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FMRRA: Florida Motorcycle Road Racing Association
Round 7: Palm Beach International Raceway
July 23, 2017
Florida Racers Stefano Mesa and Daryan Martin take home the Expert and Amateur Overall Championships in the finale round of the 2017 Florida Motorcycle Road Racing Championship:
With the 2017 FMRRA season closing out this past weekend, Stefano Mesa was officially crowned the Expert Overall Champion for the second year in a row. The South Florida native was a dominant force throughout the year at all three of the tracks on the schedule. Along the way, there were some incredible close battles with Jupiter, FL resident Sean Dwyer, but in the end Mesa took home the championship points lead across the board. The season finale showed the level of competition when Mesa took a well-deserved finish in front of Dwyer, Felipe Maclean, and Marcin Biernacki in the SuperStock 1000 sprint race.
Wrapping up his amateur year in true champion fashion, Daryan Martin on his Yamaha R6 demonstrated his increasingly building talent with his results. Landing on the podium in three of his four races, Martin proved he will be a force to be reckoned with as he continues his racing career as an Expert next season throughout the South East.
The season finale at Palm Beach International Raceway started off with an incredible battle for the top step of the podium between Alejandro Rei and Aaron Hernandez in the SuperStock 600 Grande Corsa. In lap 9 (of 12) Hernandez made an impressive pass but was unable to make it stick in the end. Rei took the checkered flag by a scant margin of 0.185 seconds starting the day off with a photo finish and four amateurs crossing the line before the first expert in class!
In race #2, the lightweight bikes (250s, 300s, and Moto3) took to the field in large force. After 12 laps Thomas Teather took a definitive overall victory on his Moto3 Honda by a 26.218 second margin over Walter Ferreya, who won the SuperStreet 300 class. Paul Vance brought home the podium for the SuperStreet 250 bikes.
The third race of the day was a nail-biter for more reasons than one. Three laps into the race Derik Johnson suffered a braking failure and impacted the tire wall at Turn 4 launching him over the wall to the other side. While he was bruised, he was certainly not beaten, posting Facebook live streams from the hospital before the end of the day with a positive outlook on his condition and plans to get the bike repaired and fully healed over the summer. Restarting the race after the incident, Felipe Maclean rode his Kawasaki ZX-10R to victory in the expert class, with Robert Fellman taking the win for the amateurs.
The Sunoco SuperBike 600 race was a difficult one for Adrian Mitchell and Jon Holloway coming together in the first laps. Both riders were positive about the racing incident and Adrian was able to return to racing later that afternoon with his backup bike. Upon the restart, Max Angles (2016’s Amatuer Champion) walked away with the Expert victory in front of an incredible battle for the amateur win. Aaron Hernandez yet again was battling for 8 laps with Daryan Martin, who in the end took the gold by a margin of .495 seconds.
The Production Twin Grande Corsa was one of the races to watch. The season long rivalry between Jonathan Pellnitz and Moto Corse Performance racer Carl Cohen was on display yet again. Cohen started the race from the pole position after Saturday’s Live Qualifying with Pellnitz right behind him in the second slot. Pellnitz had an impressive hole shot and took the lead in the first lap. The two stayed close throughout the race, with Pellnitz setting two new class lap records in the process, before taking the checkered flag in the Expert Class. A bit back from the leaders John Romaine took the amateur victory crossing the line 1.9 seconds ahead of John Turner and Gerald Glass’s battle for third place (a .021 margin).
The Sunoco SuperBike 1000 Grande Corsa was the final race before the lunch break and featured plenty of action for the spectators watching around the track. Felipe Maclean started from the pole; however, Expert Overall Champion Stefano Mesa put on a show on his Kawasaki ZX-10R nailing the holeshot and sliding around the turns of the track to hold off Maclean, Sean Dwyer, and Marcin Biernacki in an impressive display of why he has the #1 plate. While Mesa took off with the lead, there was an incredible battle for the rest of the podium between the other top 4 riders with Maclean taking second place and Sean Dwyer ultimately taking third by a close margin over Biernacki after some back and forth throughout the race.
After the lunch break, the afternoon continued promptly with the remaining 6-lap sprint races. The first of these races was the new Euro Cup class’s inaugural race. Featuring Ducatis, MV Agustas, Aprilia’s, KTMS, and other Euro bikes that don’t competitively fit into other classes, this new “gentleman’s class” saw a showing of 6 exotic machines rarely seen on racetrack around the country. Track Bike Rentals’ and Hurricane Racing’s Seth Starnes lead the field of 6 EuroMax (1000CC+) machines right from the start and impressed the crowd with his powerful 19 second victory over John Palmquist, Gabriel Figueroa and the rest of the field for this new class added to the FMRRA Schedule. Announced only two weeks before the race weekend, this class was the talk of the paddock and many racers and track day riders were talking about their interest in joining next year as it will become a permanent feature on the schedule.
