You couldn’t have written a better script for Suzuki in the combined MotoGP/MotoAmerica weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. At the biggest motorcycle racing event in America, the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing team came away both MotoAmerica Superbike race wins and Superpole.
Icing on the cake came in the form of Team SUZUKI ECSTAR also winning the MotoGP race, with Alex Rins and his GSX-RR giving Suzuki a clean sweep of all races it participated in this weekend.
Toni Elias got the Texas party started by winning MotoAmerica Superpole aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. He then followed up with a thrilling victory in Superbike Race One on Saturday, with a last-lap, last-turn pass on rival Cameron Beaubier, bringing the crowd to their feet.
Then in Sunday’s Superbike Race Two, it was Yoshimura Suzuki finishing 1-2, with newest team member Josh Herrin breaking through to score his first win of the season. Elias was second.
MotoAmerica COTA Race 1
Elias won a scintillating battle with Cameron Beaubier to win his sixth out of seven starts in Texas. After 15 laps of the 3.426-mile Circuit of The Americas, Elias beat Beaubier by just .089 of a second after a battle that went to the final two corners. And Beaubier’s teammate, Garrett Gerloff, was just .248 of a second behind in third place – despite starting the race from the back of the grid.
Josh Herrin, who led at times early in the race, ended up fourth, 1.9 seconds behind his teammate Elias. JD Beach rode to fifth, some four seconds clear of fellow Kentuckian Jake Lewis.
Mathew Scholtz ran off the track once, crashed and remounted to finish seventh, barely besting David Anthony and Cameron Petersen with the trio separated by just .454 of a second. Kyle Wyman rounded out the top 10 finishers.
EBC Brakes Superbike Race 1
Toni Elias (Suzuki)
Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) +0.089
Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) +0.248
Josh Herrin (Suzuki) +1.913
JD Beach (Yamaha) +15.560
Jake Lewis (Suzuki) +19.165
Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) +35.247
David Anthony (Kawasaki) +35.344
Cameron Petersen (Yamaha) +35.798
Kyle Wyman (Ducati) +48.056
MotoAmerica COTA Race 2
Yoshimura Suzuki won its second straight race at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, but it wasn’t the one ridden by yesterday’s winner Toni Elias. This time it was Josh Herrin on the top step of the podium after winning the seventh AMA Superbike race of his career in the MotoAmerica Championship of Texas.
Herrin battled for 13 of the 15 laps with his teammate Elias, with Cameron Beaubier always within striking distance. In the final two laps, Herrin was able to put his head down and he crossed the line .958 of a second ahead of Elias with Beaubier 1.6 seconds behind in third.
Fourth place went to Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff, the Texan coming on strong at the end of the race to finish 3.2 seconds behind Herrin. Gerloff, in turn, was well clear of fifth-placed Jake Lewis.
Cameron Petersen finished sixth, some three seconds ahead of Kyle Wyman. David Anthony, Travis Wyman and Max Flinders rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Elias now has a 13-point lead over Beaubier, 90-77, with Herrin moving past Scholtz and into third with 49 points to Scholtz’s 45. Beach and Lewis are tied for fifth with 40 points each.
“Just mentally, I feel like I was a lot more prepared today. We spent a lot of time at the track last night. We ran a different tire today, but it’s two totally different weather conditions today, so I don’t think that really had much to do with it for us. Just made the right choice, I guess. It’s just been, like Toni said, every day I think I get more comfortable on the bike. Each time I can race it and actually put in those hard laps I learn a lot. We have a lot of data to look at and I can learn what I’m doing wrong, what I’m improving on. Like I said on the podium, it’s been such a crazy off-season. I had super highs coming into it and then, once the season started, I was bumming pretty hard because I just wasn’t riding like myself. I think I was just getting so excited at the beginning of the races that I was kind of blowing it for myself, riding like a rookie a little bit. I just had to kind of reset my brain and just relax a little bit. It feels so good to be able to get a win for Suzuki. Two wins this weekend. They won a MotoGP race, so it’s a big day for them. Thank you to everybody at Suzuki and Yoshimura for believing in me.”
“I just was trying to do my race, my pace. There is still something I am missing, because it’s me. Riders we have to choose the tires, the things. Mistake a little bit before the race. I choose the same tire as yesterday, when yesterday I wasn’t happy. I choose it again because I was thinking today with more temperature was better but is the same tire. Last year in Barber I had some bad feeling, too. So, I think today it’s been a good advice to cancel the tire for the future. I’m not going to use it anymore, for sure. But anyway, I was there. I was doing my pace. The team is working so good. We don’t change anything on the bike, just the track condition was much better than yesterday. But I didn’t expect at the end to have this little issue with the shifter. After that, I lost everything, and I couldn’t fight. It’s okay. These things happen in race. A little bit pissed off because I could fight a little bit more. Maybe we could have a big battle with Josh. But anyway, I’m happy for him. 1-2 for Suzuki is so, so good. He deserves this more than anyone. So, very happy for him, for the team, too. After all, I’m happy to take this second place. Let’s continue like this. This is going to be long. Let’s see.”
“I gave 110 percent that race just to hang onto those guys. They were riding so good. The pace was a second and a half faster than it was yesterday. I don’t know where the hell they found that. I was just hanging on for dear life. All in all, I’m really happy that I was even able to keep pace with the Yosh boys this weekend. This is always a pretty tough track for us. It just gives me confidence going into the rest of the year. Hats off to both these guys. I’m excited for a really tough year and battling it up with these guys.”
EBC Brakes Superbike Race 2
Josh Herrin (Suzuki)
Toni Elias (Suzuki)
Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
Kyle Wyman (Ducati)
David Anthony (Kawasaki)
Travis Wyman (BMW)
Max Flinders (Yamaha)
EBC Superbike Championship Standings
Toni Elias 90
Cameron Beaubier 77
Josh Herrin 49
Mathew Scholtz 45
JD Beach 40
Jake Lewis 40
Garrett Gerloff 36
David Anthony 36
Cameron Petersen 30
Kyle Wyman 25
Riders head back east to Virginia International Raceway for round three of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in Alton, Virginia, on May 4-5th.
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