PJ Jacobsen (15) beat Mathew Scholtz (11) to the finish line by .040 of a second in Supersport action at Road America on Saturday. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

One of the things that the MotoAmerica series prides itself on is that we race, rain or shine. Saturday’s weather forecast for Road America foretold that the rain would start around 11 a.m. and continue through about 6 p.m. So, basically, all six feature races would be run in fully wet conditions. That’s completely do-able at all the tracks we go to, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Each of the five support-class races at Road America were dramatic and affected their respective championships. Here’s a rundown of who won, who reached the podium, and what happened along the way to the checkered flags.

Junior Cup – Chapin In The Wet

Junior Cup race one started off Saturday’s racing at Road America, and a steady rain fell throughout most of the afternoon. MotoAmerica’s entry-level riders handled the conditions pretty well, but surprisingly, defending class champion Avery Dreher crashed out of third place towards the end of the final lap, and he also knocked Isaac Woodworth out of second place in the process. Woodworth was able to rejoin the race and finish fifth, while Dreher was out of the race.

BARTCON Racing’s Matthew Chapin avoided the melee, and he took the checkered flag with his teammate Eli Block finishing second. Ironically, the rider who benefitted the most from Dreher’s incident was his sister Ella Dreher. The 14-year-old Bad Boys Racing rider notched the first podium result of her career.

“I’ve had a little bit of rain practice since Atlanta, so my confidence going into the race was definitely up,” Chapin said. “Also, my qualifying position being P3, I could see straight to turn one. I’ve never had that before. My best qualifying before this was seventh, I think. So, I think that was all a big part of it.”

Commenting on Avery Dreher’s crash, Chapin said, “I was on the inside of the corner, and then Avery was trying to out-brake me on the left side. He tucked the front really early, and then his body hit Isaac’s back tire and took him out. So, it was pretty close, but I didn’t really think I was going to get involved in it.”

Supersport – Jacobsen Over Scholtz

Rahal Ducati Moto’s PJ Jacobsen sat behind Strack Racing’s Mathew Scholtz for most of the six-lap Supersport race at Road America on Saturday. But he struck at the end and drafted past the South African at the finish line to win by .040 of a second.

The win was Jacobsen’s third of the young season and it gave him a 16-point lead over Scholtz in the championship.

Scholtz was an ever so close second with the lead duo well clear of Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis, who backed off late in the race after realizing the risk wasn’t going to get him the reward he wanted.

Vision Wheel M4 Suzuki’s Tyler Scott was fourth with Jacobsen’s Rahal Ducati Moto’s Kayla Yaakov rounded out the top five.

“You don’t really have an option at that point,” Jacobsen said. “I know we’re only on the third round, but if the guy that’s closing on you in the championship is right there in front of you and there’s a possibility to get him, then I’m going to get him. I’m not going to just give up and settle for a second. I was going for it, but it didn’t really feel like I was on the limit of crashing or anything like that. I felt pretty comfortable. I was slowly inching away at him there towards the end. He had a very strong pace in the beginning. I felt like I kind of missed that seven minutes as well because our (rain) light was out, so I missed the little seven minutes that we had in the beginning. actually, I asked Jake how the track was, and he told me in some spots. So, that was helpful. It was a really good race. Before the restart, it was pretty crazy too because there was a big group of like seven guys. But Mathew (Scholtz) was riding great.”

Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. – Creer Gets Her First

Coming into Road America, defending Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. Champion Mikayla Moore was on a nine-race winning streak extending back to the beginning of last year. Unfortunately, Moore crashed during final qualifying for her debut in the BellissiMoto Twins Cup Championship, and she was unable to start Saturday’s BTR race one.

Taking advantage of the situation, while also avoiding the treacherous track conditions, Cassie Creer got her first win, while Emma Betters extended her podium streak to three races with her runner-up result. Camille Conrad joined Betters in keeping her own podium streak going as she crossed the finish line third.

When asked about her racing experience in the rain, Creer said, “I’ve never ridden on rain tires before. No rain experience. It was terrifying.” Despite her complete lack of experience in racing in the rain, Creer led all four laps of the rain-soaked race.

Mission King Of The Baggers – Herfoss Untouchable

S&S Cycle/Indian Motorcycles’ Troy Herfoss was in another dimension in Saturday’s first of two Mission King Of The Baggers races. The Australian was so dominant that he basically coasted across the finish line, with a margin of victory of 5.2 seconds after botching the final lap. Prior to the last lap, he led by some 10 seconds. It was easy. At least it looked that way.

Herfoss beat his championship rival Kyle Wyman with the Harley-Davidson Factory Team rider inheriting second when his teammate James Rispoli had a scary crash at the end of the front straight.

Third place went to Herfoss’s teammate Tyler O’Hara with the Californian holding off Saddlemen/Harley-Davidson’s Jake Lewis by just .355 of a second.

“Because James (Rispoli) was so fast in warmup, and then in the challenge race he was also really strong,” Herfoss said. “I saw on the screen he was second on the first lap at the end of turn two. I checked the screen. So, I was like, ‘okay, he’s going to come past at some stage, just stay safe until he does and then we’ll try and engage in battle.’ I come down the straight and there was so much water around and you’re going at 170 mph or something. I just kept seeing seven. I thought it was .7. Okay, he’s not on me. Just keep doing what you’re doing. He’s not one me. I haven’t heard the bike. On the last lap I poked my head up and I saw whatever it was, 10 seconds. Then I completely sh*% myself. I just froze up. I missed a gear on the way into turn one. Stayed in fourth gear. It’s just so nerve-racking out there. First and foremost, I’m just happy that James (Rispoli) and Hayden (Gillim), especially, are okay. That crash (Gillim’s)… when I came down after the challenge race and seen it, a 300-kilo bike next to a concrete wall and a stretcher rolling out and I couldn’t find a person, it just doesn’t feel good. We take a lot of risk to do this job. We’re lucky we got a lot of good people around us caring for us at the track. We’re as safe as we can be racing motorbikes, but in conditions like that, it’s really nice to get the win but it’s really nice to be safe. I’m glad everyone is okay.”

BellissiMoto Twins Cup – Doyle Wins, Landers Takes Over At The Top

Saturday’s BellissiMoto Twins Cup race one at Road America was a pivotal one for the season championship. Previous points leader Gus Rodio suffered a mechanical issue with his Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering Aprilia, and he was unable to finish the race. That created a golden opportunity for the other riders trailing Rodio in the standings.

Giaccmoto Racing Yamaha’s Dominic Doyle rode a flawless race at the front and took the checkered flag over second-place finisher, Rodio’s teammate Alessandro Di Mario. Earlier in the day, Di Mario set a new track record with his pole-sitting performance in the morning’s final qualifying session.

Finishing third was RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki rider Rocco Landers, who was able to move up from second to first in the standings with his result.

“At Atlanta, when I got a pretty good start and kind of got to the lead at the start, just having a clear track in front of me benefitted me quite a bit,” Doyle said. “It did again today. I just tried to nail the start and click off the laps. Just waiting for the race to end. The last round (at Barber Motorsports Park) hurt us a little bit, but I think these 25 points and hopefully a good result tomorrow will help us a lot.”

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