Round 6 – New Jesersy
Images by Brian J. Nelson
Cameron Beaubier leaves New Jersey Motorsports Park and heads to Barber Motorsports Park this week with a massive 84-point lead in the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship after what was another walk-in-the-park victory for the four-time series champion. While it’s too early to hand him the number-one plate with three rounds and eight races remaining the series, it’s about time to fire up the engraver.
After six rounds, Beaubier leads Gagne by 84 points, 275-191, with Scholtz third on 185 points. Fong is fourth with 138, 22 clear of Elias and 26 ahead of Wyman.
The Supersport class saw Richie Escalante take the Race 1 victory from Brandon Paasch and Sean Dylan Kelly, while Kelly claimed the Race 2 win ahead of Paasch and Escalante in an inversion of the first race’s placings.
Escalante now holds the championship lead by 30-points on 261, to Kelly on 231, while Paasch is a more distant third on 172-points.
The single Stock 1000 race saw Cameron Petersen take a clear win from Corey Alexander and Michael Gilbert, mirroring the current standings. Petersen leads on 165, to Alexander’s 148, while Gilbert is third on 96-points.
In the Twins Cup it was Rocco Landers continuing his domination, winning the first race from Teagg Hobbs and Hayden Schultz, while in the second race Schultz moved up to second, with Dominic Doyle completing the podium.
Landers leads the standings on 177-points to Kaleb De Keyrel on 158, while Hayden Schultz is a distant third on 98-points.
Landers also dominated the Liqui Moly Junior Cup, winning from Samuel Lochoff in Race 1 and Joseph LiMandri Jr in Race 2. Benjamin Gloddy completed the podium in both races.
Rocco Landers now leads the Junior Cup standings by 90-points, to Lochoff on 195, while Dominic Doyle is only a single point behind in third.
Superbike Race 1
On a sunny Saturday in New Jersey, Beaubier won his 10th race of the 2020 season to extend his championship lead to a yawning 79 points over teammate Jake Gagne. The win was also the 48th of the four-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion’s AMA Superbike career and is closing in on his former teammate Josh Hayes (61 Superbike victories) for second on the all-time win list. The victory, however, didn’t come without a bit of pre-race stress.
As has been the norm so far in 2020, Beaubier’s win was dominant with the Californian taking victory by 9.599 seconds over Mathew Scholtz, who took full advantage of Gagne’s first-lap crash to close in on the Californian for second in the championship point standings. Third place went to a revitalised Toni Elias, the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider ending a podium-less drought that dated back 11 races.
Kyle Wyman bounced back from a disastrous round in the Pacific Northwest two weeks ago to finish fourth on his Ducati Panigale V4 R. Wyman was challenged early on by Bobby Fong but was able to pull clear of the rider to beat him to the flag by almost seven seconds.
Sixth place went to Corey Alexander, the New Yorker matching his previous best HONOS Superbike class result after barely holding off Cameron Petersen in the final laps. Petersen ended up seventh. David Anthony and teammate Bradley Ward finished eighth and ninth with Josh Herrin rounding out the top 10.
Superbike Race 2
Sunday’s win at NJMP came in a shortened race after a red flag was thrown on the second lap when Bradley Ward crashed his FLY Racing ADR Motorsports Kawasaki, putting debris on the racetrack. As he did on the first start, Beaubier grabbed the holeshot and never looked back, opening up a lead and maintaining it to the finish. At the completion of the 14 laps, Beaubier was 2.884 seconds ahead of his pursuers.
Two of those pursuing Beaubier raced to the bitter end with his teammate Jake Gagne drafting past Mathew Scholtz at the finish line by .014 of a second with the two fighting it out for the duration. In addition to the battle on track, that pairing is also fighting it out for second in the title chase. Gagne now leads Scholtz by just six points.
Soon after Scholtz took over second in the final laps, both he and Gagne were baulked by lapped traffic but Scholtz may have gotten the worst of it which allowed Gagne to claw his way back for his last-lap attack.
Bobby Fong was next, the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider finishing some four seconds ahead of his teammate Toni Elias, the Spaniard failing to match the pace that earned him his first podium of the season on Sunday.
Kyle Wyman was sixth after finishing fourth on Saturday, the New Yorker getting the better of Altus Motorsports’ Cameron Petersen on Sunday. FLY Racing’s David Anthony rode his Suzuki GSX-R1000 to ninth with Travis Wyman rounding out the top 10 on his BMW.
Supersport Race 1
The start and opening laps of Saturday’s Supersport race were an early indicator that the three main protagonists, Richie Escalante, Sean Dylan Kelly and Brandon Paasch, would engage in another classic middleweight battle.
