Press Release from KTM: Round 7 of the KTM RC Cup Series took place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca over the weekend in conjunction with Round 8 of the MotoAmerica Championship Series. With the addition of the World Superbike Championship to the weekend schedule, KTM RC Cup racing took place solely on Saturday and it was Ashton Yates who made the most out of the one-race format as he emerged victorious for his second-straight win this season.
Yates proved his dominance early on as he qualified on pole position after two sessions of timed qualifying. Yates jumped into the lead at the start but the race was red flagged due to a big pileup on the opening lap. The pileup included front-runner Jody Barry, Benjamin Smith, Daniel Costilla, Nolan Lamkin and Brandon Paasch. The riders lined back up on the grid for a restart, which then became an 8-lap race instead of 12. Paasch was able to re-grid but unfortunately, the other riders were not able to continue.
Yates shot right back to the front immediately after the start, where he led the first few laps of the race. Paasch jumped into the 2nd place position early on, with Josh Serne, Anthony Mazziotto III and Alejandro Gutierrez close in tow.
Mazziotto interjected himself into the lead around the halfway point as he and Yates battled back-and-forth for the top position. Paasch joined the battle for the final laps of the race and it was once again a three-way showdown to the finish between Yates, Mazziotto, and Paasch. On the final lap, Mazziotto put himself into a favorable position out front, with Paasch in 2nd and Yates in 3rd. However, Paasch made a mistake exiting the last corner, which allowed Yates to draft by for 2nd. Yates capitalized on a good line choice that allowed him to catch Mazziotto and the two drag-raced to the finish line.
In the end, Yates was able to gain the upper hand to secure his third race win of the season in California.
“I knew it was going to be a battle to the finish,” Yates said. “Coming into the last lap that wasn’t where I wanted to be, I made a little mistake and they pulled a gap but I was able to make that up in the final corner and get by Brandon and clean up Anthony’s mistake, so I got a little lucky there, but I’m happy with the way it ended up.”
Paasch bested Mazziotto in the final moments, giving the points leader a 2nd place finish at Round 7. Mazziotto finished 3rd, where he holds a strong 2nd place position in the championship standings.
“I had no idea how close they were to me so I rode a little bit defensive in the last corner,” Mazziotto said. “After I realized how early I apexed the turn, I knew where I was going, so I just committed and tried to make the best out of my situation but it didn’t go our way.”
Following a great start, Gutierrez rode a solid race to ultimately finish 4th behind Mazziotto, with Serne also putting in a good ride for 5th place and Cory Ventura in 6th. In only his second MotoAmerica appearance of the season, Ruben Casarez captured a season-best 7th place, followed by Jaret Nassaney with a season-best 8th place finish. Draik Beauchamp and Ezra Beaubier rounded out the top ten with 9th and 10th place, respectively, at Round 7.
The MotoAmerica Series will now take a small break before returning to action in September for the KTM RC Cup final in New Jersey.
Next Event: New Jersey Motorsports Park / Sept. 9-11, 2016
Race 1 Results:
1. Ashton Yates
2. Brandon Paasch
3. Anthony Mazziotto III
4. Alejandro Gutierrez
5. Josh Serne
6. Cory Ventura
7. Ruben Casarez
8. Jaret Nassaney
9. Draik Beauchamp
Championship Point Standings:
1. Brandon Paasch – 266
2. Anthony Mazziotto – 247
3. Ashton Yates – 210
4. Jody Barry – 150
5. Alejandro Gutierrez – 142