Cameron Beaubier will need a little help from his friends in the final round of the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Barber Motorsports Park in two weeks, but he at least has a chance after winning the second EBC Brakes Superbike race in the Championship of New Jersey on Sunday.
Beaubier, who finished second on Saturday and won on Sunday to claw back into championship contention with just the two races at Barber left on the 2019 schedule, trails Toni Elias by 16 points, 333-317. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Elias had an off-weekend and finished fourth in both races, giving up 19 points to his rival Beaubier and his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing YZF-R1.
On Saturday, Beaubier lost out to his teammate Garrett Gerloff and on Sunday he had his hands full with Attack Performance Estenson Racing’s JD Beach. Gerloff, meanwhile, was declared unfit to race after a big crash in the morning warm-up session that left him concussed. Beaubier and Beach were joined up front by Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, but the South African ended up finishing third, some seven seconds behind Beaubier.
Beaubier was also able to gap Beach in the closing laps, besting the two-time Supersport Champion by 1.44 seconds after 23 laps for his fourth win of the season and the 36thof his Superbike career.
“At the beginning I was pretty confident going in just because I felt like I had pretty good pace there at the beginning of the race yesterday, and then after latching onto (Garrett) Gerloff he kind of pulled us three away from the field,” Beaubier said. “Then at the end it was us two. I was pretty confident that my bike was going to be better than it was yesterday, but I was struggling pretty bad at the beginning when the tires were new. I felt like I couldn’t really take advantage of the grip I had with the previous setup we had yesterday. But it felt okay at the end of the race. I was able to manage the tire decent. JD (Beach) was riding awesome. Then I saw my pit board when I was in second. I didn’t know who it was, but I saw that gap close right back up onto us. I was like, ‘Oh man. I’m in for a long last 10 laps.’ I’m really happy we got this win and kind of the monkey off of our back, type of thing. I’m more relieved than anything. I feel like we’ve been fast at every round, one of the fastest guys if not the fastest, but we just have not been able to put it together when it counts. So today feels really good. Obviously, I’m bummed for my teammate that he couldn’t line up with us today. I think for sure obviously his pace has been incredible all weekend. He definitely would have been another Yamaha in the mix. I feel really good going into Barber. We’re still in striking distance. We’re closing the points down. Just going to keep my head down and see what happens.”
Beach was happy to have turned his season around with a third and a second in the two races at NJMP.
“Going into the race, I told Cameron what my race plan was so he would know,” Beach joked. “We got going and it started off great. Then he kind of was screwing the plan up. So, I had to get out front. I led a few laps. The bike was feeling really good today. We were just trying to go. Towards the end Cameron got back by me. I started to lose the front just a little bit, and he picked the pace up just a bit. I just kind of lost touch a little bit. For half the year, how it’s been going, it’s been tough. To get a third and a second in the same weekend is great. I just got to thank my whole Attack Performance Estenson Racing team. We’ve still got one more round to go, so we’ll see what we can do.”
Scholtz was also pleased to be back on the podium, a day before his 27th birthday.
“I think the season has been a little bit up and down for us,” Scholtz said. “Pittsburgh was the first race we kind of thought that we had something. Our practice times weren’t that bad, but then by lap six or seven I was dropping one to two seconds off every single lap and I finished 30-something seconds behind Cam (Beaubier) and (Garrett) Gerloff. So, we really thought that we needed something because things were looking bad. But they worked hard to give me a good bike for Sunday in Pittsburgh and that really put us in a really good place for our setup, in a very small area so that’s looking good. Obviously, yesterday’s race wasn’t what I wanted. The guys worked really hard. Gave me a bike that was really good. This morning’s warm-up wasn’t the greatest either, but we could tell that our lap times were really consistent. I think this track that’s one of the main things. You have to worry about consistency. One corner sets you up to do the rest of the circuit. This race I got a pretty terrible start, like I usually do. I banged bars a couple times with (Jake) Lewis and (Kyle) Wyman. I got up to third and I could kind of see that I was catching JD and Cam, but I sort of caught them, then I would mess up somewhere. They would gap me, and I’d catch them, mess up. It was back and forth. Then with eight laps to go, I was almost tucking the front in every corner, so I just had to settle. But it’s great to be back on the podium. It’s really, really great for the team. I think it’s going to really boost them and get us going for 2020, pushing everybody. Barber is one of my favorite tracks. I’ve been told that they resurfaced it. I’m thinking that the lap times are going to be really, really quick there. So, I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, end the season off pretty strong and come back fighting for podiums in every race in 2020.”
