The treacherous pre-race conditions in Pittsburgh was beneficial for Josh Herrin, the twenty-eight-year-old from Glendale who took his first Superbike win in five years in Pennsylvania.
A spectator last year (his team had closed up shop, leaving him without a ride), Josh had his rematch with bad luck, flying in the face of danger when - after a heavy downpour - the track was drying out, putting on two Dunlop slicks that are hard to control when drifting but, after the disappointment suffered in Sonoma, Herrin was hungry for the top step of the podium.
The number 2 rider succeeded, overtaking rivals with authority and boldness: “I think I kind of just psyched myself out - Josh joked in the press conference - I found some good lines the first couple laps. I just put my head down. I’m pumped because I realized on the podium it’s the first time I’ve won a Superbike race in five years. So that’s a huge deal for me.” We are sure that he will be back on the attack tomorrow: his team is called Attack Performance, after all.
The second step of the podium went to Texan Garrett Gerloff with the factory M1. He also rode a nice race, back in the limelight after a troubled period during which he had been bested consistently by his - inconvenient - teammate Beaubier.
A difficult period has been filed away by South African Mathew Scholtz, third in Pittsburgh with his black and gold R1. He made it a Yamaha one-two-three, unbeatable on the uphills and downhills of Wampum and well controlled in counter-steering by the lanky Matthew, a rider who could be an asset for various teams in the World Championship.
Toni Elias finished fourth with his Yoshimura Suzuki. Despite battling fiercely, the number 1 bike was unable to finish on the podium, having to settle for valuable points that keep him in the race for the title.
Things went worse for Cameron Beaubier, forced to start last. Riding through pit lane after the sighting lap is against the rules. The current leader in the standings - confused by the mixed conditions of the asphalt, wet in some spots and dry in others - went a bit haywire, making a decisive mistake. His comeback all the way to fifth place limited the damage for him after earning pole position yesterday.
Sixth place went to Jake Lewis on Suzuki, seventh to Roger Lee Hayden with the Yoshimura GSX-R, making his début with an eighth place finish was Bobby Fong on the Honda Fireblade, ahead of David Anthony with his Kawasaki.
In Supersport 600, Valentin Debis was the surprise winner with his Suzuki GSX-R, beating out the Yamahas ridden by Gillim and Prince. This is the Frenchman’s first win of the season, with class dominator JD Beach just off the podium, fourth with his R6, rather cautious and well-aware that any mistake could cost him the title in the end. JD will try again tomorrow.