MotoAmerica: KTM RC390 Cup Debuts At Road America

Wyman, Herrin, McAllister storm to Road America wins. Josh Hayes on the pole for Sunday's two Superbike races.

Eventual winner Josh Herrin (2) leads JD Beach (95), Garrett Gerloff (31) and the rest of the Supersport pack off the start at Road America on Saturday. Photography by Brian J. Nelson.

Josh Herrin, Travis Wyman and Gage McAllister came away from a cold and dreary Saturday at Road America with victories in the Supersport, Superstock 600 and KTM RC 390 Cup, respectively, the three shining brightly in difficult racing conditions on the four-mile circuit. Josh Hayes, meanwhile, dominated Superpole in the Superbike class, the four-time Superbike Champion earning pole position for Sunday's two races in the headline class of the MotoAmerica Series.

The weather may have been cold and dreary on a rainy Saturday at Road America, but the racing was anything but. In the Supersport final, Herrin was in a battle for almost the duration as he watched those around him fall by the wayside. When all was said and done, Herrin kept his Wheels In Motion/Motosport.com/Meen Motorsports Yamaha out of harm's way to win his third race of the season - a win that moved him to the top of the championship point standings.

Herrin took full advantage of less-than-stellar days turned in by his main rivals in the championship - the Yamalube/Y.E.S. Graves Motorsports Yamaha duo of JD Beach and Garrett Gerloff. Gerloff crashed out of the lead on the second lap, with the Texan remounting to ultimately finish ninth. Beach, meanwhile, looked to have a podium finish in the bag until a near crash dropped him from third to fourth in the closing laps. His fourth, combined with Herrin's win, handed the championship lead to the Georgian.

Herrin now leads the title chase by five points over Beach and 12 points over Gerloff after six races. All three of Herrin's wins this season have come on a Saturday.

At the end of the race, Herrin had almost 27 seconds in hand over RoadRace Factory's Tomas Puerta, the Colombian putting in a solid effort for his best finish to date and his first podium in the class. Puerta's teammate Ben Young also did well in the tricky conditions, the Scottish Canadian taking advantage of Beach's miscue to also take his first career podium in the class.

Beach ended up fourth, some five seconds ahead of Latus Motors Racing Triumph's Bobby Fong.

"I was just trying to stay up," Herrin said after victory. "And we were able to do that. When I saw (Garrett) Gerloff and (Cameron) Petersen start to inch away, I was trying to keep up, but at the same time I didn't want to throw it away just to try and keep up or pass them. I knew we needed some points after our crash in Texas and couldn't afford to fall down again or make any big mistakes. I'm just really happy to finish the race and to finish in first is an extra boost for us. I've been struggling in the dry this weekend and this was a little confidence boost for tomorrow."

Travis Wyman (24) won the Superstock 600 final over Joe Roberts (27). Photography By Brian J. Nelson.

Travis Wyman last won a race in 2011. Today he ended that drought, coincidentally on the same racetrack where he last tasted victory - Road America. Wyman's win today came in the Superstock 600 and it came after a race-long battle with Wheels In Motion/Motosport.com/Meen Motorsports Yamaha's Joe Roberts, the rider who had won three of the four races coming into the Wisconsin round. Wyman and his Kyle Wyman Racing Yamaha R6 got the better of Roberts in the final laps to score his first win of the season and the second of his career.

"I always feel pretty comfortable in those conditions, even pushing," Wyman said. "Like Atlanta, I felt more comfortable pushing in the wet than I did in the dry. Actually, I thought my race was over. I hit a false neutral going down into one and somehow got it stopped, got it turned around and got out in front of Richie (Escalante). I really just put my head down to catch Joe (Roberts). Once I got up behind him, I didn't want to wait long to get in front because I knew we had a good pace, but I also didn't want him to pick up on my lines as well. We ran good and it's such a good feeling to be up here and battling for the lead, especially in those conditions."

The Superstock 600 class features the closest title chase in the MotoAmerica Series with the top three separated by just three points. Wyman moves to the top with 97 points; Roberts is second with 95; and Richie Escalante, third today, is third with 94 points.

Gage McAllister (25) won the first-ever MotoAmerica KTM RC 390 Cup race at Road America on Saturday.

