Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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Cameron Beaubier Takes Road Atlanta Superbike Race One

Five riders battled in the lead group for most of the 21-lap Suzuki ECSTAR Championship at Road Atlanta and the race went to the wire with defending two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier taking his first victory of the season by a scant .287 of a second over Spaniard Toni Elias.

The victory was the 20th Superbike win of Beaubier’s career, a victory that moved him out of a tie with Fred Merkel and into fifth on the all-time win list. His 20th will also go down as one of the hardest-fought wins of his young career as he had to pass four riders after dropping back to fifth early in the race. The early part of the race was actually led by Beaubier’s Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Josh Hayes, after the four-time champion made some changes to his bike that made him competitive after struggling in practice and qualifying.

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Roger Hayden was another who ran at the front, before a mistake when he was racing with his teammate Elias dropped him out of the lead trio and to fourth, where he would finish. Ditto for HelmetSounds.com/Western Services/Meen Racing’s Josh Herrin, the former Superbike Champion showing good pace and running as high as second early on. Herrin would finish an eventual fifth.

The race came down to Beaubier versus Elias, with Hayes a shadow third. And it was heated, with the two coming together on at least one occasion and Beaubier coming out the best of it. Elias led going into the final chicane, but Beaubier was able to shoot past and hold the inside line on the run to Turn 12 and the awaiting checkered flag. He shot across the finish line just .287 of a second ahead of Elias and his Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing bike. Hayes, meanwhile, was 1.3 seconds behind his teammate Beaubier.

“At the beginning Josh [Hayes] was setting a really good pace out front,” said Beaubier, who earlier in the day earned pole position in Superpole. “I was struggling to get going, but once I did I knew I had to be patient. It’s a long race and I just wanted to make a 10-lap push and fight my way up towards the front. It was tough. I was struggling a little bit passing these guys. I wasn’t trying to be dirty or anything, I had to get aggressive because that’s what it’s going to take to beat these guys. They’re really strong on the brakes and have a lot of experience. I just tried to ride as tough as I could at the end of the race, and was able to wrap up the win.”

Elias was upset when he got off the motorcycle and voiced his displeasure at Beaubier in the winner’s circle. He had calmed by the time of the post-race press conference.

“I had some trouble and had to come back [to the front] twice,” Elias said. “It was a fun race, for myself at least but maybe not for some others. There was an incredible pace and for me it was difficult to come back. At the end I was able to finally catch up. I’m happy because second is good for the championship. Congratulations to Cameron [Beaubier], he had incredible passing at the end. It makes me hungry for tomorrow.”

Hayes was third after putting in some hard work to get his motorcycle better pre-race.

“We kind of took a little step backwards [with bike setup] and settled in with what we started with,” Hayes said. “Overall, it was a fairly strong race. Even when I was leading I didn’t think it was a fast enough pace to win. If I couldn’t figure out how to go a little faster, I’ve raced enough with these guys enough times to see how they change rhythm [in the race]. They start fast, ease up in the middle, and pick it up again at the end. When they came by it seemed like the gap opened up so fast. I kind of maintained a little bit, but not great. I just need to figure out a few tools at the end of the race to have a little more in me so I can go get ’em.”

With Hayden fourth and Herrin fifth, sixth place in the Motul Superbike Class went to South African Mathew Scholtz, and that earned him victory in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class – the first of his MotoAmerica career. Scholtz’s victory was also hard-earned with the Yamalube/Westby Racing rider besting Quicksilver Latus Motors Kawasaki’s Bobby Fong by just .616 of a second.

“It definitely wasn’t easy [to win],” Scholtz said. “Bobby [Fong] got out front off the start and we were just barely able to hang on to him. I managed just to pass him with about three laps left and I sort of tried to hang it out to the absolute limit in every corner to get my first MotoAmerica win. I’m really, really happy.”

