Jay Sallstrom wins AMA Pro Hillclimb Round 2 at Bushkill Valley Motorcycle Club
FREEMANSBURG, Penn. (June 13, 2016) - Jay Sallstrom chalked up wins in the top two classes in AMA Pro Hillclimb Round 2 at the Bushkill Valley Motorcycle Club near Freemansburg, Penn. John Koester won the Expert Singles Class and exhibition Hill-Cross competition. Rookie rider Jason Kostan was the only rider in Pro Sport to take an automatic win.
Expert Singles rider Deryk Beaudoin tackled the hill first, posting a 19-second E.T. followed by Koester who was the next rider to top the hill with a time of 15.779 seconds. Bryan Rusnak trailed Koester, cresting in 17.781 seconds. Phil Libhart stopped the clock at 18.75 seconds, then Sallstrom posted a 15.262-second E.T., in the lead by half of a second. Eddie Capelli crossed the line in 18.737 seconds near the end of the order.
Nine of the 15 Expert Singles riders scored distances rather than times in the first half, owing to the difficult nature of the Freemansburg hill. At the half, Sallstrom led the pack with Koester and Rusnak in hot pursuit.
In the Expert Singles second-half, Joseph Lowe briefly moved into third. Koester laid down a quick 13.748-second ride that bumped him to first. Rusnak gained traction and regained the third position from Lowe. Sallstrom's second ride was off the pace, leaving him in second but that was good enough for the TiLUBE Top Gun Award.
Lowe led the Xtreme Class with a 16.893-second ride and Sallstrom followed with a stunning 10.957-second E.T. Rusnak was also a major contender topping in at 12.891 seconds. Riding in mid-order, Libhart was a half-second faster than Sallstrom, taking over the lead. Koester posted a 10.757-second E.T., bumping Sallstrom to third and Rusnak to fourth.
After intermission, Sallstrom had everything dialed in as he screamed to the top in a high-flying 10.233-second ride. Only Libhart came close to unseating him, but rode nearly a second off of Sallstrom's time. Sallstrom climbed to the top step of the Xtreme Class podium, flanked by second place finisher Libhart and eventual third Koester.
Unlimited Class riders, much like the Xtreme Class, struggled with hill conditions. Fewer than half crested the hill on their first attempt. After several riders fell short, Sallstrom showed them how it's done by leaping to the top in just 9.775 seconds. Jockamo Baldina posted a 13.492-second time followed by Koester in 13.047 seconds. Libhart rode last in order and crested the hill in 12.709 seconds to take second from Koester.
After halftime, Sallstrom sat out waiting to see if he'd need to defend his spot on the Unlimited Class podium. No one could touch him. Koester bettered himself by a tenth of a second and Libhart scratched, leaving Sallstrom with his second win of the day followed again by Libhart and Koester.
Kostan, the only rider in the Pro Sport Class, topped the hill in 18.511 seconds on his second attempt, taking the automatic win.
Exhibition Hill-Cross featured single elimination between the top 12 Expert Singles riders. This side-by-side handlebar-to-handlebar action is a crowd favorite. Koester, Sallstrom and Rusnak advanced to the final with Koester taking the win followed by Sallstrom and Rusnak.
AMA Pro Hillclimb riders will face off next at Canaan, N.H. on Wednesday, June 15.
The AMA Pro Hillclimb Series receives sponsorship from Wiseco, Cometic Gaskets, PsychMXGraphix, Alco Cleaners, Evans Coolant, TiLUBE, and Kawasaki.
Results Round 1
U/L: 1. Jay Sallstrom (Yam); 2. Phil Libhart (Tri); 3. John Koester (Hon); 4. Jockamo Baldina (Hon); 5. Johnny Curry (Suz).
Xtreme: 1. Jay Sallstrom (Yam); 2. Phil Libhart (Tri); 3. John Koester (Hon); 4. Bryan Rusnak (KTM); 5. Anthony DeHart (Hon).
Expert Singles: 1. John Koester (Hon); 2. Jay Sallstrom (Yam); 3. Bryan Rusnak (Suz); 4. Nick Briggs (Yam); 5. Joseph Lowe (Kaw).
Pro Sport: 1. Jason Kostan (Suz).