MotoAmerica 2019

Fong & Gillim share Supersport wins

Landers dominates Junior Cup – Barnes does the Twins Cup double

Andrew Lee tops Superstock 1000 opener

Images by Paul Carruthers/MotoAmerica


EBC Brakes Superbike – Saturday

Toni Elias didn’t know what it was like to lose the series opener and Cameron Beaubier didn’t know what it was like to win one. Now they both know. Beaubier beat Elias by 2.732 seconds today at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the Californian ending Elias’ perfect streak of winning every season opener since the Spaniard came to the MotoAmerica Series in 2016.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sat Beaubier
Cameron Beaubier – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Beaubier was happy to start the season so well, given that it’s not the norm. The first EBC Brakes Superbike race was everything we thought it would be with six riders fighting at the front until two of the front runners crashed out.

Pole sitter Garrett Gerloff crashed on the third lap while battling for the lead and Josh Herrin followed suit on the 11th lap while also battling at the front.

That left four to battle with JD Beach and Mathew Scholtz in the fight at the front with Beaubier and Elias. The battle for victory would come down to Beaubier vs. Elias with Elias running off track in the final corner with four laps to go, handing the win to his rival. The miscue dropped Elias to fourth, but he battled back to finish second, passing Beach right at the finish line.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sun Toni Elias
Toni Elias – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Elias thought the Yoshimura Suzuki teammates would have been better off not racing each other and slowing each other down. Beach may have been beaten at the line by Elias, but it was still his first-ever Superbike podium in his MotoAmerica Superbike debut.

Scholtz ended up fourth, some four seconds behind Beach with David Anthony fifth on his Kawasaki ZX-10R. Kyle Wyman, Jake Lewis, Jake Gagne, Cameron Petersen and Geoff May rounded out the top 10.

 EBC Brakes Superbike – Saturday

  1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
  2. Toni Elias (Suzuki) +2.732
  3. JD Beach (Yamaha) +2.733
  4. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) +6.906
  5. David Anthony (Kawasaki) +31.018

 EBC Brakes Superbike – Sunday

Toni Elias won his first race of the 2019 Series on Sunday, the Spaniard besting Mathew Scholtz by 1.839 seconds under sunny skies in the Suzuki Championship at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sun Toni Elias
Toni Elias – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

The win, combined with his second place from Saturday, gives Elias the early lead in the EBC Brakes Superbike Championship with 45 points – four more than Saturday’s race winner Cameron Beaubier, who was third today.

As was the case yesterday, the Superbike race began with six riders running together at the front with those three – Elias, Scholtz and Beaubier – joined by Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff, JD Beach and Josh Herrin.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sat Beaubier
Cameron Beaubier – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Gerloff was the first to have issues, the Texan slowed by a front fender flapping in the wind. Despite repeated attempts at kicking the bodywork off his bike, Gerloff eventually had to pull over to remove the fender. He would continue onward and eventually finish ninth.

Herrin, meanwhile, lacked the pace to stay with the top four with the race coming down to just three in the final laps as the trio pulled slightly clear of Beach. Then both Beaubier and Scholtz were bauked badly by a back marker with two laps to go, costing them any shot at Elias and also allowing Beach to move to the tail of the battling duo. Scholtz ended up getting the edge on Beaubier to take second with Beach finishing just .3 of a second off the back of the defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion.

Apparently, the birth of his son just a few weeks ago hasn’t slowed Elias who leaves the opening round with the points lead for the fourth straight season.

Toni Elias

“This winter the team worked so good. But, honestly, I was thinking to be more comfortable in these first rounds. Last year to be more competitive we took a good direction. I was thinking this would change a little bit… but then we arrive here and seems different… all the time the bike is moving a lot around. We were going to do some changes for this morning, but we couldn’t try anything. For everybody it was the same. Same tire. Harder than yesterday. I was not thinking yesterday to do that slow pace. I think it’s the race. A little bit frustrated. I couldn’t do what I wanted. In the mid part of the race I start to lose a lot of grip, maybe less than JD and Mathew. But Cameron was so strong. I missed something there. Anyway, for today I was going to use the same tire as Dunlop wanted, and it was really good. The tire has been super consistent all the race, but we still have to improve in some areas. Anyway, yesterday 20 points. Could be zero. Now 25 (points), so perfect Sunday.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sun Toni Elias
Toni Elias – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Scholtz was much happier on Sunday, the South African putting his Yamaha second after fighting with Elias for most of the race. Based on his past results in the season opener, Beaubier was also pleased with how things went over the course of the weekend and he leaves with a solid point score of 41 after a win and third-place finish.

Herrin ended up fifth in his second race on the Yoshimura Suzuki, the Georgian having crashed out of Saturday’s race. Jake Lewis was sixth, well behind Herrin and ahead of David Anthony, the team owner rider having a solid weekend with sixth- and seventh-place finishes.

