Experiencing his first season in the AMA Pro Road Racing series, one would suspect that sixteen-year-old Jake Lewis has been anticipating his first win of 2012. Although the sixteen year-old rider recently arrived at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia with nothing more than hopes, at the event's end, he rolled out of there with the victory he had been looking for under his belt.
Jake Lewis recently experienced his first win in the AMA Pro Racing Series, while competing in the Big Kahuna in Atlanta.
Racing in the SuperSport Class, Lewis ran with the front of the pack during their first practice session. In fact, the rider remained in the top six positions throughout the session, and finished in the top three. With an impressive practice behind him, Lewis once again manned a spot in the top three during the Provisional Qualifying run later that day, and managed to work his way into the second place spot in the final lap. With no riders beating his qualifying time on the following day, Jake Lewis was scheduled to start on the front row in P2 for the SuperSport races.
During the first Supersport race Lewis got a good start, and in turn, led a majority of the field for the sixteen lap event. Slightly held up by a lapped driver on the final lap, Lewis crossed the finish line in second place, earning a spot on the podium. At the race's end, the young rider had managed to finish twenty seconds faster than the third place rider.
Returning on the following day, Jake Lewis and his Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R 600 #85 were both ready for a fierce battle. Beginning the second race of the "Big Kahuna at Atlanta" double header, the young rider once again broke away from the bulk of the field early, and found himself in a heated battle with a fellow competitor for the first place position. Leading across the stripe a majority of the race, Jake Lewis was in front when a red flag deemed the race over in the thirteenth lap, awarding him the victory that he had been awaiting. The win and leading the most laps, the young rider earned thirty-one points on the day. Not only was the victory sweet, but Lewis had now congregated eighty-two points in the SuperSport East season championship points standings thus far, with a fifteen point lead over the second place rider.
Jake Lewis, 16, has already become a force to be reckoned with in the AMA Pro Racing series.
"This is my first year to ride Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki's," explained Lewis. "It's going really good, and the team is so supportive. Each race we get better and I feel more comfortable around everyone on the whole team. My confidence was really high going into the weekend, because it was a track I knew very well, and I had a lot of friends and family going," he continued. "I had been there three times before the AMA race, so I knew all the fast lines going into the weekend, which was good. I felt really comfortable on the bike, so it was a great weekend for me and the team." When asked the key to success at this particular event, the rider shared, "Just being comfortable on the bike and giving it one-hundred percent all weekend."
Although Jake Lewis savored his first victory, the rider was also aware that he still has many races in front of him, and in turn must focus on the remainder of 2012. "I just need to stay focused and keep on progressing every weekend," he explained. "I learn something new every race, and get more comfortable on the bike. I just want to keep on learning as a rider and get faster." When asked his strong points as a rider, Lewis continued, "I am definitely good on the brakes and stay patient. Being smooth has always worked well for me, and it helps quite a lot over the duration of the race."
Referring to what he enjoys most about the sport, the high school student said, "Just the speed of everything. I enjoy going fast, and I love the competition of the sport. I wouldn't want to do anything else as a sixteen-year-old. I'm really looking forward to Barber, because I love the track and have a lot of people coming to support me, being a home race. I look forward to every race though, because it's so fun just doing what I love."
Granted, Jake Lewis has already proven his riding skills with his first victory behind him. That said, he is also quick to credit his team as an important element of his success. "The team is really important because it's all about trust," he explained. "I get along with everyone very well, and it's getting better every weekend. If you don't like the team, you usually don't perform well, so it's always good to love the team."
Lewis is also acutely aware of the importance of proper maintenance as well. "It's very important, because you always want the bike to perform well, and not have any difficulties. It's important to keep everything maintained well, so you can be up front every race." That in mind, Jake Lewis and the Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki's team depend upon K&N products to keep their engines contaminant free. "We currently use the K&N air filters on both bikes," Lewis explained. "I've been running these filters for three years now. The products they make are definitely the best out there. They help the bike perform better, which helps me win races."
Jake Lewis has a great appreciation for the support he receives. Referring to his fans, the young rider said, "They can definitely expect me to give my best effort every single race weekend. I hope to continue winning races and be up front during every race, fighting for the championship at the end of the year."
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