Newly Crowned AMA Pro SuperSport Champ Celebrates With Spectacular Race Win

MILLVILLE, NJ (September 4, 2011) - After clinching two AMA Pro SuperSport titles yesterday, James Rispoli put on a huge show for New Jersey Motorsports Park fans today, claiming victory over Race 1 winner Garrett Gerloff after a thrilling battle that was red flagged with five laps to go. Rispoli -- who claimed the SuperSport East Division and overall title Saturday -- did his team proud by punctuating those titles with an old-fashioned race win.

At the time of the red flag, Gerloff (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) and Hayden Gillim (Bell Helmet Yamaha) were trailing Rispoli, Gerloff having worked his way up through the field after a slow start. In his charge up from eighth to an eventual second, 16-year-old Gerloff turned laps that would have given him this weekend's pole position in the infamously competitive Daytona SportBike class.

"I started working my way up and getting by people," said Gerloff. "[Rispoli and Gillim] were starting to run away, so I knew I really had to put in some good laps. I shredded my tires trying to get to [Rispoli], but I needed to be up there to try to get a draft or something to try to win the race. At the end of the race, I didn't know Hayden was behind me, and then [when he passed me], I knew it was time to go. I got back around and we were coming up the front straightaway when the red flag came out, and I was so disappointed not to get another chance. But I did the best I could, and I've got to give a thumbs-up to Rispoli and Hayden -- they were riding awesome."

Third-place finisher Gillim got a great start and led the first few corners, but by the end of the first lap, Rispoli had gotten by. Gillim ran second until Gerloff took over that spot on Lap 7, at which point Gillim lost touch with the leaders until the closing laps of the race, when he closed back up on the lead pair and appeared poised to make a charge when the red flag flew.

"Today I just focused on getting a good start," said Gillim. "Today's start was the best of the year for me. James was right there and we kind of had a replay of the Mid-Ohio last-lap pass. It was a good race today; I'm really glad I did so well, and these guys ran a fantastic race, and I was just glad to be there with them. I was able to conserve my tires and the Yamaha was running really good, and I'm just happy to be up here again."

"It was a good race," said Rispoli. "I had a pretty good start. Hayden got the holeshot and made it known he was going to lead the first lap, so I just sat in and tried to attack on a little opening. Once I got to the front, I tried to ride smart. These guys were coming hard ... Garret came by me a couple times, but I got back around. Then I just tried to keep the lead and see if I could hold the pace and, man, it was good; it was a good ride. Hats off to my crew, they've been working on my stuff all weekend. I had a little bit of a game plan going into it -- I didn't try to hammer every lap, just tried to get to the front and ride my own race and it seemed to pay off. I think we had three laps to go when the red flag came out, and I was ready to go and put it in there because I knew these guys would be dicing it. It feels really good to end the season this strong."

Today's AMA Pro action from New Jersey Motorsports Park airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on SPEED. The 2011 SuperSport champions -- along with the series' other 2011 honorees -- will collect their #1 plates at tomorrow's AMA Pro Road Racing Awards Banquet in Atlantic City.