Geoff May finished eighth with Gerloff and Cameron Petersen rounding out the top 10. Kyle Wyman and Jake Gagne both failed to finish. Wyman crashed the KWR Ducati and Gagne had mechanical issues with the Scheibe Racing BMW.

EBC Brakes Superbike – Sunday

  1. Toni Elias (Suzuki)
  2. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) +1.839
  3. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) +2.096
  4. JD Beach (Yamaha) +2.393
  5. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) +17.180

EBC Brakes Superbike

  1. TBA…

Supersport – Saturday

Saturday’s Supersport riders put on quite a show for the fans at Road Atlanta in race one, with polesitter Bobby Fong, who competes for the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team, having a battle royale with last year’s class championship runner-up Hayden Gillim.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sat Hayden Gillim
Hayden Gillim – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

At the start, Fong got the holeshot and Gillim streaked forward from the second row and into second place right on Fong’s tail. The two riders passed and re-passed each other, touched fairings on several occasions, and even used a little bit of “body English” on each other to try to gain an advantage.

As the race wound down, Fong had a couple of missed shifts, which enabled Gillim to pull a little bit of a gap. At the checkers, Gillim won by a little more than four-and-a-half seconds over Fong. Sixteen-year-old Sean Dylan Kelly, Fong’s M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate, finished third in his MotoAmerica debut.

For Gillim and Fong, apparently all’s fair in love and motorcycle road racing because the two were all smiles after the race.

Supersport – Saturday

  1. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
  2. Bobby Fong (Suzuki) +4.624
  3. Sean Dylan Kelly (Suzuki) +12.194
  4. Richie Escalante (Yamaha) +12.780
  5. Bryce Prince (Yamaha) +13.116

Supersport – Sunday

In Supersport, Saturday’s second-place finisher Bobby Fong came back strong on Sunday and notched the race win aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sat Hayden Gillim Bobby Fang
Hayden Gillim – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Second-place finisher PJ Jacobsen kept Fong honest throughout the majority of the 18-lap race to record his first MotoAmerica podium result in his second race aboard his Celtic HSBK Racing Yamaha.

Yamaha rider Richie Escalante finished third and dedicated the race to his grandfather after getting the sad news earlier in the day that he had passed away.

Bobby Fong

“I’m definitely excited. It’s good to be on top of the box for sure. After yesterday’s misfortune, it’s good to be back up here. PJ rode a great race. I was just trying to do consistent laps out there. I knew I could stay in the 28s for the whole race, and that’s the goal. Late last night, I couldn’t even sleep because all I was thinking about was strategizing how am I going to out-brake Hayden Gillim? Unfortunately, he wasn’t there.  I saw PJ and I didn’t expect to see PJ there for sure. I knew he was going to be in the group, but I didn’t know that when I hit the false neutral during the race, and I actually hit another false neutral in the last turn, that he was going to be right there. I thought for sure Hayden was just going to slam me right off the track. But it was good battling with PJ. Our bike definitely jumped off the corners compared with theirs. We definitely used our advantages today.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sat Hayden Gillim
Hayden Gillim – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Supersport – Sunday

  1. Bobby Fong (Suzuki)
  2. PJ Jacobsen (Yamaha) +2.373
  3. Richie Escalante (Yamaha) +15.658
  4. Jason Aguilar (Yamaha) +16.598
  5. Bryce Prince (Yamaha) +19.686

Supersport Standings

  1. Bobby Fong 45
  2. Hayden Gillim 31
  3. P.J. Jacobsen 30
  4. Richie Escalante 29
  5. Sean Dylan Kelly 26
  6. Jason Aguilar 22
  7. Bryce Prince 22
  8. Xavier Zayat 17
  9. Nick McFadden 11
  10. Lucas Silva 11

Liqui Moly Junior Cup – Saturday

In Liqui Moly Junior Cup, MotoAmerica’s class with the youngest riders, 14-year-old Rocco Landers took the field to school with a start-to-finish victory in his very first MotoAmerica race.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sun Rocco Landers
Rocco Landers – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

The polesitter, who competes aboard a Landers Racing Kawasaki, got a great jump off the line and pressed his advantage all the way to the checkers to win by more than 16 seconds over Dallas Daniels. South African Sam Lochoff, who was also making his MotoAmerica debut, finished third aboard his Westby Racing Yamaha.

 

Liqui Moly Junior Cup – Saturday

  1. Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
  2. Dallas Daniels (Kawasaki) +16.226
  3. Samuel Lochoff (Yamaha) +17.852
  4. Teagg Hobbs (Kawasaki) +18.144
  5. Dominic Doyle (Kawasaki) +18.245

Liqui Moly Junior Cup – Sunday

Rocco Landers did the double and took the round win on Sunday. Almost a carbon copy of Saturday, he got a great jump off the line from the pole position, led the 11-lap race from start to finish, and pulled a gap of nearly five seconds.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sat Rocco Landers
Rocco Landers – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Dallas Daniels, the second-place finisher from Saturday’s race, once again finished second on Sunday. Altus Motorsports rider Kevin Olmedo finished third to complete the podium.

