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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


Hayden Edges Hayes In New Jersey Thriller

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden won a close one at New Jersey Motorsport Park, holding off the Monster/Graves Yamaha of four-time Champ Josh Hayes on the last lap to win the penultimate Superbike race of the 2016 MotoAmerica Championship Series.

These two battled throughout the 25 lap event, joined early by reigning Champ and Superbike points leader Cameron Beaubier on the second works Yamaha YZF-R1.  Late in the race, Spanish ace Toni Elias caught up to the leading trio, and Beaubier eased off to guarantee a solid finish in fourth.  Beaubier leads Hayes by 22 points with just one race, later this afternoon, left to run.

Elias didn’t have quiet enough time to join the fight for first, a tight battle that went right to the finish line.

“I did think a win was a possibility, I had the pace in Q but I crashed,” explained Hayden of his troubles on Saturday.  “I’ve been workin’ hard and I’ve been trying to win those races that I am close in.  I went out this morning on an old tire and felt I had the pace.”

“I tried to lead more, still wasn’t sure if I had the pace.  On the last lap, I didn’t know if I would make turn one, I had things locked up!  I’m rally happy for the team; we’ve been so close so many times.  I’ve been racing Josh my whole career and he always get the best of me, so that was really good.  I know Josh hates loosing, Toni too, so I expect it to be even harder in the next race.”

The title is a long shot for Hayes, but the second-in-points racer is still working for another Championship number one plate.

“I really hoped our good pace at the start would break things up a little bit, but we all stayed close,” explained Hayes of his early race lead over Hayden.

“Then Cam (Beaubier) got by and I let him try to see if he had the pace, but he didn’t.  That let Roger get away, and I was mad at myself, thought maybe I could take advantage, but that didn’t work.”

At the start of the last lap Hayes “was getting a good run, gave it the best run that I can, made a few mistakes – I don’t think it woulda mattered, so I have to take second.  I think I learned a lot and that will really help in race two. I have one goal today, and I’m not going to be very nice – I have one plan to try for the Championship.”

“They were running fast from the start and they were gone,” explained Elias.  “Then I started to make up, and then at the end I arrive for the last few laps.  I’m waiting for the second race, I’m feeling really good and we are recovered from yesterday.”

Fifth went to the Kawasaki of Bobby Fong, also first overall in the less-modified Superstock class.  Jake Gagne placed sixth overall, in his Superbike class Yamaha, while seventh overall and second in Superstock belonged to South African Matthew Scholtz on his Westby Yamaha.

Sunday, 11 September 2016 14:03 Published in News


Hayden Fastest In New Jersey as Sneyd and Coelho Qualify for 600 Race

Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 pilot Roger Hayden was quickest in the morning warm-up session for this afternoon’s two final Superbike Feature races of 2016 in the MotoAmerica Championship Series.  After a troubled SuperPole session on Saturday, dominated by Yamaha entries, the last pre-race SBK track sessions at New Jersey Motorsport Park suggest a more diverse pair of races this afternoon.

Hayden, youngest of the famed trio of Hayden brothers from Kentucky, set the pace with a best lap at 1:21.6, comparing well to his Saturday best lap of 1:21.3 (fourth on the grid) set on special Q slick rear Dunlop rubber.

Pole for today’s races belongs to Josh Hayes on the works Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha YZF-R1, and he was second quickest in the warm-up at 1:22.3.  Third best was the second works Suzuki of Spanish ace Toni Elias, recovering from a Qualifying crash to turn a best lap of 1:22.5 around the 12 turn, 2.25 mil long New Jersey venue.

Mathew Scholtz continued his impressive weekend, fourth best in the warm-up on the Westby Racing/Yamalube entry, at 1:22.613.  In the “class within a class” Superstock division of MotoAmerica, Scholtz was the fastest entry. 

Italian ace Claudio Corti struggled on Saturday, but in the warm-up was fifth best aboard the HSBK Aprilia RSv4, also a Superstock class bike.  Last month, Corti earned a pair of second place finished in Mopar CSBK National action at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON.

MotoAmerica Superbike Championship points leader Cameron Beaubier, another Saturday crasher, turned only three laps in the warm up with his works Yamaha, and was ninth best.

The two Canadians on hand both made it into the afternoon’s Superstock 600 round.  In this morning’s Last Chance Qualifier ten lap race, Jeff Sneyd made up for yesterday’s frustrations, netting a strong second overall.  Sneyd is a former Canadian National Superbike Feature race winner, coming back to racing after a 15-year retirement.  Sneyd rides a recently purchased Black Sheep Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja.