Elias was at the opposite end of the spectrum. He was happy. But only happy to have New Jersey in his rear-view mirror after a difficult weekend.
“It was a tough weekend, maybe the toughest I’ve had in a long time,” Elias said. “We tried to improve and change things, but it seemed it was impossible to improve. I went six seconds faster in the race today than yesterday, but still it was not enough to improve my position.I see things in positive way, and we are still leading the championship by 16 points going into the final round. I’d rather be ahead than be behind. We will analyze and if we have to change our setup completely, okay, we will do it. We will go and play as hard as we can at Barber and see what happens.”
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis finished fifth, one spot better than on Saturday, and ahead of sixth-placed Kyle Wyman on the Lion Fuel/Cyclance/KWR Ducati. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Josh Herrin was seventh with Scheibe Racing BMW’s Jake Gagne ending his weekend with an eighth-place finish.
FLY Racing/ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony and Omega Moto’s Cameron Petersen rounded out the top 10.
With Beaubier now trailing Elias by 16 points, Gerloff holds on to third though he’s dropped to 41 points behind after missing Sunday’s race. Beach is 20 points adrift of Gerloff in fourth place and 24 points ahead of Herrin, who is now just three points in front of Scholtz.
Supersport: Jacobsen Closes In
Sunday’s Supersport race two was another good one for New Yorker PJ Jacobsen as the Celtic HSBK Racing Yamaha rider held off hard-charging and determined championship leader Bobby Fong aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki.
Jacobsen and Fong diced with each other as the laps wound down, and Jacobsen bested Fong at the checkers by .028 of a second. Further back in third was Rickdiculous Racing Yamaha rider Hayden Gillim. With the double-win at NJMP, Jacobsen now trails Fong in the championship by just 10 points, and Gillim is in third and 25 points behind Jacobsen, so the championship will come down to the final round at Barber Motorsports Park in two weeks.
“It was a really good,” Jacobsen said. “Never been on the podium here. It was good. New Jersey is like my home. I’m from pretty close to here. I was pretty excited on myself and the team. The bike and everything were just working really well this weekend, so I was really happy. That was the main goal this whole weekend was to just win both races. Going for the championship, that’s what you have to do. It was just gain points on Bobby and seeing where Hayden is, as well. It’s just funny because about halfway through the season everyone just thought it was going to be Hayden and Bobby until the end. So, I think we proved them wrong. Now it’s me and Bobby. Hayden’s still not out, but it’s going down to the wire.”
Liqui Moly Junior Cup: Landers’ 12thWin
Saturday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race one winner Rocco Landers, who also clinched the 2019 class championship on Saturday, celebrated his title in the best way possible. Aboard his Ninja400R.com/Norton Motorsports/Dr. Farr Kawasaki, Landers won Sunday’s race two with a gap of nearly seven seconds over Quarterly Racing/On Track Development Kawasaki’s Damian Jigalov. Third place went to Altus Motorsports Kawasaki rider Kevin Olmedo for a Kawasaki Team Green podium sweep.
After his 12th Liqui Moly Junior Cup victory of the season, Landers said, “First off, thanks to my dad for getting the bike ready, and working so hard last night. In yesterday’s race, we had some problems with the setup and stuff, so we worked it out. We sat down and focused on that last night. We got it worked out, so super stoked we finally got it down. Just tried to go around as many people as possible and see if I could make a little gap, and it worked. Here we are.”
