Toni Elias takes the double at MotoAmerica Monterey
Aussie Anthony West second and third Bazzazz Superstock 1000 races

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias took complete control of the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend, the Spaniard sweeping to victory in both Motul Superbike races at the Honda Championship of the Monterey Peninsula to head home with a 40-point lead in the title chase.

Toni Elias
Toni Elias

Superbike Race 1

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias won his seventh Motul Superbike race of the season in Race 1 on a blazing hot afternoon at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the first of the two races that make up the Honda Superbike Championship of the Monterey Peninsula.

Elias was in a fight for the majority of the race with his teammate Roger Hayden, the Kentuckian coming up half a second short at the finish after the Spaniard was badly balked by a lapped rider on the penultimate lap. Elias’ seventh victory of the season gives him a 35-point lead over Hayden going into tomorrow’s Race 2 of what is Round 6 of the 2017 MotoAmerica Series.

Toni Elias

“I’m so happy (to avoid an incident with a lapper on lap 22), I was trying to open a gap (on second) and I could do it two or three times, but always I found some slow guys (lappers) in the middle who blocked me and blocked Roger (Hayden). Then I lost that little gap, especially the last two laps, it was worse for me, but at the end everything was good. I continue doing my pace the last lap and still open a little gap. My team was really good because the ride (on the bike) was so nice. I felt more or less comfortable. The race was hard, but my momentum (lap times) was always the same. I’m so happy, my dream was to win here in Laguna Seca and at the end I really came through and it was perfect.”

Toni Elias leading the superbike field
Toni Elias leading the superbike field

Hayden was helped by the lapped rider with two laps to go, but he needed just a bit more pace to beat his teammate. Third place today went to Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier, the two-time defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion having a tough time in Turn 1 on the opening lap that pushed him back to sixth place at the end of the lap.

From there he fought through to third, but, despite having the fastest lap of the race, couldn’t make serious inroads into the Yoshimura Suzuki pair’s lead. He ended up 7.0 seconds behind and is now 57 points behind Elias in the title chase.

Fourth place went to Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African coming out on top of the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class in the process. Scholtz was also hampered in Turn 1 on the opening lap, but had clear sailing to victory after that.

Behind him there was a battle to the line between MotoAmerica first-timer Anthony West on the Fly Street/Motul Oils/ADR Motorsports Kawasaki, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis and Quicksilver Latus Motors Kawasaki’s Bobby Fong. Aussie West got the nod by .432 of a second over Lewis in the battle for fifth with Fong a shadow seventh. Those three were second, third and fourth in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 results.

Mathew Scholtz and Jake Lewis
Mathew Scholtz and Jake Lewis

TOBC Racing’s Danny Eslick rode mostly alone to eighth place with Scheibe Racing/Hayes Brakes BMW-mounted Jason DiSalvo and Helmet Sounds.com/Western Services/Meen Motorsports’ Bryce Prince rounding out the top 10.

Four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes crashed out of fourth place near the end of the race; Helmet Sounds.com/Western Services/Meen Motorsports’ Josh Herrin pitted after running with the leaders early on and rejoined to finish 11th; Kyle Wyman was a non-finisher after running fifth early on when his Motovation USA/Lucas Oils/KWR Yamaha suffered a mechanical failure.

Motul Superbike Race 1
  1. Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki
  2. Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  3. Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha
  4. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha
  5. Anthony West, Melbourne, Australia, Kawasaki
  6. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  7. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki
  8. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha
  9. Jason DiSalvo, Stafford, N.Y., BMW
  10. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha
Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Race 1
  1. Mathew Scholtz, Dublin, South Africa, Yamaha
  2. Anthony West, Melbourne, Australia, Kawasaki
  3. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  4. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki
  5. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha
  6. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha
  7. Tyler O’Hara, Petaluma, Calif., Yamaha
  8. Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha
  9. Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki
  10. Sam Verderico, Parauna Goias, Brazil, Yamaha

Superbike Race 2

Elias made it a perfect weekend today despite riding most of the race in third place. With his teammate Roger Hayden setting the pace for almost all of the race, Elias was third when two-time defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier crashed out of second place aboard his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing R1 in Rainey Corner on the 15th of 23 laps.

