MotoAmerica races Virginia International Raceway – Hayes, Hayden Superbike winners

Images: Brian J. Nelson/MotoAmerica


Saturday
Roger Hayden takes first SBK Race win

Roger Hayden emerged victorious from a drama-filled Motul Superbike race, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider taking his fifth career Superbike win and his first at VIRginia International Raceway during the opening day of the MotoAmerica Championship of Virginia.

Cameron Beaubier leads the Superbike field
Cameron Beaubier leads the Superbike field

Hayden held off Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory’s Cameron Beaubier by a scant .485 of a second, the two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion fighting his way through from dead last after an off-track excursion early in the race. If Hayden’s ride to victory was impressive, Beaubier’s ride to second was equally so.

Roger Hayden

“I want to be more aggressive at the beginning, I felt like I had the pace to get away, Cameron [Beaubier] and I passed each other several times on the first lap and then I was just trying to get around Josh [Herrin]. If he would have just settled down a little bit I believe we could have worked together and continued forward. It’s like he hasn’t learned how to ride a Superbike yet. You don’t go and dive bomb everybody, so once I got by him I kept pressing ahead. The team was giving me the board and I could see my lead kept growing, but I decided to back it down the last three laps since water was running onto the track in a few spots. I’m happy to finally get this win after coming up short several times earlier in the season. Cameron (Beaubier) was coming quick, so we’ll search for a little more speed and try to repeat our performance tomorrow.”

Roger Hayden
Roger Hayden

Beaubier surprised even himself after running off track rather than hitting fellow Superbike racer Kyle Wyman on the run into turn one.

Cameron Beaubier

“I came in a little bit hot behind Kyle [Wyman] and felt the front end start to push, which forced me to let off of the brake and eventually run off the track. I did everything I could just to keep it on two wheels since the grass was wet and super slick. The entire field was long gone when I got back on the track, I just put my head down and rode my heart out, I feel like a ride like that is what wins championships, but at the same time a mistake like that is what loses them. I’m happy to be on the podium and collect some points. I couldn’t believe that I was able to shrink the gap on the front runners as much as I did.”

Beaubier chasing down Hayden
Beaubier chasing down Hayden

For the second time this season, Quicksilver Latus Motors Kawasaki’s Bobby Fong put his Superstock 1000 ZX-10R on the Motul Superbike podium while also collecting victory in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class for a third time in 2017.

Fong was in the lead pack for the duration and made a pass on four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes on the dash to the checkered flag.

Bobby Fong

“It was a long shot to repeat my COTA performance, but I always try and reach for the stars. I’ve had a lot of pressure since the beginning of the season and high expectations to run with the Superbike guys. I want to be smart for the championship, but the other part of me is a racer and I want to get up there with these guys. The race was tough. However, I managed my tires really well and had great grip come the end of the race. It was difficult riding with Toni (Elias) and Josh (Herrin). They were holding up the pace quite a bit and they are both really hard to pass. They played cat-and-mouse, which isn’t cool, we should be working together to catch Roger (Hayden). I’ve just got to get a little bit more aggressive in the future if I am trying to pass them.”

Like his factory Yamaha teammate Beaubier, Hayes also had an off-track excursion that cost him dearly. After earning the 40th Superbike pole of his career earlier in Superpole, Hayes was in the lead pack when he ran off. He would drop to 12th, move back up to third and then lose the spot to Fong on the run to the flag.

Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz ended up fifth in the Motul Superbike class and second in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class, the South African also running in the lead pack and only 2.8 seconds from victory in fifth place.

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis filled the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 podium in third place and sixth overall. Seventh went to Excelsus Sollutions/Lucas Oils/KWR’s Kyle Wyman with TOBC Racing’s Danny Eslick, Helmet Sounds/Western Services/Meen Motorsports’ Bryce Prince and Cycle World Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim rounded out the top 10.

Toni Elias
Toni Elias

And what of Motul Superbike Championship points leader Toni Elias? The Yoshimura Suzuki rider was running second in the closing stages when he was taken out by Helmet Sounds/Western Services/Meen Motorsports’ Josh Herrin at the top of the Rollercoaster, with both riders hitting the deck.

