Cameron Beaubier Sweeps NJMP MotoAmerica Superbike Doubleheader
Brayden Elliott scores points in MotoAmerica appearance
Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier had a perfect day in imperfect weather at New Jersey Motorsports Park, the defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion winning both races on a rainy day to vault himself back into championship contention.
Beaubier, who started the day seventh in the championship, scored a perfect 50 points in trying conditions as rainstorms invaded south New Jersey and wreaked havoc on a hectic Sunday at NJMP. When the day concluded at dusk, Beaubier had gone from seventh to second in the series standings – just four points behind his teammate Josh Hayes. Hayes, the four-time series champion, finished second in both races but wasn’t able to match the pace thrown down by his young teammate.
For Beaubier the two victories were the 13th and 14th of his Superbike career with those two wins moving him into a tie for 10th on the all-time AMA Superbike win list with former World Champions Eddie Lawson and Scott Russell.
“To be honest at the beginning I was kind of stressed out,” Beaubier said after his race-two win. “I felt a lot better than in the first race today, feeling-wise I felt a little bit faster. I came by and I had half a second and the next lap I was like ‘Oh, man this is going to be good.’ I came back around and it said (plus) .0. I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ I put my head down and just kept pushing. I knew Josh was right there and it seemed like he made a little bobble and I came by and it said ‘Plus 2.’ It just started growing from there and I just tried to ride as smart as I could and eased my way around the track at the end. And I was able to do the double.”
Hayes moved into the championship points lead with his two second-place finishes today, the 41-year-old veteran making the most of Roger Hayden’s second-race crash to take the top spot. Hayes has 92 points to Beaubier’s 88 with Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden dropping to third with 83 points. Hayden had finished ninth in race one after struggling with the treacherous conditions.
“There’s not too many times in my career that I can say that I settled for a position,” Hayes said after race two. “Really early on I kinda made a run at Cam (Beaubier) but the risk factor was going up extremely high. I don’t know if his bike was handling a little bit better than mine that he could continue to ride like that. We had a big gap and it was hard not to just say, ‘Oh, well, I don’t have the pace and I’m not fast enough to ride with Cam and I’m going to take what I’ve got here.’ I figured the guys would beat me with a hammer if I came back in the crash truck from that race.”
Hayden’s teammate Toni Elias also struggled, the Spaniard finishing out of the points in race one and then finishing 12th in race two. Elias is now fourth in the championship with 79 points – 13 points behind Hayes.
Claudio Corti finished third overall in both Superbike races and first in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class. The two Superstock wins vaulted him into the championship points’ lead with 111 points – nine clear of Wheels In Motion/Meen Motorsports’ Josh Herrin.
“I lose many positions (avoiding the crashing Jake Gagne on the first lap),” Corti said. “I was scared because I almost hit him. I had to brake hard and almost stop and then restart, but I had to keep concentrated because it was only the first lap. There were 15 laps to go and I kept pushing. After a few laps I saw Hayden Gillim in front of me so I tried to catch him and I did. I’m pretty happy and I have to say thanks to the marshals for cleaning the track and everyone for working so hard the last two nights because I crash. And here we are again and I can’t wait for the next race.”
Two others had noteworthy days in the Superbike class: Larry Pegram and Hayden Gillim. Pegram ended up fourth and sixth on the M4 Suzuki as the replacement rider for the recently retired Chris Ulrich; and Cycle World Suzuki’s Gillim earned his first career Superstock 1000 podium with his second-place finish (and fourth overall) in race two. Gillim was 10th in race one.
Another point of note was another Australian making his presence felt in the MotoAmerica ranks. The 21-year-old from the NSW high-country town of Tumut was drafted in to the ADR Motorsports squad at the last minute and after a career thus far only spent on Suzuki machinery, had to familiarise himself with the ADR/Fly Yamaha YZF-R1 and the tricky New Jersey Motorsports Park 3.63km layout. Elliott adapted quite well and managed to card 13th and 14th place finishes, ahead of some well known names.