Then Elias closed in on leader Hayden, stalking him and finally passing him at the start of the final lap in Turn 2 and holding him off to the finish line. Hayden tried a desperation pass in the final corner and ran wide, finishing 1.3 seconds behind at the checkered flag. The win was Elias’ eighth of the season and his fifth in succession.

Toni Elias

“I feel happy about this result because today was not my best day, I didn’t feel nervous before the race, but during the race I got passed, lost the rear (and) lost the front (at one point). Nothing that I wanted to do. That wasn’t the plan. My goal was to (beat) Roger. He had unbelievable pace and was doing a really great job, and was so difficult for so many laps. At the end I was there for the last lap and my only chance was in the first corner, because after he was faster. I did it. It was good for me and we could get the win. It’s good to get another win. We are working well with consistency and opened some gap in the championship, but the championship is so long. We cannot relax. We have to continue like this. I’m so happy. Cameron (Beaubier) did great today. It’s a shame for his crash. Roger (Hayden) also, congratulations. Also, surprise, Josh Herrin is here (on the podium). Great friends, these two.”

Superbike Podium
Superbike Podium

Hayden was forced to settle for second place after leading every lap except the most important one. It was Hayden’s 10th podium of the season and his fifth straight runner-up finish.

Roger Hayden

“I could hear him (Elias) back there and I knew he was going to try (to pass me) somewhere, I thought I go in Turn 1 deep enough, but he barely got by, then I just tried to stay close enough. Really the last place (to attempt a pass) was the last corner, but he did a good job of blocking. I knew I was in a little deep, but I didn’t want to follow him into the last corner. I kind of hoped for a miracle, but Toni (Elias) did good. It was a good race. I felt a lot better today. I felt strong at the beginning. We’ll keep working and hopefully we can be on top soon.”

Third place today went to Helmet Sounds.com/Western Services/Meen Yamaha’s Josh Herrin, the 2016 Superstock 1000 Champion having his best Superbike race of the year and earning his first podium of the 2017 season.

Josh Herrin

“The race was really good. A little bit of luck never hurts anybody, and we’ve been working hard all year. No matter how we get it (a good result), it feels good to get it. We’ve had a lot of bad luck this year and it feels good to finally get up here (on the podium). These guys (up front) have been riding solid all year. Toni (Elias) has upped the level (and) the new Suzuki’s have upped the level. We’re trying as hard as we can to be up there every weekend, (but) it’s hard doing it as a small team, like we are. Like Elias said, it’s a shame that Cam (Beaubier) went down, but we’ll take them (a podium) however we can get them. I’m happy to be up here.”

Fourth place went to Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Josh Hayes, the four-time AMA Superbike Champion rebounding from yesterday’s race crash to finish fourth, some five seconds adrift of Herrin and 2.6 seconds clear of Kyle Wyman, the Motovation USA/Lucas Oil/KWR Yamaha rider matching his best result of the season in fifth.

Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha’s Mathew Scholtz ended up sixth and for the second day in a row was the winner of the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class. Scholtz was only .232 of a second behind Wyman and just one second ahead of Bazzaz Superstock 1000 runner-up Bobby Fong on the Quicksliver Latus Kawasaki.

Mathew Scholtz

“It was pretty much a perfect race for me, I led the Superstock guys from the first lap and opened up a slight gap, maybe up to about 2.5 seconds, and then Bobby Fong caught me with probably seven or eight laps left. I kind of was just holding him off from there. I’m really happy heading into the break. We have a decent championship lead in the Superstock 1000 group.”

Mathew Scholtz and Bobby Fong
Mathew Scholtz and Bobby Fong

Fly Street/Motul Oils/ADR Motorsports Anthony West ended the day eighth after barely besting TOBC Racing’s Danny Eslick. Brixx Performance BMW’s Sylvain Barrier finished 10th for his best MotoAmerica finish in an injury plagued debut season.

