Superbike Pole To Beaubier, Supersport Win To Beach
BIRMINGHAM, AL – June 12, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Two of MotoAmerica’s defending champions had a very good day at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday. MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier earned his fourth pole position of the 2016 season and the ninth of his Superbike career and Supersport Champion JD Beach looked a lot like his old aggressive self as he won the first of two Supersport races scheduled for this weekend’s Honda Superbike Showdown of Alabama.
Beaubier’s pole position of 1:24.601 came on a blazingly hot afternoon in Alabama and it was well under his pole time of 1:25.599 from last year. Beaubier, who has won six of six of the last seven rounds and heads the championship point standings, had been fastest in every session prior to Superpole – despite crashing out of Superbike Practice 3 today when he suffered a crash in turn two.
Cameron Beaubier will start from pole position for Sunday’s two Superbike races at Barber Motorsports Park in the Honda Superbike Challenge of Alabama.
Photo By Brian J. Nelson
“There at the end I got a little too hungry going into the second corner, hit those bumps and lost the front,” Monster Energy/Graves Motorsports’ Beaubier said. “But my team was able to get the bike back going and I jumped on the bike in Superpole that I crashed on so it just goes to show how hard those guys work over there. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I was a little bit nervous going into Superpole just because the last time I was on track I had crashed. It was good to clear that out of my mind the first few laps on the race tire on and then threw the Superpole tire on. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
The surprise of Superpole was Taylor Knapp, the Michigander filling in for the injured Josh Day on the Yamalube/Westby Racing team and taking full advantage of the situation to earn the first front row of his career. With his lap of 1:24.937, Knapp also became the first rider on a Superstock 1000-spec motorcycle to qualify second in a Superbike race. Knapp was following the right guy when he did his fast lap – Beaubier.
“It’s been steady progress all the way through and getting used to the bike,” Knapp said. “First of all I can’t thank Trey Westby enough. They’ve been amazing and really welcoming with me filling in this weekend. It (lap) wasn’t anything crazy. Those Q tires are so grippy that it almost feels easy when you hit your marks or when you follow a fast guy like him (Beaubier). The bike was good enough and everything clicked and it was just a really good day and a really good session. Once again, big thanks to the Yamalube/Westby crew and I’m looking forward to the race.”
Third fastest and the last rider to crack into the 1:24s was Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias, the Spaniard bouncing back from a big highside crash on Friday to put the GSX-R1000 on the front row for tomorrow’s races.
“Normally on Friday I make some big mistakes and ride on the grass,” Elias said. “But yesterday I have very bad luck with a crash in corner number nine. I’m happy because I am okay just a little bit blue (bruised). It’s a beautiful track. After second or third practice, I start enjoying the track. We did a great job and we are on the front row and good for start tomorrow and I will try to follow them. We will see what happens.”
Elias’ Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Roger Hayden will lead row two for the races, the Kentuckian lapping at 1:25.178 to end up fourth fastest. Aprilia HSBK Racing’s Claudio Corti, who came through from Superpole 1, will be sandwiched between Hayden and Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes on the second row with Hayes continuing to struggle at Barber Motorsports Park. Still, Hayes is just .779 of a second off his teammate’s best and few would discount him from contending in tomorrow’s races.
The third row will consist of TOBC Racing’s Danny Eslick, Wheels In Motion/Meen Motorsports Josh Herrin and Millennium Technologies/KWR’s Kyle Wyman. Cycle World Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim, M4 Suzuki’s Jake Lewis and Quicksilver/Latus Motors Racing’s Bobby Fong will make up row four.
You could see right away at the start of the Supersport race that JD Beach meant business, the Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha rider sitting behind Meen Motorsports’ Joe Roberts for a few laps before knifing his way past. From there he was never headed, though he was hounded throughout by his teammate Garrett Gerloff, the championship leader finishing 1.6 seconds behind in the race that was stopped after 21 laps with lightning striking close to the racetrack.
