Josh Herrin takes first Superbike race win in 5 years
Toni Elias claims Superbike Race 2 win
Debise and JD Beach take a Supersport win a-piece
Alex Dumas dominates Junior Cup
Andrew Lee wins Stock 1000
Jason Madama takes Twins Cup victory
Images by Brian J. Nelson
The Championship of Pittsburg round of MotoAmerica saw Josh Herrin take a long awaited race win in the first Superbike race on Saturday, with Toni Elias claiming the Race 2 win.
In the Supersport class Debise took the opening race win on Saturday with JD Beach back on form on Sunday to take the win.
Alex Dumas dominated the Junior Cup races, while Andrew Lee took the Stock 1000 victory on his Kawasaki. Jason Madama won the Twins Cup race of the weekend.
Superbike Race 1
Saturday saw Herrin win his first Superbike race in five years, the rider mastering iffy wet/dry conditions to win the first of two Motul Superbike races of the Championship of Pittsburgh. Herrin, who won the AMA Superbike Championship in 2013 with four race wins, took the lead from Toni Elias with a hard pass in turn one, looked over his shoulder at the end of the lap and saw no one.
From there he put his head down and pulled away, beating Garrett Gerloff by 2.3 seconds with the Texan on a charge in the latter laps. Ironically, Herrin was actually one of the riders who was vocal about not starting the race in those conditions.
Gerloff was a bit tentative early in the race and it ended up costing him any real chance of catching Herrin. Still, the second-place finish was impressive for the Motul Superbike rookie and it was his second runner-up result of the season.
South African Mathew Scholtz returned to the podium for the first time since VIRginia International Raceway in May, the Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha rider regaining some lost confidence and ending up 3.2 seconds behind Herrin and .9 of a second behind Gerloff who passed him on the final lap.
Defending MotoAmerica Motul Superbike Champion Toni Elias ended up fourth, some two seconds behind Scholtz and well ahead of championship leader Cameron Beaubier.
Beaubier had an eventful race or, more accurately, an eventful start. The rider entered pit lane after the sighting lap, which is against the rules, and was thus forced to start the race from the back row.
Jake Lewis fought back from a bad start to finish sixth with his Kentucky neighbor Roger Hayden seventh on the second Yoshimura Suzuki.
Bobby Fong rode to eighth in his debut with the team, right behind Hayden and some four seconds clear of Fly Street Racing’s David Anthony. Kyle Wyman rounded out the top 10.
Even though his race started with the penalty, Beaubier’s championship didn’t suffer much as Elias only gained two points on him. That puts him 61 points ahead of the Spaniard going into tomorrow’s race two, 309-248. Herrin is third in the title chase, 33 points ahead of Scholtz, with Gerloff fifth, just two points behind the South African.
Motul Superbike Race 1
- Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
- Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) +2.363
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) +3.285
- Toni Elias (Suzuki) +5.391
- Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) +13.840
Superbike Race 2
When it comes to last-lap battles, they don’t get much better than the final lap of Sunday’s Motul Superbike race between Toni Elias and Cameron Beaubier in the Championship of Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh International Race Complex.
The 18-lap Motul Superbike race came down to the very last lap of the 2.78-mile PittRace course and featured several close passes by both riders. In the end, though, victory went to Elias by just .046 of a second from Beaubier.
It was Elias’ seventh win of the season and the 23rd of his MotoAmerica Superbike career and he dedicated the victory to Brian Drebber, the MotoAmerica announcer who passed away on Thursday from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
“It was crazy, I’m really proud of the moves these two (Cameron Beaubier and Josh Herrin) are doing during this season because I think there’s not many championships you can see this show. Some days it falls on my side, other days it falls on his side, and other days on his side. So, everybody is there to try to win. It was amazing. Today it looks like we found something was a little bit better. Was not perfect but was a big help. Thanks to my team. Let’s continue like this.”
Beaubier bounced back today after finishing fifth in yesterday’s iffy conditions and, after a slow start, caught and followed Elias until the final lap. At that point he pounced, the two exchanging blows for the entire lap until Elias’ decisive counter punch a few corners from the finish.
“The race started off not the best, I think, I think what I did was hit the pit limiter and the launch control. So, I launched and when I was going, it just hit like a limiter at 11,000 RPM or whatever it’s set at. I made a couple quick shifts and it slotted me back to like fourth place. I was struggling a little bit getting a run onto the front straight into one. Then compared to last year, Toni was really good over turn two down into the braking zone into three and that was where I felt like I could capitalize on him last year, but this year wasn’t the case. It always sucks to come up short, but I was really happy with how I rode this weekend. He (Elias) deserved it. He led almost every lap of the race. Hats off to him. I’m happy we’re going into the last two rounds with a good points lead. We’ve been working so hard this year. Hats off to my guys. I’m really looking forward to going to New Jersey because I didn’t get to race here last year with my shoulder injury, so should be good.”
