Round 5 – The Ridge
Images by Brian J. Nelson
Cameron Beaubier has added two more wins to his 2020 tally, at The Ridge, taking a clear win from Mathew Scholtz and Bobby Fong in Race 1, with Jake Gage and Bobby Fong completing the podium in Race 2.
Beaubier now holds the Superbike championship lead by 54-points, from Jake Gage (171) and Mathew Scholtz (149).
“Everything’s going so good right now. I’m really comfortable on my R1. The whole team’s working really hard and I’ve got a great teammate (Jake Gagne). So it’s great to be able to go 1-2 for the team and show them that the hard work is paying off. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Sunny and 75 degrees and two wins. I really enjoyed this track and look forward to coming back here in the future.”
In the Supersport class Richie Escalante took the Race 1 win, ahead of Sean Kelly and Brandon Paasch, while Race 2 saw Sean Kelly win from Lucas Silva and Jason Aguilar.
Escalante currently leads the Supersport standinbs by 30-points, from Kelly (190) and Paasch (132).
A single Stock 1000 race was run over the weekend with Cameron Petersen winning from Michael Gilbert and Corey Alexander, with Peterson now 12-points ahead of Alexader in the standings, and Alex Dumas third overall.
Rocco Landers continued his Junior Cup domination, claiming both wins with Samuel Lochoff and Dominic Doyle trading the final podium positions between them.
Landers now sits on 235-points, to Doyle’s 187, while Lochoff is third overall on 162-points.
The Twins Cup ran a single race for the weekend, with Rocco Landers claiming yet another win, this time from Kaleb De Keyrel and Jason Madama.
Alex Dumas currently leads the Twins standings, on 207-points, with Draik Beauchamp second overall and Michael Barnes third.
Superbike Race 1
In three of his four championship-winning seasons, Cameron Beaubier won eight races. Today, in just the ninth race of the season, Beaubier won his eighth HONOS Superbike race, this one coming in the MotoAmerica debut event at the Ridge Motorsports Park. The four-time and defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion led from start to finish to win the 46th Superbike race of his career.
The race was restarted after a multi-rider crash on the opening lap that brought out the red flag, but after that it was clear sailing for Beaubier as he rode to an 8.1-second victory over Mathew Scholtz. Beaubier’s race got a bit easier when his teammate Jake Gagne was forced to slow near the end of the race with a badly worn tire, the San Diegan slipping back to fourth at the conclusion of the shortened 13-lap race. Beaubier also benefitted from the red flag restart after he botched the initial run through the chicane.
Scholtz came out the better of a near-race long scrap with Bobby Fong, the South African battling back after running off track midway through the race. Fong battled through the pain from his injured left wrist/hand to finish third after the South African passed him on the final lap. Gagne was fourth, some six seconds ahead of Toni Elias, the Spaniard well clear of Josh Herrin.
Italian Lorenzo Zanetti ended up seventh in his MotoAmerica debut, the Ducati rider dropping down the order in the beginning of the race with an off-track excursion. Jayson Uribe ended up eighth in his first MotoAmerica race of the year on his Honda CBR1000RR. Uribe bested Cameron Petersen by two seconds with Bradley Ward rounding out the to 10.
Superbike Race 2
To say that Cameron Beaubier is on a roll would be a gross understatement, after winning his ninth superbike race of the season, his sixth in a row and the 47th of his career at the Komatsu MotoAmerica Superbikes At The Ridge on Sunday.
In easily winning today’s 17-lap final, Beaubier eclipsed his season best of eight wins with his ninth of the season while extending his lead in the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship to 54 points.
“Yeah, man. It was really good to be able to get nine wins in a season and be able to pass my record that was a few years ago.That just feels really good for me. Everything’s going so good right now. Like I said yesterday, sometimes I feel like I need to get pinched. But at the same time, it’s weird to say but right now that I have the most experience in the Superbike class other than maybe Toni (Elias) or something like that. I’m just dialed in on my R1. I’ve been riding this thing for five or six years. I feel really, really good. Everyone’s working really, really hard at the Monster Attack Performance Yamaha team. It feels so good to put this up on the top of the podium multiple races throughout the year, and also having a great teammate in Jake (Gagne). Being able to go one-two today feels really good to just reward them for all their hard work. It’s just been fun so far this year. They’re slowly catching me. I’m just running for my life out there. Just hope to keep it going and really looking forward to going to New Jersey and seeing how this bike works around there. Hats off to everyone here at Ridge. They made the track a little safer with that chicane. They’re willing to change the track here and there to make it a little safer for when we come back in the future. I think it was a really fun track. So, hats off to them.”
Beaubier’s teammate Jake Gagne ended up second, a day after a front tire issue knocked him off the podium and into fourth place. Gagne’s 20 points stretches his advantage in the championship, and he sits in a solid second place, 22 points ahead of Mathew Scholtz, who finished fourth on Sunday.
Bobby Fong matched his result from yesterday with another third-place finish, the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider again racing with pain in his left wrist/hand from his crash at PittRace a few weeks ago. Fong closed on Gagne in the closing stages of the race, coming up .528 of a second behind the Yamaha rider. Scholtz, meanwhile, was another 3.1 seconds behind Fong in fourth place.
Fifth place on track went to Toni Elias, but he was docked a position which in turn handed the spot to Josh Herrin. Elias had passed Herrin on the final lap after a race-long battle between the two veterans.
