Two more MotoAmerica Champions will be crowned this coming weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park and there’s a chance that the end-result could be seven different manufacturers winning the seven championships in 2023.
With the Medallia Superbike Championship going to Jake Gagne (Yamaha), the Supersport title won by Xavi Forés (Ducati), Hayden Gillim (Suzuki) taking the Steel Commander Stock 1000 title, Avery Dreher (Kawasaki) earning Junior Cup honors and Tyler O’Hara (Indian) taking home the Mission Super Hooligan National Championship, only the REV’IT! Twins Cup and Mission King Of The Baggers titles remain unclaimed.
The top three in the REV’IT! Twins Cup are separated by just 14 points and two of them are Aprilia-mounted (leader Gus Rodio and third-placed Rocco Landers) with Blake Davis (Yamaha) sitting second, just eight points out of the lead and ready to spoil the party.
Harley-Davidson is set to take the Mission King Of The Baggers Championship as the top three are separated by just 11 points and all three are racing Harley-Davidson Road Glides (Hayden Gillim, James Rispoli and Kyle Wyman). The closest Indian Challenger in the mix is Bobby Fong’s and he sits fourth and 85 points behind and there’s only 50 points left on the table.
Mission King Of The Baggers – V&H vs. The Factory
After the dust settled on a wild and crazy race two of the Mission King Of The Baggers series at Circuit of The Americas in Texas a week and a half ago, there’s a three-way fight for the championship that will certainly come down to the last lap in the very last race of the year on Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
As it stands right now, Vance & Hines/Mission/Harley-Davidson’s Hayden Gillim leads his teammate James Rispoli by just two points in what will be a mano a mano intra-team battle. On the outside looking in is H-D Screamin’ Eagle’s defending champion Kyle Wyman.
Wyman is just 11 points back but doesn’t totally control his own destiny. If he wins both races, he can still lose the title if Gillim finishes second in both. Wyman can, however, take the title from Rispoli if he wins both and Rispoli finishes second. It should be interesting.
Sac Mile/SDI Racing/Roland Sands/Indian’s Bobby Fong will likely just be thinking about messing it all up by winning both races on his Indian Challenger. Ditto for Indian Motorcycle/Progressive/Mission Foods’ Tyler O’Hara with the defending class champion still trying to win his first race of the season. O’Hara is seven points behind two-time race winner Fong.
REV’IT Twins Cup – Rodio On Top
Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering’s Gus Rodio will drive southwest from his home in Hammonton, New Jersey, to do battle at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The 21-mile drive home could be a happy one if Rodio and his Aprilia RS 660 can turn his eight-point lead into the 2023 MotoAmerica REV’IT! Twins Cup Championship.
With his three wins and six additional podiums, Rodio arrives at his home track with an eight-point lead over N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto’s Blake Davis with the Virginian winning once and landing on the podium on six other occasions.
The winningest rider in the class is Robem Engineering’s Rocco Landers with his six victories. Unfortunately for Landers, he trails by 14 points with two non-finishes on his scorecard. Also, remember that Landers didn’t even have a ride on the team until the second round at Road Atlanta, so he missed the first two races at Daytona entirely.
The battle for fourth in the championship will also go to the bitter end with Trackday Winner/Blackmon Racing’s Jackson Blackmon just seven points ahead of Team Iso’s Dominic Doyle.
It will also be interesting to watch the second Team Iso Yamaha YZF-R7 with the number 32 on its fairing. It will be ridden by former KTM RC Cup race winner Dallas Daniels, the flat tracker who recently finished second in the AMA Grand National Championship behind nine-time champion Jared Mees. It will be Daniels’ first road race since 2019.
Supersport – Forés vs. Scott?
With his nine wins on the season and the 2023 Supersport Championship in the bank, the goal now for Forés must be to keep this Tyler Scott kid from beating him. When Forés won the first eight races, the championship was for all practical purposes over. But since that winning streak ended, the Spanish veteran has only won one race out of the past six. Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Scott, meanwhile, has won three of those last six races as the two have separated themselves from the pack with Scott already locked into second in the title chase.