On Saturday, Quebec’s Alex Coelho qualified well aboard his Liqui Moly Kawasaki, only to suffer engine issues early in the opening race.  Coelho placed second overall in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike Canadian National class in his rookie Pro season,

After a busy evening of paddock repair, Coelho made it out to race, and although the machine was not 100%, once again qualified for the Final 600 race with a fourth place finish.  The top five machines from this morning’s LCQ transferred to the final event.  

Sunday, 11 September 2016 11:18 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


Szoke Struggles on Sunday in MotoAmerica New Jersey

A slightly sore Mopar CSBK Canadian National Champ Jordan Szoke is heading home from the final 2015 MotoAmerica at New Jersey Motorsport Park September 13, following a frustrating return to the American National tour.   Both Szoke and his 2015 BMW S1000RR, sponsored by Express Lane, Joe Rocket and BMW Motorrad, are a little the worse for wear.

Szoke earned 15th overall in the opening, shortened, combined Superbike/Superstock Feature race, twice interrupted by rain and incidents.  In the second, 26 lap Feature on Sunday afternoon, Szoke was eliminated in a first turn crash when he was collected by the Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Elena Myers.

“Race one didn’t go very well,” explained Szoke.  “We didn’t really have the speed I thought we should have had, all weekend.  With the rain in Q, and various issues, we just never seemed to get things going.”

“The first race was going OK, but I still had some issues with the front end.  Then they stopped things because of the rain, and then I didn’t get a good start on the restart.  I got around Elena, then I started after all the Superstock guys, they were mainly in a group, not far in front of me.”  Szoke’s Canadian spec BMW was competing in the Superstock class.

“Then it started to rain a bit, and I rolled out of it, I was there to have fun, and didn’t want to take to many chances when it was slippery,” continued the ten time Canadian Superbike Champ.  “But this time they waited a while to Red Flag it, and Elena got past again.”

Between the two Feature races, Ohlins suspension guru Jon Cornwell discovered that Szoke’s BMW had a problem with his front suspension.
“Jon found a blown O-ring in our fork, so I had no compression damping in my fork, probably since the start of the weekend,” confirmed Szoke.  “So we were really excited for race two, looking forward to seeing what difference a good fork could make!”

“We ended up going about half a second faster than Jodi (outgoing CSBK Champ Christie, a front runner at NJ 2014) did when he got that good sixth here last year, and it shows how deep the field is now – the fork fix could have made a real difference.”

“So I got a good start in race two, I was on the outside of Chris Fillmore’s KTM Superbike into turn one, my knees on the ground, and I got hit so hard from behind – I was in the air and there was no bike under me!”

“Elena hit me from behind, I don’t know what she was thinking, there was no room between Chris and me.  She got the tail section and exhaust, since I was already leaned over, and I was lucky not to get run over.  Now I’m bruised up, hurt my elbow, wrecked my leathers and made a mess of my beautiful motorcycle.”

“This was one of my worst AMA Nationals ever, my first crash on the 2015, in fact it was my first crash since I fell in a Q session in Canada back in 2012!  That crash was my fault, but this one wasn’t.  But that’s racing – that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Overall, Szoke still views the tip south on a constructive note: “I enjoyed the track, I loved the competition, the MotoAmerica people were awesome.  Wayne Rainey and all of his people were so friendly, it was almost like a family reunion.”   

Monday, 14 September 2015 13:25 Published in Reports, Results & Points


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


Szoke Ready for SuperPole in New Jersey

Jordan Szoke was 17th quickest this morning at New Jersey Motorsport Park in the final practice for tomorrow’s two races in the MotoAmerica Superbike/Superstock category. Aboard his regular, Mopar CSBK Canadian National crown winning Mopar Express Lane/Joe Rocket/BMW Motorrad S1000RR, Szoke was again ninth quickest in the supporting Superstock section of the Feature class.

Next up for Brantford, ON based Szoke is the split SuperPole sessions, scheduled for mid-afternoon, when rain is expected at the New Jersey shore’s facility.

“My comfort level is getting there,” explained Szoke of the busy, 27 rider session.  “The goal of comfort is to make things less work.  We made some ride height changes to the chassis, and that helped make things easier to do physically.”

