MILLVILLE — Gus Rodio had an unimaginable end Saturday.
The 17-year-old Hammonton bike driver gained the primary STG Junior Cup race within the MotoAmerica SuperBikes at New Jersey on the New Jersey Motorsports Park. The three-day occasion ends Sunday, and the Junior Cup is among the seven lessons on the tour.
“We wished this actually unhealthy,” Rodio mentioned. “We wished this worse than anyone. We’re out right here. We’re successful. Residence monitor! Let’s go! It feels superb. The followers listed below are superb, as at all times. I’m actually stoked to do it.”
Rodio was in fourth place within the remaining lap however was in a position to stick with the leaders, accelerated previous the three and simply crossed the end line first to earn a much-needed 25 factors. Rodio gained in quarter-hour, 14:52 seconds, about two seconds sooner than the runner-up.
This was the tenth cease on the MotoAmerica SuperBikes tour and the final earlier than the championship Sept. 23-25 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. Another stops included Texas, Atlanta, Virginia, Minnesota and Pittsburgh.
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Rodio entered the race in second place in his class with 199 factors.
On Saturday, Junior Cup chief Cody Wyman’s bike ended up within the grass on concerning the third lap and was unable to be pushed. Wyman now has 248 factors. Rodio moved as much as 224 with an opportunity for extra Sunday when the category will race once more.
The race Saturday was back-and-forth and thrilling to look at.
“It’s actually cool as a result of the house crowd comes out,” Rodio mentioned. “We get numerous help right here. We try to maintain this momentum going (on Sunday).”
Rodio was not the one native skilled bike racer.
Anthony Mazziotto, additionally of Hammonton, competed within the 14-lap Rev’It Twin Cup collection race. The 22-year-old entered the race in second place in his class with 172 factors. He trailed Blake Davis, who had 173 factors after the 9 races.
Davis completed first within the race and upped his complete to 198. Mazziotto positioned fifth however nonetheless stays in second place. Representatives from Rodio Racing, the staff Mazziotto and Rodio race for, declined to let Mazziotto converse after the race.
However this cease was nonetheless necessary for Mazziotto and Rodio. Lots of of mates, household and native followers got here out Saturday to cheer on the Hammonton racers. Each have raced at NJMP many occasions earlier than.
And Mazziotto and Rodio are extra than simply teammates.
Each grew up in Hammonton and are shut mates. Anthony Mazziotto Jr., Mazziotto’s father, recalled Rodio coming over to his home when the racer was 8 years outdated to hang around together with his son.
Mazziotto is a 2018 Hammonton graduate. Rodio is homeschooled as a result of he travels so much for races, however he simply began his senior 12 months of highschool. Rodio began racing when he was 10. Mazziotto started racing professionally in 2015 however started driving road bikes in 2012.
“Anthony and Gus have recognized one another virtually their whole lives,” the elder Mazziotto mentioned. “They rode minis and different stuff collectively. They’ve a brotherly relationship. Generally they hate one another, more often than not they love one another.”
It was particular for the 2 mates.
“It’s actually neat as a result of we’ve been mates for thus lengthy,” Rodio mentioned about being on the identical staff as Mazziotto. “He form of helped me get into the game and helped me to get higher from the beginning. It’s actually cool to return collectively.”
Mazziotto and Rodio acquired their begin along with New Jersey MiniGP, which begins youngsters out on the smaller grime monitor at NJMP and works them as much as the large monitor and, within the case of the 2 mates, the skilled stage.
“Using with (Rodio) all all through the ranks, it has positively been actually cool,” Mazziotto mentioned.
There have been simply so many native ties Saturday.
Mazziotto and Rodio each race for a similar staff, Rodio Racing, which is predicated in Hammonton. Rodio’s father, Kevin, owns the corporate. One in every of its greatest sponsors, Geoscape Photo voltaic, is predicated in Mount Laurel, Burlington County, however proprietor Lee Watson lives in Dennisville.
“It is extremely cool,” mentioned Watson, who was born in England and is a former rider. “It’s good for me as I get older to assist the younger guys arising now. … It’s improbable to assist out the younger expertise in New Jersey.
“It’s actually an area factor. We’re an area firm, so that is nice. (Mazziotto and Rodio) are native guys. I’m an area man. Bike racing has at all times been my ardour since I used to be a child and wished to offer it again.”
Brandon Paasch, of Freehold Township, Monmouth County, races within the Inventory 1000 class. Paasch, Rodio and Mazziotto grew up collectively “driving grime bikes and mini-road racing to full-sized highway racing to professional-road racing,” the elder Mazziotto mentioned
“Not solely do I’ve numerous time at this monitor, however it’s cool when everybody comes collectively,” Gus Rodio mentioned. “All of us hang around right here. All of us have time. It’s cool to have the additional help we don’t usually get away from house.”
The opposite 4 lessons within the occasion have been Medallia Superbike, Supersport, Mission King of the Baggers and Royal Enfield Ladies’s Construct Prepare Race. Mazziotto will even race within the Inventory 1000 class Sunday, his first time racing within the class.
“It’s unimaginable. We get nice help from (Watson) and his crew, and Anthony and Gus simply hit it off immediately,” Kevin Rodio mentioned, noting that youngsters who race are inclined to gravitate towards one another to allow them to “perceive one another. “It’s actually nice.”
Fox Sports activities 2 will televise a few of Sunday’s racing from NJMP.
Contact Patrick Mulranen: 609-272-7217