Herrin was later penalized three grid positions for tomorrow’s second Motul Superbike race for “causing a collision” that resulted in both riders crashing.

Toni Elias

“In some way, this is racing and Josh (Herrin) come and said, ‘Hey, sorry,’ but you cannot race like this. Not for me only, but for the others. You can see every race… Okay, I understand he is trying to show the potential, but you cannot risk Roger Hayden’s championship, Josh Hayes or Cameron Beaubier’s championship because you need to show your potential. You can show the potential in the same way, but risking the championship of the others. We work hard, we try to be consistent to open the gap in the championship. We cannot waste our work like this. We have a brain to think and I don’t think that’s the way to use the brain. But, I repeat, this is racing, it is like this and I have to accept. I’m sure he’ll (Herrin) learn something, I hope.”

Elias came into VIR with a 26-point lead on this teammate Hayden. After the first of two races, that lead has evaporated to just a single point, 95-94.

Beaubier also escaped disaster to move to within six points of Elias with 89 points. Fong is fourth with 52 points, but leads the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 title chase by nine points over Lewis, 95-86. Scholtz is just another point behind in third place.

Race 1 Superbike Podium
Race 1 Superbike Podium
Motul Superbike
  1. Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  2. Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha
  3. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki
  4. Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Ms., Yamaha
  5. Mathew Scholtz, Johannesburg, South Africa
  6. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  7. Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., Yamaha
  8. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha
  9. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha
  10. Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki
Race 1 Superstock 1000 Podium
Race 1 Superstock 1000 Podium
Bazzaz Superstock 1000
  1. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki
  2. Mathew Scholtz, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha
  3. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  4. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha
  5. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha
  6. Hayden Gillim, Philipot, Ky., Suzuki
  7. David Anthony, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
  8. Frankie Babuska, Pelham, N.Y., Yamaha
  9. Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha
  10. Anthony Kosinski, Crumstown, In., Yamaha

Supersport

The Supersport final was also heated from the get-go and saw the demise of championship points leader and pole sitter Valentin Debise at the very start of the second lap. With Yamahas on both sides of the Frenchman in the fast turn two, there was contact and the M4 Suzuki rider ended up getting the worst of it as he tumbled off on the grass, scoring zero points on the day.

Garret Gerloff leads the Supersport race
Garret Gerloff leads the Supersport race

The two Yamahas were left to battle alone at the front, with Gerloff able to establish himself as the man to beat early as he pulled a slight gap. Beach, though, kept fighting and got back to within striking distance before eventually relenting. He was 3.8 seconds behind at the end of the 20-lap race.

Garrett Gerloff

“The first corner I felt like I was on my line and I just got tagged from the back and ended up with some gnarly tire marks on me. He [Valentin Debise] ran it in there and sometimes it can be a little bit much. It got me a little bit fired up and I wanted to get by him by out-braking him into turn one, but his brake lever or something hit the back of my leg. I didn’t know what happened, but he likes to race close and I like to race close and it is what it is.”

Beach was a bit miffed at Debise for what could have been a much worse incident in turn one.

JD Beach

“He’s [Valentin Debise] definitely not a bad rider or anything, but it for sure spooked me and I’m pretty sure he ended up going down as well. He almost hit Garrett [Gerloff] and I, which isn’t normal and I hope he doesn’t continue that type of riding. I was on the outside and if I had been a little bit closer there would’ve been contact. It was just a little bit too close of a move for the second lap of the race.”

Benny Solis was all alone in third place, the Team H35 rider circulating by himself for the duration and ending up 47.3 seconds behind Beach.

Gerloff now leads Beach in the championship points chase by nine points, 86-77. Debise is now 21 points behind in third place.

Following Solis was a battle for fourth and first in the Superstock 600 class went to Team MG55 Racing’s Michael Gilbert, the Californian some six seconds ahead of a battle that went to former KTM Cupper Anthony Mazziotto III over JC Camacho, Jason Aguilar and Nick McFadden.