As Ohlins suspension guru Jon Cornwell made electronic adjustments to the wheelie control portion of the BMW, Szoke continued:  “We also put in some new brakes, and it took me a few laps to get my head around that.  Then I just needed a few clear laps, but that somehow didn’t work out!”

“Traffic was really bad for me that session, and the track is narrow in some sections, you have to be careful.  I was out with Cameron (Beaubier, second quickest overall for Yamaha) in the middle of the session, and the Chris Fillmore (works KTM rider) crashed right in front of us.  After that red flag, I was going to go out with Danny Eslick on that quick Aprilia, but then he had some kind of a mechanical problem.”

“Right now I’m not too concerned about our laps times, I just want to see what we can do with the bike; we haven’t played with the Traction Control feature much in Canada this year, our tracks are so point and shoot, but we’ll see what we can come up with.”

While unwilling to speculate about possible weather conditions, most of the regular MotoAmerica racers expect Szoke to do well if it is wet for final qualifying in the two SuperPoles sessions. 

Saturday, 12 September 2015 13:21 Published in News


Szoke Starts Strong in New Jersey

Newly crowned Mopar CSBK overall National motorcycle roadracing Champion Jordan Szoke made his debut at New Jersey Motorsport Park today, in opening practice for the deciding event in the 2015 MotoAmerica Series.  Aboard his regular Express Lane/Joe Rocket/BMW Motorrad S1000RR, but sporting the number 110 on a red background rather than his typical number 1 or 101, Szoke was 15th quickest in Practice two for the featured Superbike/Superstock 1000cc division, improving on his 18th best set in his morning debut around the “Thunderbolt” layout with a 12 turn, 2.25 mile long layout.

Szoke’s effort put him 9th best in the 19 rider strong Superstock class-within-a-class, the category closest to rules with the Canadian National tour.  27 riders set times during the hour long second session.

“Fifteenth isn’t my goal, but around two seconds off the top factory Superbike isn’t too bad,” smiled Szoke after practice in New Jersey, his first U.S. appearance since 2010.   Szoke lapped at 1:23.56, while quickest overall belonged to the works Monster Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike of series points leader Cameron Beaubier, with a lap at 1:21 flat.  Beaubier’s team-mate and title rival Josh Hayes, the current Champ, was second quickest with a lap at 1:21.69.

“You really notice the difference that $ 60,000 worth of electronics can provide,” continued Szoke about one of the advantages that the top U.S. machines enjoy against the more heavily restricted bikes used in CSBK north of the border, such as Szoke’s BMW.  “Through the esses the top guys just pin it and the bikes just do not move around, it’s just such a big, noticeable difference.”

“Early on I was by myself learning the track, went over a bump, got spit right off the bike, my whole leg was draggin’, but somehow I managed to hang on!  But overall the BMW feels really food, and I’m having fun out there with my bike.”

“So far, this track is really physically demanding.  I did a bunch of consistent laps, 26 on one tire, more than the race, so I feel like we already know a lot about what the race will require.  My set-up allows me to ride the bike consistently, and I just have to work on my lap times.”

“Still, it’s only Friday, and I’ve never been here, so I have to set realistic goals.  I was a little sluggish in the morning, but the afternoon session was solid.  My goal is to be the first BMW, and we will see how it goes tomorrow, where we can go from there.”

Szoke is scheduled to take part in two SuperPole sessions on Saturday, at 2:10 and 2:35 in the afternoon, to establish the grid for Sunday’s pair of 25 lap races.

In the opening session of SuperSport qualifying, Joe Roberts set the pace (1:22.16) aboard his Wheels in Motion Yamaha YZF-R6, while Canadian young gun Ben Young was 12th quickest with a 1:24.7 on his RoadRace Factory Yamaha.

Bazzaz Superstock 600 Qualifying was headed by Bryce Prince on the Tuned Racing Yamaha at 1:24.54.  In her second career start in the U.S., recently crowned co-BCR Rookie Pro of the Year in CSBK, Stacey Nesbitt, placed 34th aboard the Satoni Racing Honda CBR600RR.   

Friday, 11 September 2015 19:00 Published in News


Young Endures Tough Weekend in New Jersey

MILLVILLE, N.J.  - Sept. 16, 2013  - Canadian AMA Pro GoPro Daytona Sportbike competitor  Ben Young was really looking forward to this past weekend's New Jersey Lottery Devil's Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park, however a series of challenges prevented him from taking home the results he had set his sights on.

Monday, 16 September 2013 16:15 Published in Reports, Results & Points