Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier said Sunday’s second Superbike race was the most fun of any of the Superbike races he’s been involved in. And you get the feeling he’d be saying the same thing even if he hadn’t won. But win he did, the 23-year-old MotoAmerica Superbike Champion adding a victory in race two to his race-one win for a clean sweep at Road America in the Honda Superbike Showdown of Wisconsin.
The two wins also propelled him into the lead in the 2016 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, 176-169, over his teammate Josh Hayes. It also gives him a leg up on the competition in the Honda Superbike Showdown, a three-round (six races) series (Road America, Barber Motorsports Park and Laguna Seca Raceway) within a series that will award its winner a brand-new 2016 Honda Civic Sedan. With his perfect 50 points, Beaubier leads the Honda Superbike Showdown, 50-33, over Roger Hayden and teammate Toni, the two Yoshimura Suzuki riders leaving Wisconsin after splitting second- and fourth-place finishes. Hayden is third in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship – 27 points behind Beaubier and five points ahead of his teammate Toni Elias.
Both of the Superbike races were thrillers from start to finish with Beaubier beating Hayden to the line by just .442 of a second in race one before beating Yoshimura Suzuki’s Elias by .684 of a second in race two. Hayes was third in both races, 1.9 seconds behind in race one and just .721 of a second behind in race two.
The two wins were the fifth and sixth wins of the year for Beaubier and the 16th and 17th of his Superbike career. With his 16th career win, Beaubier moved into a tie with MotoAmerica President and three-time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey for 10th on the all-time win list. With his 17th win later in the day, Beaubier pulled even with 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden for ninth on the all-time list.
“After crashing yesterday and Friday, I was a little nervous going into today,” Beaubier said after race two. “I especially didn’t want to throw another bike down the road but you have to ride on the edge if you’re going to beat these guys. It was really good to be able to get the double here. I’ve had good success here, but I’ve never doubled here even on a 600. Every time I come here it seems like I have a good weekend. The race was crazy and was probably the most fun Superbike race I’ve ever had. Battling back and forth and you don’t get a four-bike battle for the lead all the time in Superbike racing.”
Hayes was having a good run in the first race until he ran off track and had to make up the ground he’d lost. He ended up third.
“I thought I had spots where I was good and there were spots where Cam (Beaubier) was good,” Hayes said after the first of two races. “I had a lot of fun being up at the front and trying to figure out how everything was going to play out. I got a pretty bad run out of the chicane and Cam came by but I thought, ‘Oh, he’s a sissy on the brakes. I will just get him down in Canada Corner.’ But I might have missed that a little bit. It was harder getting back on the track than it was going off it as there was a pretty big lip in the curbing out there. I had to make sure I got her turned and squared up so I could jump that sucker back on the track.”
Hayden knew he didn’t have enough power to draft past Beaubier on the run to the flag. And he also knew he wouldn’t be able to hold the lead if he led out of that final corner on the run up the hill.
“They had a little bit of steam, but there were a couple of places I think I could have passed in the infield,” Hayden said after his race-one runner-up finish. “I was just hanging on there and I was pretty comfortable because the draft was helping me. I didn’t want to start racing Cam because I could see that Josh was coming on my pit board. On the last lap I tried to get close enough but I made a couple of mistakes and Cam just had enough to hold me off. I would have needed a lot to get by him.”
The next outing for MotoAmerica will be at the Honda Superbike Showdown of Alabama, June 11-12, at Barber Motorsports Park, and Nicky Hayden will ride two vintage Hondas in demonstration laps. Hayden, the 2006 MotoGP World Champion and 2002 AMA Superbike Champion, will turn laps from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on various vintage Hondas, including a 1960 Honda RC161 250cc Grand Prix racer and a 1979 CB825 Superbike straight out of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, which is also a must-see for those coming to the racetrack. On Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Hayden will again burn demonstration laps on the vintage bikes.
