Richie Escalante and Cameron Beaubier now have two things in common: Neither are perfect, but both are in control.
Just like Beaubier in the HONOS Superbike class, Escalante has won five of the six Supersport races held in the 2020 MotoAmerica Series. And while Beaubier controls the Superbike title chase with a 19-point lead and in seemingly unbeatable form, Escalante holds a massive 40-point lead over Sean Dylan Kelly in the Supersport Championship. The difference between the two: Beaubier crashed while leading the second HONOS Superbike race at Road America 2 with Escalante actually beaten in a straight fight by Kelly in race one at Road Atlanta last weekend.
HONOS-backed Escalante, however, finished second to Kelly in his only loss and that’s why he came into Road Atlanta with a 40-point lead – and left with the same lead, despite his lone loss on the season.
Other than his opening race crash at Road America, Kelly has been nothing but consistent. The youngster from Florida had finished second to Escalante three times before finally beating him last Saturday, but Escalante responded by giving the class a whooping on Sunday.
While M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Kelly and Escalante have battled in the majority of the races, Brandon Paasch has watched – unfortunately, from a distance. But at Road Atlanta Paasch was in the mix on his Celtic HSBK Racing Yamaha YZF-R6, even leading for a few laps in Sunday’s race. The New Jersian has finished third four times in a row and has been on the podium five times out of six races with his second-place finish in race one at Road America.
Many expected Rocco Landers to show up and dominate the Liqui Moly Junior Cup class in 2020. And why not? The youngster and his Norton Motorsports/Ninja400R/Dr. Farr/Wonder CBD-backed Kawasaki won 14 races in the series last year en route to the title. But it’s been different this year, thanks to BARTCON Racing’s Dominic Doyle, the South African who won the opening three races in straight fights over Landers. Landers, however, has had the hot hand of late, winning the last three races to finally take over the championship points lead, albeit by just four points over Doyle.
Celtic HSBK Racing’s Sam Lochoff has been third best thus far with the second South African in the top three holding down third by virtue of his four podiums in six races.
Corey Alexander had yet to win a MotoAmerica race when he showed up to Road Atlanta last week, but he went out and won Saturday’s Stock 1000 race over Altus Motorsports’ Cameron Petersen and M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Alex Dumas, in his first-ever Stock 1000 podium in his rookie season in the class. Turns out Alexander liked winning so much he went out and did it again. In the process, he took over the championship lead from Petersen who was forced out of the points by mechanical gremlins. Dumas followed up his Saturday performance and went one better with a second-place finish on Sunday.
Alexander leads Petersen by just 11 points heading to Pittsburgh with Dumas just seven more points behind the Ride HVMC Racing-backed Alexander.
Like Beaubier and Escalante, 1-833-CJKNOWS Accident & Injury Law’s Kaleb De Keyrel has only lost once thus far in the Twins Cup class – and that loss came in race two at Road America 2 when he was beaten by SportbikeTrackGear.com Roadracingworld.com Suzuki’s Rocco Landers. De Keyrel, however, bounced back from his only loss of the season to win the lone Twins Cup race at Road Atlanta last weekend and he leads Landers by 18 points heading to PittRace this weekend.
Hayden Schultz Racing’s Hayden Schultz moved into a tie for third in the title chase with Jason Madama after finishing second in Saturday’s race in Georgia.
PittRace Support Class Notes…
PittRace was where Sean Dylan Kelly came of age in 2019, the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider winning both of the Supersport races for the first two wins of his young career. Kelly beat PJ Jacobsen and Hayden Gillim to earn his first win and then topped his teammate Bobby Fong and Jacobsen to win his second. Kelly comes into PittRace this year after winning his first race of the year at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta last weekend.
In Liqui Moly Junior Cup action from last year, Kevin Olmedo won the first of the two races over Dominic Doyle and Dallas Daniels. In race two, Rocco Landers bounced back from a non-finish in race one to beat Olmedo and Jackson Blackmon in race two.
The lone Stock 1000 last year at PittRace was won by Andrew Lee over Ashton Yates and Corey Alexander. In the Twins Cup class, Alex Dumas did the double, topping Draik Beauchamp and Michael Barnes in both races.
The second round of the three-round Mini Cup by Motul will take place on the karting track at PittRace. The series finale for the debut class will be held at the Ridge Motorsports Park in Washington state.