Motul Superbike Race 2
  1. Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki
  2. Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  3. Josh Herrin, Dublin, Ga., Yamaha
  4. Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Miss., Yamaha
  5. Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., Yamaha
  6. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha
  7. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki
  8. Anthony West, Melbourne, Australia, Kawasaki
  9. Danny Eslic, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha
  10. Sylvain Barrier, Oynnax, France, BMW
Motul Superbike Championship Standings
  1. Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki – 260
  2. Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 220
  3. Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha – 180
  4. Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Miss., Yamaha – 124
  5. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha – 112
  6. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 106
  7. Josh Herrin, Dublin, Ga., Yamaha – 105
  8. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 93
  9. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 82
  10. Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., Yamaha – 76
Superstock 1000 podium
Superstock 1000 podium including Aussie Anthony West
Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Race 2
  1. Mathew Scholtz, Dublin, South Africa, Yamaha
  2. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki
  3. Anthony West, Melbourne, Australia, Kawasaki
  4. Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki
  5. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha
  6. Tyler O’Hara, Petaluma, Calif., Yamaha
  7. Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha
  8. Jason Lauritzen, San Jose, Calif., Yamaha
  9. Steven Zoumaras, San Diego, Calif., Kawasaki
Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship Standings
  1. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha – 241
  2. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 198
  3. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 190
  4. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 165
  5. Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki – 138
  6. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha – 126
  7. Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha – 100
  8. David Anthony, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 47
  9. Anthony Kosinski, Crumstown, Ind., Yamaha – 37
  10. Anthony West, Melbourne, Australia, Kawasaki – 36

Supersport

The Supersport race was the standard thriller that was fought to the end between Monster Energy/Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha teammates Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach, with the former beating the latter by 1.5 seconds after 19 laps of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Gerloff leads the Supersport field
Gerloff leads the Supersport field

The win was Gerloff’s fourth of the year, which matches Beach’s win total. Gerloff now leads the title chase by four points heading in to the summer break, 196-192.

Garrett Gerloff

“With JD [Beach] it’s like you’re never in the clear. It’s never going to be an easy race. He was right there the whole time. We were both wanting to lead because I think we both knew whoever was at the front was going to control the race. We had some good passes, I left some rubber on his leg, so it was good, clean racing and it’s always good to race with a friend and teammate. That’s been happening way too much lately (almost tucking the front end). I did that at (Utah) in the second race with (Beach), I almost tucked the front. And again here (at Laguna Seca), I went a little inside and hit the seam between the curb and the pavement and (the bike) tucked pretty fast on me, but lucky I had my knee there ready to pick it back up. I was just hoping (Beach) didn’t run into the back of me like I’ve done in the past with people. I kept it on two wheels and the thing stuck the rest the of race, so, hey, no problems.”

Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach
Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach

Team H35 Honda’s Benny Solis finished third for his fourth podium of the year and it moved him back to third in the title chase over M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Valentin Debise, the Frenchman crashing out of third place on the first lap.

Jason Aguilar and Shane Richardson
Jason Aguilar and Shane Richardson

M4 Rickdiculous Racing Suzuki’s Daytona Anderson ended up fourth, with Superstock 600 winner Jason Aguilar finishing fifth on the RiderzLaw/Aguilar Racing Yamaha. Aguilar now leads the Superstock 600 title chase by 21 points over Michael Gilbert.

Jason Aguilar

“Yeah (today) was really good,” Aguilar said. “I was a little disappointed after qualifying yesterday. I’ve qualified second at like every race this year, so I wanted just one pole position and got beat by like two-thousandths [of a second] on the last lap. I was a little bit bummed with that, but it was a really good race. Nick McFadden made a mistake on the second lap and I was able to get him. I just kind of raced [watching] my pit board from there, and just kind of backed off the last couple laps and relaxed a little bit. I was stoked on (the ride) and I’m stoked to finally win out here. This is kind of my home track. I haven’t had the best of luck here, but I’ve been coming here ever since 2005 with my dad and my grandpa to watch MotoGP. I just remember in 2005 when Nicky (Hayden) won I said that was the best day of my life, so I’m just happy to win here and (dedicate) this one for Nicky.”

