Millville, NJ. – May 2, 2010 – The Moto Liberty/RS Taichi 250GP race got underway in the middle of a warm and humid 86-degree day with a grid of 17 racers. The pollen was so thick that many racers claimed to see yellow ‘rooster tails’ coming off the other competitors’ rear wheels. But amorous trees would not stop AMA regular, Barrett Long, who came from Miami to race his TZ against the best GP racers in the country. He qualified on pole with a 1:28.2; nearly three seconds faster than the next closest competitor, Ben Young. As the green flag flew, so did Mike Aboyoun from the second row. Aboyoun had a five-bike-length lead going into turn 1 and put his head down to try and break away early. Bruce Lind got a great start too, but apparently it was too good as he was later penalized with a “jump start”.
As the pack came around to complete the first lap, the order was Aboyoun, Long, Cassidy Heiser, Young and Bill Himmelsbach. Long was tired of following Aboyoun and made a clean pass into turn 1. Aboyoun tried hard to stick with Long and set lap times that were over 4 seconds faster than his qualifying times. Unfortunately, his superb riding couldn’t match that of Long and he had to watch as Long continued to pull away ultimately winning by seven seconds over Aboyoun. Long also set a new 250GP track record lap time of 1:28.042. Heiser had a lonely but strong race, finishing third ahead of Ben Young and Bill Himmelsbach. The two racers were locked to each other, nose-to-tail the entire nine laps with Young just beating Himmelsbach to the line by less than half a second. Costa Rican, Leon Cortes rounded out the top six with a strong finish after starting from last place on the grid due to a lack of a qualifying time.
The Rev’it! sponsored Moriwaki MD250H Powered by HONDA race started right behind the 250GP event. Due to the grid size and difference in bike speeds, the race director decided to go with a single flag, single wave start. Eventual winner Stefano Meza was the only one that noticed this on the grid sheet, and took off as the other racers waited for a second before realizing what was going on. Max Flinders and Nick McFadden stayed close to each other at the first part of the race until they caught up with some of the 250’s and developed a gap between each other with McFadden eventually finishing second ahead of Flinders. Amazingly, Stefano Mesa finished the race not only winning his race, but actually would have finished in 7th in the 250GP race! That’s some testament to his riding and the racing competence of his Moriwaki race bike.
Nobi Iso propelled his Aprilia RS125 into turn 1 ahead of nearly 30 other GP bikes in the Pilot 125GP event. His teammate, Jake Lewis, tucked in behind him, and the two racers started to gap the field in a display of racing finesse that can only be described as inspired. Halfway through the 10-lap sprint, Lewis passed Iso for the lead, but couldn’t break away. On the penultimate lap, Iso made his move and seemed to have the race ‘in the bag’. But on the last lap, Lewis threw down a new 125GP lap record time of 1:28.70. He made a bold pass on Iso in the back section, and held on for his second win of the season. Team FOGI Racing’s, Nick Hansen, rode a solid race a few seconds back from the front-runners, and brought home his first podium finish of the season. Stefano Mesa turned in a great run as well, and claimed critical National Championship points for his 4th place finish.
One of the best races of the weekend was for 5th place as Barrett Long, Joe Roberts, and Erik Dadej went toe-to-toe-to-toe all race long. Long and Dadej brought many years of experience to bear on the battle, but young Roberts brought a superior power-to-weight ratio combined with some excellent riding skills. The three racers swapped position numerous times per lap, but in the end, Roberts rode his Celtic Racing Honda RS125 like a champion, and held off Dadej and Long.
In the Rising Sun Cycle / GPTech Moto3 race, Nick McFadden launched his hot-rod Moriwaki MD250H into the lead like he had JATO rockets strapped to his back! But he was quickly caught and overcome by the power of the Team Veloce Aprilias. Jake Lewis drew first blood, as he swept past McFadden’s 4-stroke. The Asian Peril, Nobi Iso, followed suit one lap later, and then continued on and passed Lewis for the lead. Iso was well on his way to his first victory of the season, but Lewis again was the fly in the ointment, and made a last lap draft pass across the finish line, besting Iso by less than a front wheel! In a déjà-vu moment, Nick Hansen finished 3rd, creating an identical finishing order to the 125GP race