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis ended up third in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class, some five seconds ahead of the Excelsus Solutions/Lucas Oil/KWR’s Kyle Wyman on his Yamaha YZF-R1. Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda’s Jake Gagne rounded out the top 10.

The Supersport/Superstock 600 race was also a thriller on a perfect Saturday in Braselton, with defending MotoAmerica Supersport Champion Garrett Gerloff taking his first win of the season by a scant .179 of a second over M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Valentin Debise.

“We had a really good bike today,” Gerloff said of his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves’ YZF-R6. “We had some electrical problems to get sorted out this morning, so that put us behind the eight ball a little bit. It was a little difficult to keep up with Valentin [Debise] in the first part of the race, but that red flag allowed us to make some changes to our bike. It was working a little bit better on the restart. Valentin is definitely riding strong, but we definitely have a fast bike that has a lot of strengths. Toward the end of the race my bike felt a lot better than it did at the beginning. We’ve got a good late-race setup and just need to work on the early pace. Tomorrow we just want to be up here battling again.”

Third place today went to last week’s winner at Circuit of The Americas, JD Beach. Beach led the re-started race early, but ran off the track in the final corner early, dropping to 11th before charging through to third, putting two Monster Energy/Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves Yamahas on the podium.

Team H35 Honda’s Benny Solis was fourth with class rookie Brandon Paasch rounding out the top five on his M4 The 22 Project Suzuki.

The championship in the Supersport class after two races is tight with Gerloff and Beach tied for the lead with 41 points – just one better than Debise.

M4 medAge Suzuki’s Nick McFadden, meanwhile, took his first-career MotoAmerica victory when he beat Aguilar Racing’s Jason Aguilar and Team MG55’s Michael Gilbert to win the Superstock 600 class.

“[The race] went a little better than I expected,” McFadden said. “I had a get off this morning and my [team] put the bike back together. It was perfect coming into the race, actually. The first couple laps I just tried to get away with the Supersport guys and stay on their rear wheel. I looked back once and saw someone I didn’t expect to be there, so I just stayed calm and stayed steady. After the red flag, I just tried to do the restart the same as the first start. I got away with those guys, ran a consistent pace, and came away with a victory.”

The KTM RC Cup made its 2017 debut at Road Atlanta today with three fresh faces on the podium. The win went to Quarterley Racing/On Track Development’s Benjamin Smith over his teammate Draik Beauchamp. Third place went to Alex Dumas on the JP43 Junior Team in his MotoAmerica debut.

Then win for Smith was his first, and it was a well-calculated one over Beauchamp by 2.021 seconds. Dumas was just behind in third, 2.3 seconds behind Smith.

“The plan at the beginning of the race was to try and get a good start, which I did. I got into the first corner in second place. I was going to try to and put my head down at the beginning and see if I could make a break, but these two [Beauchamp and Smith] were riding really well. I saw the lap times weren’t as low as they could be, so I just tried to put down a couple of fast laps at the end to get a break and not allow them to get past me.”

The Suzuki ECSTAR Championship at Road Atlanta continues tomorrow with Day 2 of the second round of the 2017 MotoAmerica season. A full slate of action will feature the second race of the weekend for all five classes.

