Hayden Gillim Secures Second Place in the Championship
While Dominating in the Rain at New Jersey Motorsports Park
The RiCKdiculous Racing team came into New Jersey knowing that weekend would be wet but knew that the results of these races would be important in solidifying season-long championship standings. With the varying weather conditions, the team knew it would be important to take advantage of Friday’s practice and qualifying as it would be the only dry day of the weekend.
Hayden Gillim came into the weekend hungry for the top spot on the podium as he has not seen that spot since the first race of the year at Road Atlanta. Knowing that rain was due to come, Hayden took advantage of the dry conditions on Friday, and put his RiCKdiculous Racing R6 on pole position for the second consecutive weekend! The weather forecast didn’t disappoint, as rain started to fall Saturday morning for morning warmup. Hayden continued to set the pace and was fastest after the short morning practice. With a damp and cold track, Hayden took to the race full of confidence as his rain skills are some of the best in the paddock. True to form, Hayden crossed the finish line in first, almost fourteen seconds in front of second place! The #69 rider took his winning momentum into Sunday morning warmup and took the top spot in colder and wetter conditions. The added weather called for slightly different conditions than the day before, and after taking the lead Hayden crashed in lap four. Despite this, Hayden rallied together and managed to claw his way back from eighth place to second, only 8 seconds back of the leader. Even though Hayden and the crew would have like to have secured wins in both races, Hayden’s efforts cemented his second place overall for the 2018 MotoAmerica Supersport 600 Championship! We could not be prouder of Hayden and his entire team for their consistent effort and results the entire year! Gillim said, “New Jersey was a fantastic weekend that still could’ve been better! Came in off a pole position and two second place finishes at Pittsburgh and I was feeling very confident! Another pole position with my dry time and then went to work in the wet! First in race one but pitched it away in race two. Fought back to second, but that’s not what we wanted or should’ve had. Going into Barber with some steam and we know we have the speed to win!”
RiCK racer Jason Aguilar came into New Jersey looking to improve on his stellar performances the last couple races. Despite struggling the past few years at NJMP, the 2017 Superstock Champion hoped to fight off the weather and track demons that have haunted him in the past. The #96 racer looked to improve on his qualifying position but struggled to find a rhythm and finished in thirteenth. Coming into a rainy Saturday morning, Aguilar looked to gain some important rain experience as the weekend’s forecast showed 100% chance of showers all weekend. After a solid morning warmup and some advice from some fellow racers, Aguilar was confident in his ability to shine in the wet. Despite starting on the fourth row, Jason clawed his way through the pack and brought his RiCK R6 home in seventh position! With this fantastic result, the California native brought extra confidence going into Sunday’s race that found everyone having to deal with much worse conditions than the day before. Despite this, Jason fought hard all race, and managed to improve on his Saturday results, and crossed the line in sixth position! Aguilar states, “Going into one of my worst tracks on the calendar I wasn’t expecting too much. It turns out I managed to come to grips with the rain this weekend. I didn’t crash and walked away with a 7th and 6th, ending a great weekend for me in New Jersey. I’m looking forward to the last round at Barber! I want to give a big thanks to the whole team and all my sponsors for making everything possible!”
RiCKdiculous Racing Junior Cup Racer Gauge Rees looked forward to coming to New Jersey and racing in the rain, as the Utah native has had plenty of rain experience in his club racing days. Gauge finished the first qualifier in thirteenth position yet looked to improve on that result as the weather was set to deteriorate over the weekend. After getting a great start, Gauge was fighting for a top ten position, when the notorious turn five caught Gauge in a small low side. Despite this, the #46 picked the bike back up and finished the rest of the race in a strong show of grit and determination. As the rain continued to pour on into Sunday, Rees looked to improve on his race one results despite the intense conditions. Unfortunately, Rees had to manage mechanical issues all race, but kept his head in the game and rode his RiCK R3 upright all the way home in sixteenth position. We are extremely proud of Gauge’s concentration and determination to finish strong despite dealing with bike issues. Rees heads into Barber with a ton of confidence as he was one of the top riders leaving the test earlier in the year! Rees said, “New Jersey was a learning experience for me and the crew. The wet weather all weekend made for an interesting turn of events in the races on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, it was basically a crash fest and unfortunately, I was part of it and found myself sliding through the mud after fighting for a spot in the top ten. I picked the bike up and finished the race. On Sunday, I was feeling pretty good about the race and excited to get another shot after crashing, but we had a mechanical issue with the bike that wasn’t allowing the shock to work correctly. I’m going to take this weekend and use it as motivation for the last round at Barber. I’m hungry as ever and want to end my season strong for my team.”
“When we race at NJMP, you never know what’s going to happen, states Rick Racing Rider Coach Ken Hill. Crazy weather, where the spread of lap times is typically tight and the racing always a battle and this year didn’t disappoint! With the rain coming for Saturday and Sunday, we knew Friday afternoon Qualifying was going to be super important and all the riders and crew nailed it, with all the Rick racers near the top of the timesheets. Saturday was fantastic! Hayden took the win in 600ss, Jayson P7 and Gauge running strong until the notorious turn 5 bit him. Also, a special note was Rick racer JD Beach clinched the 2018 600 Supersport championship! Sunday brought much colder and wetter conditions, making the track even more of a challenge than the previous day. All the crews worked hard to find even better rain setups for their riders and Hayden looked unstoppable in Race 2 until a low side in turn 5 took him out of the lead. Hayden remounted and even being nearly 25 seconds back, rebounded to a 2nd place finish, only 8 seconds behind JD Beach. Jason again had a strong finish with a P6. Gauge battled hard with setup issues but took away some great wet weather experience.”
RiCKdiculous Racing co-owner Josh Bronfman states, “The treacherous conditions this weekend called for an even tighter handle on operations for both the crew and the racers. Without hesitation, the entire RiCK team stepped their game up and put forth amazing efforts in the rain. I am extremely proud of Hayden for clinching second in the championship after his first year back on a 600 and on a completely new team. Jason Aguilar stepped his game up tremendously with some great finishes in the wet. And, as always, Gauge Rees worked his but off to stay tight in the ultra-competitive Junior Cup class. I also want to give a huge congratulations to RiCK rider JD Beach for clinching the Supersport 600 title this weekend. I could not be prouder of our entire RiCK family and look forward to a strong team finish in Barber!”
RiCKdiculous Racing would like to think all of their sponsors for their continued support and dedication to our program. We couldn’t do it without you! Thanks to Renthal, Galfer, Quicksilver, Motion Pro, Superbike Unlimited, bLUcRU and Graves Motorsports!
RiCKdiculous Racing is a Father and Son owned operation that includes not only a professional race team but the most elite coaching school in the United States. To get the same coaching and training that our professional athletes get, go to www.rickdiculousracing.com for information on our coaching programs. Please also find us on Facebook and Instagram at @rickdiculousracing and like us for updates on the team, the school and general RiCK stuff throughout the season!