Rancho Dominguez, Calif. - October 1, 2013 - Saddlemen racers returned to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this past weekend for the final race of the 2013 season. AMA Pro Road Racing shared the track once again with international riders as the FIM Superbike World Championship made its only stop in the United States.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
With the SuperSport class wrapped up, expectations were high for an exciting Daytona SportBike finale, and Saddlemen riders did not disappoint. Taking on the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the second time this season, Saddlemen riders set out to take one last shot at a podium finish while solidifying class positions as the season came to an end.
The RoadRace Factory’s Jake Gagne and JD Beach were both exceptional competitors throughout the entire 2013 season, logging 22 top-5 finishes and 15 podium appearances between the two of them. Gagne headed to Laguna Seca with a decent hold on second place in the DSB standings, but needed to log just a few more points to ensure that he would finish the season in second. Gagne was in visible pain all weekend with a broken collarbone and separated shoulder but made the brave decision to fight through the pain and compete in Sunday’s race all the same. Gagne’s 11th place finish earned him more than enough points to secure second place on the season.
Gagne’s teammate JD Beach was also recovering from an injury heading into the final round, though Beach’s was far less substantial. Following an incredible save after nearly high-siding at New Jersey, Beach was banged up as he raced in that round. If Beach was feeling any lingering effects he didn’t show it, as he finished in third place at Laguna Seca. Beach finished out the season in fourth place in the standings.
National Guard/Celtic Racing’s James Rispoli worked incredibly hard this year, finishing no worse than eighth in all twelve races heading into the finale. Tied in points in the Saddlemen Rookie of the Year standings, Rispoli had a lot on the line going into the last race. Unfortunately, things were not going Rispoli’s way as a mechanical issue forced him out of the race after just seven laps. Despite missing out on the Rookie of the Year honors, Rispoli put together an incredible season and proved that he can compete in the Daytona SportBike class.
Riders Discount racer Jake Zemke put in a solid sixth place ride, and though he only competed in seven races in his 2013 campaign still managed to finish 16th in the standings. Teammate Joey Pascarella raced in each round but unfortunately was knocked out of the final race after 15 laps. Pascarella finished 14th in the standings.
Though the SuperSport season officially ended in New Jersey, several Saddlemen riders took the opportunity to step up to the Daytona SportBike ranks for the final race of the year. SuperSport West and Overall champion Tomas Puerta led the way with an eighth place finish in his DSB debut. National Guard/Celtic Racing rider Corey Alexander also made his DSB debut but was dropped out after six laps. The SuperSport East champ will join Puerta in the Daytona SportBike class fulltime in 2014. SuperSport East runner-up Hayden Gillim also got his first DSB ride with Meen Motorsports and finished 13th.
Saddlemen is honored for the opportunity to support AMA Pro Road Racing as well as some of the most talented and hard-working riders on the planet. Follow Saddlemen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.