“Having the opportunity to race in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship has been a huge experience which I’m sure will help me grow as a racer now having my first taste of competing internationally. I am extremely thankful to the whole ADR Motorsports team for giving me the opportunity and putting in such a huge effort during the whole event. I am really happy with the way we managed to overcome so many challenges that we faced and never gave up. My aim for this event was purely to gain experience and continue to learn whilst giving it my best. I am happy with everything I have achieved personally and also what we all achieved as a team.”
The second Supersport race was also held on Sunday at NJMP with M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen scoring his first career win. The South African was chasing Joe Roberts in the second part of the re-started Supersport final when Roberts crashed out, handing the victory to Petersen.
“It was a tough race,” Petersen said. “I knew that I stood a better chance in these conditions. The first part of the race this morning before the re-start was tricky. There was a lot of standing water. Like these guys said, thanks to MotoAmerica for keeping our safety in mind. We just had to put that behind us (the crash) because we knew it wasn’t our fault. I lined up for the second part, got a pretty good start and then once Joe passed us it seemed like he had a really good pace. I followed him around for most of the race and on the last lap he was pushing hard and pulled a gap on me. Then he kind of gifted me the win and I couldn’t be happier.”
Second place went to Petersen’s teammate Valentin Debise, the Frenchman ending up 7.6 seconds behind Petersen and some nine seconds ahead of Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha’s JD Beach, the winner of Saturday’s race one.
Beach’s third-place finish combined with Garrett Gerloff’s crash in the first portion of the race (a crash that also involved Beach and Petersen) and non-start in the second part, moved Beach to within two points of Gerloff in the championship. Gerloff now leads Beach, 95-93. Debise is third in the standings with 87 points and Petersen has 59 points in fourth. Roberts slips to fifth with 53 points after his crash in race two.
There was another first-time winner on Sunday with Double B Racing’s Jody Barry taking his first career win in the KTM RC Cup. Barry beat Saturday’s winner Brandon Paasch to the line by just .333 of a second with Josh Serne earning his first career KTM Cup podium in third. Serne was just .365 behind Barry.
“I was thankful for the rain today,” Barry said. “In the dry I just wasn’t getting it because the draft was killing me. With my size, I can maybe get a little better grip in the corners in the wet.”
SUPERBIKE RACE 1: 1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha); 2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha); 3. Claudio Corti (Aprilia); 4. Larry Pegram (Suzuki); 5. Jake Gagne (Yamaha); 6. Corey Alexander (Ducati); 7. Ryan Jones (Yamaha); 8. Danny Eslick (Yamaha); 9. Roger Hayden (Suzuki); 10. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki).
SUPERBIKE RACE 2: 1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha); 2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha); 3. Claudio Corti (Aprilia); 4. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki); 5. Corey Alexander (Ducati); 6. Larry Pegram (Suzuki); 7. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha); 8. Ryan Jones (Yamaha); 9. Danny Eslick (Yamaha); 10. Josh Herrin (Yamaha).
MotoAmerica 2016 – Championship Standings after NJMP
- Josh Hayes 92
- Cameron Beaubier 88
- Roger Hayden 83
- Toni Elias 79
- Claudio Corti 65
- Jake Gagne 55
- Josh Herrin 54
- Taylor Knapp 43
- Bobby Fong 43
- Hayden Gillim 40
- Danny Eslick 34
- Larry Pegram 23
- Sheridan Morais 22
- Corey Alexander 21
- Ryan Jones 18
- David Anthony 17
- Steve Rapp 12
- Joshua Day 9
- Geoff May 9
- Barrett Long 9
SUPERSPORT RACE 2: 1. Cameron Petersen (Suzuki); 2. Valentin Debise (Suzuki); 3. JD Beach (Yamaha); 4. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha); 5. Andy DiBrino (Yamaha); 6. JC Camacho (Yamaha); 7. Benny Solis Jr. (Honda); 8. Travis Wyman (Yamaha); 9. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 10. Mark Rhoades (Kawasaki).