For Gilbert, it was the third win of his career and his first since winning here at VIR a year ago.

Michael Gilbert

“The start was really chaotic and I was trying to set myself in there by not letting the guys go that were in front of me. I put my head down once I got to the front in my class, paying attention to my board, and saw I had a comfortable gap on the guys behind me. I eventually slowed it down in order to bring it home safe.”

Gilbert and McFadden are now tied for the lead in the Superstock 600 Championship with 61 points – 12 clear of Aguilar.

Race 1 Supersport Podium
Race 1 Supersport Podium
Supersport
  1. Garrett Gerloff, New Waverly, Tx., Yamaha
  2. JD Beach, Owensboro, Ky., Yamaha
  3. Benny Solis Jr., North Hollywood, Calif., Honda
  4. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha
  5. Anthony Mazziotto III, Hammonton, N.J., Yamaha
  6. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Tx., Suzuki
  7. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha
  8. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  9. Connor Blevins, Oklahoma City, Ok., Kawasaki
  10. Brandon Paasch, Freehold, N.J., Suzuki
Superstock 600
  1. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha
  2. Anthony Mazziotto III, Hammonton, N.J., Yamaha
  3. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki
  4. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha
  5. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  6. Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki
  7. Shane Richardson, Wellington, New Zealand, Kawasaki
  8. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Yamaha
  9. Andrew Lee, Clovis, Calif., Yamaha
  10. Ryan Christian, Clearwater, Fla., Yamaha

KTM RC Cup

Quarterley Racing/On Track Development riders made up the top four in the KTM RC Cup race with Draik Beauchamp taking his first-ever MotoAmerica victory.

KTM RC Cup Race 1
KTM RC Cup – Race 1

Beauchamp beat Jackson Blackmon by .069 of a second, with the 15-year-old Blackmon scoring his first career MotoAmerica podium in his return to racing after an off-season arm injury. Benjamin Smith, who won both races in the opening round at Road Atlanta, was third today.

Draik Beauchamp in the lead
Draik Beauchamp in the lead
Draik Beauchamp

“That was an awesome race. It took me a lot of hard work to get here today, but hopefully I can keep doing this. I fought hard the entire race with these guys (Jackson Blackmon and Benjamin Smith) and it was a spectacular job by them to ride the way that they did for our team.”

Race 1 KTM RC390 Cup Podium
Race 1 KTM RC390 Cup Podium
KTM RC Cup
  1. Draik Beauchamp, Knoxville, Tenn., KTM
  2. Jackson Blackmon, Rock Hill, S.C., KTM
  3. Benjamin Smith, Glenmoore, Pa., KTM
  4. Jake Leahey, Hammonton, N.J., KTM
  5. Alex Dumas, Quebec, Canada, KTM
  6. Cory Ventura, Union City, Calif., KTM
  7. Nate Minster, Oak Grove, Minn, KTM
  8. Toby Khamsouk, Banning, Calif., KTM
  9. Tyler Wissel, Medina, Ohio, KTM
  10. Sergio Rodriguez II, Oxnard, Calif., KTM

Sunday
Josh Hayes takes Race 2 Superbike win

Josh Hayes won his 61st career Superbike race in the Championship of Virginia at Virginia International Raceway, the 41-year-old taking his first Motul Superbike win of the season and his first since last July at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a dominating performance.

Superbike Race 2
Superbike Race 2

Every time Hayes climbs to the top of the podium he either breaks or gets close to breaking a record. With his victory today, the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory R1-mounted Hayes moved out of a tie with Mat Mladin for second on the all-time list of AMA victories across all classes with his 83rd career win – just three shy of Miguel Duhamel’s 86 career victories. It was also Hayes’ 61st Superbike victory.

Hayes led the race early and he led it again when his teammate Cameron Beaubier ran off track in turn one on the seventh lap, a mistake that dropped the defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion back to seventh.

Josh Hayes in the lead
Josh Hayes in the lead

From there Hayes took control of the 23-lap race, monitoring his lead and finishing with 4.4 seconds in hand over Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias, the Spaniard spending the majority of his race battling teammate Roger Hayden.