The win was Beach’s second of the season and it allowed him to claw back five points from Gerloff in the battle for the championship. He trails by 38 points, 210-172, with five races left in the series. Debise is third and 55 points behind Gerloff.
Third place on Saturday when to Frenchman Valentin Debise, the M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki rider some 12 seconds behind and just .187 of a second ahead of fourth-place finisher Roberts. Team H35 Honda’s Benny Solis rounded out the top five finishers.
“Like I’ve said before, I like to lead the races,” Beach said. “If I get out front and push, I feel better and I don’t really like to sit behind. I just kept pushing on Joe (Roberts) and finally got by him and did my thing and clicked off consistent laps and tried to hit all my marks. When we came up on the lappers I could see the blue flags, but none of the lappers were looking or moving so I knew if I could get it right it would be good for me and bad for Garrett. I got it right. We definitely should talk to some of those guys and get it a little bit better because I hate to see races determined like that. My bike is working great and I feel good. I’ve been sweating so much while I’m riding I’ve got some pretty bad blisters on my feet and it hurts a lot, but I’m here to race and not walk so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Bryce Prince finished sixth in the Supersport race and first in the Superstock 600 class, the Californian well clear of Kyle Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman with JC Camacho third on the Atlus Motorsports Yamaha.
Prince, with his fifth win of the season, is running away with the Superstock 600 Championship and he now leads Wyman by 78 points, 192-114. HB Racing/Meen Motorsports’ Dakota Mamola, 11th overall and fifth in class today, is one point behind Wyman in their battle for second in the title chase.
The KTM RC Cup races are usually decided by fractions of a second with up to four or five riders battling to the finish. Not so on Saturday as AXcess Racing’s Brandon Paasch was able to do what no one else has been able to do so far this season – he left the pack in his wake to win by 4.388 seconds.
The battle for second went the distance with Double B Racing’s Jody Barry narrowly beating Yates Racing’s Ashton Yates. Paasch’s rival in the championship, Anthony Mazziotto III, ended up fifth and over 12 seconds behind Paasch, who now leads the title chase by 19 points, 189-170.
“I thought it was possible (to pull away), but I thought it would be me and Mazz (Mazziotto) and we were just going to pull away,” Paasch said. “But something happened when I took the lead and I was able to get a gap and I just tried to keep it consistent at low 42s and just keep opening it up.”
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:24.601; 2. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha) 1:24.937; 3. Toni Elias (Suzuki) 1:24.969; 4. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 1:25.178; 6. Claudio Corti (Aprilia) 1:25.269; 7. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:25.380; 8. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:25.993; 9. Kyle Wyman (Yamaha) 1:26.457; 10. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki) 1:26.463.
SUPERSPORT RACE 1:
1. JD Beach (Yamaha); 2. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha); 3. Valentin Debise (Suzuki); 4. Joe Roberts (Yamaha); 5. Benny Solis Jr. (Honda); 6. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 7. Travis Wyman (Yamaha); 8. JC Camacho (Yamaha); 9. Cameron Petersen (Suzuki); 10. Nick McFadden (Yamaha).
KTM RC CUP RACE 1:
1. Brandon Paasch; 2. Jody Barry; 3. Ashton Yates; 4. Anthony Mazziotto III; 5. Josh Serne; 6. Draik Beauchamp; 7. Jackson Blackmon; 8. Alejandro Gutierrez; 9. Nolan Lampkin; 10. Ezra Beaubier.
JD Beach (1) leads Garrett Gerloff (31) and Joe Roberts (27) en route to victory in the Supersport final on Saturday.
Photo By Brian J. Nelson.
Brandon Paasch (969) won the KTM RC Cup race at Barber Motorsports Park by over four seconds. It was his fourth win of the season.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
(From left to right) Taylor Knapp, Cameron Beaubier and Toni Elias will start the two Superbike races from the front row.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
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.