Stock 1000 Championship points leader Cameron Petersen had a strong ride to seventh, the South African chasing down Lorenzo Zanetti for the entire race with the Italian crashing out on the final lap. Jayson Uribe had his second straight top-10 finish in his first MotoAmerica event of the year, the Californian riding to eighth some two seconds clear of Bradley Ward. Travis Wyman salvaged a difficult weekend with a 10th-place finish on his BMW.
Supersport Race 1
Saturday’s first race of the day was arguably the best Supersport race of the season thus far. The three frontrunners, Richie Escalante, Sean Dylan Kelly, and Brandon Paasch had a battle royale with lots of close passing (sometimes even making contact) and swapping positions multiple times within single laps of the event. The Ridge’s twisty and technical configuration favors aggression over subtlety, and the three combatants at the front did not shy from the challenge.
As the laps wound down, Escalante took the lead and, surprisingly, was able to stretch out a significant gap, taking the checkers by nearly three seconds over second-place finisher Kelly, who escaped the clutches of a very determined Paasch, the Yamaha rider completing the podium in third.
Supersport Race 2
After the close racing that occurred in Saturday’s Supersport race one, the expectation was that there would be a repeat performance in Sunday’s race two. However, an incident going into the chicane on the opening lap took out Saturday’s winner Richie Escalante. The Kawasaki rider and current championship leader was unhurt but unable to rejoin the race. That left the battle for the lead to the other two frontrunners, Sean Dylan Kelly and Brandon Paasch. Then, inexplicably, Paasch appeared to fall off his Celtic HSBK Racing Yamaha, which ended his day.
With both of his fiercest rivals out of the race, that left Kelly with a gaping lead. At the checkers, he won by more than 18 seconds over his teammate Lucas Silva, who celebrated his first-ever podium finish. Third place went to a somewhat somber Jason Aguilar, who appreciated the podium finish but wished that attrition hadn’t played a factor in his result.
|2||Sean Dylan Kelly||SUZ||+2.856|
|1||Sean Dylan Kelly||SUZ||28:10.5|
|2||Sean Dylan Kelly||190|
Stock 1000 Race
In Sunday’s lone Stock 1000 race of the weekend, Cam Petersen proved that he is now in a happy place with his Altus Motorsports Tucker Hagerty Suzuki. The South African rider notched his third win in a row and fourth victory of the season with a dominant performance that gave him a gap of more than 10 seconds over second-place finisher Michael Gilbert, while Corey Alexander rode his Kawasaki to a third-place result.
The race was red-flagged due to an incident on the opening lap when Hunter Dunham took a nasty tumble, but thankfully, he did not sustain any serious injuries.
“I know it’s not going to be like this every single round. This has been one of those weekends, like these guys said, they came into Thursday and it’s been one of those weekends for them, and it’s been the opposite for me. We’ve had absolutely no problems. We’ve sorted out all the issues and gremlins we’ve had on the motorcycle. This weekend, we spent all of our time on the chassis, and that’s all we’ve done. We’ve made the bike feel like my bike. I felt really comfortable out there all weekend. It’s kind of nice. This track reminds me of some of the tracks we have back home in South Africa. So, I think that’s why I felt a little bit more comfortable on it. Hats off to the whole team. They’ve done a killer job at making sure that they give me the best. This weekend I feel like we’ve taken some pretty big steps forward in the motorcycle. I’m not taking anything away from these guys, but my goal is to be on a Superbike. I want a Superbike ride really bad. I want to be challenging for podiums and wins in the Superbike class. It’s time to start maybe opening some eyes.”
Junior Cup Race 1
Prior to Saturday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race one, in the morning’s final qualifying session, Rocco Landers earned the pole position, but he destroyed his bike in the process. Landers’ father and his crew built virtually a whole new bike for the afternoon’s race, and the younger Landers used it to good effect, winning his third race of the season in defense of his 2019 championship.
Sam Lochoff gave Landers all he could handle, though. The South African rider led the race and kept Landers in check for a while, until Landers found a way to the front. Third place went to Dominic Doyle, also from South Africa. Doyle rode a quiet race, especially towards the end, to complete the podium.
Junior Cup Race 2
Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race was another show of strength by defending class champion and current points leader Rocco Landers, who rode a flawless and fast race aboard his Kawasaki to win by a margin of more than seven seconds over Dominic Doyle.
Speaking of Doyle, he played a part in the most exciting battle of the race as he and Sam Lochoff diced for second place, with Doyle barely squeaking by Lochoff at the stripe after passing him in the final corner.
The victory was Landers’ seventh of the season so far and the 21st Junior Cup class victory of his career.
|10||Joseph LiMandri Jr||49|
Twins Cup Race
Twins Cup was the final race of the day on Saturday, and the event was red-flagged twice due to on-track incidents, neither of which resulted in serious injuries. Rocco Landers, who won the afternoon’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race, notched his second victory of the day with the win in Twins Cup.
Landers had an easier time getting the win in the Twins class than he did in the Junior Cup race, the Oregonian taking the checkers by more than seven seconds over Kaleb De Keyrel. Third place went to Jason Madama, who trailed De Keyrel across the finish line by almost the same seven-second gap that Landers had over De Keyrel.
|2||Kaleb De Keyrel||YAM||+7.149|