MotoAmerica New Jersey Supersport Race Two: Gerloff Wins The War

Garrett Gerloff holds up to the pressure from teammate JD Beach to clinch his first-career Supersport title

Garrett Gerloff 2016
Garrett Gerloff held up under the pressure to take his first MotoAmerica Supersport title at the season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park.Photo By Brian J. Nelson

It came down to the end, and in the end Garrett Gerloff was able to claim his crown in the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship at the season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey. To do so, he had to go through the defending Supersport champ JD Beach. No easy task, even when Gerloff went into that final race with a nine-point lead over his Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha teammate.

Beach was on a hot streak. He had six-straight wins and he had no intention stopping any time soon, something that he didn’t keep a secret. The Owensboro native was all in for the win and was hoping for a little help from some friends. Beach delivered with his seventh-straight win, but the help never showed up. So Gerloff delivered as well with a second-place finish, holding up to the pressure of being stalked by a very determined Beach to take his first Supersport championship.

“It feels so good,” said an emotional Gerloff. “I saw myself with a number-one plate back a long time ago when I was, like, 12 years old with my first ever road-race bike and to finally get there and do what I always knew I could do, it was amazing.”

Amazing yes, but certainly not easy. Although that hard road was certainly what made it more rewarding for the young Gerloff.

“I had my head get in the way a few times this year towards the end of the season,” Gerloff admitted. “And I was definitely a head case out there in this last race. It was the longest 23 laps of my life. I was pretty lucky to be able to just kind of cruise home and come across the line in second place, which was what I needed. I just can’t thank them (the team) enough, Yamaha, all my personal sponsors, my family, everybody that’s done something for me over the years to get me where I am.”

JD Beach 2016
JD Beach led from start to finish to take his eighth win of the year.Photo By Brian J. Nelson

While it was pure joy for Gerloff, it was mixed emotions for Beach who turned around a troubled first part of the season with a dominant finish, but came just shy of defending his title.

“Losing by four points is a tough pill to swallow,” Beach said. “But Garrett rode great this year. It’s been a hard year for sure, but to get seven-race wins in a row against the best guys in America – it feels good for me. So we’ll just take that into next year.”

Ultimately, the big battle on track was for third. M4 Sportbike Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen and H35 Racing’s Benny Solis duked it out for most of the race, then out of nowhere, Petersen’s teammate Valentin Debise rained on their parade and took that final podium spot.

“For sure I want to fight with them (Gerloff and Beach), but this time it was not possible,” Debise said. “I’m pleased with the season I did so far. I came here and found a good team… For sure I want to come back and try again next year to this time beat these two.”

Solis was then able to hold off Petersen across the line to take fourth. Taking top honors in Superstock 600, and sixth overall, was the 2016 Superstock 600 Champion himself – Tuned Racing’s Bryce Prince. In seventh was HB Racing/Meen Yamaha’s Richie Escalante followed by Kyle Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman and Escalante’s teammate Dakota Mamola. Rounding out the top 10 was Altus Motorsports JC Camacho.

new jersey motorsports park motoamerica supersport race two podium
(Left to right) Gerloff, Beach and Valentin Debise topped the podium once again in race two.Photo By Brian J. Nelson

2016 New Jersey Motorsports Park MotoAmerica Supersport/Superstock 600 Race Two Results:
1. JD Beach (Yamaha) SSP
2. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) SSP
3. Valentin Debise (Suzuki) SSP
4. Benny Solis, Jr. (Honda) SSP
5. Cameron Petersen (Suzuki) SSP
6. Bryce Prince (Yamaha) STK6
7. Richie Escalante (Yamaha) STK6
8. Travis Wyman (Yamaha) STK6
9. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha) STK6
10. JC Camacho (Yamaha) STK6
11. Anthony Mazziotto III (Yamaha) STK6
12. Nick McFadden (Yamaha) STK6
13. Mike Selpe (Yamaha) STK6
14. Rigo Salazar (Suzuki) STK6
15. Michael Gilbert (Yamaha) STK6
16. Conner Blevins (Kawasaki) STK6
17. Caroline Olsen (Suzuki) STK6
18. Xavier Zayat (Suzuki) STK6
19. Andy DiBrino (Yamaha) STK6
20. Jeff Tigert (Honda) STK6
21. Ezra Beaubier (Yamaha) STK6
22. Timothy Wilson (Kawasaki) STK6
23. Eziah Davis (Yamaha) STK6
24. Jeff Sneyd (Kawasaki) STK6
25. Mark Rhoades (Kawasaki) STK6
26. Joseph Giannotto (Yamaha) SSP
27. Leslie Powis (Yamaha) STK6
28. Alex Coelho (Kawasaki) STK6
DNF. Jason Aguilar (Yamaha) STK6
DNF. Deion Campbell (Yamaha) STK6
DNS. Joe Roberts (Yamaha) SSP