Mission Foods SHNC AMA Round 5 & 6 at Laguna Seca

Written by Stone Hendrikx

Photos by Brian J. Nelson / Stone Hendrikx / DUAL Studios

It was truly a spectacular race weekend at the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca this year. This thing has truly "blown up" so to speak since our first time racing here three years ago. Due to the entry list being SO heavy this year they had to split the race into two categories - showing us how big of a success the Mission Foods Super Hooligan National Championship brought to you by Roland Sands Design truly is.  


MotoAmerica Mission Super Hooligan Race 1 at Laguna Seca 2023

Aaaaand they're off! The race began with a decent start by Jeremy McWilliams, a huge start by Larry Pegram and a truly electrifying start by Stefano Mesa on his Energica Eva Ribelle RS. The way Stefano's electric bike took off was like watching a shuttle launch and it landed him the holeshot. Stefano went on to lead the better part of the first lap, which was a real treat because for the first time in Super Hooligan racing- or perhaps anywhere on the planet, an electric bike was leading the pack amongst a group of viscous gas motors. Stefano showed the world with this start that the progress amongst the Energica team is real. Though it wasn't long until McWilliams, Tyler O'Hara and Andy Dibrino passed Mesa and headed into the Corkscrew. McWilliams's went on to do everything in his power to keep his teammate behind him, but as Tyler has showcased nearly every weekend - "Come race time, it's go time." During lap 3 of 8 the red flag came out with AJ Peaslee down in turn 2 with a real awkward off. It looked as if he had gotten to the edge of the track, tagged the rear brake before running off into the gravel and the thing high sided him - reminding us that occasionally these riders take themselves a little track nap.


Prior to the spill we had McWilliams on his S&S Indian FTR 1200 leading the pack under pressure from his teammate Tyler O'Hara, and Andy Dibrino in 3rd on his KM 890 Duke R. Stefano Mesa sat in 4th with Larry Pegram right on his tail ripping his FTR 1200. The restart went on to be a 5-lap race with the original starting lineup.

"I want to come away with a win, I'm desperate here to make amends for what was a rubbish decision at The Ridge." McWilliams states on the record during the red flag.

Tyler O'Hara then follows this statement by adding, "Hats off to Jeremy he's been taking me to school all weekend and I never stop learning and getting better every session."

 McWilliams and O'Hara lead the restart. Dibrino took a look at the inside of Tyler a few times throughout the coming laps, but O'Hara was too quick to be caught. With 3 laps to go Tyler nearly crashes going into turn 5 - it looked as if he may have grabbed a little too much front brake and his S&S FTR1200 was then passed up by the KTM of Andy Dibrino and the Harley Davidson Pan America of Cory West. With 2 laps to go and heading into the Corkscrew, Dibrino was all over the back of McWilliams. Jeremy even took a quick glance back as he entered the last lap only to notice that Andy was right on him. McWilliams's deflected everything that Andy threw at him, even his last attempt to go for it on the inside of the Corkscrew. On this attempt Andy was truly so close to either success or disaster, but McWilliams held on to the 1st place position and Andy would only have the last turn to hope for a miracle. Flying into the last turn, McWilliams slid and lost a tad of momentum, turning it into a true sprint to the flag but the S&S Indian FTR1200 had just enough power to take the cake.

 Race 1 concluded: Jeremy McWilliams 1st, Andy Dibrino 2nd, and Cory West 3rd. Following the victors were Larry Pegram in 4th, Tyler O'Hara 5th, Stefano Mesa 6th, Mark Price 7th and Sean Cresap in 8th both on their KTM 890 Duke R's, and Shelina Moreda on a Ducati Hypermotard in 9th.

Roland Sands Design F#K Luck Ring Set
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MotoAmerica Mission Super Hooligan Race 2 at Laguna Seca 2023

With the lights on and a McWilliams, Dibrino, O'hara 1-2-3 on the grid, the anticipation to see what was going to happen this time around was nerve-racking. Cory West had a terrific start as he jetted right between a couple of riders and got right up into the mix. Stefano Mesa once again headed for 2nd into turn 1 but McWilliams shut the door on that. West worked the outside of Stefano and got in front of him, and on the way into the Corkscrew of Lap 1 it looked as though McWilliams was out for blood, but West and O'Hara weren't going to have it. Heading into turn 1 of Lap 2 Tyler O'Hara powered by West and ended up right on McWilliams' tail. It's always interesting to watch these two teammates battle for the lead in these races due to the fact that not only do they have very similar motorcycles making around the same horsepower, but they're also able to look at each other's data, so the chances of them running pretty close to one another is very high - as we have seen in the past.