Twins Cup: Dumas On The Verge
Former Liqui Moly Junior Cup Champion Alex Dumas has been on a roll in the latter half of the Twins Cup season, and on Sunday, the Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki rider won his fourth race in a row and fifth out of the past six races.
Dumas withstood a staunch challenge from RBoM Racing/Blud Lubricants/HJC Suzuki rider Jackson Blackmon, who raced in both Liqui Moly Junior Cup and Twins Cup this weekend and made the podium in both classes. Copoulos Built/RBoM Racing’s Curtis Murray rounded out the podium for a Suzuki sweep.
“For sure, heading into the weekend, I knew that Jackson would be fast,” said Dumas. “We were racing together when we were, like, 12 years old. I knew it was going to be a good weekend. I was just heading into this race thinking about the championship. We’re just heading to Barber with winning in our head, so it’s going to be good.”
Stock 1000: Done Deal For Lee
Last year’s Stock 1000 Champion Andrew Lee successfully defended his title when he clinched the 2019 Stock 1000 Championship after winning Sunday’s race, which concluded the MotoAmerica Championship of New Jersey.
Lee, aboard his Franklin Armory/Graves Kawasaki, started from the pole, and then, the race was red-flagged and had to be restarted. Despite the drama, Lee stayed in front and kept his closest title rival Stefano Mesa behind him. Ride HVMC Freeman Racing Kawasaki rider Corey Alexander gave Lee everything he could handle, and Lee crossed the finish line a scant .145 of a second ahead of Alexander in second. Mesa finished third aboard his Mesa37 Racing Kawasaki for a Team Green podium sweep.
“First, I want to thank everyone who got me here,” Lee said. “Franklin Armory, Graves Kawasaki, Jason Pridmore for basically telling me to do it again or else. He gave me an ultimatum. Basically, our friendship. It’s been a long season and I’m happy that we could cap it off this way. These guys have been keeping me honest every round. So, to be able to do it again, with this stiff competition in the lights, I’m just really happy to be here.”
EBC Brakes Superbike
- Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
- JD Beach (Yamaha)
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
- Toni Elias (Suzuki)
- Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
- Kyle Wyman (Ducati)
- Josh Herrin (Suzuki)
- Jake Gagne (BMW)
- David Anthony (Kawasaki)
- Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
- PJ Jacobsen (Yamaha)
- Bobby Fong (Suzuki)
- Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
- Bryce Prince (Yamaha)
- Joshua Hayes (Yamaha)
- Richie Escalante (Yamaha)
- Braeden Ortt (Yamaha)
- Nick McFadden (Yamaha)
- Jason Aguilar (Yamaha)
- Nolan Lamkin (Yamaha)
Liqui Moly Junior Cup
- Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
- Damian Jigalov (Kawasaki)
- Kevin Olmedo (Kawasaki)
- Dominic Doyle (Kawasaki)
- Jackson Blackmon (Kawasaki)
- Eziah Davis (Kawasaki)
- Teagg Hobbs (Kawasaki)
- Gauge Rees (Kawasaki)
- Isaiah Burleson (Kawasaki)
- Jacob Stroud (Kawasaki)
- Alex Dumas (Suzuki)
- Jackson Blackmon (Suzuki)
- Curtis Murray (Suzuki)
- Draik Beauchamp (Yamaha)
- Michael Barnes (Ducati)
- Chris Parrish (Yamaha)
- Jason Madama (Yamaha)
- Darren James (Yamaha)
- Cooper McDonald (Yamaha)
- Kris Lillegard (Yamaha)
- Andrew Lee (Kawasaki)
- Corey Alexander (Kawasaki)
- Stefano Mesa (Kawasaki)
- Frank Babuska Jr. (Kawasaki)
- Ashton Yates (Yamaha)
- Miles Thornton (Suzuki)
- Felipe MacLean (Suzuki)
- Manuel Segura (Kawasaki)
- Corey Heflin (Yamaha)
- Roi Holster (Yamaha)
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