RESULTS

Motul Superbike

1.    Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha

2.    Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki

3.    Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Miss., Yamaha

4.    Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki

5.    Josh Herrin. Dublin, Ga., Suzuki

6.    Mathew Scholtz, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha

7.    Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki

8.    Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki

9.    Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., Yamaha

10.  Jake Gagne, San Diego, Calif., Honda

Motul Superbike Championship Standings 

1.    Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki – 70

2.    Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha – 53

3.    Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 49

4.    Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 36

5.    Mathew Scholtz, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha – 32

6.    Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Miss., Yamaha – 31

7.    Josh Herrin. Dublin, Ga., Suzuki – 30

8.    Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 24

9.    Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 20

10.  Jake Gagne, San Diego, Calif., Honda – 17 

Bazzaz Superstock 1000 

1.    Mathew Scholtz, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha

2.    Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki

3.    Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki

4.    Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha

5.    Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki

6.    Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha 

Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship Standings

1.    Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 70

2.    Mathew Scholtz, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha – 65

3.    Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 45

4.    Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 42

5.    Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki – 32

6.    Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha – 25

7.    Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha – 19

8.    Tyler O’Hara, Petaluma, Calif., Kawasaki – 17

9.    Anthony Kosinski, South Bend, Ind., Yamaha – 13

10.  Cameron Petersen, Johannesburg, South Africa, Kawasaki – 11

Supersport

1.    Garrett Gerloff, New Waverly, Texas, Yamaha

2.    Valentine Debise, Albi, France, Suzuki

3.    JD Beach, Philpot, Ky., Yamaha

4.    Benny Solis, North Hollywood, Calif., Honda

5.    Brandon Paasch, Freehold, N.J., Suzuki

6.    Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki

7.    Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha

8.    Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha

9.    Daytona Anderson, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha

10.  Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki

Supersport Championship Standings

1.    Garrett Gerloff, New Waverly, Texas, Yamaha – 41

2.    JD Beach, Philpot, Ky., Yamaha – 41

3.    Valentine Debise, Albi, France, Suzuki – 40

4.    Benny Solis, North Hollywood, Calif., Honda – 26

5.    Brandon Paasch, Freehold, N.J., Suzuki – 20

6.    Daytona Anderson, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha – 18

7.    Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 10

8.    Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha – 9

9.    Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha – 8

10.  Lucas Silva, Miami, Fla., Yamaha – 8

Superstock 600

1.    Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki

2.    Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha

3.    Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha

4.    Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki

5.    Shane Richardson, Wellington, New Zealand, Kawasaki

6.    Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Yamaha

7.    Rafael DaSilva, Minas, Brazil, Yamaha

8.    JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki

9.    Brandon Cleland, Fort Worth, Texas, Suzuki

10.  Ryan Christian, Clearwater, Fla., Yamaha

Superstock 600 Championship Standings

1.    Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 25

2.    Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha – 20

3.    Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha – 16

4.    Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 13

5.    Shane Richardson, Wellington, New Zealand, Kawasaki – 11

6.    Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Yamaha – 10

7.    Rafael DaSilva, Minas, Brazil, Yamaha – 9

8.    JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki – 8

9.    Brandon Cleland, Fort Worth, Texas, Suzuki – 7

10.  Ryan Christian, Clearwater, Fla., Yamaha – 6

KTM RC Cup

1.    Benjamin Smith, Glenmoore, Pa., KTM

2.    Draik Beauchamp, Knoxville, Tenn., KTM

3.    Alex Dumas, Quebec, Canada, KTM

4.    Trevor Standish, Roswell, Ga., KTM

5.    Tyler Wissel, Medina, Ohio, KTM

6.    Gavin Anthony, Hilliard, Ohio, KTM

7.    Cory Ventura, Union City, Calif., KTM

8.    Toby Khamsouk, Banning, Calif., KTM

9.    Nate Minster, Oak Grove, Minn., KTM

10.  Jake Leahey, Hammonton, N.J., KTM 

KTM RC Cup Championship Standings

1.    Benjamin Smith, Glenmoore, Pa., KTM – 25

2.    Draik Beauchamp, Knoxville, Tenn., KTM – 20

3.    Alex Dumas, Quebec, Canada, KTM – 16

4.    Trevor Standish, Roswell, Ga., KTM – 13

5.    Tyler Wissel, Medina, Ohio, KTM – 11

6.    Gavin Anthony, Hilliard, Ohio, KTM – 10

7.    Cory Ventura, Union City, Calif., KTM – 9

8.    Toby Khamsouk, Banning, Calif., KTM – 8

9.    Nate Minster, Oak Grove, Minn., KTM – 7

10.  Jake Leahey, Hammonton, N.J., KTM – 6

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