Josh Hayes

“About a half hour before the race I didn’t feel comfortable, however, I just kept telling myself positive things and that I needed to be relentless by making everyone ride the pace that I’m capable of. It took me a little while to get going the first five or six laps, despite having really good grip. Once Cameron (Beaubier) got around me I went into a little bit of a panic until he made the mistake and went off of the track. I was able to regroup a few laps later, pick the pace back up with a few really good laps, and manage the rest of the race.”

Elias chasing Hayes
Elias chasing Hayes

Hayden made things easier for Elias when he ran off the track at the start of the last lap. But it wasn’t totally comfortable as Beaubier had, for the second straight day, charged through the pack after his mistake to finish just .084 of a second behind the Suzuki.

Toni Elias

“It was really hot and a physical day, not necessarily more than others, but when you’re not 100% comfortable with the bike it’s easy to experience strange problems like arm pump. Roger (Hayden) was riding well, but I could see that he was struggling also and I decided to go for the pass. I tried to follow Josh (Hayes) for five or six laps and make up some ground, but wasn’t able to do anything. I’m happy with second today and to get good points after yesterday was a sad day for me with the accident between Josh (Herrin) and I.”

Beaubier was upset with himself after the race for making the crucial error in turn one for a second successive day.

Cameron Beaubier

“I’m pretty disappointed in myself, I felt like I was riding well all weekend and had the pace to win at least one of these races. To make the mistake once yesterday is one thing, but to do it twice is dumb and pretty frustrating. Josh was on rails out front, also Toni (Elias) and Roger (Hayden) were running a good pace. I tried to tuck in behind Toni on the last lap and draft him in hopes of making something happen, but I just wasn’t close enough to make a move.”

Hayden, meanwhile, recovered to finish sixth.

Roger Hayden

“I was having some trouble today pushing the front end. On the last lap, I was battling with Toni (Elias) and made a mistake and ran off the track, but luckily I came back on and ended up sixth and salvaged some points. I was disappointed about today’s race, but all in all it was a pretty good weekend.”

With Beaubier charging through to third, fourth place went to Quicksilver Latus Motors Kawasaki’s Bobby Fong, the Californian taking the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class win for the second straight day and fourth time on the season.

Bobby Fong

“The pace was definitely a little bit faster at the beginning of the race today. I feel like I could have stayed with the Suzuki boys (Elias and Hayden) a little bit longer in the middle of the race, but my tire ending up spinning on the rim 180 degrees and I started getting this huge vibration. I accomplished my goal in the Superstock class but, like I said yesterday, I really want to be closer to these guys like I’ve done at a few of the other rounds.”

Bobby Fong
Bobby Fong

Kyle Wyman rode his Excelsius Solutions/Lucas Oils/KWR Yamaha R1 to fifth, some three seconds ahead of Hayden. Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda’s Jake Gagne ended up seventh, well clear of eighth placed Mathew Scholtz, the Yamalube Westby Racing rider earning second in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class in the process.

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis was ninth overall and third in the Superstock class – just .395 of a second behind the South African. Cycle World Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim rounded out the top 10 on his Superstock-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Hayes being cheered to victory
Hayes being cheered to victory

Elias, who failed to score points on Saturday after crashing, still leads the championship points chase with 115 points, 10 more than Beaubier and 11 more than Hayden. Hayes jumps to fourth with 69 points, four more than Fong, who leads the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship standings by 15 points over Scholtz.