The 19-bike field in the SuperStreet 250/300 and Moto 3 race was impressive with 7 rows of racers lined up on the grid to take the start when the Series’ MotoGP-style Starting Lights went out. Tony Montenegro was returning to the track after a long hiatus and walking away with an early lead, when his front tire unfortunately washed out in Turn 6. Montenegro was right back on his feet, and with over half the race complete the podium was finalized based on the last lap’s results. Thomas Teather took his second victory on his Moto3, with Seth Starnes winning back to back (after the Euro Cup) in the SuperStreet 300 class over Walter Ferreya, while Paul Vance again claimed the victory for the SuperStreet 250s.
The SuperStock 1000 sprint race again matched Mesa, Dwyer, MacLean, and Biernacki up against eachother, this time with only six laps to decide the result in the Expert class. Felipe MacLean had the pole and held it clean in the hole shot. Coming around in the first lap Dwyer had picked his way through the field to second place with Mesa on his heels. In lap 2, Mesa was able to work his way past Dwyer, with Biernacki holding the line strong in fourth. Lap 3 saw Mesa passing MacLean for the lead, and in Lap 4 Dwyer worked his way into second place right behind Mesa. The top four battled the next two laps to the end but ultimately held those positions with the podium order Mesa, Dwyer, MacLean for the Experts. Gabriel Figueroa and Odane Allen took 1st and 2nd in the amateur class after six laps chasing the large expert field.
Race 10 was the Formula40 – 600 sprint and saw Alejandro Rei not only take a dominant win by 8.16 seconds over Bob Damerau and Aaron Hernandez (split by only .133 seconds), but Rei also set a new class record with a 1:23.455 on his Bridgestone-shod BikePass Motorsports Honda CBR600.
Another feature race with an impressive showing from BikePass Motorsports was the Bridgestone Cup in which BPM racers Alex Aguilar (with his first victory), Juan Zuluaga, and German Vacca swept the podium in the Bridgestone-sponsored contingency race for the 600 class. Robert Picinich walked away in the Bridgestone 1000 class in his signature calm, collected, and fearless style.
The Production and Formula Twin sprint saw the rivalry between Jonathan Pellnitz and Carl Cohen unfold yet again, with only 6 laps for the decision this time. Cohen started from the pole on his Dunlop equipped Monster 1100, yet Pellnitz again maximized the hole-shot taking the lead in lap 1. While Pellnitz and Cohen battled up front, Isaac Guibert and Fabian Alvarez made contact going into Turn 1 which prompted a red flag and restart. Upon the 3 lap restart, Pellnitz and Cohen again were wheel to wheel the whole way. Pellnitz set another class record (1:27.586), and ultimately crossed the finish line 3.4 second ahead of Cohen. After a season of chasing after Cohen every race, Pellnitz was elated and the two exchanged congratulations and some friendly trash talking in the post-race interview, joking about having possibly displayed some “hand signals” to each other during the race.
Race 13 saw the Formula40 contingent return for a sprint race on the 1000cc bikes. Robert Picinich walked out in front of the group early on, but the real battle was shortly behind between John Palmquist (who also races bicycles and hydroplanes) and Robert Fellman, who both set their fastest laps in Lap 5 and crossed the line only .7 seconds apart to round out the top 3.
The SuperStock 600 sprint saw a great battle for the Expert win between Seth Starnes and his former protégé/student, Max Angles. The two were never more than a second away from each other, and although Seth had started from the pole, In lap 5 Angles was able to work his way around the seasoned Starnes and hold the lead through the next lap to take the checkered flag by a mere .148 second photo finish and all the gold. For the amateur class, Jose Lloreda was the first to cross the MYLAPS timing loops in front of Alejandro Rei and Alex Aguilar.
The final specialty race of the day was the Formula50 – 1000 sprint, and the racing veterans did not fail to disappoint the crowd. The racing for the top spot was incredibly close between Robert Picinich and Tom McPartland coming down to a mere .583 second gap across the finish line. Tony Montenegro sprung back from his earlier incident to cross the line and take third place in the expert class. Amateur Robert Fellman led the way to the checker in front of Mike Banner.
The Sunoco SuperBike 600 Sprint race was the second to last of the day and it was a nail biter. The early laps of the race saw lead changes from 4 different racers: Jose Lloreda out of the holeshot, Max Angles in the first lap, Aaron Hernandez in laps 2-3, Angles again for laps 4-5, and finally seemingly out of nowhere Bob Damerau expertly worked his way through the field to pass Angles on the final lap setting his best time of the day in the process with a 1:26.124 and taking the flag by a .041 second difference over the younger Angles. Proving how close the entire race was, the top four only had a difference of 1.08 seconds across the line! Jose Lloreda lead the amateurs in the race in front of Aaron Hernandez and Daryan Martin. Be on the watch as all three of these racers will be moving up in the ranks and have consistently proven they can hang with the Experts as we approached the end of the season.
