Team RidersDiscount.com #20 Sam Gaige returned to Summit Point Raceway for the second time in 2011. Hungry for more wins, the Rochester, NY native was looking forward to another great weekend at the CCS/ASRA Summit Point CycleFest. Unseasonably hot weather added to the already challenging event for Gaige, who had to start from the back of the grid in two of three events since starting order was based on when registration was received. Still, Sam managed rode his Markbilt-prepared, Dunlop-shod Yamaha YZF-R6 to a podium finish in each sprint, taking third in Expert GTU and second in Expert Middleweight SuperSport. The big event for Sam was the Michelin Pro SportBike race, for which, he qualified on pole whilst setting the fastest 600cc lap of the weekend. The race started off with Gaige taking a commanding lead right from the green flag. A problem started shortly after leaving the line when the steering damper mount on his YZF-R6 failed. Still, Gaige led the entire race up the last turn on the last lap while having to deal with limited steering the entire time. He crossed the line second to earn himself a weekend without finishing off the podium.
Sam Gaige – “I can’t believe I didn’t come away with a win in the SportBike race after all that work! I was holding on to the damper itself, riding most of the race one-handed. Twice I lost hold of it where it got caught between the frame and the forks and on the second time it cost me the win. I can’t believe I didn’t run off during the race – I saved that for the cool down lap. The other races were a blast though. I had a lot of fun starting from the back of the grid in the GTU and Middleweight SuperSport classes where I think I had to pass at least two guys a lap to get on the podium. And I was passing people in spots I shouldn’t have been just to get up there! I just ran out of time with the laps ticking down like they did. Overall, I had a great weekend and I’d like to offer my thanks to Mark Rozema and everyone else who helped out in the pits. The heat was staggering and those people made life a lot easier for me.”
Having just missed out on a win in his last race at Summit Point, Sam Gaige and Team RidersDiscount.com look forward to WERA’s Pirelli Sportsman Series at BeaverRun Motorsports Park 18-19 June. Being that it’s a combined North Central and Northeast region event, the undulating circuit will provide a new challenge for the team’s first event there for 2011.