Round 3 Road Atlanta
Images by Brian J. Nelson
Road Atlanta has seen Cameron Beaubier return to dominance over the weekend, after a setback at Round 2, claiming both race wins as Yamaha closed out the top three in both races. The result sees Beaubier continue to hold the lead after six races with 125 championship points, while teammate Jake Gagne trails by 19 points on 106. The weekend also saw Mathew Scholtz move past Bobbie Fong into third with 76 points – three more than Fong.
Cameron Beaubier – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“The weekend couldn’t have gone better with the double along with a Yamaha sweep on both days! The guys had my bike working great all weekend and I was impressed with the times that we could do on race tires. I’m looking forward to lining up next weekend!”
Sean Dylan Kelly and Richie Escalante had to share the wins in the Supersport class, with the duo each taking a win and a second place finish for the weekend, while Brandon Paasch claimed third across both days. Escalante now leads the standings on 145-points, with Kelly second on a distant 105, and Paasch third on 84.
Corey Alexander dominated the Stock 1000 races, with a technical issue taking Cameron Petersen out of Race 2, with Alexander now the leader on 76-points, Peterson second with 65 championship points, and Alex Dumas third with 58-points. Kaleb De Keyrel won the single Twins Cup race of the weekend, with Hayden Schultz and Rocco Landers rounding out the podium. Keyrel now holds the lead on 95-points, with Landers second on 77 and Schultz third on 46, equal points to Jason Madama.
Rocco Landers took both wins in the Liquid Moly Junior Cup and now leads Dominic Doyle by four points, with Doyle having to settle for a 3-2 result, swapping podium positions with Samuel Lochoff over the weekend.
Superbike Race 1
Cameron Beaubier looked back on form after a Round 2 crash, on the scorching hot Saturday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the four-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion riding to his fourth victory of the season in the opening Superbike race of the weekend.
Beaubier led off the start, but it was quickly Jake Gagne leading the way through the esses on the opening lap. Although his lead was short lived, it still marked the first time the Monster Energy Attack Performance rider had led a Superbike race. Once his teammate Beaubier sped past, the two teammates circulated together for a few laps before Beaubier pulled away. The points leader slowing in the closing stages of the race to beat Gagne by 4.786 seconds, but said his race was by no means mistake-free. The win was the 42nd AMA Superbike victory of Beaubier’s career and his sixth at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Gagne, meanwhile, was well clear of Mathew Scholtz, the South African trailing the Californian by 16.3 seconds at the end of the 19-lap race. The third-place finish was Scholtz’ second podium of the year and came at a track that he calls one of his favourites.
Elias rode his Suzuki to fourth, well clear of his teammate Bobby Fong who had crashed in the morning session at speed and injured his right hand. Fong, in turn, had a big lead over David Anthony, the Australian having a lonely ride to sixth.
Geoff May rode his Kawasaki ZX-10R to seventh, almost a second ahead of Bradley Ward. Max Flinders and Danilo Lewis rounded out the top 10, while two of the top riders in the series, Kyle Wyman and Josh Herrin, both suffered mechanical problems that knocked them out of the race.
Superbike Race 2
Beaubier completed a perfect weekend on Sunday, riding to his second victory in two days on another scorching hot day in Northern Georgia. The HONOS Superbike podium was an exact replica of Saturday’s, with Beaubier’s teammate Jake Gagne finishing second and Mathew Scholtz third again. It was also the second straight podium sweep for the Yamaha YZF-R1.
For Beaubier it was his fifth win in six races and his seventh career AMA Superbike win at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Additionally, the win was Beaubier’s 43rd career victory in the premier class.
The race was red-flagged early when Danilo Lewis crashed in turn seven. It was restarted shortly thereafter and with similar results. Although he didn’t get the holeshot, Beaubier was at the head of the field when they hit the esses for the first time and he instantly gapped the field with Gagne getting baulked slightly by Toni Elias.
Soon Gagne was past the Spaniard after passing him around the outside, but he didn’t have the pace of his teammate. Ditto for Scholtz, who also made his way around Elias before trying unsuccessfully to catch Gagne. Both riders, however, ended up closer to the race winner at the conclusion of the race, though Beaubier slowed his pace toward the end.
At the finish, Beaubier was 2.5 seconds ahead of Gagne and 6.1 seconds clear of Scholtz, who was pleased with the progress he made from Saturday’s race.
Fourth place went to Bobby Fong, the winner of race two at Road America 2, hounding Scholtz for most of the race. He ended up less than a second behind the South African at the finish and 2.4 seconds ahead of his teammate Elias.