Supersport Podium
Supersport Podium
Supersport
  1. Garrett Gerloff, New Waverly, Texas, Yamaha
  2. JD Beach, Owensboro, Ky., Yamaha
  3. Benny Solis, North Hollywood, Calif., Honda
  4. Daytona Anderson, Riverside, Calif., Suzuki
  5. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha
  6. Shane Richardson, Wellington, New Zealand, Kawasaki
  7. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  8. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha
  9. Connor Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki
  10. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Yamaha
Supersport Championship Standings
  1. Garrett Gerloff, New Waverly, Texas, Yamaha – 196
  2. JD Beach, Owensboro, Ky., Yamaha – 192
  3. Benny Solis, North Hollywood, Calif., Honda – 111
  4. Valentin Debise, Albi, France, Suzuki – 124
  5. Daytona Anderson, Riverside, Calif., Suzuki – 79
  6. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha – 78
  7. Connor Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 72
  8. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha – 70
  9. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 62
  10. Brandon Paasch, Freehold, N.J., Yamaha – 60
Superstock 600 Podium
Superstock 600 Podium
Superstock 600
  1. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha
  2. Shane Richardson, Wellington, New Zealand, Kawasaki
  3. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
  4. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha
  5. Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki
  6. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Yamaha
  7. Ashton Yates, Milledgeville, Ga., Yamaha
  8. Deion Campbell, San Jose, Calif., Yamaha
  9. Andrew Lee, Clovis, Calif., Yamaha
  10. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki
Superstock 600 Championship Standings
  1. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha – 160
  2. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha – 139
  3. Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 136
  4. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 120
  5. Shane Richardson, Wellington, New Zealand, Kawasaki – 112
  6. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki – 96
  7. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Yamaha – 83
  8. Anthony Mazziotto III, Hammonton, N.J., KTM – 65
  9. Andrew Lee, Clovis, Calif., Yamaha – 61
  10. Ashton Yates, Milledgeville, Ga., Yamaha – 41

KTM RC Cup Race 1

The only other MotoAmerica race to take place on the day was the sole KTM RC Cup race of the weekend. The victory went to Cory Ventura in his home round, the Californian watching early as two of his rivals – Jackson Blackmon and Benjamin Smith – crashed out on the opening lap. He was then embroiled in a battle with Francesc Perez, but the Spaniard also crashed out on the ninth lap. The Toni Elias protégé remounted to finish 10th.

Second placed ended up going to JP43 Junior Team’s Alex Dumas, the French Canadian beating Quarterley Racing/On Track Development’s Draik Beauchamp by .373 of a second. Team MotoTriad’s Gray Pham was just behind those two in fourth place.

The win was Ventura’s second of the season and he moved to fourth in the title chase, 46 points behind Smith who stayed in the lead despite his first-lap crash. Smith has 147 points to Blackmon’s 118 with Beauchamp third on 115 points, five clear of Ventura.

Cory Ventura

“It was a great race, I got a great start; I’ve been working on those a lot. I just kept my eyes forward and kept my momentum going from earlier today. Just had a good race, had some fun, and that’s all the matters. This is front of my home crowd and is technically my home race. This is the track I do have the most time on and I had a lot of fun.”

KTM RC Cup Race 1
  1. Cory Ventura, Union City, Calif., KTM
  2. Alex Dumas, Quebec, Canada, KTM
  3. Draik Beauchamp, Knoxville, Tenn., KTM
  4. Gray Pham, San Diego, Calif., KTM
  5. Gabe Hernandez, Huntington Park, Calif., KTM
  6. Toby Khamsouk, Banning, Calif., KTM
  7. Sergio Rodriguez II, Oxnard, Calif., KTM
  8. Trevor Standish, Roswell, Ga., KTM
  9. Nate Minster, Oak Grove, Minn., KTM
  10. Frances Perez, Barcelona, Spain, KTM
KTM RC Cup Championship Standings
  1. Benjamin Smith, Glenmoore, Pa., KTM – 147
  2. Jackson Blackmon, Rock Hill, S.C., KTM – 118
  3. Draik Beauchamp, Knoxville, Tenn., KTM – 115
  4. Cory Ventura, Union City, Calif., KTM – 110
  5. Alex Dumas, Quebec, Canada, KTM – 101
  6. Toby Khamsouk, Banning, Calif., KTM – 89
  7. Trevor Standish, Roswell, Ga., KTM – 77
  8. Gavin Anthony, Hilliard, Ohio, KTM – 74
  9. Sergio Rodriguez II, Oxnard, Calif., KTM – 63
  10. Jake Leahey, Hammonton, N.J., KTM – 54