The start of Saturday’s MotoAmerica Supersport Race at Barber Motorsports Park meant everything to the Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha team, and defending MotoAmerica Supersport Champion JD Beach got a great start, while his teammate and 2016 Supersport Championship points leader Garrett Gerloff’s start was not as good as he would have liked.

JD used his prodigious flat-tracking skills, where getting a good start is so vitally important, and he rocketed his #1 Yamaha YZF-R6 from the second row on the grid. Once the “Jiggy Dog” got into the lead, he was never headed, taking his second win and ninth podium of the season.

Garrett started from second position on the grid, and he struggled initially to keep the front wheel of his powerful #31 R6 planted on the Barber asphalt. Steeling his determination, the Texan focused on passing riders on his way to JD in the lead. Garrett caught up to his teammate, but he was never able to get around him, as JD was on rails throughout the 17-lap event (the 21-lap race was red-flagged and declared final due to lightning visible in the vicinity).

After the win, JD said, “I like to lead the races and, if I can get out front, that’s what works best for me. I was able to do that today, and I concentrated on clicking off consistent laps after I got up front. I was able to make clean passes through most of the backmarkers so that helped me stay in front of Garrett.”

Garrett said, “The biggest thing is, I wish I would have gotten a better start. I could see JD and Joe (Roberts) putting in hot laps, and I thought, ‘Man, this is going to be even harder than I thought.’ I caught back up and got behind JD, but by that time, we were into lappers, and timing those passes is critical. I didn’t get around the backmarkers as cleanly as I would have liked to, and that was pretty much the race. I had to settle for second.”

After Saturday’s race, Garrett leads the 2016 MotoAmerica Supersport Championship by 38 points over JD.

The two Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha teammates will be back at it again on Sunday in Supersport Race 2, which will go green at 2:45 PM.

Watch Round 6 Of The MotoAmerica Championship On beIN SPORTS And beIN SPORTS CONNECT
– Sunday, June 12, 12:00 PM CST: Superbike Race 1, Supersport Race 2, Superbike Race 2

– Sunday, June 12, 12:00 PM CST: Superbike Race 1, Supersport Race 2, Superbike Race 2

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