Beaubier wins both Superbike races at Sonoma

JD Beach extends his Supersport lead

Images by Brian J. Nelson

Superbikes Race 1

Cameron Beaubier showed the Superbike field how it’s done at the opening race of the Sonoma MotoAmerica round, proving unbeatable as he went on to win by 7.2 seconds.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sat Herrin Sonoma
Josh Herrin and Cameron Beaubier in the lead on Saturday in Superbikes Race 1

Beaubier battled with Josh Herrin for a lap before getting in front and staying there. After five laps, Beaubier led by a tick over five seconds and he stretched that to eight seconds before easing off and maintaining a seven-second gap to the end of the 22-lap race.

The win was the sixth of the year for Beaubier and the 30th of his Superbike career. It was also his third Motul Superbike win in three starts at Sonoma Raceway.

The battle for second went to Herrin, the Georgian besting Toni Elias by just over a second with those two running in formation for the duration. Elias will continue to make changes to the Suzuki in an effort to be closer tomorrow, he said. Adding that he’d also made a bad tire choice.

Fourth place went to Garrett Gerloff, the Superbike rookie keeping Herrin and Elias honest for most of the race before finishing 6.8 seconds behind on his Yamaha Factory Racing YZF-R1.

Jake Lewis finished fifth for a seventh time on the season, the Kentuckian chasing Cameron Petersen when the South African pulled into the pits with a foot injury. That left Lewis to a lonely fifth.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sat Beaubier Herrin BJN
Cameron Beaubier took the eventual win from Josh Herrin and Toni Elias

Beaubier’s points lead in the Motul Superbike Championship is now 58 points over Elias, 273-215. Herrin’s runner-up finish combined with Scholtz’ non-finish moved him back to third in the title chase, 102 points behind Beaubier and 44 points behind Elias. Scholtz is fourth, just eight points ahead of Gerloff.

Motul Superbike Race 1

  1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
  2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
  3. Toni Elias (Suzuki)
  4. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
  5. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)

Motul Superbikes Race 2

Cameron Beaubier showed today that he really is unbeatable at Sonoma Raceway, the rider sweeping to his second Motul Superbike win of the Cycle Gear Championship of Sonoma and running his win streak in Northern California’s wine country to four in a row.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Superbikes Sunday
Sunday once again saw Beaubier take a dominant position in Superbikes

Since MotoAmerica brought AMA Superbike racing back to Sonoma Raceway last year, Beaubier is unbeaten, going a perfect four-for-four with another runaway victory on a sunny Sunday Sonoma day.

The win was the seventh of the year for Beaubier and the 31st of his AMA Superbike career. He won by 6.5 seconds after leading by 1.1 seconds after one lap, 4.3 seconds after three laps and 6.4 seconds after five laps. The lead would continue to grow to over 10 seconds before the two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion slowed his pace.

Cameron Beaubier

“It really was a perfect weekend, we were able to lead every session and win both races. It feels really good. I knew this morning going into today both these guys would make a step. I know Toni (Elias) and his team always work really hard to make a step Sunday, so we were kind of scratching our heads to figure out what we can do better. But we really didn’t change much. I just put my head down at the beginning of the race because I knew that Toni made an improvement this morning, and I knew Josh (Herrin) was really good yesterday at the start of the race. So I knew I needed just to get out front and put my head down and just try to run with it, and we were able to do it. Hats off to my crew. They’ve been working so hard. We’ve had a really good string lately. I just want to keep the momentum going into the last three rounds. I’m really just enjoying my bike and enjoying racing right now. I feel like last year when I kept crashing and trying to come up with something and trying to race Toni and Roger (Hayden), it was tough because I found myself on the ground at least once a weekend. I’m just happy with the position we’re in right now, and I just want to keep going.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Beaubier Sunday
Cameron Beaubier

Toni Elias and Josh Herrin again fought to see who was second best to Beaubier and today that was Elias, the Spaniard turning the tables on Herrin after the Georgian beat him for the spot on Saturday. Herrin fought to the end, running off in the chicane with just a few laps to go.

