Elias Snags First MotoAmerica Pole In Utah

Superbike Pole To Spaniard, Supersport Win To Beach

TOOELE, UT – June 25, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias called his countryman Carlos Checa prior to his arrival at the Utah Motorsports Campus and got some tips from the World Superbike Champion and five-time race winner at the previously named Miller Motorsports Park. Then he went out on a sunny Friday afternoon and used what he’d learned to perfection, earning his first MotoAmerica Superbike pole position of his debut season after setting a blistering 1:49.613 to lead a tightly knit group at the top heading into Saturday’s two races.

Toni Elias earned his first career MotoAmerica pole position

Toni Elias earned his first career MotoAmerica pole position on Friday at Utah Motorsports Campus with a blistering lap of the 3.048-mile track.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

“I spoke with Carlos Checa who won here many times,” Elias said of his fellow Spaniard. “He gave me some advice. He said I would enjoy this track and I am enjoying this track.”

Elias, who has won four MotoAmerica Superbike races thus far in 2016, will start from pole position for the first time on Saturday in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship of Utah, heading a front row at the 3.048-mile racetrack that includes Superbike Championship points leader Cameron Beaubier and Elias’ Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Roger Hayden. Beaubier was just .021 of a second off Elias’ best with Hayden only .041 of a second behind his teammate in third.

“At this track I feel comfortable immediately,” Elias said. “This is the kind of track I like. I felt good, I felt good with the bike. I think the last race we improve a lot. Also we do many laps with the used tires so I think the set-up is really good and the pace is there. Will be a tough race. I will give my 100 percent, but the race will be very long and hot. We will see.”

Beaubier said he struggled to not make any mistakes with his qualifying tire mounted, but he said he’s comfortable with his race set-up for Saturday.

“It felt like I had a pretty decent lap,” Beaubier said. “I think everyone makes at least one little mistake on their Superpole tire because you have so much more grip. Overall, I feel pretty good with our race setup and which tire (to use). I was able to string a few good lap times in the low 50s in practice this morning and I feel like my bike is working quite a bit better this year than it was last year. These guys (Elias and Hayden) are on rails this weekend so it’s going to make for some tough races tomorrow but it should be fun.”

The Superbike field is tight with the top six separated by just .732 of a second on the fast and flowing track on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.

Beaubier’s Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha teammate Josh Hayes will lead row two for tomorrow’s two races, the four-time Superbike Champion only .120 of a second from pole position. Wheels In Motion/Meen Motorsports Yamaha’s Josh Herrin will join Hayes on the second row, the Georgian leading the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 qualifiers in fifth overall. Jake Gagne will fill the second row on the Superbike-spec Broaster Chicken/Roadrace Factory Yamaha R1, the team returning to action after a one-race hiatus from the Barber Motorsports Park round.

The third row of the grid will consist of TOBC Racing’s Danny Eslick, Aprilia HSBK’s Claudio Corti and Millennium Technologies Kyle Wyman. Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, in his debut ride for the team, and Team Rabid Transit’s Sheridan Morais round out the top 10 qualifiers.

Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach came into Utah separated by 33 points after Beach’s doubleheader sweep at Barber Motorsports Park two weeks ago. That gap is now 28 points after the first of two races at Utah Motorsports Campus after Beach’s dominating fourth win of the season and third in succession.

Beach basically won this race on the opening lap, the defending Supersport Champion jumping out to a 1.9-second lead on the first lap and extending that to 3.3 seconds after just two of 16 laps. From there Beach would continue to extend his lead until settling in with a five-second lead he would maintain until celebrating by standing up on his seat across the finish line. The margin of victory was 3.5 seconds.

“That’s my plan each race – to get the best start I can and try to get out front and push,” Beach said. “This track I’ve had a lot of good luck at and some bad luck, but the last few races here have been good for me. Like I said at Barber, I just have to try and keep winning races and the pressure is on Garrett. He’s got the points lead right now and it’s still big, but I just have to keep trying. We’re coming to some good tracks and I just have to keep having fun on the bike and keep pushing.”

Gerloff was second after a near race-long battle with Frenchman Valentin Debise on the M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki GSX-R600. Debise, however, crashed right in front of Gerloff, allowing the Texan to cruise to second place, some seven seconds clear of Supersport podium first-timer Benny Solis Jr. on the Team H35 Honda CBR600RR. Debise was able to remount to finish sixth.

