Last year Toni Elias won his sixth MotoAmerica Superbike race in the 18th and final race of the season in New Jersey. Today the Yoshimura Suzuki rider matched that win total in just the 10th Motul Superbike race of what will be a 20-race season and that doesn’t bode well for the competition.
Like most of his previous five wins, the victory for Elias in today’s Championship of Utah didn’t come without a fight. This time the squabble up front was with his teammate Roger Hayden, the Kentuckian having found a better setup than the one he used to finish second yesterday and it kept him in the battle to the very end. The margin of victory today: .459 of a second after 20 laps of the 3.048-mile Utah Motorsports Campus.
“It was a really good weekend, especially yesterday when I made the mistake (in Race 1), (but still) win the race,” Elias said. “I think it is a thing we didn’t expect, but it was good. Today I didn’t want to touch too much my (bike) setup, but I know these guys (my competitors) are always working a lot and improving. I was thinking ‘tomorrow (Sunday) I need to do something extra, no?’ And we did it. This morning was really good, our pace was better than yesterday, but the bike very hectic on the bumps. I made three or four mistakes during the race, that was because on the bumps the front was (reacting). It was good for me to see that because I understood what was my limit, what corners I could push more than the others, and at the end I push where I could push. I didn’t push where I couldn’t.”
Hayden was pleased to be closer to his teammate after losing out by 2.4 seconds to Elias on Saturday.
“I’m a lot more pleased with today’s performance than yesterday’s,” Hayden said. “Yesterday Toni (Elias) was just a couple notches above the rest of us, and me for sure, so we made some changes and the bike was working a lot better today. I tried to hang on to Toni as along as I could and he made a couple mistakes, (and) I got by him (briefly). Then I just tried to stay close enough to him in case I ever got the chance to try and make a move towards the end, but his last couple laps were really solid. Definitely a lot more satisfied than yesterday’s results. I definitely want to win, but at the same time being consistent is important too.”
Third place in the Motul Superbike race went to Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier, the two-time defending MotoAmerica Champion back on the podium after a mostly disastrous weekend that saw him crash out of yesterday’s race. Beaubier started slowly and finished Lap 1 in sixth place, and by the time he got to third he couldn’t make much of a dent in the lead the two Suzukis had established. He ended up just a tick over six and a half seconds behind.
“It’s nice to get a podium after how horrible the last two days were,” Beaubier said. “It’s frustrating, honestly. I started out Friday practice feeling great. The first five, six, seven laps I was thinking ‘alright, this is going to be a good weekend.’ I just had a good flow with the bike and a decent time right away on the hard tire (compound), and then boom, I crashed and destroyed the bike. The bike that we repaired I was just kind of struggling with. I was right at the end of the top 10 (in) pretty much all the practices and qualifying, and it was really frustrating because I felt like the (Yamaha) R1 is good around this place. And I like this place.
“To go and crash yesterday (in Race 1)… that was a bummer, making my crew stay two nights in a row (repairing the bike) until midnight. You never want to do that. But hats off to those guys for working so hard for me, they’re definitely the backbone of the team and that’s in the back of my head every lap, pushing for those guys, and, obviously, myself too. It’s definitely a little weight off my shoulders getting back up on the podium and moving on to the next race.”
Beaubier’s teammate Josh Hayes finished fourth after running with the lead duo for most of the race. He ultimately succumbed to his teammate Beaubier before finishing a lonely fourth.
Helmet Sounds.com/Western Services/Meen Motorsports Yamaha’s Josh Herrin finished fifth after a near race-long battle with Motovation USA/Lucas Oil/KWR’s Kyle Wyman, the pair separated by just .155 of a second.
Seventh place went to Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African taking the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 win in the process. It was Scholtz’s third win of the season and gives him a 17-point lead in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship over Jake Lewis, the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider finishing eighth and second in the Superstock category. Bryce Prince earned his second podium finish of the season in Superstock with his ninth-place finish. Cycle World Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim rounded out the top 10.
“Things worked out great,” Scholtz said. “I didn’t get the best jump off the start, and I got shuffled back a bit, but then there was a really long train (of bikes) and no one really started gapping anyone, yet. I kind of saw that Bobby (Fong) crashed out and I knew that he had the outright pace. Unfortunately [for him], once I saw he bailed out it kind of left the door open for me, and I’m pretty sure I had Jake (Lewis) right there following me, but something must have happened (to him). I looked back with probably about six laps left and I saw that I had a really solid gap. From there I just kind of conserved the tires and maintained the gap, and kept running at a comfortable pace. They weren’t catching very quickly, but (regardless) I still had a hold on first. I’m really thankful for the team because they worked extremely hard. We took quite a big gamble this morning and it seemed to pay off us.”