Toni Elias

“Today was a little bit better than yesterday. I think the pace was much faster. We did a great job. I gave all I had. Of course, it’s not what we want, but we improved from yesterday. This is the most important thing. The championship right now… we have to forget it. These guys are so strong. Today and yesterday all we could do was fight for the second or third position. The only thing we can do is go home, try to prepare new things and come back and just try to create a different situation. Right now, it’s really tough. Thanks to my team because they are making an incredible effort. That’s it. Congratulations to Cameron (Beaubier) and his team. We had two great battles yesterday and today with Josh (Herrin). Today, I was in a different strategy. I felt uncomfortable more so than yesterday. I was trying to open a gap. When I did it, I found the lappers and we fight. Luckily, he was still a little bit behind, but it was a great battle until the last corner.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Utah Tony Elias
Toni Elias

Herrin had fought hard to the end, running off in the chicane with just a few laps to go.

Josh Herrin

“Not much of a battle, he passed me and I tried to pass him a couple times into the chicane and I couldn’t do it. He’s super good on the brakes when he wants to be, and then when you’re following him it seems like I’d get sucked in. I don’t know if it’s because I’m looking too far ahead or what it is, but he’s good on the brakes whenever he needs to be. I couldn’t get by him. He pulled a little bit of a gap, I don’t know how big, a half second maybe gap. Then we got the lapper coming down the back stretch and it allowed me to suck back into him. I was pretty close to him that next lap and just was going to go for it because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to hold onto him for the rest of the race, so I wanted to at least try and scrap with him the last couple laps and then I just ran off.”

Garrett Gerloff again finished fourth on the second factory Yamaha, the Texan in the mix for second early on but eventually finishing some four seconds behind the Elias/Herrin battle. He in turn was 2.7 seconds ahead of Mathew Scholtz, the South African barely beating Jake Lewis for fifth place.

Roger Hayden finished a lonely seventh, well behind his Kentucky neighbor Lewis but well ahead of Danny Eslick, the Oklahoman barely beating Kyle Wyman. Just .230 of a second separated Eslick and Wyman in the battle for eighth.

For the second successive day, Jayson Uribe put the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda in the top 10 with his 10th-place finish.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Beaubier Sun BJN
Cameron Beaubier holds a 63 point lead over Elias

With seven of 10 rounds complete in the 2018 MotoAmerica Motul Superbike Championship, Beaubier leads Elias by 63 points, 298-235. Herrin is third with 187 points, 24 ahead of Scholtz. Gerloff rounds out the top five with 157 points, six behind Scholtz.

Superbike Race 2 Results

  1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
  2. Toni Elias (Suzuki)
  3. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
  4. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
  5. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)

Superbike Standings

  1. Cameron Beaubier 298
  2. Toni Elias 235
  3. Josh Herrin 187
  4. Mathew Scholtz 163
  5. Garrett Gerloff 157
  6. Jake Lewis 143
  7. Kyle Wyman 116
  8. Roger Hayden 109
  9. Danny Eslick 109
  10. David Anthony 68

Supersport Race 1

In Saturday’s Supersport race, championship leader JD Beach launched his Yamaha YZF-R6 from third position on the starting grid, got the holeshot, and looked to have the measure of the field.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sat JD Beach BJN
JD Beach proved the man to beat in the Supersport class on Saturday

Polesitter Valentin Debise, along with Hayden Gillim hung tough through the majority of the race. Gillim and Beach battled it out for several laps with Gillim making it past Beach, if only for a short time.

Beach moved back into the front, and Debise eventually got past Gillim. The trio took the checkers in that same order with Beach the winner, Debise about two and a half seconds back in second place, and Gillim completing the podium in third. Beach now leads the Supersport Championship by a gaudy 91 points.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sat JD Beach BJN
Beach won from Debise and Gillim

After celebrating on the top step of the podium, Beach talked about his early race battle with fellow Kentuckian Gillim.

Supersport Race 1

  1. JD Beach (Yamaha)
  2. Valentin Debise (Suzuki)
  3. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
  4. Bryce Prince (Yamaha)
  5. Richie Escalante (Yamaha)

Supersport Race 2

In Sunday’s Supersport race,JD Beach used his flat-track-perfected starting skills to get a perfect jump off the line and immediately into the lead, which he never relinquished for 19 laps all the way to the checkered flag.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sun Beach
Sunday saw a repeat of Saturday’s performance with JD Beach making it a double for the weekend

It was the ninth race win of the year for Beach, and the most victories in a single season for the Kentuckian, who now holds a triple-digit lead in the championship with a 100-point advantage.