Third went to Saturday’s Motul Superbike winner Josh Herrin, the Georgian holding off both M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis and Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz by less than a second.
“I was happy with the race. I think the thing that I was most proud of was that I had struggled in the beginning. I had some big moments going into the corner, like (Garrett) Gerloff and (Valentin) Debise had earlier. It just got in my head. I was just kind of riding around, not really concentrating and looking forward. I was thinking, ‘is it going to do it again?’ the whole time. So, I was proud that I was able to kind of regroup and charge again and do some consistent times by myself. I’m super pumped with the track and I can’t wait to come back next year. I think it’s definitely an event that we should look at coming to twice just because the fans are so good here and the track is really good, the racing is really good. I think all of us would say the same thing. We had a lot of fun. Looking forward to New Jersey.”
Bobby Fong finished sixth in his second race on the Honda CBR1000RR SP2, improving upon yesterday’s eighth-place finish. Danny Eslick was seventh after yesterday’s non-finish with Kyle Wyman taking eighth, improving on Saturday’s 10th-place finish. David Anthony and Max Flinders rounded out the top 10.
The only two non-finishers were notable in that they were Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff and Elias’ teammate Roger Hayden. Gerloff crashed on his own accord, with Hayden getting bumped off by Scholtz.
Despite a weekend without a victory, Beaubier has his hands firmly on the title with a 56-point lead and two rounds (four races) left to run. The Californian has 329 points to Elias’ 273. Herrin is third with 228, 101 points adrift of Beaubier. Scholtz and Gerloff round out the top five in the title chase as the series heads to New Jersey Motorsports Park in two weeks.
Motul Superbike Race 2
- Toni Elias (Suzuki)
- Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) +0.046
- Josh Herrin (Yamaha) +7.769
- Jake Lewis (Suzuki) +8.657
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) +8.842
Motul Superbike Standings
- Cameron Beaubier 329
- Toni Elias 273
- Josh Herrin 228
- Mathew Scholtz 190
- Garrett Gerloff 177
- Jake Lewis 166
- Kyle Wyman 130
- Roger Hayden 118
- Danny Eslick 118
- David Anthony 82
Supersport Race 1 – Saturday
Valentin Debise, who missed the first four races of the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship due to injury, scored his second victory of the season aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600.
Debise led every one of the 16 laps over Hayden Gillim, who finished second and a little less than a second behind Debise at the checkers. Bryce Prince scored his first podium finish of the season as he got past championship leader JD Beach on the final lap.
“Last couple months I worked really hard, I took a new coach, spent money on him, spent money on training back home in France. Finally, it paid off. So, I’m glad that I did all of this job, and now I feel that I can even improve more. We still have some room to improve on my riding style, some room to improve on the bike. So, we’ll keep going and I will keep enjoying every race I go in.”
Supersport Race 1
- Valentin Debise (Suzuki)
- Hayden Gillim (Yamaha) +0.819
- Bryce Prince (Yamaha) +5.199
- JD Beach (Yamaha) +6.433
- Jason Aguilar (Yamaha) +29.863
Supersport Race 2 – Sunday
In the red-flag-shortened Supersport race, JD Beach edged oh-so-close to clinching the 2018 MotoAmerica Supersport Championship when he made a strong comeback from a so-so result on Saturday at PittRace to win Sunday’s 12-lap feature, albeit by less than a second over Hayden Gillim.
Beach currently holds a 98-point lead over Gillim in the point standings, and he is poised to wrap up the championship at the next round in New Jersey. Yesterday’s third-place finisher Bryce Prince once again finished third aboard his Yamaha in the best weekend the California rider has had all season.
“We struggled quite a bit in the race yesterday after about lap six or so, I think we figured out what it was, and it definitely didn’t happen again in the race for today. I felt like I had really good pace before the first red flag. After the second red flag it was like we were all in a group. (Valentin) Debise and Hayden (Gillim) were passing hard and I was passing Debise trying to get up to Hayden, and then Debise would get back by me. It was going to be a really fun race, and then I was able to get out in front. There were definitely parts of this track that I was struggling at, but I was trying to just be real quick in the parts that I was good at. We were able to get the win. I’m not too sure that would have happened if we would have gone the full race distance, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”
Supersport Race 2
- JD Beach (Yamaha)
- Hayden Gillim (Yamaha) +0.880
- Bryce Prince (Yamaha) +3.878
- Anthony Mazziotto III (Yamaha) +15.167
- Jason Aguilar (Yamaha) +15.412
- JD Beach 303
- Hayden Gillim 205
- Valentin Debise 150
- Bryce Prince 136
- Nick McFadden 128
- Cory West 125
- Richie Escalante 112
- Braeden Ortt 104
- Anthony III Mazziotto 100
- Jason Aguilar 81
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 1 – Saturday
In Liqui Moly Junior Cup, Alex Dumas notched his seventh win of the season in a race that was red-flagged because of a crash, restarted, and red-flagged again because of another crash.