Kelly started from the pole aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki, and Paasch and Escalante were in hot pursuit. Escalante rode his HONOS Kawasaki around Paasch and Kelly, and then, Kelly started going backwards, falling victim to a technical issue with his bike. That left Paasch close behind Escalante and looking for an opportunity to take the lead.
Unfortunately, that opportunity never materialised, and Escalante stretched his advantage to take the checkers by just under 3.5 seconds over second-place finisher Paasch. Kelly, meanwhile, kept himself in a podium position despite the issue with his bike and he crossed the finish line in third.
Supersport Race 2
Sunday’s race of the day was in MotoAmerica’s Supersport class, and the three leaders in the season championship put on an absolute show for the fans. Early in the 20-lap event, Sean Dylan Kelly, Brandon Paasch, and Richie Escalante let it be known that they were in it to win, and the trio raced closely and passed each other often.
Kelly made a breathtaking pass up the inside of Escalante, in a spot where it didn’t seem like a pass was possible. And then, it was Paasch’s turn. Riding his Yamaha, the local rider made almost the same pass on Escalante and in the very same turn. The only difference was that the opening was even more narrow, and Paasch left tire rubber on Escalante’s leathers on the way through.
At the checkers, Kelly took the win, Paasch finished second, and Escalante raced his HONOS Kawasaki across the stripe to complete the podium.
|3||Sean Dylan Kelly||SUZ||+13.544|
|1||Sean Dylan Kelly||SUZ||28:04.9|
|2||Sean Dylan Kelly||231|
Cam Petersen has said clearly that he wants a full-on Superbike ride, and the way he’s been riding his Altus Motorsports Suzuki this season in the Stock 1000 class, he’s also making a clear statement with the motorcycle he is racing. Petersen won Saturday’s Stock 1000 race by a margin of more than six seconds, and he actually backed it down a little bit towards the end of the race after pushing his advantage to more than eight seconds.
The other two riders who finished on the podium had a good battle throughout the majority of the 15-lap event, and Corey Alexander prevailed in second place over third-placed Michael Gilbert, both riders aboard Kawasaki ZX-10R machines.
Twins Cup Race 1
Rocco Landers is on a roll. Not only has the Oregonian been successfully defending his Liqui Moly Junior Cup Championship this season, but he is also racing in MotoAmerica’s Twins Cup. After a couple of races to acclimate himself to the new-for-him race class, Landers has also become dominant on the bigger bike, too.
In Saturday’s Twins Cup race one, Landers rode his Suzuki to his third win in a row, fourth victory of the season, and second win of the day (including his victory in Liqui Moly Junior Cup race one). Second place went to Teagg Hobbs, the New Hampshirite notching the first MotoAmerica podium of his career. Hayden Schultz crossed the finish line in third.
Twins Cup Race 2
By the way Rocco Landers has been dominating the two different race classes this season – Liqui Moly Junior Cup and Twins Cup – you might think that Sunday’s Twins Cup race two was processional. And, if you’re talking about Landers only, you’d be right since he put in another dominant performance to win by nearly five seconds.
The battle for the rest of the podium was definitely the must-see part of the race with Hayden Schultz and Dominic Doyle dicing all the way to the checkered flag. At the stripe, it was Schultz over Doyle in a near-photo-finish, the pair separated by just .095 of a second.
Meanwhile, Kaleb De Keyrel was even closer to Doyle, and he just missed out on a podium finish by .055 of a second.
|6||Kaleb De Keyrel||YAM||+13.402|
|10||Ryan Max Johnson||YAM||+01:01.2|
|4||Kaleb De Keyrel||YAM||+4.92|
|2||Kaleb De Keyrel||158|
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 1
Defending Liqui Moly Junior Cup Champion Landers started from the pole in Saturday’s race one, and he was never headed in the 13-lap event. Conditions were ideal for the race, and Landers, aboard his Kawasaki, capitalised on the perfect weather and track surface by breaking the Junior Cup lap record at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Sam Lochoff, who slotted into second off the start, tenaciously maintained his position all the way to the checkers flag. Meanwhile, the battle of the race was for the third spot on the podium, and an overjoyed Bed Gloddy put himself and his Quarterley Racing/On Track Development Kawasaki on the box with a perfect draft-pass coming onto the front straight at NJMP.
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 2
In Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race two, Landers completed a perfect weekend by taking the checkers first in his fourth race. The Norton Motorsports/Ninja400R/Dr. Farr/Wonder CBD Kawasaki rider did it with authority, crossing the finish line by nearly nine seconds over Joseph LiMandri Jr., the rider a very happy, first-time podium finisher in second place at his home track.
Third place went to Ben Gloddy, who equaled his third-place finish in Saturday’s race one with his second podium in a row.
|4||Joseph LiMandri Jr||KAW||+21.33|
|2||Joseph LiMandri Jr||KAW||+8.791|
|9||Joseph LiMandri Jr||82|