Valentin Debise finished second on Sunday, just as he did on Saturday, and Hayden Gillim also repeated his result from Saturday with another third-place finish on Sunday.

JD Beach

“This year’s been great, I’ve learned a lot the last couple years. I’ve learned kind of the limit I’ve got for how hard I can push myself at home. I think I over-trained a bit last year and it’s just because I want to win bad. I think this year just everything is kind of falling together. I’ve got a great crew and a great bike. I feel great. The weekend started out so good and then qualifying third again kind of had me bummed out, but I love to race and when that light goes out it doesn’t matter where I start from. I’m here racing. These two guys have pushed me hard, not only this weekend but all year. It’s been a great time. I’m really looking forward to these last three rounds because I think we’re all getting really strong. I think we all want to win bad. I think it’s going to keep the racing exciting.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sat JD Beach Sonoma
Beach extended his championship lead to 100 points

Supersport Race 2 Results

  1. JD Beach (Yamaha)
  2. Valentin Debise (Suzuki)
  3. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
  4. Richie Escalante (Yamaha)
  5. Bryce Prince (Yamaha)

Supersport Standings

  1. JD Beach 265
  2. Hayden Gillim 165
  3. Valentin Debise 125
  4. Nick McFadden 110
  5. Richie Escalante 108
  6. Cory West 105
  7. Bryce Prince 104
  8. Braeden Ortt 96
  9. Anthony III Mazziotto 79
  10. Jason Aguilar 59

Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 1

Sonoma Raceway is a technical track, with lots of turns, changes in elevation, and tight corners. It’s a rider’s road course that challenges even the best racers, including racers who are local to the area.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sat Junior Cup Ashton Yates BJN
Ashton Yates came out on top in Saturday’s Junior Cup race

That situation factored into the outcome of Saturday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race as championship-leader Alex Dumas crashed out of the lead aboard his RC390R, and local rider Cory Ventura, aboard his YZF-R3 and in second place right behind Dumas, also crashed in the same corner.

This flung the door wide open for polesitter Ashton Yates, who put his Kawasaki Ninja 400 into the lead and took the win in the 12-lap event. Yamaha R3 rider Jay Newton finished second, and Jackson Blackmon was third, putting a second Yamaha R3 on the podium.

Ashton Yates

“I figured it was going to be a pretty close race before (Dumas and Ventura crashed), after that happened, I was happy to stay on the bike after (I had a) little moment, too. I just put my head down and tried to do as many quick laps as I could. I broke away from, I think it was, Kevin (Olmedo) that was with me. I was happy to see I made a gap and just (put it on) cruise control all the way to the finish line.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sat Junior Cup Ashton Yates Sonoma
Ashton Yates leading the Junior Cup field

Liqui Moly Junior Cup

  1. Ashton Yates (Kawasaki)
  2. Jay Newton (Yamaha)
  3. Jackson Blackmon (Yamaha)
  4. Kevin Olmedo (Yamaha)
  5. Toby Khamsouk (Yamaha)

Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 2

Local rider Cory Ventura showcased the skills he worked on at the recent Yamaha VR46 Master Camp that he attended, as he won Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race for his first victory of the season and the first win of the year for the Yamaha YZF-R3.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Cory Ventura Sunday
Cory Ventura took the Junior Cup win on Sunday’s Race

Second place went to Alex Dumas, the current points leader who came back on Sunday from crashing out of Saturday’s race. Ashton Yates raced his Kawasaki Ninja 400 to third place, completing a balanced podium with three different makes of motorcycles in the top three.

Cory Ventura

“Honestly, I feel speechless, I’m still thinking in the moment. I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since last year at Barber (Motorsports Park) when I crashed in the last corner. I’ve just been hungry for more. Now that we’re finally back up here, I feel like I can continue to be up here. I have a little bit of confidence that’s been going through me this weekend. I’ve just felt amazing. I had a really good race here last year, as well. I was so happy. That was probably my favorite race of last year. To have a race like this this year, it means so much to me in front of my family and friends. It’s huge.”

Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 2

  1. Cory Ventura (Yamaha)
  2. Alex Dumas (KTM)
  3. Ashton Yates (Kawasaki)
  4. Jay Newton (Yamaha)
  5. Gavin Anthony (Yamaha)

Liqui Moly Junior Cup Standings

  1. Alex Dumas 166
  2. Ashton Yates 143
  3. Sean Ungvarsky 111
  4. Jay Newton 107
  5. Cory Ventura 104
  6. Gavin Anthony 90
  7. Jackson Blackmon 73
  8. Jamie Astudillo 72
  9. Gauge Rees 54
  10. Kevin Olmedo 53

Twins Cup

In Twins Cup, a class that has proven to be a showcase for fast club racers from near each of the venues that the MotoAmerica series visits, Jeffrey Tigert, who has raced a lot of laps around Sonoma Raceway, won by a little more than three and a half seconds over second-place finisher Chris Parrish, who extended his championship lead to 34 points.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sat Twins Jeffrey Tigert leads BJN
Jeffrey Tigert leading the Twins Cup

Third place went to Darren James, the Canadian traveling south from his home in Vancouver to race at Sonoma.

Jeffery Tigert

“This feels really good, it is a homecoming. My first race here was 20 years ago on a twin. It’s a special place for me. I’m living in LA now, so I don’t get up here like I used to. To be able to come up here and ride in MotoAmerica with you guys in a class that is suited for a guy like me that’s not riding much and don’t have a lot of money to build a bike, really my hats off to you guys for creating a class and platform for guys like us that still want to ride. This is a great class. I’m up here with some impressive competitors.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma Sat Twins Jeffrey Tigert Sonoma
Jeffrey Tigert

Twins Cup Results

  1. Jeffery Tigert (Suzuki)
  2. Chris Parrish (Suzuki)
  3. Darren James (Yamaha)
  4. Jason Madama (Yamaha)
  5. Justin Filice (Suzuki)

Twins Cup Standings

  1. Chris Parrish 130
  2. Jason Madama 96
  3. Ryan Roth 36
  4. Danielle Diaz 33
  5. Curtis Murray 32
  6. Aaron Tulchinsky 31
  7. Justin Filice 27
  8. Jeffrey Tigert 25
  9. Xavier Zayat 25
  10. Shane Perry 20

Stock 1000

Local-rider race wins was a common theme of the Cycle Gear Championship of Sonoma as Andrew Lee joined Cameron Beaubier and Cory Ventura in notching victories at their home track. Lee’s win came in the weekend-concluding Stock 1000 race aboard his RiderzLaw Racing Kawasaki.

MotoAmerica Rnd Sonoma STK Andrew Lee Sunday
Andrew Lee won the Superstock 1000 race

The Clovis, California, rider, fresh off his podium finish in the Suzuka 8-Hours endurance race, took the checkers by more than 11 seconds over Chad Lewin aboard a Yamaha. Travis Wyman finished third.

Lee, Wyman, and Lewin are currently ranked first, second, and third in the championship, respectively, with three races remaining in the season.

Andrew Lee

“Coming into this weekend, I had a little bit of nerves, I had a good showing over in Japan doing the Suzuka 8-Hour, so I knew I had a good confidence coming in here and coming into my home track. So, having the family and friends out here for my first win was also pretty amazing. (Crew chief) Derek Keyes and the team really hammered down. Brad Stokes at Ohlins came in and saved the day right before qualifying. Got a good qualifying coming into the race. I knew I had to get a good start. But there’s one thing: I just wasn’t really confident on the new clutch. Thankfully, I got a holeshot and I just put my head down and tried to finish the race as fast as I could.”

Stock 1000 Results

  1. Andrew Lee (Kawasaki)
  2. Chad Lewin (Yamaha)
  3. Travis Wyman (BMW)
  4. Andy DiBrino (Yamaha)
  5. Chad Swain (BMW)

Stock 1000 Standings

  1. Andrew Lee 105
  2. Travis Wyman 75
  3. Chad Lewin 45
  4. Shane Richardson Jr. 38
  5. Timothy Bemisderfer 34
  6. Stephen Incledon 30
  7. Andy DiBrino 29
  8. Melissa Paris 29
  9. Chad Swain 24
  10. Alastair Hoogenboezem 21


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