Defending Stock 1000 champion Andrew Lee picked up his second win of the season Sunday at the MotoAmerica Championship of Utah at Utah Motorsports Campus in Grantsville, holding off Geoff Lee and Stefano Mesa to take a two-point lead in the season standings.
It was Lee’s first win since the season opener April 5 at Road Atlanta, and it took a calculated approach to get the job done.
“I kind of just knew where I was a little bit stronger,” said Lee, a Kawasaki rider from Reno, Nevada. “(May) had my number the last part of the track, so I knew if I was going to make a move that would stick, I had to do it in the first four corners. That first section is a pretty hairy section — it’s pretty quick.”
May picked up his second podium finish of the season, adding to a win earlier this season at Road America. He led for a good portion of the race before Lee got past him and pulled away for a 2.958-second victory.
“That first lap when he got by me, he gapped me immediately through the first two or three turns, and I was like, ‘man, he’s got that section dialed,’” May said of Lee. “At that point, I knew the gap, and honestly, I didn’t want to risk too much. I thought, ‘I’ll ride as hard as I can and where I know I can.’ Just ride smart and hope that he made a mistake or traffic or anything would give me another shot at the win. If I tried to push any more through that section, I probably would have tossed it away.”
Mesa, who slipped into second place in the Stock 1000 standings, finished on the podium for the fifth time in as many races this season.
“I didn’t get such a good start — I had a little trouble with my clutch,” he said. “We got it off the line and the bike started to work all right, so I just kind of put my head down to see if I could catch up to the leaders.”
Travis Wyman and Michael Gilbert rounded out the top five.
A year ago, Canadian teenager Alex Dumas was on his way to the Liqui Moly Junior Cup championship, proving himself as one of the top up-and-coming young riders in MotoAmerica.
On Sunday, he took another big step forward, dominating the Twins Cup race with a 14.331-second win over second-place Michael Barnes. Cooper McDonald, competing in just his third career professional race, finished third for his first career podium finish.
“We’ve been improving the bike a lot since the last couple of weekends,” said Dumas, a Suzuki rider from Quebec City, Quebec. “I had a lot of fun at this race to just be in front. I’m excited for the next race and the rest of the season.”
Barnes finished nearly seven seconds ahead of McDonald, meaning he was basically by himself on the track for much of the 13-lap race.
“I started getting too many slides and I was like, ‘man, this is really going to be tough and he looks like he’s not making any mistakes at all,’” Barnes said. “I was right in my decision to just ride my own race.”
McDonald could scarcely hide his joy after the biggest race of his life, having just begun racing four years ago.
“I’m still out of breath a little bit — I’m a little excited,” he said. “I’m still getting used to the bike. Things just started clicking.”
Joseph Blasius and Draik Beauchamp finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Barnes leads Beauchamp by 11 points for the top spot in the season standings. Chris Parrish, who came in with the points lead, crashed out of the race near the midway point.