“JD got a good start and he’s been riding awesome,” Gerloff said. “Me and Valentin (Debise) were battling and we were holding each other up, but that’s how racing goes sometimes.”

Debise’s teammate Cameron Petersen narrowly missed out on the final podium spot with Solis beating the South African to the flag by just .079 of a second. Wheels In Motion/Meen Motorsports’ Joe Roberts ended up fifth, some seven seconds behind Petersen and 11 ahead of Debise.

The Superstock 600 class victory went to Richie Escalante, the HB Racing/Meen Motorsport rider finishing seventh overall and first in class after a dominating performance. Runaway championship leader Bryce Prince was second on the Riders Discount/Tuned Racing Yamaha R6, over 15 seconds behind.

“I’m very happy. My feeling with the bike is much better. Today I am happy and the feeling with the bike is perfect. I try to win the rest of the races and finish second or third in the championship. Maybe is the best race of my life, the rhythm. We will see tomorrow. The bike is perfect.”

Third place went to Millennium/Kyle Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman, the Las Vegas resident doing enough to stop Prince from wrapping up the championship, though that will likely happen in tomorrow’s race two. Prince has a 99-point lead over Wyman and a 100-point lead over Dakota Mamola, fourth on Friday, with only 100 points available from the remaining rounds. If Wyman scores a point on Saturday he will be crowned as the 2016 MotoAmerica Superstock 600 Champion.

AXcess Racing’s Brandon Paasch made his MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup debut last year in Utah and made an instant name for himself with a podium finish. This year the youngster is leading the championship and he extended that lead on Friday with a victory in the first of two KTM races. Paasch beat Yates Racing’s Asthon Yates by just .300 of a second with Anthony Mazziotto III finishing third on his Jimmy Winters Motorsports RC 390.

Paasch now leads Mazziotto by 19 points in the RC Cup Championship, 230-211. Yates is third with 160 points.

“I was pushing the whole time and trying to stay in the front one or two and it wasn’t working for awhile,” Paasch said. “I kinda just put my head down and did a couple of quick laps and caught back up. The last lap I made some passes that I saw last year. They worked apparently because I got beat by getting passed like that last year.”

1. Toni Elias (Suzuki) 1:49.613; 2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:49.634; 3. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 1:49.654; 4. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:49.733; 5. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:49.922; 6. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:50.345; 7. Danny Eslick (Yamaha) 8. Claudio Corti (Aprilia) 1:50.755; 9. Kyle Wyman (Yamaha) 1:51.321; 10. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 1:51.329.

1 JD Beach (Yamaha); 2. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha); 3. Benny Solis Jr. (Honda); 4. Cameron Petersen (Suzuki); 5. Joe Roberts (Yamaha); 6. Valentin Debise (Suzuki); 7. Richie Escalante (Yamaha); 8. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 9. Travis Wyman (Yamaha); 10. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha).

1. Richie Escalante (Yamaha); 2. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 3. Travis Wyman (Yamaha); 4. Dakota Mamola (Yamaha); 5. Jason Aguilar (Yamaha); 6. Connor Blevins (Kawasaki); 7. Deion Campbell (Yamaha); 8. Andy DiBrino (Yamaha); 9. Andrew Lee (Yamaha); 10. Michael Gilbert (Yamaha).

1. Brandon Paasch; 2. Asthon Yates; 3. Anthony Mazziotto III; 4. Jody Barry; 5. Alejandro Gutierrez; 6. Nolan Lampkin; 7. Renzo Ferreira; 8. Cory Ventura; 9. Jackson Blackmon; 10. Sean Ungvarsky.

Defending series champion JD Beach (1) celebrates a dominating victory

Defending series champion JD Beach (1) celebrates a dominating victory in the Supersport final on Friday in Utah.
Photography by Brian J. Nelson.

Brandon Paasch (969) extended his KTM RC Cup points lead with a victory

Brandon Paasch (969) extended his KTM RC Cup points lead with a victory over Asthon Yates (120) and Anthony Mazziotto III (516) at the Utah Motorsports Campus.

Richie Escalante (center) won his second Superstock 600 race of the season

Richie Escalante (center) won his second Superstock 600 race of the season. Bryce Prince (left) was second with Travis Wyman (right) third.

About MotoAmerica

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.