The key now, however, is if Forés will be healthy enough to take part in weekend at NUMP as he suffered a crash in the Bol ‘dOr 24-hour endurance race and suffered knee and foot injuries.
Squid Hunter Racing’s Josh Hayes has also solidified third in the championship now that Stefano Mesa has made the jump to the Medallia Superbike class for the final two rounds (he made his Superbike debut at COTA a week and a half ago). Hayes is one of four riders to win in 2023 along with Forés (nine wins), Scott (three wins) and Mesa (one win) and Hayes is the winningest Superbike rider in NJMP history, so he definitely knows his way around the Thunderbolt racetrack.
Scott’s teammate Teagg Hobbs sits fifth in the championship in his rookie season in the class, a spot he has a lock on with just the two NJMP races remaining.
Junior Cup – The Fight For Second
A six-time winner in 2023, Bad Boys Racing’s Avery Dreher has already been crowned as this year’s Junior Cup Champion, but the battle for second will be decided at NJMP.
Bicknese Racing’s Hayden Bicknese currently sits just five points ahead of SportbikeTrackGear.com’s Max Van, 12 points ahead of Fairium NGRT- Gray Area Racing’s Rossi Moor and 18 clear of Badie Racing’s Levi Badie.
Three riders have won Junior Cup races this year: Dreher (six), Moor (two) and Badie (two). Although he has yet to win a race, Bicknese has five podium finishes and is the only rider in the top five to score points in every race.
The NJMP Junior Cup races will also mark the debut in the class of former Mission Mini Cup By Motul racer Jesse James Shedden and newly crowned Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. Champion Mikayla Moore. Both will race for the Karns Performance Racing Team.
Mission Mini Cup By Motul – Gouker And Davis Lead The Way
The final Mission Mini Cup By Motul races will be held on Friday and Saturday afternoons at the New Jersey Motorsports Park karting facility with Stadler America’s Nathan Gouker and Alpha Omega’s Ryder Davis headlining the Ohvale 160 and 190 classes, respectively.
Gouker’s season has been nothing short of spectacular as he’s won 11 of the 12 Ohvale 160 races heading to the finale, which puts him 69 points clear of Reese Frankenfield Racing’s Reese Frankenfield and 100 points ahead of third-placed Connor Raymond on his American Racing-backed Ohvale 160.
In the 190 class, it’s Davis who leads the way by 55 points over American Racing’s Joshua Raymond and by 65 over Historic GP’s Mahdi Salem.
In the Stock classes, it’s Cory Texter Racing/Roof Systems’ Cruise Texter on top of the Stock 50 class while Ryan Clark Racing’s Ryan Clark leads the way in the Stock 110 class championship. Jacobsen Motorcycle Training/Bettencourt Racing’s Nathan Bettencourt is the points leader in the Stock 125 class.
Mini Cup racing action gets started at 3 p.m. on Friday and 2:20 p.m. on Saturday.
NJMP Support Class Notes…
The lone Mission King Of The Baggers race at New Jersey Motorsports Park last year was won by Kyle Wyman over Tyler O’Hara. It was the series finale for the Baggers and, with his second-place finish, O’Hara was crowned champion.
Josh Hayes won both Supersport races a year ago at NJMP, his second and third race wins of the season. Hayes beat Josh Herrin in race one and Stefano Mesa in race two.
Only one REV’IT! Twins Cup race was held last year at NJMP, and it was won by Blake Davis over Ben Gloddy and Teagg Hobbs. Davis went on to earn the 2022 championship in the class.Gus Rodio and Kayla Yaakov split wins in the two Junior Cup classes a year ago. Rodio beat Joe LiMandri Jr. and Spencer Humphreys with Yaakov topping Rodio and Cody Wyman.