Kyle Wyman finished sixth, the Ducati Panigale V4 R rider making up for Saturday’s disappointing non-finish after a mechanical issue took him out of the race early. Wyman battled early with Josh Herrin before pulling away to a comfortable margin of some six seconds. David Anthony finished eighth with Cameron Petersen ninth and Corey Alexander rounding out the top 10.
|9||Max Flinders||(Yamaha)||+1 Lap|
|10||Danilo Lewis||(BMW)||+1 Lap|
Supersport Race 1
Supersport Race 1 was a battle between Sean Dylan Kelly and Richie Escalante, with Kelly emerging victorious by just .052 of a second to snap Escalante’s four-race winning streak. The race was red-flagged when Nolan Lamkin crashed in the early going, and it was restarted with the original starting grid and Escalante in the pole position.
Kelly got the jump on Escalante, but Escalante stayed close throughout the 18-lap event, and the two swapped the lead several times. On the final run to the checkers, Kelly had enough of a gap to hold off Escalante’s draft-pass move. Meanwhile, Brandon Paasch ran a solid race in third to round out the podium.
Supersport Race 2
The three main protagonists from Saturday’s Supersport race had an encore performance in race two, but this time, the winner was Richie Escalante, making it five wins of the six races run thus far in the season. Saturday’s winner Sean Dylan Kelly crossed the finish line second, ahead of Brandon Paasch in third.
Similar to Saturday, the race was a battle in the early laps, with Escalante, Kelly, and Paasch tightly bunched together and going two- and sometimes three-wide into the corners. Each one of the trio led the race at various points, but as the laps wound down, Escalante solidly asserted himself at the front and took the checkers with a gap of more than six seconds. Kelly also stretched his advantage over third-placed Paasch and had a gap of more than seven seconds at the finish line.
|1||Sean Dylan Kelly||(Suzuki)||25m26.2|
|8||Max Angles Fernandez||(Yamaha)||+1m01.846|
|2||Sean Dylan Kelly||(Suzuki)||+6.458|
|2||Sean Dylan Kelly||105|
Stock 1000 Race 1
In Saturday’s Stock 1000 race, Corey Alexander notched his first MotoAmerica win. Second-place finisher Cameron Petersen hung with Alexander in the opening laps of the race, but his Suzuki developed a technical issue, and Alexander was able to stretch his lead to nearly four seconds at the checkers. Alex Dumas, the 2018 Liqui Moly Junior Cup and 2019 Twins Cup Champion, recorded his first podium result in the Stock 1000 class with a third place.
Stock 1000 Race 2
After winning his first-ever MotoAmerica race on Saturday’s, Corey Alexander kept his winning ways going and won again on Sunday. The New Yorker finished a little over a second ahead of rapidly rising youngster Alex Dumas, who finished second aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. Third place went to local Georgia rider and former factory Superbike and World Superbike competitor Geoff May.
The beginning of the race looked like it would be dominated by Cameron Petersen, but as was the case in Saturday’s race one, a technical issue took Petersen out of first place and eventually out of the race altogether, even though he did rejoin to ultimately finish 18th and two laps down.
Twins Cup Race
The final race of Saturday’s racing was the Twins Cup, and Kaleb De Keyrel was victorious, with second place going to Hayden Schultz for his second podium in a row. Polesitter Rocco Landers had quite a ride aboard his Suzuki on the final go-around of the 12-lap race. The class rookie made an aggressive move to try and catch De Keyrel, but he very nearly crashed and had to make a miraculous save to salvage a podium in third.
|1||Kaleb De Keyrel||(Yamaha)||18m55.2|
|1||Kaleb De Keyrel||95|
Junior Cup Race 1
Saturday saw Rocco Landers put in a dominant performance to record his second-consecutive victory. The Kawasaki rider started from the pole, got the holeshot, and immediately started pulling a gap, which he extended to more than five seconds by the time he crossed the finish line. His pace was as hot as the temperature at Road Atlanta, and the Oregonian broke the outright class lap record on his way to the checkers.
Current points leader Doyle got a bad start from the line and had to play catch-up throughout the majority of the 11-lap event. He raced hard, however, and managed to land on the podium in third. Second place went to Sam Lochoff, the South African getting his best result of the year thus far.
Junior Cup Race 2
In Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race, Saturday’s race winner Rocco Landers did the double and took the checkers again, the rider crossing the finish line with a just under a five-second advantage over second-place finisher Dominic Doyle. Third place went to Sam Lochoff.
Landers got the holeshot in Sunday’s race and made a statement from the get-go. The defending class champion was never headed. Doyle and Lochoff, both from South Africa, traded spots a couple of times during the 11-lap contest, but the finishing order settled out as the laps wound down.
|10||Joseph LiMandri Jr.||(Kawasaki)||+50m52.8|
|10||Joseph LiMandri Jr.||(Kawasaki)||+51m21.6|
|10||Joseph LiMandri Jr||29|