Escalante, Petersen And Landers Win Twice
WAMPUM, PA – August 10, 2020 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – If you won on Saturday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, then you also won on Sunday at PittRace. That’s how the support classes ended up with all the winners doubling up over the course of the two-day program with Richie Escalante, Cameron Petersen, Rocco Landers all doing the double in Supersport, Stock 1000 and Liqui Moly Junior Cup, respectively. Landers even went one better and also won the lone Twins Cup race on Sunday.
Supersport: Escalante Rolls On
In Sunday’s Supersport race one, HONOS Kawasaki rider Richie Escalante won his seventh race out of a total of eight so far this season. Similar to yesterday, Escalante had to contend with M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly in the early going. Kelly got the holeshot and led lap one until Escalante found a way past and never looked back.
Meanwhile, Celtic HSBK Racing’s Brandon Paasch had a battle of his own early on with Altus Motorsports rider Kevin Olmedo and then Kelly. At the finish line, it was Escalante winning by nearly seven seconds over Kelly, who had his hands full with Paasch right to the finish. Paasch, in face, led on the final lap but made a mistake that allowed Kelly to squeeze by. At the finish line the two were separated by just .024 of a second.
“Today, every day, we’re feeling better,” Escalante said. “Today I have a little bit more rhythm, so I could pass. Brandon (Paasch) , in the first several laps, was really good. I pushed my rhythm very consistently. I’m really happy to win with this gap and every lap the same. Just keep working. The championship is coming. The next race is a new track so new motivation.”
Stock 1000: Petersen Doubles Up
In Sunday’s Stock 1000 race two, Cameron Petersen, the rider with the most momentum this weekend at PittRace, did the double and won his second race in as many days aboard his Altus Motorsports Tucker Hagerty Suzuki. But it was far from easy for the South African, who faced a strong challenge from HVMC Racing Kawasaki rider Corey Alexander.
Petersen started from pole, and Weir Everywhere Racing BMW rider Travis Wyman slotted into second with Alexander in third. While Petersen set the pace, Alexander was able to pass Wyman and close the gap on the South African at the front. Alexander raced hard and managed to get around Petersen, but he ran wide and handed the lead right back to Petersen who held his advantage, albeit a narrow one, to the finish line.
Alexander finished second and was just .196 of a second behind Petersen. Wyman, who is recovering from an arm injury, faded towards the end of the race, but held on for the final spot on the podium, just under four seconds adrift of Alexander.
When asked if he knew who was hounding him for the lead, Petersen said, “No. Honestly, I thought it was going to be Alex (Dumas). Alex was showing some pretty serious pace all weekend. Every lap I came by and saw plus-zero on my board. At the beginning of the race, I was like, ‘I’m going to put my head down and see what I can do.’ I might have an opportunity to get away, and it just didn’t happen. These guys were on my butt the whole race pressuring me. I just tried to do everything I could, just hit my marks and not make any mistakes. That was a hell of a race. I enjoy races like that. That pressure and not really getting shown a wheel the whole race and then two laps to go here comes Corey. I’m like, ‘This is going to be a dog fight.’ I saw that moment he had in the last turn and I followed him in there. We both got there super deep. I did everything I could to get a good start. Once again, I can’t thank the whole team enough. We found some stuff for today. The pace was quick. I’m looking forward to going into the rest (of the rounds). We’ve got some stuff we can work on. We can actually work on chassis now because we don’t have to deal with all those other problems. Looking forward to the rest of the season. Hats off to these guys. They stepped it up big time. Should be an exciting year. Stay tuned and be ready for some tight racing.”
Liqui Moly Junior Cup: Landers Lights It Up
In Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race two, which was red-flagged and cut short because of an incident involving Isaiah Burleson and Gus Rodio, defending class champion and Norton Motorsports/Ninja400R/Dr. Farr/Wonder CBD rider Rocco Landers carried on with his winning ways and grabbed his fifth race victory in a row. BARTCON Racing’s Dominic Doyle, who was slightly injured in Saturday’s race one melée, toughed it out on Sunday and finished second. Celtic HSBK Racing’s Samuel Lochoff, who finished second on Saturday, was third on Sunday.
