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Elias Wins NJ Race as Beaubier Takes MotoA SBK Title

Toni Elias completed his first MotoAmeica race season in style, holding off his Yoshimura-Suzuki team-mate Roger Hayden in a wild 25 lap battle to win the final event of the season at New Jersey Motorsport Park.  Spanish ace Elias lead much of the race, gradually pulling away from Yamaha’s Josh Hayes and getting into a big fight with partner Hayden for the win.

Heading into the final turn, Elias bobbled and opening race winner Hayden dove under the leader, only to run wide on the exit – Elias won by a very slim margin of 0.186 of a second.

A frustrated Hayes placed third, and also came up short in his effort to regain the Superbike title.  Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha team-mate Cameron Beaubier held the points lead, but dropped out with engine issues.  However, four-time Champ Hayes needed to win, so 2016 number one Beaubier earned his second straight overall American crown.

Fourth overall and winner of the Superstock division was Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja mounted Bobby Fong, regaining form for the end of the year.  Fong now heads to Europe to ride in a World Endurance event in France next weekend.

New Superstock Champ Josh Herrin was fifth overall, second in his category.  Italian wild man Claudio Corti charged through the pack to earn sixth with the Houston Superbike Aprilia.

“I did not think you could ever pass in that last corner,” started Elias.  “Then Roger passed me, he really put two balls on the table.  I did not know what was going to happen.”

“I felt better than yesterday, and my pace was comfortable from the beginning of the race.  I would like to fight more for the Championship, Cameron was very intelligent in the Championship, and of course I lost 47 points in one day of the Championship in April in New Jersey.”

Elias started the season as a substitute rider, winning his first race in Texas and five more, and then stayed with the series all season.  From the New Jersey Podium, former World Champ Elias explained that he would like to continue with the MotoAmerica tour in 2017: “I want to continue to battle with these guys, soon there will be eight or ten guys who can win.”

“It was a good race, I was enjoying watching Josh and Toni go at it, and I know it’s not easy to beat Toni,” commented Hayden.  “I thought it might work out there at the end, I tried to get him where he wouldn’t expect it, he came back under me and it could have been a mess, so it’s good to put Yoshimura Suzuki riders first and second. I feel like I made a step this year.”

“I was keeping an eye out for Cam, and I thought he really already had this Championship,” explained Hayes from the third step of the Podium.

“It is all in good fun, and I was gutted for Cam.  I know the panic you can feel when you are not in control of the situation.  That was probably pretty scary, and I believe that Cam earned and deserved the Championship – the boy just out-classed me.  I’m happy for Yamaha to go one-two, and I have another year to switch that up.”

“Man, to get so close to something, and then almost have it stripped away from you, it just shows you how much you want it,” admitted Champion Beaubier.  Throughout the race, Beaubier was playing it safe, knowing he only needed a ninth place finish, but then his bike began to smoke and forced a DNF.

“I honestly didn’t know how many laps were left,” said Beaubier of his trackside retirement.  “I don’t ever want to root against my team mate, but when I saw Toni and Rog in front of Josh, I wasn’t bummed!  There were so many emotions, I was so pissed off, and then this big swing to joy.  The bottom line is that it was all pretty dramatic.”

In another Championship challenge between factory Yamaha racers, J.D Beach won the battle but his Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 team-mate Garrett Gerloff won the Supersport war.  Beach edged a slowing Gerloff by 9.784 seconds, meaning Gerloff took the Title by four points.

Canadians in the combined Supersport/Superstock 600 event had a reasonable run, with Jeff Sneyd getting a good start on his Kawasaki, eventually earning 24th overall.  Alex Coelho struggled with engine issues, but made it to the finish in 28th.

Sunday, 11 September 2016 17:17 Published in News


New Jersey MotoAmerica Pole for Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes

Josh Hayes will start from pole in the final Superbike Feature races of the 2016 MotoAmerica National season, after toping the time sheets in Superbike SuperPole 2 at New Jersey Motorsport Park.  Riding his Monster Energy/Graves works Yamaha YZF-R1, Hayes made the most of his yellow-striped Dunlop special soft rear slick, turning a lap at 1:21.1. 

Earlier in practice, Hayes had turned a best lap of 1:21.5, third best of the session, on the “regular” Dunlop slick rubber.  In final SuperPole, each of the top 12 Pro riders were allotted a special Dunlop soft Qualifying tire.

The effort was Hayes’ second pole of 2016, and the 40th overall in the career of the multi-time overall American national motorcycle road racing Champion.

“I fell like that was a good effort, everything hasn’t always worked out this year, I haven’t always done my best, so I’m happy with that,” confirmed Hayes in the post-Q Media session.  “It’s really hot and humid today, and that’s having an effect on everyone, our conditioning and our equipment.  But I fell like after the announcement at lunch today, it’s really good to put this Yamaha on pole.”

Earlier in the New Jersey program, the Yamaha team confirmed that Hayes would continue with the team for 2017, once again joined by current series points leader and 2015 Champion Cameron Beaubier.  23-year-old Beaubier was quickest prior to the SuperPole session, but suffered a minor tumble in the Q Session with his number one plated 1000cc Yamaha, and wound up third on the grid for Sunday’s pair of 25 lap Superbike rounds.

“It was really minor, second gear, no big deal,” explained Beaubier following the incident, when he delayed his fast lap and then perhaps allowed his front tire to cool too much.  “I’m fine, and we’ll be ready for our races.”

