John Koester earns third straight AMA Pro Hillclimb Unlimited Class win
JEFFERSON, Pa. (Oct. 1, 2015) - John Koester chalked up his third AMA Pro Hillclimb Unlimited Class win in a row and took over the lead for series points at round 7 of the AMA Pro Hillclimb Championship Series, hosted by the White Rose Motorcycle Club. Phil Libhart stretched his Xtreme Class points lead with one winning ride and Mitch Brewer took the Pro Sport win in his first ever pro hillclimb.
Xtreme Class riders were up first with Libhart at the top of the order. He set a pace no one could touch with his first and only ride in the class- posting a stunning 6.527 second E.T. and wowing the fans with a spectacular bike-flipping get-off after the finish line. Koester followed Libhart and crested in 6.551 seconds, just 0.024 off the pace. Jay Sallstrom stopped the clock at 7.106 for third place at the half.
The Xtreme Class top three did not change after intermission. Sallstrom came closer to Koester with a 6.619-second ride but stayed in third and Jockamo Baldina joined the "six second club" with a 6.922, fast but still fourth. Libhart waited and watched but never had to defend top spot on the podium.
The Pro Sport Class led off with Eddie Capelli setting the pace with a 9.745 E.T. Nick Briggs bested Capelli with a 9.498-second ride. Briggs was quickly nudged into second when the rookie, Brewer, crested the White Rose hill 0.051-seconds faster, stopping the clock at 9.447 seconds. The Pro Sport first half order stuck for the second half with Brewer on the top step of the podium, flanked by Briggs and Capelli, second and third, respectively. Brewer said after the race that he "rode for fun," and won!
The Unlimited Class was dominated in the first half by Koester, Sallstrom and Vinny Nuzzolilli. Koester laid down the fastest ride of the day, topping the hill in just 6.322 seconds- a time no one could touch. Sallstrom moved into second momentarily with a 6.765-second ride, only to be bumped back by the next rider, Nuzzolilli, who posted a 6.727 E.T.
The Unlimited action got hotter in the second half with Libhart cresting in 6.718 seconds and wedging in behind Koester. Sallstrom fought back with a 6.634-second ride to take over second. Nuzzolilli just missed moving ahead when he posted a 6.749 E.T. Then came Baldina, whose wild ride netted him just 300 feet and last place in the first half. He rode last in the order and laid down a fast smooth ride 15 thousandths better than Sallstrom. Koester topped the Unlimited podium with Baldina in second and Sallstrom taking third.
Koester's winning streak gives him 154 points and a three-point lead over Sallstrom. Libhart trails by 12 in Unlimited but leads the Xtreme Class, having garnered 157 points so far. Koester sits four points back and Sallstrom is 12 points behind. Briggs' podium finish moved him into first place with 141 points, just one in front of Joseph Lowe. Eddie Capelli retains third with 126 points.
AMA Pro Hillclimbers will crown their champions at the final round in Oregonia, OH on October 11.
The AMA Pro Hillclimb Series receives sponsorship from VP Racing Fuels, Wiseco, TiLube, Evans Coolant, ALCO Cleaners, PSYCHMX Graphix, and Kawasaki.
U/L: 1. John Koester (Hon); 2. Jockamo Baldina (Hon); 3. Jay Sallstrom (Yam); 4. Phil Libhart (Tri); 5. Vinny Nuzzolilli (Hon).
Xtreme: 1. Phil Libhart (Tri); 2. John Koester (Hon); 3. Jay Sallstrom (Yam); 4. Jockamo Baldina (Hon); 5. Vinny Nuzzolilli (Hon).
Pro Sport: 1. Mitch Brewer (Hon); 2. Nick Briggs (Yam); 3. Eddie Capelli (Hon); 4. Denton Boyer (Hon); 5. Eric Comer (Yam).