Motul Superbike
  1. Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Ms., Yamaha
  2. Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki
  3. Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha
  4. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki
  5. Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., Yamaha
  6. Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  7. Jake Gagne, San Diego, Calif., Honda
  8. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha
  9. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  10. Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki
Motul Superbike Championship Standings
  1. Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki – 115
  2. Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha – 105
  3. Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 104
  4. Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Ms., Yamaha – 69
  5. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 65
  6. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha – 51
  7. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 51
  8. Josh Herrin, Dublin, Ga., Yamaha – 49
  9. Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., 45
  10. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 40
Bazzaz Superstock 1000
  1. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki
  2. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha
  3. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  4. Hayden Gillim, Philipot, Ky., Suzuki
  5. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha
  6. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha
  7. Frankie Babuska, Pelham, N.Y., Yamaha
  8. Anthony Kosinski, Crumstown, In., Yamaha
  9. Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha
Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship Standings
  1. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 120
  2. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha – 105
  3. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 102
  4. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 86
  5. Hayden Gillim, Philipot, Ky., Suzuki – 68
  6. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha – 56
  7. Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha – 50
  8. Anthony Kosinski, Crumstown, In., Yamaha – 37
  9. Frankie Babuska, Pelham, N.Y., Yamaha – 17
  10. Tyler O’Hara, Petaluma, Calif., Yamaha – 17

Supersport

For the second straight day, the Supersport final ended up being a two-rider battle between Monster Energy/Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha’s JD Beach and yesterday’s winner Garrett Gerloff with Beach turning the tables on his teammate with his second victory of the season.

JD Beach

“I respect all of the riders out there and am going to race everyone clean, but hard at the same time. It was a good race with Garrett (Gerloff), but he kept leaving the door open and I’m a dirt tracker, so I was able to take advantage of that. As long as he wasn’t going to be in the grass on the left side, then I was going to go for it and keep sticking it in on him. I think Garrett had the speed on me today and I kept trying to get back in front of him in order to hold him back a little bit. His pace was good all weekend, he was fast again this morning, and I knew if I let him get a little bit of a gap on me that it would be difficult to make it up.”

JD Beach
JD Beach

Team H35 Honda’s Benny Solis ended up third for the second straight day with M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Valentin Debise crashing out of the race for a second day in a row.

Three rounds and five races in the Supersport class, Gerloff leads Beach by just four points, 106-102. Solis takes over third from Debise with 69 points to the Frenchman’s 65.

Beach and Gerloff
Beach and Gerloff

Team MG55’s Michael Gilbert won the Superstock 600 class for the second straight day, the 20-year-old Californian in dominant form this weekend. Gilbert beat Aguilar Racing’s Jason Aguilar by 3.1 seconds with Nick McFadden third on the M4 medAge Suzuki.

Michael Gilbert

“It feels better to win today than it did yesterday because it is nice to leave the weekend sitting on top. I didn’t have the best start and was able to get around some of the guys in front of me, allowing me to run some clean laps. The pit board showed the guys were right on my tail for a while, but I kept digging and digging, which helped me open a cushion and manage it until the end. The tires were getting pretty greasy at the end and you had to be careful not to push to hard or you risked the chance of a mistake.”

Michael Gilbert
Michael Gilbert

With his two wins this weekend, Gilbert takes over the championship points lead from Road Atlanta winner McFadden, 86-77. Aguilar is third in the title chase with 69 points.

Race 2 Supersport Podium
Race 2 Supersport Podium
Supersport
  1. JD Beach, Owensboro, Ky., Yamaha
  2. Garrett Gerloff, New Waverly, Tx., Yamaha
  3. Benny Solis Jr., North Hollywood, Calif., Honda
  4. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha
  5. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha
  6. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  7. Connor Blevins, Oklahoma City, Ok., Kawasaki
  8. Anthony Mazziotto III, Hammonton, N.J., Yamaha
  9. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Yamaha
  10. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Tx., Suzuki
Supersport Championship Standings
  1. Garrett Gerloff, New Waverly, Tx., Yamaha – 106
  2. JD Beach, Owensboro, Ky., Yamaha – 102
  3. Benny Solis Jr., North Hollywood, Calif., Honda – 69
  4. Valentin Debise, Albi, France, Suzuki – 65
  5. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha – 43
  6. Brandon Paasch, Freehold, N.J., Suzuki – 43
  7. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 38
  8. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha – 37
  9. Daytona Anderson, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha – 28
  10. Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Ok., Kawasaki – 26
Superstock 600
  1. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha
  2. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha
  3. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  4. Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki
  5. Anthony Mazziotto III, Hammonton, N.J., Yamaha
  6. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Yamaha
  7. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki
  8. Brandon Cleland, Fort Worth, Texas, Suzuki
  9. Andrew Lee, Clovis, Calif., Yamaha
  10. Ashton Yates, Milledgeville, Ga., Yamaha
Race 2 Superstock 600 Podium
Race 2 Superstock 600 Podium
Superstock 600 Championship Standings
  1. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha – 86
  2. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 77
  3. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha – 69
  4. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki – 46
  5. Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 46
  6. Anthony Mazziotto III, Hammonton, NJ, Yamaha – 39
  7. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Yamaha – 37
  8. Shane Richardson, Wellington, New Zealand, Kawasaki – 31
  9. Ryan Christian, Clearwater, Fla., Yamaha – 22
  10. Brandon Cleland, Fort Worth, Texas, Suzuki – 21