Beaubier leads Hayes 298 to 269 in the points standings, and it will take some unusual events during the two races to keep Beaubier from winning his second straight crown.

“I fell like Cam has done everything right, really done his homework, and he’s ready to take the title,” explained Hayes of the Championship battle between the team-mates.

Jake Gagne was second quickest in Qualifying to earn the second start spot with his Broaster Chicken/Roadrace Factory Yamaha, a return to form after some recent testing activity for the squad.  Gage turned a lap at 1:21.273, just ahead of Beaubier’s 1:21.348 effort.

“We had some new parts that we were happy with in testing, and then I wasn’t too happy yesterday, so we took some of them off,” smiled Gagne.  “But our A bike is working really well, we have a new suspension link, and we’re aiming to finish up the year strong, we have two more races to show where we are.”

Top Yoshimura Suzuki was Roger Hayden in fourth, followed by upstart Matthew Scholtz in fifth on the Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha.  The second row will be completed by the sixth best effort of Kyle Wyman, on the Millennium Tech Yamaha.

Former World Series front runner Toni Elias of Spain crashed early in qualifying with the second Yosh-Suz, and wills start eight (middle of the third row) in both of Sunday’s races.

In Saturday’s opening Supersport/Superstock 600 race 1 over 23 laps of the 12 turn, 3.8 km long venue, Yamaha’s reigning Champ J.D. Beach took victory after a good battle with team-mate and points leader Garrett Gerloff.  If Beach wins tomorrow and Gerloff places second, then Gerloff earns the 2016 title.

The sole Canuk in the race, fast starting Alex Coelho of Brossard, QC, encountered engine problems early in the race with his Kawasaki and was forced to retire.  Further work will be required to determine if Coelho’s equipment can be repaired for tomorrow’s New Jersey National action. 

Saturday, 10 September 2016 16:54 Published in News


Beaubier wins MotoAmerica SBK Championship in New Jersey

The 2015 MotoAmerica National Championship Series came to its conclusion at New Jersey Motorsport Park on September 13, and Josh Hayes won the battle while his Monster Energy Yamaha YZF-R1M team mate Cameron Beaubier won the war.  Hayes took a dramatic final race victory after a thrilling last lap fight with the runner-up Yoshimura-Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Roger Lee Hayden.

Meanwhile, Beaubier played it cool, earned a conservative sixth overall and third in the Feature Superbike category, good enough for his first overall National Feature race crown.  Yamaha took ever win in every class in the debut season for MotoAmerica, only KTM breaking the streak with the spec singles class!  The top works Yamaha racers used matching yellow and black “bumble bee” paint scheme for Sunday’s events only, celebrating the firms’ 60th race anniversary.

“I’m just speechless,” explained Beaubier from the podium.  “My R1 has been rippin’ all year, it’s so fun to ride, and I can’t wait until next year.”

“Riding alongside Josh is awesome – he is the first guy I want to beat, and he is a true Champion,” said Beaubier of his 40 year old team-mate and outgoing Champion Hayes.

“I talked a lot of trash before these races about how I was gonna win them, and I thought I might have to eat some crow,” smiled double victor Hayes.  “I found myself in the right place again, even with all that pressure from Roger.  I am so proud to win ten races on the year, that is more than half of them, and I’m going to kick Cam’s butt so bad next year.”

The Superstock class title already belonged to Red Bull Roadrace Factory Yamaha R1 pilot Jake Gagne, and Gagne confirmed his star status with a solid third overall, taking the Superstock victory.  Next on the road was third overall Taylor Knapp, second in Superstock, battling with third Superstock finisher Joshua Day.  Yamaha swept the Supersport podium with their new-in-2015 R1.

Earlier in the day, Hayes had won the red flag interrupted penultimate race in the Feature class, in a day interrupted by some rain and very high winds.   In an event that wound up getting scored after 14 of a scheduled 25 laps, fast starter Hayes held off Beaubier for victory, although neither racer knew it was the final lap!

Hayden was third overall in the opener, while Gagne was just four seconds back to win the Superstock division. Kyle Wyman was fifth on his Yamaha, second in Superstock, with Day going 6th overall, third in class.

Reigning Mopar CSBK overall Canadian National Champion Jordan Szoke was 15th overall in the first Feature race, placing Szoke 9th in the Superstock division, after a hectic race.  Szoke retired on the first lap of race two, a frustrating end to his record-setting 2015 campaign with the Express Lane/Joe Rocket/BMW Motorrad S1000RR.

In support race action, former American Superbike Champion Josh Herrin won the Supersport closer on a dry track for the Wheels in Motion Yamaha squad, coming on top of a wild battle with team-mate Joe Roberts and Garrett Gerloff’s works Yamalube Yamaha YZF-R6. J.D. Beach, who had already clinched the Supersport title for Yamaha, wound up fourth, at the back of the fight for first.  Canadian rising star Ben Young was ninth on a Hindle-backed Yamaha.  

In Bazzaz Superstock 600 race two, Bryce Prince took victory by more than 12 seconds from Travis Wyman, both on Yamaha YZF-R6s.  Ruthless Racing’s B.C. based Darren James retired his Yamaha mid-race, while Quebec-based rookie Pro Stacey Nesbitt did not start with her Honda.

Sunday, 13 September 2015 17:14 Published in News