Cameron Beaubier learned a valuable lesson yesterday. Don’t let Toni Elias stay close to you if you have the pace to put him away. Today Beaubier and his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing YZF-R1 had the pace and he was pulling away from Elias when yesterday’s Motul Superbike race-one winner crashed out on the sixth lap of the Championship of Utah at the Utah Motorsports Campus.
From that point forward, Beaubier continued to stretch his advantage on the battle for second place between M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Garrett Gerloff and Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz. On the sixth lap, Beaubier had almost six seconds in hand. By the end of the race that gap was 4.2 seconds as he cruised to victory – his fifth of the season and the 29th of his Superbike career. The Californian now sits alone in fourth on the all-time list, having pulled out of a tie with former World and AMA Superbike Champion Ben Spies.
“We’ve been working on our starts this year,” Beaubier said. “A couple have been pretty bad. A couple have been decent. I felt like today was pretty good. I was pretty decent in the first section. I was able to get around Toni (Elias) in the first couple of corners. I just wanted to put my head down and try to go from the beginning. It’s pretty tough to race that guy (Elias) in the last couple laps. We were able to do it. I came around the last section and I saw yellow flags. I saw the pit board and it said I had a decent gap, so I backed it down. I was just trying to hit my marks and be consistent and take as little risk as possible. That was the most stressful for me, just try and make it to the finish. I feel really relieved after today to be able to win here and get a second place and come out with the points lead makes me feel really good going into the remaining races. Looking forward to getting back on the bike in a couple weeks’ time and try to continue on this roll.”
Second place ultimately went to Gerloff, the Texan getting faster as the race wore on and he took the runner-up spot by 1.5 seconds. It was the 22-year-old’s best Motul Superbike result in what is his rookie season in the class.
“The first half of the race I felt decent, not too bad,” Gerloff said. Just kind of stayed with those guys, but then really the last half of the race something just was there. The bike was working just awesome, better than in the beginning with new tires. Really towards the end I felt great. I felt like I could put my bike wherever I wanted. I was trying to get around Roger (Hayden) because he’s got a pretty quick bike. Trying to set up a pass on him isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. He had one spot in (turn) six though that he was a little bit weak. I tried it once and wasn’t able to make it stick. We got real close on the next one, but just waited until the last few laps to make my move and made it stick on Roger, which was key. Then getting by Jake (Lewis) on the straightaway. I was just trying to put my head down and just do my thing because I knew my bike was on point and I knew I had the pace to at least be there at the last lap, if not have a little bit of a gap. Luckily we had the gap.”
Third place went to Lewis and his Suzuki GSX-R1000, the Kentuckian scoring his first podium of year after a string of mostly fifth-place finishes.
“I’ve been pretty consistent all year, but it feels amazing to get up on the podium,” Lewis said. “I’ve been working real hard this season. I had the podium yesterday. I feel like I had a really good battle with Josh (Herrin) the whole time. Had two spots (passing options) on the last lap. I was going to pass him or going to put us both on the ground. This is the first time I’ve had an opportunity this year. Today I had a little bit better pace than those guys. It was just frustrating at the beginning to kind of battle back and forth with those guys and made an aggressive move on Garrett. I tried to go with Cam and Toni, but obviously the pace was unbelievably fast. Got pretty close to those guys but used a lot of energy and had to burn up a little bit of tire. After Toni crashed pretty early on in the race, it was tough managing that gap plus 0, plus 0, plus 0. We’re excited to get the whole team this podium.”
Scholtz ended up fifth, the South African half a second behind Lewis at the finish line. Then came Roger Hayden on the second Yoshimura Suzuki. Hayden ended up some four seconds behind Scholtz but well clear of SC Project/KWR’s Kyle Wyman, the racer/team owner ending up sixth.
Scheibe Racing’s Danny Eslick, Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda’s Cameron Petersen and his teammate Jayson Uribe, and ART Performance’s Bruno Silva rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Elias now finds himself 49 points behind Beaubier in the chase for the MotoAmerica Motul Superbike Championship with four rounds (eight races) remaining.
“Cameron got a very strong start and put a gap on me in the first few laps,” Elias said. “Then I equalized and then for two laps I began to catch him. My bike was even better today, so I think we were looking good for another win. Then, unfortunately, I lost the front end and crashed. Sometimes it goes like this. The season is still long. I am going to remain positive and keep doing what I can to try to come back in this championship.”
With his fourth-place finish and Josh Herrin’s non-start after the Attack Performance/Herrin Compound rider destroyed his bike in the morning warm-up, Scholtz moved back to third in the championship by one point over Herrin. Gerloff is fifth in the title chase, 20 points behind Herrin.
Supersport – Who Else But Beach?