Damian Jigalov had gotten past Dumas just before the race was red-flagged the second time, but according to FIM and MotoAmerica rules, the results revert back to the previous completed lap, so Jigalov was credited with second place. Cory Ventura finished third.
“Today went good, it wasn’t the pace I was trying to do, but still, I’m really happy with how the race went. Before the red flag, I felt confident. I was surprised that they didn’t pass me, and I was happy just to race with some guys. Then, after the red flag, I didn’t have as good of a start as what I had in the first race, but I’m still really happy and I won with the red flag, so I’m happy.”
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 1
- Alex Dumas (KTM)
- Damian Jigalov (Kawasaki) +0.186
- Cory Ventura (Yamaha) +0.391
- Ashton Yates (Kawasaki) +0.635
- Renzo Ferreira (Kawasaki) +1.139
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 2 – Sunday
In Liqui Moly Junior Cup, Saturday’s race winner Alex Dumas did the double and also notched a win on Sunday aboard his KTM RC390R. Dumas battled with Quarterley Racing’s Renzo Ferreira for several laps before Ferreira crashed out unhurt.
Also crashing unhurt and out of the race was Ashton Yates, which opened the door for Cory Ventura and Jackson Blackmon, who finished second and third, respectively. Dumas, who now has eight race victories on the season, holds a 64-point advantage in the championship standings.
“This weekend has been incredible for me, I’m happy because I won the race and got 25 more points for the championship. I’m really happy about that. My KTM RC390R just went so well this weekend. We made a lot of changes, even all the weekend. I’m really happy how we ended up. I had a good holeshot in the first part of the race. I was able to do a big lap in the half lap, and then there was a red flag, so I just put my head down for the second part. Some guys just passed me, and I was just putting my head down and trying to be in front.”
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 2
- Alex Dumas (KTM)
- Cory Ventura (Yamaha) +0.109
- Jackson Blackmon (Yamaha) +1.470
- Kevin Olmedo (Yamaha) +10.398
- Toby Khamsouk (Yamaha) +10.777
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Standings
- Alex Dumas 236
- Ashton Yates 172
- Cory Ventura 165
- Jay Newton 129
- Sean Ungvarsky 125
- Jackson Blackmon 107
- Gavin Anthony 101
- Jamie Astudillo 92
- Gauge Rees 75
- Kevin Olmedo 69
In Stock 1000 Andrew Lee, who won his first race of the season at Sonoma Raceway during MotoAmerica’s previous round, emerged victorious again on Sunday at PittRace.
The championship points leader had the measure of the field in the red-flag-shortened event and won by nearly seven seconds. Woolich Racing/Kawasaki rider Shane Richardson, who missed two races while he was back home in New Zealand, finished second. Third place went to Chad Lewin.
“My goal coming into this weekend was to repeat Sonoma, and thankfully I did it because the crew behind me really stepped up this round and really worked super-hard. To do it again, same kind of form, was just honestly a dream come true.”
Stock 1000 Race
- Andrew Lee (Kawasaki)
- Shane Richardson (Kawasaki) +6.838
- Chad Lewin (Yamaha) +7.139
- Travis Wyman (BMW) +37.535
- Stephen Incledon (Yamaha) +41.097
Stock 1000 Standings
- Andrew Lee 130
- Travis Wyman 88
- Chad Lewin 61
- Shane Richardson Jr. 58
- Stephen Incledon 41
- Melissa Paris 35
- Timothy Bemisderfer 34
- Andy DiBrino 29
- Chad Swain 24
- Roi Holster 23
In Saturday’s Twins Cup race, Jason Madama won his third race of the season in a near-photo-finish over Kris Turner. Chris Bays, aboard his Suzuki, finished third in the red-flagged and restarted four-lap sprint to the checkers.
“I always like to come out and have a good race and I like to battle, I didn’t know honestly until the last couple laps something was wrong. I knew something was wrong with his bike because he wasn’t there, and he was there the whole race. Like I said, I kind of got handed the win, but I’ll take it. The track is absolutely amazing. I’m in love with it. Honestly, I just want to dedicate this win to Brian Drebber. I was supposed to talk to him today and I’m just really, really bummed about what happened. So, this is going to him.”
Twins Cup Race
- Jason Madama (Yamaha)
- Kris Turner (Suzuki) +0.210
- Chris Bays (Suzuki) +3.229
- Tyler Humphreys (Suzuki) +3.294
- Brian McGlade (Suzuki) +4.284
Twins Cup Standings
- Chris Parrish 130
- Jason Madama 121
- Ryan Roth 44
- Danielle Diaz 33
- Curtis Murray 32
- Aaron Tulchinsky 31
- Justin Filice 27
- Jeffrey Tigert 25
- Xavier Zayat 25
- Shane Perry 25