Yesterday’s Bazzaz Superstock 1000 winner Bobby Fong crashed the Quicksilver Latus Motors Kawasaki out of the lead while battling with Beaubier for fourth in the Superbike class.
Broaster Genuine Chicken Honda’s Jake Gagne elected to sit out today’s race after yesterday’s Superpole crash to get healthy for the next round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in two weeks.
After five of 10 rounds (and 20 races), Elias now leads the championship by 30 points over Hayden, 210-180. Beaubier is third with 162 points.
Supersport: High Drama And A Win For Debise
What seemed inevitable based on the hard battles the two have had all season long turned into reality today when Monster Energy/Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha teammates Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach crashed together on the final lap of the Supersport final at the Utah Motorsports Campus. The error, which Beach took full responsibility for, allowed M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Valentin Debise to take the victory, his second of the season as the two Yamaha men were literally left in the dust trying to free their bikes from each other’s.
For Debise it was a gift win that he was happy to take.
“When I saw the dust I knew there were only two guys in front of me, so it was easy to know who it was,” Debise said. “So I look and they weren’t working towards the front, or they weren’t in the same position, and after that I just go and take my win. At VIR, I crash twice and give them (Gerloff and Beach) the win, so (today) they made a mistake and I take it (the win). It was a really good points (day) for me, and I was the same as them (in speed) for about four to five laps, which was good. I tried to keep up, but I wasn’t able. It feels good to be back with a win.”
With the top two men in the championship crashing out, the podium featured two fresh faces in M4 Rickdiculous Racing Suzuki’s Daytona Anderson and Rickdiculous Racing’s Jayson Uribe, the latter in his first-ever MotoAmerica weekend. For both it was their first foray onto a MotoAmerica podium.
Anderson ended up getting the better of Uribe, who races in the Spanish Moto2 Championship, by just .843 of a second.
Fourth place went to Aguilar Racing’s Jason Aguilar with the Californian picking up his second straight Superstock 600 victory in the process. He was some 12 seconds clear of Team MG55’s Michael Gilbert, the SportRider Magazine editor taking the runner-up spot for the second straight day.
Sixth fell to M4 medAge Suzuki’s Nick McFadden, the Kentuckian braving the pain of having his collarbone operated on just a week before the race to earn the final Superstock 600 podium spot.
Following his perfect weekend in Utah, Aguilar now leads the Superstock 600 title chase by nine points over Gilbert, 135-126. Connor Blevins, seventh today, is third with 125 points.
“I was behind Daytona (Anderson) and Jayson (Uribe) pretty much the whole time,” Aguilar said. “I was kind of watching them go at it. I was just kind of thinking in the back of my head that this isn’t my class (Supersport), so I don’t want to get involved in this. I was just trying to bring it home and saw I had a big gap off my pit board. I just laid down a couple good laps and paced myself. I just rode it home.”
KTM RC Cup: Blackmon’s Turn
Quarterley Racing/On Track Development’s Jackson Blackmon missed the first two KTM RC Cup races of the season because of an off-season training accident. But since then the 16-year-old South Carolinian has proven to be a front-runner and today he won his third race of the season at the Utah Motorsports Campus. The win, like all the KTM RC Cup races, was close with Blackmon topping his teammate Benjamin Smith by .169 of a second after nine laps.
“It’s a little easier planning, for sure, with two people (up front),” Blackmon said. “I tried to have a plan going into that last lap, but it just kind of worked out how I did it and it worked well. I went into the first turn [on the last lap] and I just tried to put my head down. I knew he (Smith) was going to go for the spot where he normally got me in Turn 5, so I went in a little hot and he got the drive off it. I was able to draft him into (turn) six and just put my head down. I think going into (turn) 11, I just tried to let off the brakes and pick up the gas, and it worked out.”
Some nine seconds behind the lead duo came Spaniard Francesc Perez, the Toni Elias protégé making the most out of his first visit to America by finishing on the podium in his second-ever MotoAmerica race (he was fourth yesterday). Perez came out on top of a battle with yesterday’s race winner Cory Ventura.
“I enjoyed (the race) a lot,” Perez said. “This is my first time here in this amazing country, and I liked it a lot. I started in the back, but then I started moving up and I finished third. We did a great battle with Cory (Ventura) for third and I am happy. Toni (Elias) has been helping me since four years ago, since 2013, and he helps me a lot, so I am very happy to get this result (to show his help is working).”
1. Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki
2. Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
3. Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha
4. Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Miss., Yamaha
5. Josh Herrin, Dublin, Ga., Yamaha
6. Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., Yamaha
7. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha
8. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
9. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha
10. Hayden Gillim, Philapot, Ky., Suzuki
Motul Superbike Championship Standings
1. Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki – 210
2. Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 180
3. Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha – 162
4. Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Miss., Yamaha – 111
5. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha – 89
6. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 88
7. Josh Herrin, Dublin, Ga., Yamaha – 84
8. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 83
9. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 67
10. Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., Yamaha – 65
Bazzaz Superstock 1000
1. Mathew Scholtz, Dublin, South Africa, Yamaha
2. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
3. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha
4. Hayden Gillim, Philapot, Ky., Suzuki
5. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha
6. David Anthony, Melbourne, Australia, Kawasaki
7. Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha
8. Matthew Orange, Half Moon Bay, Calif., BMW
9. Roi Holster, Napa, Calif., Yamaha
Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship Standings
1. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha – 191
2. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 174
3. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 165
4. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 141
5. Hayden Gillim, Philapot, Ky., Suzuki – 120
6. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha – 106
7. Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha – 84
8. David Anthony, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 47
9. Anthony Kosinski, Crumstown, Ind., Yamaha – 37
10. Frankie Babuska, Pelham, N.Y., Yamaha – 17
1. Valentin Debise, Albi, France, Suzuki
2. Daytona Anderson, Riverside, Calif., Suzuki
3. Jayson Uribe, Napa Valley, Calif., Yamaha
4. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif. Yamaha
5. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha
6. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
7. Connor Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki
8. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Yamaha
9. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki
10. Nolan Lampkin, Indianapolis, Ind., Suzuki
Supersport Championship Standings
1. JD Beach, Owensboro, Ky., Yamaha – 172
2. Garrett Gerloff, New Waverly, Texas, Yamaha – 171
3. Valentin Debise, Albi, France, Suzuki – 124
4. Benny Solis, North Hollywood, Calif., Honda – 111
5. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha – 67
6. Daytona Anderson, Riverside, Calif., Suzuki – 66
7. Connor Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 65
8. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha – 62
9. Brandon Paasch, Freehold, N.J., Yamaha – 60
10. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 53
1. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha
2. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha
3. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki
4. Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki
5. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Yamaha
6. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki
7. Nolan Lampkin, Indianapolis, Ind., Suzuki
8. Shane Richardson, Wellington, New Zealand, Kawasaki
9. Caroline Olsen, Halden, Norway, Yamaha
10. Ezra Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha
Superstock 600 Championship Standings
1. Jason Aguilar, Placentia, Calif., Yamaha – 135
2. Michael Gilbert, Santa Ana, Calif., Yamaha – 126
3. Conner Blevins, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 112
4. Nick McFadden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 104
5. Shane Richardson, Wellington, New Zealand, Kawasaki – 92
6. JC Camacho, Deer Park, Texas, Suzuki – 90
7. Braeden Ortt, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Yamaha – 73
8. Anthony Mazziotto III, Hammonton, N.J., KTM – 65
9. Andrew Lee, Clovis, Calif., Yamaha – 54
10. Brandon Cleland, Fort Worth, Texas, Suzuki – 34
KTM RC Cup
1. Jackson Blackmon, Rock Hill, S.C., KTM
2. Benjamin Smith, Glenmoore, Pa., KTM
3. Francesco Perez, Barcelona, Spain, KTM
4. Cory Ventura, Union City, Calif., KTM
5. Toby Khamsouk, Banning, Calif., KTM
6. Gavin Anthony, Hilliard, Ohio, KTM
7. Brett Voorhis, Citrus Heights, Calif., KTM
8. Jake Leahey, Hammonton, N.J., KTM
9. Trevor Standish, Roswell, Ga., KTM
10. Dylan Deutschlander, Lake Jackson, Texas, KTM
KTM RC Cup Championship Standings
1. Benjamin Smith, Glenmoore, Pa., KTM – 147
2. Jackson Blackmon, Rock Hill, S.C., KTM – 118
3. Draik Beauchamp, Knoxville, Tenn., KTM – 99
4. Cory Ventura, Union City, Calif., KTM – 85
5. Alex Dumas, Quebec, Canada, KTM – 81
6. Toby Khamsouk, Banning, Calif., KTM – 79
7. Gavin Anthony, Hilliard, Ohio, KTM – 74
8. Trevor Standish, Roswell, Ga., KTM – 69
9. Jake Leahey, Hammonton, N.J., KTM – 54
10. Sergio Rodriguez II, Oxnard, Calif., KTM – 54