Rocco Landers

“It felt faster, honestly. I could see the times and stuff, but (we) were flying. I could see on the first lap he got by me and I was like, this is going to be a battle. I enjoyed it a lot.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sat Rocco Landers
Rocco Landers – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Liqui Moly Junior Cup – Sunday

  1. Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
  2. Dallas Daniels (Kawasaki) +4.924
  3. Dominic Doyle (Kawasaki) +21.548
  4. Gauge Rees (Kawasaki) +30.647
  5. Damian Jigalov (Kawasaki) +30.753
MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sun Rocco Landers
Rocco Landers – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Liqui Moly Junior Cup Standings

  1. Rocco Landers 50
  2. Dallas Daniels 40
  3. Dominic Doyle 27
  4. Gauge Rees 21
  5. Damian Jigalov 20
  6. Samuel Lochoff 16
  7. Jackson Blackmon 15
  8. Toby Khamsouk 15
  9. Teagg Hobbs 13
  10. Kevin Olmedo 10

Twins Cup – Saturday

The MotoAmerica Twins Cup class has had a major influx of entrants this season, and there is a large disparity in the age of the competitors: from 16 all the way to 50. In Saturday’s race one, those riders at the upper end of the age range showed their prowess, and the oldest of the group won the race.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sat Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Fifty-year-old Michael Barnes, whose motorcycle road racing career has spanned three decades, won the race aboard his Quarterley Racing Ducati. He bested Curtis Murray, who finished second, and 42-year-old defending class champion Chris Parrish.

Twins Cup – Saturday

  1. Michael Barnes (Ducati)
  2. Curtis Murray (Suzuki) +4.641
  3. Chris Parrish (Suzuki) +4.709
  4. Jeffrey Tigert (Suzuki) +9.458
  5. Alex Dumas (Suzuki) +18.292

Twins Cup – Sunday

The same podium finishers in Saturday’s Twins Cup race were again on the podium in Sunday’s race, and Quarterley Racing Ducati rider Michael Barnes was the race winner for the second day in a row.

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sun Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Barnes once again showed that experience (age) is the secret to success as he had the measure of his competitors. Defending class champ Chris Parrish improved on his Saturday third-place result by finishing second on Sunday aboard his Ghetto Customs Suzuki, and RBoM Racing’s Curtis Murray rounded out the podium in third.

Michael Barnes

“I got a horrible start, popped a wheelie off the start and just got eaten up in turn one. It was just everybody was coming around me and I was just dodging everybody from every angle. The Ducati really does run off the corner, but I was looking at the mile an hour and those little Suzuki’s seemed to be okay mile-an-hour-wise. So I wouldn’t say I had that much of an advantage in horsepower when it just seems to come off the corner a little bit better. Maybe I’m picking up the throttle earlier, I don’t know. Regardless, the Moto Corse Performance Quarterly Racing Ducati is really good. Like I said on the podium, I think you might see more Ducati’s on the grid after this first round. I just couldn’t be more pleased with coming back and doing a double.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sat Twins Cup Michael Barnes L
Michael Barnes – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Twins Cup – Sunday

  1. Michael Barnes (Ducati)
  2. Chris Parrish (Suzuki) +2.860
  3. Curtis Murray (Suzuki) +7.557
  4. Draik Beauchamp (Yamaha) +21.663
  5. Alex Dumas (Suzuki) +22.251

Twins Cup Standings

  1. Michael Barnes 50
  2. Chris Parrish 36
  3. Curtis Murray 36
  4. Draik Beauchamp 23
  5. Alex Dumas 21
  6. Jeffrey Tigert 21
  7. Jason Madama 20
  8. Joseph Blasius 15
  9. Chris Bays 14
  10. Hofman 10

Stock 1000 – Sunday

Last year’s Stock 1000 champion Andrew Lee got his 2019 season off to a flying start with a win in Sunday’s race. The Northern Californian is defending his title, stalking second-place finisher Michael Gilbert, who led the majority of the race until Lee made his decisive move and took the checkers. Stefano Mesa came in third, making it a Kawasaki podium sweep.

Andrew Lee

“I knew coming into this year with the number-one plate that I was going to have a big target on my back, especially with these two guys next to me. They’re both riding phenomenally.”

MotoAmerica Rnd Atlanta Sun Andrew Lee
Andrew Lee – 2019 MotoAmerica Round 1 – Atlanta

Stock 1000 – Sunday

  1. Andrew Lee (Kawasaki)
  2. Michael Gilbert (Kawasaki) +0.130
  3. Stefano Mesa (Kawasaki) +5.014
  4. Travis Wyman (BMW) +6.593
  5. Chad Lewin (Yamaha) +24.333

Stock 1000 Standings

  1. TBA…
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