 With 3 laps to go flying into turn 5, O'Hara passed McWilliams with ferocious speed, though his lead didn't last long as McWilliams re-passed Tyler on the inside going into the Corkscrew. McWilliams wouldn't let any further advances by O'Hara slide. With two laps to go Tyler was right behind Jeremy as they headed into the Corkscrew with some oncoming Air-Cooled traffic. Rider 969, Devin McLaughlin, must have not known Tyler was coming and didn't leave him the room that he probably should have which gave McWilliams the opportunity to get out and lead the rest of the race with quite a gap. Tyler ran a 30.9 this lap so he had lost 7 tenths to Jeremy due to the incident.

 Heading into the last lap the guys went on their way to continue lapping up some of the other Air-Cooled riders. Andy Dibrino followed the two Indians in 3rd place but was not able to stick with the FTR's on this one. West ran almost 3 seconds behind Dibrino in 4th, followed by Mesa on the electric. Behind them was Mallory Dobs, Hannah Johnson, and Shelina Moreda in 7th, 8th, and 9th - these riders were absolutely flying on their Ducati's all weekend long. Into the corkscrew for the last time, McWilliams had no one on his tail. He was on fire all weekend, and surely proved a point with his ability to win.

 It was unfortunate that Tyler got involved with the lapper because the roaring crowd of Laguna Seca always loves watching a dog fight to the line, but it was a spaced-out Jeremy McWilliams 1, Tyler Ohara 2, and Andy Dibrino 3. Following 3rd was Cory West in 4th, Stefano Mesa 5th, and Mark Price in 6th.


The race between the Ducati riders Mallory Dobbs, Hannah Johnson, and Shelina Moreda was truly eye-catching with Dobs winning the scuffle by less than a second, placing Hannah Johnson in 8th and Shelina Moreda in 9th. It was a tremendous weekend for Jeremy McWilliams on the S&S Indian FTR 1200, making a point that he can truly get it done.


"If you're gonna do it, do it in style." - Roland Sands. 



MotoAmerica Mission Super Hooligan National Championship B Main

A few of the riders that were originally in the B group during qualifying were able to make the cut into the A Main, making it a great mix-up of racing for each group. Leading the grid was Gilbert Conde on his Indian FTR1200, followed by Charles Condit on his Harley Davidson Low Rider S, and Dillon Wall on his Harley Davidson XL1200 Sportster in 3rd.


                           4th - Aaron Guardado - Harley Davidson Pan America

                           5th - Mike Boyce - Suzuki SV1000

                           7th - Joseph's Gale - Harley Davidson Low Rider S

                           8th - Brendan Murphy - Harley Davidson Dyna Low Rider

                           9th - Gary Thompson - Harley Davidson Low Rider S

                                     And in the final spot was - Michael Smith on his Harley Davidson Low Rider S


Lights are OUT and it's GO TIME!

Charles Condit got a big jump on the start and led the pack into the first turn with quite a gap, but everybody had to watch out for Michael Smith who was lightning fast on his start, passing up 7 riders on his way into turn 1!


Heading into lap 2 the Guardado brothers were neck and neck, but Sean got a huge drive out of turn 11 and was able to move on by. Sean had some killer speed, and as he went around turn 1 fire was even sparking off of his foot peg; he was seriously sending it.


Two brothers racing head-to-head is always a treat, but knowing that they both built the bikes, race them, and do their thing together with Suicide Machine Co. is seriously epic. They truly show why this class is so special because not only are they out here doing the real thing, but they also have to go back to work on Monday...

"But man do they have fun on the weekends." - Roland Sands


During Lap 3 around turn 3, Michael Smith passed Charles for the lead with big speed an outside move - what an incredible charge through the pack from the back of the grid. The 108 of Gilbert Conde did not get a great start but worked his way up into the 4th spot. With 4 laps to go and exiting the Corkscrew, Charles Condit slipped out and went down hard, but with a well-executed crash. "He must be a skateboarder or something" claimed Roland as we watched Charles tuck his arms in and go with the slide. It looked as if he had lost his ground clearance and dabbed the primary.


Michael Smith went on to lead the rest of the race with Conde behind him, and on the last lap Gilbert laid down a 1:42:856 the fastest lap of the race, but this wasn't fast enough to catch the Low Rider S of Michael Smith. With Smith's victory he showed us that although starting from the back of the grid is not ideal, this is racing, and there's never a guarantee. Coming in hot into the last turn behind 1st and 2nd was Dillon Wall and Sean Guardado battling for 3rd place.


Exiting the turn, it seemed as if the podium spot was safely secured in Dillons hands but for some reason Dillon looked behind him, sat out of his seat swerving, and Sean Guardado viciously flew by him for the 3rd place spot with less than a second between them. Did Dillon hit a neutral? Did he not know it was the last lap? Did he think he had a greater lead than he did? The world may never know...


The race spectacle resulted as such: Michael Smith 1st, Gilbert Condi 2nd, and Sean Guardado 3rd.


"These Hooligans are truly pushing the limits of these bikes." - Roland Sands

The Air-Cooled fans were fired up to greet their Super Hooligan Champions, and we all look forward to seeing what's in stock for the rest of the season amongst these radical riders.