Beaubier wasn’t the only rider to come away from Road America with a clean sweep as Wheels In Motion/Meen Motorsports’ Josh Herrin won both of the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 races while finishing fifth overall in both of the Superbike races. Both of the Superstock 1000 races were also great battles with Herrin topping Aprilia HSBK Racing’s Claudio Corti in both and by just .167 of a second. South African Mathew Scholtz was third in his MotoAmerica debut in race one with Cycle World Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim filling the podium in race two.
Frenchman Valentin Debise broke through with his maiden MotoAmerica victory when he won today’s Supersport battle over championship points leader Garrett Gerloff by just .095 of a second. Debise, and his M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki, bounced back from a mechanical failure in yesterday’s Supersport race to beat race-one winner Gerloff and the Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha. Third place on Sunday went to Saturday’s runner-up JD Beach, the defending MotoAmerica Supersport Champion barely beating Debise’s teammate Cameron Petersen to the flag.
“For sure I was looking for a win for a long time,” Debise said. “That was my main goal when I come here. I finish on the podium but for sure when you finish second you are the first loser. Yesterday I thought I could do it, but unfortunately we had some trouble with the bike. I take some space and he could not work with me on the front straight. I am very happy for that and I cannot hope for a better result from this place that I didn’t know.”
With his victory and second place this weekend at Road America, Gerloff extends his points lead to 43 points over his teammate Beach, 190-147. Debise is third with 139 points.
The Superstock 600 win today went to Bryce Prince, the Riders Discount Tuned Racing rider turning the tables on yesterday’s winner Richie Escalante by beating the HB Racing/Meen Motorsports rider to the flag by just .799 of a second. Prince’s teammate Jason Aguilar ended up third.
The KTM RC Cup race saw a first-time race winner in Aston Yates, the son of former AMA Champion Aaron Yates breaking through to win the first MotoAmerica race of his young career. Yates emerged from a four-way battle to beat Double B Racing’s Jody Barry by just .049 of a second. Series points leader Brandon Paasch was just .211 of a second from victory with his championship rival Anthony Mazziotto III finishing fourth and just .244 of a second from victory.
“I didn’t want to be the first one coming out of the final corner because I knew I was going to get used,” Yates said. “I had to think a little bit and that’s what I did. I checked up in Canada Corner a little bit and in the final corner I checked up a lot and let them both by. Then I made my pass.”
Paasch now holds a seven-point lead over Mazziotto, 164-157, after four rounds and eight races.
Superbike Race 1: 1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha); 2. Roger Hayden (Suzuki); 3. Josh Hayes (Yamaha); 4. Toni Elias (Suzuki); 5. Josh Herrin (Yamaha); 6. Claudio Corti (Aprilia); 7. Matthew Scholtz (Yamaha); 8. Bobby Fong (Kawasaki); 9. Jake Lewis (Suzuki); 10. Kyle Wyman (Yamaha).
Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Race 1: Josh Herrin (Yamaha); 2. Claudio Corti (Aprilia); 3. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha); 4. Bobby Fong (Kawasaki); 5. Jake Lewis (Suzuki); 6. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki); 7. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha); 8. Danny Eslick (Yamaha); 9. Steve Rapp (BMW); 10. Frankie Babuska Jr. (Yamaha)
Superbike Race 2: 1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha); 2. Toni Elias (Suzuki); 3. Josh Hayes (Yamaha); 4. Roger Hayden (Suzuki); 5. Josh Herrin (Yamaha); 6. Claudio Corti (Aprilia); 7. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha); 8. David Anthony (Kawasaki); 9. Bobby Fong (Kawasaki); 10. Jake Lewis (Suzuki).
Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Race 2: 1. Josh Herrin (Yamaha); 2. Claudio Corti (Aprilia); 3. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki); 4. David Anthony (Kawasaki); 5. Bobby Fong (Kawasaki); 6. Jake Lewis (Suzuki); 7. Steve Rapp (BMW); 8. Danny Eslick (Yamaha); 9. Frankie Babuska Jr. (Yamaha); 10. Barrett Long (Yamaha).
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.