KTM RACE 2: 1. Jody Barry; 2. Brandon Paasch; 3. Josh Serne; 4. Anthony Mazziotto III; 5. Cory Ventura; 6. John Knowles; 7. Alejandro Gutierrez; 8. Ashton Yates; 9. Jaret Nassaney; 10. Jackson Blackmon.
Saturday MotoAmerica Report from NJMP
Beaubier Takes NJMP Superbike Pole Position – JD Beach Gets Back To Winning Ways In Supersport
If tomorrow’s two Superbike races are anything close to today’s Superspole session then fans at New Jersey Motorsports Park are in for an action-packed Sunday as the top seven qualified within a second of polesitter Cameron Beaubier for the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship of New Jersey.
Beaubier set the pace in Superpole 2, the defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion earning his second pole position of the season and the seventh of his career with a lap of 1:21.390 on the factory Yamaha R1. But his rivals are close with teammate Josh Hayes just .174 of a second behind in second and Yoshimura Suzuki’s championship points leader Roger Hayden third – and just .251 of a second off Beaubier.
Beaubier has been fast all weekend at NJMP and he managed to survive a crash-filled final practice session on Saturday morning – a session that claimed several riders, including his teammate Hayes. And not once but twice.
“I just put my head down in the beginning with a brand new soft tire, felt pretty good, clicked off some mid- to high-21s and was just trying to get a good rhythm going,” Beaubier said of Superpole 2. “I made a couple of small mistakes here and there, but overall I felt really good. I felt like I had a good race pace in the dry, and I felt decent in the wet. Whatever happens tomorrow, I think I’m ready.”
Hayes walked away unscathed from two crashes in the final practice session and he wasn’t alone as several went down in the cold conditions.
“I felt okay on the motorcycle, no real problems other than being a little gun shy on that side (the left side of the tire),” Hayes said. “I just don’t want to fall down again. I didn’t make it very easy on my crew tearing up both motorcycles and giving them a lot of work to do to provide a good bike for qualifying.”
Championship leader Roger Hayden, on the Yoshimura Suzuki, will fill the front row for Sunday’s two races. Hayden’s best lap was a 1:21.641 – just a tick slower than the two Yamaha teammates.
“This afternoon definitely felt a little better,” Hayden said of the track conditions. “It’s hard to keep heat in the left side of the tire, just cause there’s only a couple of left-hand corners and they are pretty slow. So this afternoon, with the track temperature up, that seemed to be a little better.”
Hayden said he didn’t feel fast in Superpole 2, though the results show otherwise.
“I didn’t feel like I was riding that good,” Hayden said. “I was rushing the corners and stuff, so I’m really happy with the front row. It’s important for this place because it’s really tough to pass. With the weather coming in maybe tomorrow, the closer you are to the front the less chances are of things happening. Glad to be on the front row and these guys did a great job, did a good lap. Looking forward to having a good one tomorrow.”
Row two for tomorrow’s Superbike races will be led by the surprising Hayden Gillim, the Cycle World Suzuki rider lapping in the 1:21s with a 1:21.816 on his Bazzaz Superstock 1000-spec GSX-R1000. He led Broaster Chicken Roadrace Factory’s Jake Gagne and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias, the Spaniard having to come through from Superpole 1 as he was struggling in his first visit to New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Row three will consist of Latus Motors Racing’s Bobby Fong on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, TOBC Racing’s Danny Eslick and M4 Suzuki’s Larry Pegram, the racing veteran making his MotoAmerica debut as a replacement rider for the recently retired Chris Ulrich.
There was plenty of racing action on Saturday at NJMP with the first of two Supersport/Superstock 600 and KTM RC Cup races running on a cloudy day at NJMP.
The Supersport victory went to a rider who was happy to turn his season around with a win: JD Beach. The defending MotoAmerica Supersport racer won his first race of the year after a dominating 2015 season in which he won eight races. Beach sped away at the start in front of his teammate Garrett Gerloff, the winner of three straight races to start the season, and increased his lead when the pack of four at the front encountered lapped traffic. That gave him a gap that he held to the finish, ultimately beating Gerloff by 2.834 seconds.