The KTM RC 390 Cup made its debut today at Road America with 28 riders taking part in round one of what will be a five-round series. The difficult conditions saw plenty of crashes, with a lot of those coming on the warm-up lap. The race turned into a three-rider battle for victory, but the only one of the trio to make it to the finish line was 19-year-old Californian Gage McAllister.

McAllister, who is  doing double duty at Road America by also racing in the Supermoto round, inherited the lead for good when Anthony Mazziotto III and Hayden Schultz crashed out of the battle and he held it to the end, besting 16-year-old Jody Barry by 7.9 seconds. Third place went to 18-year-old Texan Brandon Altmeyer.

"I was trying to size both of them up," McAllister said of the battle with Mazziotto and Schultz. "Coming out of the last turn in third and seeing where I could get the draft and see if I could pass both of them before the line. I ended up wanting to be in second because third was just a little bit too far back. It was tough. I was strategizing, but luckily they made it easy on me and I was able to cruise to the finish."

McAllister was asked what he thought of the opportunity the new spec-class RC 390 Cup presented.

"I think the KTM Cup is an awesome opportunity and I really think it will help my road racing career," he said. "I think it's really helpful racing close and just getting comfortable battling with everybody lap after lap."

Josh Hayes earned the 39th Superbike pole position of his career on a rainy Saturday at Road America. Photography By Brian J. Nelson.

In addition to the three races that were held at Road America on Saturday, the day also featured Superbike Superpole - the 15-minute session to determine the grid for Sunday's two Superbike races. When that 15 minutes were in the books, it was Hayes earning his 39th career pole. Hayes lapped a best of 2:31.079 to best his Monster Energy/Graves Motorsports Yamaha teammate Cameron Beaubier by .214 of a second. Yoshimura Suzuki's Jake Lewis ended up third and will complete the front row for tomorrow's race, marking the first front-row start of his rookie Superbike campaign.

Roadrace Factory's Jake Gagne ended up fourth fastest overall and the fastest of the Superstock 1000 racers. Spaniard Bernat Martinez was fifth fastest and those two will be joined on the second row by TOBC Racing's Taylor Knapp. Yoshimura Suzuki's Roger Hayden had a crash in the session and ended up ninth. He will start from row three.

"Qualifying on rain tires is always pretty tense," Hayes said. "I think all of us were trying to get a time on the board that would have us on a good spot on the grid first, a decent spot. Then you can free up a little bit and take some chances and put some laps together. I was just trying to build every lap and do something a little better, a little better, a little better. The lap time kept coming pretty good and it kept coming in big chunks. I had a fun session. I had fun riding in the rain this morning so I felt very prepared for this afternoon. Everything is going well."

SUPERSPORT RACE 1: 1. Josh Herrin (Yamaha); 2. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha); 3. Ben Young (Yamaha); 4. JD Beach (Yamaha); 5. Bobby Fong (Triumph); 6. Kyle Wyman (Yamaha); 7. Javelin Broderick (MV Agusta); 8. Melissa Paris (Suzuki); 9. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha); 10. Kaleb De Keyrel (Yamaha).

SUPERSTOCK 600 RACE 1: 1. Travis Wyman (Yamaha); 2. Joe Roberts (Yamaha); 3. Richie Esclanate (Yamaha); 4. Wyatt Farris (Yamaha); 5. Carl Soltisz (Yamaha); 6. Cody Wyman (Yamaha); 7. Nick McFadden (Suzuki); 8. Darren James (Yamaha); 9. JC Camacho (Yamaha); 10. Andy DiBrino (Yamaha).

KTM RC 390 CUP RACE 1: 1. Gage McAllister; 2. Jody Barry; 3. Brandon Altmeyer; 4. Justin McWilliams; 5. Ruben Casarez; 6. Christopher Kosan; 7. Braeden Ortt; 8. Nolan Lampkin; 9. Jake Fell; 10. Drew Sivertsen.

SUPERBIKE/SUPERSTOCK 1000 QUALIFYING: 1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 2:31.079; 2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 2:31.293; 3. Jake Lewis (Suzuki) 2:32.766; 4. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 2:33.623; 5. Bernat Martinez (Yamaha) 2:33.922; 6. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha) 2:36.352; 7. Joshua Day (Yamaha) 2:36.868; 8. Shane Narbonne (Yamaha) 2:36.922; 9. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 2:38.909; 10. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 2:39.085.