With M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider Valentin Debise’s return from injury, the battles at the front of the Supersport field have been fought between the Frenchman, Rickdiculous Racing Yamaha rider Hayden Gillim, and Gillim’s Kentucky neighbor JD Beach, who currently leads the championship. In Saturday’s race, Debise was unable to start due to a mechanical issue, and Beach held off Gillim for the victory. The tables turned a bit in Sunday’s race as Gillim crashed out, and Debise stuck close to Beach throughout the majority of the 15-lap contest. But, as was the case yesterday, Beach once again prevailed. Debise finished second and Fastline Performance/Tuned Racing’s Braeden Ortt finished third for his second podium result of the year. Beach now holds an 82-point lead over Gillim in the championship.
“It was a really good race,” Beach said after his seventh win of the season. “Val (Debise) was riding really good. He’s super-fast. Me and him kind of got a gap to third, to Hayden (Gillim). Then Hayden wasn’t able to bring the gap back. I thought we were going to have a three-rider battle until he went down. After about lap five or so, I started struggling with the front tire a lot. Val was able to get a little bit of a gap on me but, after about lap 10 or so, I think he made a little bit of a mistake. The front seemed like it got better. The last five laps, I felt like it was a whole new bike. I was able to get by him on the front straightaway, and I tried to put my head down the last three laps or so. I did my fastest lap on the last lap. I felt really good. I’m really looking forward to the next round. It’s a small track so I think we’re going to have a lot of guys up at the front. It should be a good battle.”
Liqui Moly Junior Cup – Ferreira Gets His First
The Liqui Moly Junior Cup class had a couple of new riders join their ranks for round six and Brazilian Renzo Ferreira, who finished fourth in Saturday’s race aboard his Quarterley Racing Kawasaki, came home with the victory in Sunday’s race.
AGVSPORT America/MonkeyMoto Yamaha rider Jay Newton finished second, and current championship leader Alex Dumas was third aboard his KTM Orange Brigade/JP43 Training machine.
Early race leader Ashton Yates jumped the start of the race aboard his Yates Racing Kawasaki, but he never served the ride-through penalty that was assessed, and he was subsequently black-flagged and was not credited with a finish. Also, Jamie Astudillo, who was one of the early front-runners in the race, crashed her Quarterley Racing/On Track Development Kawasaki out of the race.
“First of all, I want to thank Quarterley Racing for giving me this opportunity,” said Ferreira. “It’s amazing being here again. I was racing in the KTM Cup in 2016, and I’m really happy to be here in MotoAmerica again. I just think, from now, I’m going to start practicing again and get into the championship again. Try to get a good bike, and do the whole season next year, maybe. I hope to be here again. I want to thank everybody. These two guys were really fast today. I really had to work hard for this win. Jay (Newton) today did a really great job passing me on the inside of that corner, in 13, I think.”
Stock 1000 – Lewin Makes Good
Sunday’s Stock 1000 race was full of sub-plots, two new-for-round-six riders making the podium, the current points leader stretching his lead, and series’ dominant race winner suffering his second-consecutive crash.
Full-time realtor and weekend-warrior road racer Chad Lewin notched the win in his very first MotoAmerica event as the Team Lewin Estates Yamaha rider was victorious by slightly more than half a second over championship leader Andrew Lee aboard his RiderzLaw Racing Kawasaki. Finishing third was local rider Oleg Pianykh, who literally built his OPR Yamaha just in time to compete in the event on a track at which he is a multi-time club-racing champion.
Weir Everywhere Racing BMW rider Travis Wyman, who has won half of the Stock 1000 races thus far this season, led much of the race before crashing unhurt and rejoining to cross the finish line in seventh. As a result, Lee now has a 21-point lead over Wyman in the standings.
“First off, I want to thank MotoAmerica,” Lewis said. “This was a fun weekend. I’ve gotten on a bike about four times in the last three years. I started riding it about six months ago because of my good friend Jason Pridmore. I’m kind of doing this race off a dare, but obviously I’m a racer at heart, and I didn’t want to get second so I just sent it in there and it worked out. I have so many people to thank. I lost both my parents just two and a half, three years ago. I had a leg injury. I was supposed to have it amputated. I was never going to walk. I didn’t plan on riding again. I’m a full-time realtor. I have a real estate team. It pays the bills, and that’s my full-time job so I came here to have some fun. When the helmet goes on, it’s a different Chad that shows up. I definitely sent it a little more than expected. There are so many people to thank. I could go on and on. Ultimately, my mom and dad. They’re not here. It was a really emotional win because I worked so hard, and I know they’re watching. This is for my mom and my dad, so I hope they’re proud. Back to work tomorrow to sell some houses.”
- Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
- Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
- Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
- Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
- JD Beach (Yamaha)
- Valentin Debise (Suzuki)
- Braeden Ortt (Yamaha)
- Bryce Prince (Yamaha)
- Nick McFadden (Suzuki)
Liqui Moly Junior Cup
- Renzo Ferreira (Kawasaki)
- Jay Newton (Yamaha)
- Alex Dumas (KTM)
- Cory Ventura (Yamaha)
- Cameron Jones (Kawasaki)
- Chad Lewin (Yamaha)
- Andrew Lee (Kawasaki)
- Oleg Pianykh (Yamaha)
- Chad Swain (BMW)
- Jeremy Coffey (BMW)