Jay Sallstrom and John Koester secure the 2016 AMA Pro Hillclimb Championship titles
OREGONIA, Ohio (Oct. 10, 2016) - Jay Sallstrom clinched the 2016 AMA Pro Hillclimb Championship in the Unlimited and Expert Singles classes while John Koester secured the title in the Xtreme class at the Dayton Motorcycle Club's Devil's Staircase. Jockamo Baldina, Koester and Logan Cipala took the Round 10 wins in the Unlimited, Xtreme and Expert Singles classes, respectively. Sallstrom won the exhibition Hill Cross competition.
Brent Nelson in the Expert Singles class setting the pace at 8.515 seconds. Cipala and Sallstrom dropped into the sevens with Sallstrom two-tenths ahead at 7.651 seconds. Koester moved into third late in the order, posting an 8.236-second E.T.
In the second-half, Cipala inched ahead of Sallstrom to take the lead in the Expert Singles. Sallstrom rode fast but settled for second. Koester's podium spot was threatened by Baldina who crossed the line in 8.198 seconds. Koester answered with a 7.863-second E.T. to retake third. Although in second behind Cipala, Sallstrom extended his lead in Expert Singles to 12, easily securing the title.
Koester rode first in the Xtreme class. Trailing the points leader, Sallstrom, by just five points and he knew he at least needed a win to take the title. Koester posted a fast 7.216-second time in his first attempt. Baldina dropped into the sixes with a 6.699-second E.T. to take over the lead. Sallstrom crested in 7.467 seconds, in third behind Koester at the half.
In the second run of the Xtreme class, Koester commanded the group, besting Baldina with a time of 6.528 seconds and made his way back to the lead. Phil Libhart topped the hill in 6.922 seconds, nudging Sallstrom off the podium. Baldina posted a fast time of 6.673 seconds - good for a second-place finish behind Koester. Sallstrom shaved two-tenths off his own time but remained in fourth. Koester's win and Sallstrom's fourth-place meant Koester took the 2016 Xtreme title by just one point.
Baldina stopped the clock in the Unlimited class at 7.164 seconds. He was bested by Sallstrom’s 6.990 E.T. Koester posted a 6.888-second time for the lead. Libhart's 7.160-second ride moved him into third at the half by a fraction of a second.
After intermission, Baldina upped the ante in the Unlimited class with a 6.793-second ride for the lead, moving Koester to second and Sallstrom to third. Cipala rode last and took over the fourth-place position with a 7.078-second ride, pushing Libhart to fifth. Sallstrom held a commanding points lead after Round 9 and a third-place finish in the final round was more than enough to secure the title.