“So, the first two laps, actually, I got a good start,” Landers said. “But I saw that Dom (Doyle) was right behind me from the first few laps. Then I looked back and I was like, ‘He must have run off in the chicane or something.’ In the next lap I saw some grass on the track, so I was like, ‘That’s definitely what happened.’ I just tried to run a smooth race and be consistent. Tried to run as smooth laps as I possibly could. I looked back and I saw Dom was there with Sam (Lochoff). I’m like, ‘Just relax.’ There were only a few laps left. At the end I saw the red flag and I was like, ‘They must call this just because there’s only a few laps to go.’ My team, KFG Motorsports, did a great suspension this weekend. It’s such an honor to be able to race these guys, especially Dom after his crashes today.”
Landers is heading to Austria for round one of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and, when he was asked about his expectations heading into the first race next weekend, he said, “As of right now just going to try to go as fast as I can from practice one and see if I can get up there during the race. I know that track is good for someone who hasn’t been to those tracks quite so many times. It seems somewhat simple.”
Twins Cup: Landers Gets It Done
The final race of the weekend was in the Twins Cup class, and Rocco Landers raced his SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki to victory, which capped off the 15-year-old’s third win of the event and second win of the day (Landers also won both Liqui Moly Junior Cup races on the weekend). Landers started from the pole and was never headed in the 11-lap contest, winning by a margin of over four seconds. Second place went to 1-833-CJKNOWS Accident & Injury Law Yamaha rider Kaleb De Keyrel who crossed the finish line more than 10 seconds ahead of Brittenum Construction/Hayden Schultz Racing Yamaha’s Hayden Schultz.
After his second win of the day and third of the weekend, Landers said, “Perfect weekend here. I think I was top in every session this weekend. I was able to do that in Junior Cup, as well. Definitely leaving on a higher note to get back to Europe next weekend. Biggest shout-out goes to SportbikeTrackGear.com, Brian and Max Van. I wouldn’t be here without them. I’d like to thank them all for the first four podiums. I’m super grateful to them. Also, a huge thank you to my dad and my mom, and my crew chief Thomas and my chassis mechanic Christian for putting me under a great program this weekend. We were struggling a little bit with tire wear at the end of the race, but not huge problems. Really a perfect weekend.”
- Richie Escalante (Kawasaki)
- Sean Dylan Kelly (Suzuki)
- Brandon Paasch (Yamaha)
- Jason Aguilar (Yamaha)
- Kevin Olmedo (Suzuki)
- Xavier Zayat (Yamaha)
- Lucas Silva (Suzuki)
- Nate Minster (Yamaha)
- CJ LaRoche (Kawasaki)
- Nolan Lamkin (Yamaha)
- Cameron Petersen (Suzuki)
- Corey Alexander (Kawasaki)
- Travis Wyman (BMW)
- Alex Dumas (Suzuki)
- Stefano Mesa (Kawasaki)
- Michael Gilbert (Kawasaki)
- Ashton Yates (Honda)
- Hunter Dunham (Yamaha)
- Christian Crosslin (Kawasaki)
- Corey Heflin (Yamaha)
Liqui Moly Junior Cup
- Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
- Dominic Doyle (Kawasaki)
- Samuel Lochoff (Kawasaki)
- David Kohlstaedt (Kawasaki)
- Benjamin Gloddy (Kawasaki)
- Cody Wyman (Yamaha)
- Joseph LiMandri Jr. (Kawasaki)
- Blake Davis (Kawasaki)
- Liam Grant (Kawasaki)
- Jack Roach (Kawasaki)
- Rocco Landers (Suzuki)
- Kaleb De Keyrel (Yamaha)
- Hayden Schultz (Yamaha)
- Toby Khamsouk (Suzuki)
- Joseph Blasius (Suzuki)
- Jackson Blackmon (Suzuki)
- Kris Lillegard (Yamaha)
- Jason Madama (Yamaha)
- Cooper McDonald (Yamaha)
- Trevor Standish (Suzuki)
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Supersport action was fast and furious with Richie Escalante (54), Sean Dylan Kelly (40), Brandon Paasch (21) and the rest of the pack getting busy on Sunday. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Richie Escalante has won seven Supersport races thus far in 2020. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Cameron Petersen won the Stock 1000 race again on Sunday, but not without a fight from Corey Alexander (23). Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Sunday photos and video are available HERE
Sunday results by class:
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It didn’t take long for Rocco Landers to put some distance between himself and his pursuers in the Twins Cup race on Sunday afternoon at PittRace. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Rocco Landers (1) won the Liqui Moly Junior Cup race for the second straight day, besting championship rival Dominic Doyle (25). Photo by Brian J. Nelson
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