The penultimate race was the Sunoco SuperBike 1000 sprint. While the rain had threatened all day, a cloud moved in right at the end of the previous race and the officials gave the racers an extra 10 minutes to decide if they wanted to run on rain tires. Surprisingly, 9 racers decided against taking the grid, presumably as their season results were already assured. That said, the race did not disappoint. Robert Picinich gave Felipe MacLean his closest battle of the day as the rain came down across the track. Picinich is known for his lack of trepidation in the wet and he proved it in the last race of the season. After chasing MacLean down for 6 laps, in the final two turns of the track Picinich wrung out his Bridgestone-shode Kawasaki to the limit and passed the much younger MacLean in the final corner taking the wet victory at the wire! Picinich’s epic victory and the last race of the 2017 Championship were in the books!
Florida Motorcycle Road Racing Association may have just completed the 2017 championship, but the Series is not one to sit on its laurels. In true Florida-fashion they will be celebrating the season’s end with a Championship Beach Party at South Boca Beach Inlet where trophies and awards will be presented amid beach games, BBQ, beverages, and more with the entire series’ contingent of racers, crew, and family invited along as a complimentary Thank You for an amazing year.
The series hopes to announce their 2018 “Winter Series” schedule (starting in November of 2017), waiting on one last track to finalize their dates. Always striving to increase technology, social media, customer service, competition, with the most inviting and passionate staff. FMRRA would like to personally thanks all of their 2017 racers, crew, staff, family, and of course our sponsors who helped make it possible:
Sunoco Racing Fuels
Southern Racing Fuels
Moto Corse Performance
Pabst Blue Ribbon
MYLAPS Sports Timing
Florida Track Days
Full Season Championship Results and Individual Race Results are conveniently available online at:
More photos and videos are available at
Multi Series Championships
Organizing competitive and safe motorcycle road racing weekends in Florida with a focus on providing a racer-focused and fan-centric atmosphere.
Born from the creative minds at Florida Track Days and partner motorsports facilities, FMRRA is the culmination of years of customer feedback. This is a series created by motorcycle racers for motorcycle racers. We have collaborated with the largest local race shops and racers in creating a new rulebook focused on the racers’ interest. This is a series built WITH the racer FOR the racer.
Our actual race costs (race price / cost per lap) are at an industry low. We think our schedule gives a better value and gives the potential for increased fan attention that will benefit racers cost wise and with sponsor potential. Longer races for less money with increased opportunity to build race craft, race strategy and better preparation to move to higher levels of racing.
Many clubs allow the Lowest level of race classes liberal engine building rules. To be truly on equal footing one can expect to spend $15,000 – $20,000 on top of the purchase price to build a competitive motorcycle. Then include the cost of expensive race fuel and this equals a very expensive introduction to the sport. And for many clubs you get only one race at this level. In order to participate in additional racing often requires “racing up” against even higher spec motorcycles.
We’ve established two racing class specs. Superbike and SuperStock. Superbike spec for those with built motorcycles engines and SuperStock which includes motorcycles with no engine modification (stock engines). We’ve offered plenty of opportunities for both specs to race in multiple classes to ensure fairness and less temptation to break rules
We believe our SuperStock rules are the future of club racing. With no engine modification riders can purchase new and used street bikes and with minimal modifications come to the track and know they have a competitive platform to race with. The $15,000 – $20,000 you saved in SuperStock can buy you lots of fresh tires. It’s almost like racing for free
Modern inexpensive classes such as the 250 / 300 SuperStreet ensure low cost high fun excitement.
The venerable SV 650 – mostly decimated from the ranks in Florida unless raced in a highly spec’d form. We’ve created the class called “Production Twins” to bring the back the SV. $1000 -$2000 SV650’s with reliable stock engines that are easy on tires and a ton of fun.
Ever want to the opportunity to chase down a high dollar high horsepower Italian machine? We’re trying to help there also with the introduction of “Formula Twins”. Pick up an inexpensive SuperStock form RC51, SV1000 or maybe a Ducati 916 and give it a try.
Why do racers and teams spend over $500 in a weekend on expensive race gas? Because the racers next to them are using it. We thought saving thousands per year over everyone dropping a few horsepower is a pretty good tradeoff. That was another great suggestion from the racer community which came true with the sponsorship with Sunoco Race Fuels. Sunoco RMR for the Superbikes (the same stuff used by the factories in AMA MotoAmerica) and 93 pump gas for SuperStock.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be gridded more on your skill and less on other factors? We’ve added qualifying and even threw in a special session called Superpole to determine the front rows. More fun and better safety concerns.
And lots of other little things such as an upcoming new safety initiative. And most all of this coming from the local racer community. We’re listening so keep the suggestions coming! We’re looking forward to an awesome 2016 and hopefully you’ll join us!
FMRRA has partnered with MYLAPS to utilize the MYLAPS AMB transponders for all racers at FMRRA events. Not only is this the industry-standard, state of the art timing technology, but it will provide for live-streaming of on track race activity both on-line and via mobile phones in the pit lanes!