“My plan each race is to get the best start I can and just go,” Beach said. “You never know what’s going to happen so if there’s guys going down or something, I’d rather be out front. I was able to get a good start and somehow go faster than I did this morning. I wasn’t really expecting that, but it just feels really good to get a win this year. The team has been working so hard and I’ve just kinda felt like I kept letting them down. Back home I’ve been training so hard and working hard and doing the things I did last year, but we just couldn’t get something to click. It was getting to the point of being like ‘Can I still do this?’ It came easy last year. I’d just get on the bike and go and it’s what Garrett’s been doing. He goes out there and if it’s wet, dry, whatever he just hammers and is fast. This year I couldn’t get it figured out. It’s still just one win, but it’s nice to finally be heading back to that direction.”
Third place in the Supersport class went to pole-sitter Joe Roberts on the Wheels In Motion/Motosport.com/Meen Motorsports Yamaha. It was Roberts’ first podium of the season as he moves full time to the Supersport class after winning the Superstock 600 Championship last year.
Team H35 Honda’s Benny Solis Jr. was fourth with M4 Sportbike TrackGear.com Suzuki’s Valentin Debise finishing fifth.
Sixth place overall went to Superstock 600 class winner and championship leader Bryce Prince. Prince was well clear of second-placed Conner Blevins on the EMR Excel Racing Kawasaki, the Oklahoman getting the better of HB Racing/Meen Motorsports’ Dakota Mamola, who was third in class and eighth overall.
The KTM RC Cup races at NJMP were expected to be a battle between New Jersey racers Brandon Paasch and Anthony Mazziotto III and that’s what it ended up being. With both riders coming into their home race with a victory apiece, they led qualifying and they led the pack at the finish of the 13-lap race. But it was Paasch getting the upper hand at the finish line, topping Mazziotto by just .166 of a second with Ashton Yates just as close in third – .186 of a second behind. Brandon Altmeyer, who finished third in the first two races at Road Atlanta, ended up fourth.
“My first thought was to get out front and just go,” Paasch said. “I knew it wasn’t going to work after a couple of laps. I kept trying, but then I was like, ‘I don’t know why I’m doing this?’ I just fell back and stayed back there in fourth, fifth for a little bit and the last couple of laps I just started making moves because I knew I had to be at least second coming out on the straightaway. I wound up leading on to the straightaway which wasn’t the ideal thing, but that’s what happened and it worked.”
SUPERBIKE QUALIFYING: 1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:21.390; 2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:21.564; 3. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 1:21.641; 4. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki) 1:21.816; 5. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:21.983; 6. Toni Elias (Suzuki) 1:22.285; 7. Bobby Fong (Kawasaki) 1:22.310; 8. Danny Eslick (Yamaha) 1:22.423; 9. Larry Pegram (Suzuki) 1:23.170; 10. Kyle Wyman (Yamaha) 1:23.208.
SUPERSPORT RACE 1: 1. JD Beach (Yamaha); 2. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha); 3. Joe Roberts (Yamaha); 4. Benny Solis Jr. (Honda); 5. Valentin Debise (Suzuki); 6. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 7. Conner Blevins (Kawasaki); 8. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha); 9. Mike Selpe (Yamaha); 10. Shane Narbonne (Yamaha).
SUPERSTOCK 600 RACE 1: 1. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 2. Connor Blevins (Kawasaki); 3. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha); 4. Gage McAllister (Yamaha); 5. Andy DiBrino (Yamaha); 6. JC Camacho (Yamaha); 7. Michael Gilbert (Yamaha); 8. Xavier Zayat (Suzuki); 9. Timothy Wilson (Kawasaki); 10. Melissa Paris (Suzuki).
KTM RC CUP RACE 1: 1. Brandon Paasch; 2. Anthony Mazziotto III; 3. Ashton Yates; 4. Brandon Altmeyer; 5. Jody Barry; 6. Jackson Blackmon; 7. Alejandro Gutierrez; 8. Christopher Kosan; 9. Nolan Lamkin; 10. Renzo Ferreira.