Shedden wins Race 1 and Race 2 at opening round of NATC
April 10, 2022
Californian, Jesse James Shedden (Jesse James Racing) came away from the opening round of the North America Talent Cup (NATC) with the full haul of 50 points after winning race one and race two in dominating fashion.
The NATC recently concluded a full weekend of racing at Circuit of the Americas during the MotoGP round. The majority of riders had their first experience on the Aprilia RS250 SP2, so the weekend was a mix of testing, tuning, and racing in front of a proper MotoGP audience.
Photo credit: Brian J. Nelson
Dry weather and sunshine gave the grid time to push the Aprilia and Dunlop tires to their limit. All riders made significant improvement on lap times throughout practice but it was Jesse James Shedden (Jesse James Racing) that consistently emerged fastest in practice and qualifying. Shedden topped the time sheets with a 2’36.516 for pole position. Qualifying second was Aiden Sneed (Aiden Sneed 613 Racing) with a 2’37.804, and rounding out the front row was Alessandro Di Mario (B&M American Racing Team) with a 2’38.056.
There was no lack of drama during the weekend. During the start of the warm-up lap for race one, the bike of Alexander Enriquez (California Mini Grand Prix) failed to start. With a mad dash and help from other teams, Enriquez was able to get the bike running and started from pit lane. Enriquez was able to push from the back to finish in P7.
A technical issue forced Adrian Sanchez (Team Sanchez/T3 Racing) to miss qualifying and have to start at the back of the grid. Sanchez was able to advance through the pack to finish P11 in race one and P12 in race two, securing valuable points in both races.
Race one saw incredible action between Aiden Sneed, Alessandro Di Mario, and Jayden Fernandez, with all three of them swapping positions throughout. Chris Clark (Rumble Kong Racing) crashed out but rejoined, ultimately finishing P17, while Dylan Singh (Singh Racing) and Suhaib Salem (NJ Moto Racing) crashed out and ended the day DNF.
Shedden came out on top, winning race one by a 28-second margin to score the first 25 points of the season.
With qualifying from day one and setting the grid positions for both races, some racers had continued work ahead of them. Race two saw Sneed and Di Mario hang on to the back of Shedden for a few more laps, but after a consistent pace in the 2’37s and low 2’38s, Shedden was able to again break away. With Alex Enriquez starting in his qualifying position of P4 for race two, he was able to fight up front with the leaders and ended with a strong second place finish. Di Mario, Sneed, and Fernandez put on another great show, with Di Mario finishing on the podium just .04 behind Enriquez. Sneed and Fernandez round out the top five.
Unfortunately, Chris Clark had another rough day, being taken out by Britanni Vaccarino (Coatzy Moto/LatinWE) in turn one.
All the racers in the class of 2022 showed grit and determination as they competed on the big stage in front of the professionals.
Jesse James Shedden leads the championship with 50 points; Aiden Sneed in second with 33 points, and Alessandro Di Mario in third with 32 points.
The next round will take place May 7-8 at High Plains Raceway in Colorado during the MRA race weekend.