Gerloff, Prince And Mazziotto Take Class Wins
BRASELTON, GA – April 16, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Cameron Beaubier took the first step towards putting his nightmarish opening round behind him today, the Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha rider earning his first pole position of the season in a riveting Superpole session at Road Atlanta, the site of round two of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship.
Beaubier, who crashed and finished fourth in the two races at Circuit of The Americas a week ago, rebounded to earn the sixth Superbike pole position of his career on a sunny day at Road Atlanta during qualifying for the Suzuki Superbike Shootout of Georgia.
Cameron Beaubier earned pole position for tomorrow’s two MotoAmerica Superbike races at Road Atlanta. Points leader Toni Elias (left) and four-time champion Josh Hayes (right) will join Beaubier on the front row.
Photography by Brian J. Nelson.
“After last weekend, it was just nice to come here and not touch the bike and just put our original base setting there and just pound out laps,” Beaubier said. “I think I did almost 60 laps yesterday. It was good to just clear my mind and get my confidence back. I felt really good in Superpole. That Superpole tire ended up lasting for two laps so I got two back-to-back pretty good laps with maybe one mistake. I think for all of us it’s just a little tough to cruise around and then just hammer one lap and get everything out of the tire. Overall, I feel good and my race pace was good.”
Beaubier was the only rider to dip into the 1:24s, with his 1:24.844 on the new Dunlop qualifying tire putting put him .224 of a second ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias, the Spaniard continuing his torrid start to the season as the replacement rider for the injured Jake Lewis.
“In Europe, when I found these type of tracks, I felt really bad with the situation and I never find the good setup,” said Superbike Championship points leader Elias on his first trip to Road Atlanta. “That’s why I was worried before. When I arrive I try to see the right lines and I see the bike was working really well. I didn’t find the same problem as Europe and I become a little bit more calm and trying to work with my team to solve some little problems. Now it is good. This is very difficult track – I think the most difficult track I have ever been (to). But is also the one that gives me the most satisfaction and great feelings – (with the) up and down, especially the fast one I think is 300 km (186 mph). I never felt this before this feeling.”
Beaubier’s teammate Josh Hayes will complete the front row for tomorrow’s two Superbike races, the four-time AMA Superbike Champion ending up .301 of a second behind his teammate.
“Things are definitely better here (than in Texas a week ago) and I’m feeling pretty confident I will be in there for the race,” said Hayes. “The race is going to be a long one. It’s not just the three of us because there are a couple of other guys that whenever you put them into the mix, they will hang in there for a long time. This place produces a lot of good racing so I don’t think anybody is going to be splitting too easily and it should be a really fun race. I would have liked to be higher than third on the list, but I improved over half a second from what I had been doing. I think there are some areas of the racetrack where could have done a little better, but I can’t say it doesn’t bother me when I go out and I have four guys lined up behind me. My head wasn’t exactly in the right place when I started my lap so all things considered I got out of it okay and I look forward to the race tomorrow.”
Row two will be led by COTA pole sitter Roger Hayden, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider the final rider to crack the 1:26 barrier as he lapped at 1:25.480 in Superpole 2. Hayden will be joined by Wheels In Motion/Motosport.com/Meen Motorsports’ Josh Herrin, the Georgia resident lapping at 1:26.145 on his Superstock 1000-spec Yamaha R1. Herrin was the top Bazzaz Superstock 1000 qualifier. Latus Motors Racing’s Bobby Fong, on the Superstock-spec Kawasaki ZX-10R, will complete row two.
While the Superbike riders spent Saturday qualifying, the Supersport, Superstock 600 and KTM RC Cup racers spent their day racing. And nobody impressed more than Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff, the Texan putting his Yamaha R6 on pole position and then dominating the race for his second successive win.
“I think it’s just been a combination of a lot of things,” Gerloff said in explaining the differences between 2015 and his perfect-thus-far 2016. “There’s been a lot of changes that have happened over the off-season in my personal life and also my training and things like that. I really feel more planted in everything I do and it’s given me a lot of confidence in my racing. I think I’ve been missing some stability and everything off the track, but that’s been a huge thing for me and helps me just relax out here and have fun. That’s what I was doing out there today. It was a tough race. JD (Beach) and Valentin (Debise) were riding really well and I was just lucky enough to put in some good laps and pull away a little bit at a time and get through the traffic pretty easy. I’m happy with the result and it does feel good to see everything paying off. It’s not going to be an easy year and every day is a new day.”
Gerloff beat M4 Sportbike TrackGear.com Suzuki’s Valentin Debise, who was making his Road Atlanta debut, by 10.557 seconds after 20 laps of the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta rode course. Defending class champion JD Beach bounced back from a near-crash early in the race to finish third on his Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha R6.
