McAllister, Jackson Find Redemption In Sturgis

Defending AMA Supermoto Pro Open Champion Gage McAllister and Pro Lites points leader Josh Jackson dominate at Sturgis

Gage McAllister 2016
Gage McAllister took the double at Sturgis, scoring his fifth AMA Supermoto Pro Open win of 2016.Photo by Andrea Wilson

The following is from AMA Supermoto...

STURGIS, SD (July 3, 2016) – Both Gage McAllister and Josh Jackson went into the third round of the AMA Supermoto National Championship Series in Sturgis, South Dakota in search of redemption. For McAllister it was to get over last year's race at Sturgis, the only mar on the reigning Pro Open champ's record in 2015. For McAllister's Pro Lites counterpart – Jackson – it was all about bouncing back from disappointment at the previous round in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both McAllister and Jackson found what they were looking for on the streets of Sturgis, taking dominant wins in their respective classes.

The fourth annual Metzeler Sturgis Supermoto kicked off on Friday, July 1, with some exhibition races – the Team race, Amateur Brawl and the Pro Brawl. Loudon Specialists Jake Laforge and Shane Narbonne took the win in the team race, but it was McAllister’s RSR KTM teammate Dustin Hoffman that took top honors in the Pro Brawl as well as the lion’s share of the purse. In the end Friday wasn’t a total loss for the champ. After working his way through the pack to finish third, McAllister discovered some spots to pass that would benefit him on Saturday’s doubleheader.

“I started in 22nd in the Pro Brawl yesterday and I realized that there are areas to pass on this track,” McAllister said. “Even though it’s really tight and one-lined, you can find your way around people.”

McAllister also thrives on the slick and technical downtown track. He looks forward to coming to Sturgis every year, but the Californian had a little extra motivation this year. That’s because he left last year less than happy after a mechanical ruined his weekend, and perfect season. McAllister soldiered on with the ailing bike to get some points, but it was the only black mark on his record in 2015.

“Honestly, being able to redeem myself from last year is probably the biggest thing,” McAllister said. “I didn’t really have a good time here last year, just because of the way it ended. I really enjoyed this weekend. Loudon’s a good track and it’s a unique track, but this is a little bit more of a fun track to ride. I’m glad we got to do it in the streets again. Hopefully we come back.”

Josh Jackson 2016
Josh Jackson was fired up for Sturgis and looking for the win after a tough Loudon.Photo by Andrea Wilson

Joining McAllister on the podium in race one was Hoffman and Tyler O’Hara on the Tyler O’ Hara/Intents Racing/Motul Honda. The Dymond 43 School rider worked his way through the pack to finish fourth ahead of Australian Josh McLean on the Lean Six Sigma Racing Husqvarna.

In race two there was a bit of melee after the start in the first dirt section. Hoffman crashed and collected O’Hara, ultimately bringing out the red flag and a fresh restart. The second start didn’t fare much better for Hoffman who crashed again on the first lap, but it definitely was better for O’Hara who was able to get past Six-Four Motorsports’ Shane Narbonne early on to secure a second-place finish. After a few close calls, Narbonne decided to settle for a sure podium in third. Dymond once again finished fourth ahead of Hoffman who recovered from his early mistake to finish in the top five.

McAllister’s double win, his fifth of the season, extended his points lead to a comfortable 41 points over Hoffman. Fellow RSR KTM rider Eric Stump sits third in the championship, 47 points adrift of McAllister.

In the Pro Lites class the championship fight is much tighter and Jackson’s win was vital in shifting momentum in his favor. After a fierce battle at Loudon that had Jackson on the ground and out of the lead on the final lap of the Main, Jackson set his sites on Sturgis. The Lean Six Sigma Racing rider went into the downtown race with a game plan – ride smooth, get out front early and ride his own race. Jackson executed and reaped the rewards.

“I was telling my dad, I was telling everybody, I said, ‘Holeshot the race and just manage it from there,’” Jackson said. “It’s so slippery. Everybody has to push so hard to stick a pass. If you could just get out front and minimize the mistakes and just run a clean race, then you’re going to win the race. That’s all there is to it. That’s what we did. It got a little sketchy about halfway. I lost my back brakes. This is probably the worst track to have to rely a 100 percent on the front brake because of how slippery it was. I did the best I could and I thought the guys were going to reel me right in, but I was able to just manage it and make it happen.”

The win moved Jackson back up into the points lead, a mere three points over championship rival Cameron Welsh on the Welsh Racing/DDR Yamaha. But Jackson needed more than just a win at Sturgis, so he brought in a ringer - National Amateur Kern County Raceway Park winner Christian Payne, who was bumped up to the Pro Lites class after that KCRP win. The youngster proved to be quite useful, holding off Welsh to earn second in Payne’s first-career Pro Lites race.

Malcolm Barker 2016
Malcolm Barker scored his first ever National Supermoto win in the Amateur class.Photo by Andrea Wilson

“I think everything went as perfectly planned as it could have,” Jackson said. “I brought another rider with me to help get in the mix and he finishes second right behind me, so it helped us even more in the points. We came here with a plan. We stuck to our plan, and we executed.”

Rounding out the top five was defending Pro Lites Champion Nicky Reimer on the Tri-County Powersports Husqvarna and privateer Brady Tausan on a Kawasaki.

Taking top honors in the National Amateur class was Monarch Honda’s Malcolm Barker for his first ever National Supermoto win. Barker worked his way up from the second row of the grid to upset Friday’s Amateur Brawl winner, local rider Mike Maloney on a Yamaha. Joining the pair on the podium was fellow South Dakota rider Travis Jordan.

Pro Open Race One Results: 1. Gage McAllister (KTM); 2. Dustin Hoffman (KTM); 3. Tyler O'Hara (Honda); 4. Micky Dymond (Yamaha); 5. Josh McLean (Husqvarna); 6. Tyler Sweeney (Honda); 7. Eric Stump (KTM); 8. Jake Laforge (Honda); 9. Shane Narbonne (Honda); 10. Tim Velasquez (Husqvarna).

Pro Open Race Two Results: 1. Gage McAllister (KTM); 2. Tyler O'Hara (Honda); 3. Shane Narbonne; 4. Micky Dymond (Yamaha); 5. Dustin Hoffman (KTM); 6. Josh McLean (Husqvarna); 7. Tyler Sweeney (Honda); 8. Ryan Yearwood (KTM); 9. Jake Laforge (Honda); 10. Tim Velasquez (Husqvarna).

Pro Lites Results: 1. Josh Jackson (Husqvarna); 2. Christian Payne (Husqvarna); 3. Cameron Welsh (Yamaha); 4. Nicky Reimer (Husqvarna); 5. Brady Tausan (Kawasaki); 6. Steve Alkyer (Honda); 7. Anthony Franco (Husqvarna); 8. Robert Pinney (Yamaha); 9. Mark Hopkins; 10. Kenny Troxell (Yamaha).

National Amateur Results: 1. Malcolm Barker (Honda); 2. Mike Maloney (Yamaha); 3. Travis Jordan (Yamaha); 4. Paul Nafziger (KTM); 5. Drew Frey (Yamaha); 6. Dean Frey (Yamaha); 7. Brian Lehfeldt (Yamaha); 8. Matt Burge (Honda); 9. Michael Eller (Yamaha); 10. Jarret Scarberry (Honda).