KTM RC Cup
KTM RC390 Cup - Race 2
KTM RC Cup – Race 2

A day after finishing on the podium for the first time in his KTM RC Cup career, 15-year-old Jackson Blackmon went one better and won his first race as those behind him fell to the wayside.

Blackmon trailed by Beauchamp
Blackmon trailed by Beauchamp

Blackmon, and his Quarterley Racing/On Track Development KTM, led from the start and was even aware the misfortune of those behind him. The first to go was championship leader Benjamin Smith, the Quarterley Racing/On Track Development rider running into the back of his teammate Draik Beauchamp.

Not long after, Beauchamp also crashed. Ditto for his teammate Jake Leahey, who was running third at the time.

Jackson Blackmon
Jackson Blackmon

All that allowed Blackmon to run away to a 11.4-second win over Canadian Alex Dumas, the JP43 Junior Team rider finishing some three seconds clear of third-placed Toby Khamsouk. Khamsouk, a 14-year-old Californian, was having his best outing in just his second MotoAmerica race and ended up on the podium for the first time.

Jackson Blackmon

“The race was awesome and I got off to a really good start, pushing into turn one pretty hot. I put my head down once I got into the lead and saw I had a comfortable gap just a few laps in. I saw Draik (Beauchamp) behind me for a while, but then I saw my pit board had me six seconds ahead and figured something had happened to him. My wrist was getting pretty sore, but I found a good rhythm and just tried to bring it home from there.”

Although the order in the championship wasn’t shaken up, the points chase got a lot tighter with the demise of Smith and Beauchamp. Smith leads Beauchamp by a single point, 66-65, with Dumas closing to within six points of the leader. Blackmon, meanwhile, who missed the opening round at Road Atlanta with his wrist injury, jumps to fourth with 45 points – 21 behind Smith.

 
Race 2 KTM RC Cup Podium
Race 2 KTM RC Cup Podium
KTM RC Cup
  1. Jackson Blackmon, Rock Hill, S.C., KTM
  2. Alex Dumas, Quebec, Canada, KTM
  3. Toby Khamsouk, Banning, Calif., KTM
  4. Sergio Rodriguez II, Oxnard, Calif., KTM
  5. Trevor Standish, Roswell, Ga., KTM
  6. Dylan Deutschlander, Lake Jackson, Texas, KTM
  7. Setin West, Decatur, Il., KTM
  8. Jamie Astudillo, Gilbertsville, Pa., KTM
KTM RC Cup Championship Standings
  1. Benjamin Smith, Glenmoore, Pa., KTM – 66
  2. Draik Beauchamp, Knoxville, Tenn., KTM – 65
  3. Alex Dumas, Quebec, Canada, KTM – 60
  4. Jackson Blackmon, Rock Hill, S.C., KTM – 45
  5. Toby Khamsouk, Banning, Calif., KTM – 43
  6. Trevor Standish, Roswell, Ga., KTM – 35
  7. Tyler Wissel, Medina, Ohio, KTM – 27
  8. Cory Ventura, Union City, Calif., KTM – 27
  9. Sergio Rodriguez II, Oxnard, Calif., KTM – 27
  10. Jake Leahey, Hammonton, N.J., KTM – 26