Fourth place went to M4 Sportbike TrackGear.com Suzuki’s Cam Petersen, the South African beating Wheels In Motion/Motosport.com/Meen Motorsports’ Joe Roberts to the flag by just .167 of a second.
The Superstock 600 win went to Tuned Racing’s Bryce Prince, the Californian finishing sixth overall after a titanic battle for the majority of the race. For Prince it was his second career win in the class, matching his effort from last year’s season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
“It was a really exciting race and there was a group of probably five of us and one of the Supersport guys as well going back at it,” Prince said. “I can’t remember how many times I’d go from fifth to first lap after lap doing down the backstraight. People started falling down when we hit traffic. I made a couple of last-minute passes on some people and used the traffic to my advantage. It was definitely a good race, a tough race, and I can’t thank my team and all the people supporting me enough.”
Dakota Mamola, who made his MotoAmerica debut last week in the Supersport class at COTA, raced to second in what was the opening round of the Superstock 600 class on his HB Racing/Meen Yamaha. JC Camacho rode his Altus Motorsports Yamaha to third in the Superstock 600 class.
The KTM RC Cup also made its season debut at Road Atlanta today with Jimmy Winters Racing’s Anthony Mazziotto III taking the win over AXcess Racing’s Brandon Paasch by 1.315 seconds. Mazziotto won last year’s season finale in the class and is the only returning race winner in the 2016 series. Brandon Altmeyer was third on the Altmeyer Racing KTM RC 390.
“I broke my ankle a month ago doing silly things, but we don’t have to talk about that,” said Mazziotto. “This race was definitely a great race. I came off the launch and my bike stood straight up 12 o’clock and something happened in the gearbox. I was grabbing my upshifts going up the hill and went to grab a downshift going into the chicane and the shifter wouldn’t move. It was stuck in sixth gear all the way to turn seven when I finally kicked the thing and it went. I fought back from ninth place. The race was really hectic.”
Jody Barry Racing’s Jody Barry and NCR Development’s Brett Voorhees rounded out the top five.
Racing action in the Suzuki Superbike Shootout of Georgia continues tomorrow at Road Atlanta. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.motoamerica.com.
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:24.844; 2. Toni Elias (Suzuki) 1:35.068; 3. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:25.145; 4. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 1:25.480; 5. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:26.145; 6. Bobby Fong (Kawasaki) 1:26.249; 7. Sheridan Morias (Yamaha) 1:26.291; 8. Danny Eslick (Yamaha) 1:26.331); 9. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha) 1:26.426; 10. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:26.481; 11. Claudio Corti (Aprilia) 1:27.433; 12. Geoff May (Honda) 1:27.673.
SUPERSPORT RACE 1:
1. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha); 2. Valentin Debise (Suzuki); 3. JD Beach (Yamaha); 4. Cameron Petersen (Suzuki); 5. Joe Roberts (Yamaha); 6. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 7. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha); 8. Christian Crosslin (Suzuki); 9. JC Camacho (Yamaha); 10. Andy DiBrino (Yamaha).
SUPERSTOCK 600 RACE 1:
1. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 2. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha); 3. JC Camacho (Yamaha); 4. Andy DiBrino (Yamaha); 5. Conner Blevins (Kawasaki); 6. Travis Wyman (Yamaha); 7. Gage McAllister (Yamaha); 8. Jason Aguilar (Yamaha); 9. Deion Campbell (Yamaha); 10. Michael Gilbert (Yamaha).
KTM RC CUP RACE 1:
1. Anthony Mazziotto III; 2. Brandon Paasch; 3. Brandon Altmeyer; 4. Alejandro Gutierrez; 5. Jody Barry; 6. Brett Voorhees; 7. Cory Ventura; 8. Josh Serne; 9. Jackson Blackmon; 10. Benjamin Smith.
JD Beach (1) led Garrett Gerloff (31) briefly in the Supersport race, but Gerloff ended up storming to victory over Valentin Debise (53) and Beach.
JC Camacho (91) leads eventual Superstock 600 class winner Bryce Prince (74) through the esses early in the race. Camacho ended up third behind Prince and Dakota Mamola (80).
The first of two KTM RC Cup races was a wild affair with Anthony Mazziotto (516) beating Brandon Paasch (969) to the finish. Brandon Altmeyer (91) ended up third.
MotoAmerica is the new North American road racing series created in 2014. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time 500cc World Champion, two-time AMA Superbike Champion, and AMA Hall of Famer Wayne Rainey, ex-racer and former manager of Team Roberts Chuck Aksland, motorsports marketing executive Terry Karges, and businessman Richard Varner. For more information on MotoAmerica, visit www.MotoAmerica.com. Also make sure to follow MotoAmerica on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.