After three races, Jacobson leads the championship by 16 points over Scholtz and 31 ahead of his teammate Alexander.

“When I was with (Stefano) Mesa, (Blake) Davis, a bunch of the guys, I was running like 27.3, 27.4,” Scholtz said. “I felt like I was pushing to my absolute max because I think that I was definitely flowing through a couple corners a little bit quicker, so I wasn’t able to kind of use those spots to pick up the lap time. So, once I kind of got some clear track, I started dropping time. I could see that I was catching them, but I thought that I was going to fall short. I think one lap they got screwed by the lappers into the second corner, which definitely helped me. Then I got up to third right onto Max’s (Gerardo) tail, and I just went for a crazy pass. I nearly crashed. Unfortunately, I think we touched. Then I managed to pass PJ (Jacobsen) on the second-to-last corner again, and then last lap I just put my absolute hardest lap down. I think I did a 26.8, which was one of the fastest laps for me. Overall, I’m just super happy to be sitting up top here.”

Motoamerica Support Series - Barber - Sunday Morning
Logan Cunnison (58) won his first career MotoAmerica race when he topped the Junior Cup class on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Junior Cup – Cunnison’s First

Speed Demon Racing’s Logan Cunnison became the third first-time winner in the first three Junior Cup races of the season on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park as he topped championship points leader Yandel Medina by two seconds in the 11-lap race.

Medina came out on top of a five-rider pack contesting third, the New York Safety Track Racing-backed New Yorker beating Karns Performance’s Levi Badie by .251 of a second. Wolfe Racing’s Ryan Wolfe and BARTCON Racing’s Matthew Chapin rounded out the top five.

“Just excited,” 15-year-old Cunnison said after his first win. “It’s unbelievable. It’s just too exciting.”

The 2024 season marks Cunnison’s second go in the MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship.

Motoamerica Support Series - Barber - Sunday Morning
The BellissiMoto Twins Cup race was held in the rain on Saturday afternoon at Barber. Alessandro Di Mario (27) led until crashing out and Avery Dreher (99) was there to score his first Twins Cup victory. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

BellissiMoto Twins Cup – Dreher Reigns In The Rain

Floridian Avery Dreher is racing in two classes this season. He’s defending his 2023 Junior Cup Championship while also competing in the BellissiMoto Twins Cup Championship aboard a TopPro Racing Aprilia. Despite a thoroughly wet track from a cloudburst over Barber Motorsports, Dreher rode a masterful race in the tricky conditions and got his first victory in MotoAmerica’s two-cylinder, middleweight race class.

Second-place went to Cassidy Heiser, the Chiefs Racing Team Yamaha rider recording his first-ever podium finish in MotoAmerica competition. Completing the podium was Giaccmoto Yamaha Racing’s Dominic Doyle, whose third-place result was his third podium in the past three races.

Despite a ninth-place finish, Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering’s Gus Rodio continues to lead the championship by 19 points over the tied duo of RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki’s Rocco Landers, sixth today, and Doyle.

“I think this is for sure going to boost my confidence to try to get up there in the Twins Cup,” Dreher said. “With the unfortunate mechanical in the Junior Cup race earlier, that kind of bummed me out. But as soon as I saw the clouds start to roll in and the rain start to fall, I got a little bit excited because I’m a pretty good rain rider. I knew I just had to be smooth and finish the race on two wheels. It got a little sketchy out there towards the end. I was starting to hydroplane here and there, but I saw Alessandro go down. I knew he was pushing because I couldn’t hang with him. The rear was sliding all over the place, so I just took it easy and just tried to finish the race.”

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