Lawrence Heads to Rapid City FT

Former Flat Track Canada National Champion Doug Lawrence of Mississauga, ON., will make his first American race appearance of the 2017 season at the Harley-Davidson Black Hills Half Mile at Raid City, South Dakota, on Tuesday, August 8.  The 14th event on the American Flat Track National Tour is part of the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

In a just-negotiated deal, Lawrence will ride a Kawasaki Ninja 650 twin for the Weirbach Racing group out of Iowa, one of 25 entries in the Feature class, AFT Twins, presented by Vance and Hines.  So far this season, the new works Indian FTR750s of Bryan Smith, Brad Baker and Jared Mees have dominated the revamped American Flat Track tour.

“The Weirbachs are father and son, and I’ve known them for what seems like forever,” explained Lawrence, who will fly to the states just long enough to attend the Rapid City National Round.

“This will be my first ride with this bike, this team.  They were looking around for a racer, and they called me and wanted to see what we could do.  I’ve known them from the track, and they’re good guys.”

Lawrence would not confirm that the ride could lead to other opportunities with the Weirbach Kawasaki, but did concede that other events, later in the year, had been discussed.

“So far, I’ve really tried to concentrate on my Mopar CSBK Nationals program with Suzuki,” explained Lawrence, currently sitting second in the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year standings in the road racing National tour.  “I’ve done a little Flat tracking at Welland, just to keep up to speed, but my focus is now on Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the two Superbike races for Suzuki August 19 and 20.

“After Mosport, I will figure out what is possible with the rest of the Flat Track Canada and American Flat Track series, with their remaining 2017 events.  There are a few races I would like to hit, like the Springfield Mile National, so we’ll see what comes of this entry in South Dakota. There are a few possibilities.”

The Weirbach effort is backed by Kawasaki USA, Racing Unlimited, Durelle Racing, CP Pistons and Rods, Web cams, Spectro, Shorai, Cheeney Engineering, G2 Ergonomics, All Balls Racing, Firecoat Custom Powderworks, Fourdee’s Graphics, Sunoco, Supertrapp, Yoyodyne and Pit Poss.

Lawrence’s sponsors include Parts Canada, HJC, Alpinestars, K&N, Saddlemen and Motion Pro.  

Friday, 04 August 2017 17:00


Mees Wins for Indian at debut Daytona TT

Jared Mees took his Rogers Racing Indian Scout FTR750 to a solid win in the opening race of the new era of American Flat Track, the 25-lap Harley-Davidson Daytona Twins TT at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night. The win was the first success for Indian in the modern era, and gave them a head start in the 20-round 2017 AFT national championship against arch rival Harley-Davidson.

Victory in the first-ever Daytona TT was the 21st Grand National success for Mees, who also earned the Ohlins Award for the fastest Twins lap of the event on the brand new track.

Daytona marked the first time since the Peoria TT in 1983 that twins raced in a TT-style main event, although Daytona’s sole jump was very low key. There are three more TT events this season; another change to recent trends is the requirement that all Twins riders wear leathers rather than motocross gear in 2017.

Second overall in the feature race went to the second works Indian of veteran Bryan Smith, a lengthy nine seconds behind Mees in a race with significant attrition at the front. After starting on the outside of the second row of the grid on his Kawasaki KX-framed twin, Henry Wiles worked his way up to nab third at the finish, just behind Smith.

The best placing liquid-cooled Harley was fourth placed Jacob Johnson, just ahead of fifth overall Bronson Bauman on another Kawasaki Ninja twin.

“The race was great,” explained Mees from the podium. “We were making adjustments, after the heats and semis, and working things through, right until the last minute. I got a great start in the main, and I really think that was the biggest key. I just want to make a real shout out to our entire team. It’s the start we need.”

Reigning champ Smith said that he was happy with his Indian debut. “I really wanted to be the one to get that first win,” Smith admitted, “but we’re all still stoked for Indian. You have to be satisfied with the performance of a brand new bike, with all the unknowns.”

“That race was a lotta fun,” started Wiles, famous for his high fitness level and one of just a couple of riders at Daytona who stuffed a twin engine into an MX frame rather than a conventional ‘framer’ chassis. “We were shooting a little higher, but this was only the second time out with a new bike, and the other guys were a little faster in a straight line. I didn’t even know we were racing for second there at the end, so the podium is a good start.”

Former Canadian Flat Track champ Doug Lawrence was on hand to watch the event. “Fresh” isn’t sure when he will open his 2017 dirt track campaign, since he is focused on his new Suzuki Canada Mopar CSBK road racing program. Lawrence was testing at the Jennings G.P. venue earlier in the week aboard a Jon Cornwell-built older model GSX-R1000, and was happy to be back on track, as well as doing some bicycle training and motocross down south.

“I think the track was pretty good, they did the best with what they had,” said Lawrence of the new Daytona TT layout, pre-built under the just-used Monster Supercross track in the tri-oval area in front of the NASCAR pit lane. “It got to be one line, kind of hard to pass, but if they went the other way it would have been just too rough and gnarly.

“I don’t know if the track was too much fun to ride at the end there, so you had to be impressed with the Indians, and they basically ran what they had been testing last year. Obviously, it was tougher for the Harley guys, and they had their issues.

“You had to like the way the Indians worked,” continued Lawrence. “They had good power, but more than that they had super clean delivery, from really low down, in the tight stuff. That makes things easier. Now everyone has to get used to the new (AFT race) format, but that won’t take long.”

Dalton Gauthier won the 15-lap AFT Singles national aboard a Yamaha YZ450F, taking the lead on the brakes from Wyatt Anderson’s KTM in the last corner and holding on at the finish line. “Tomato Juice” Kolby Carlile was a close third on a brand new Honda, the top three covered by less than a second after a great dice up front.

Thursday, 16 March 2017 23:12


Duhamel Entertains at Hall Of Fame

Husqvarna presented the 11th annual Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Reunion at the Sheraton Airport in Montreal, QC, Saturday, March 25, and veteran road racer Miguel Duhamel of Las Vegas, NV, cemented his reputation for public speaking.

Fan favourite Duhamel, a star on the American superbike tour for almost two decades, was the final person inducted during post-dinner ceremonies hosted by television personality Eric Menard.

Sunday, 26 February 2017 01:40


Doug Lawrence On 2017 National Plans

“It hasn’t really been a long off-season, but it feels like it at times,” explains former Canadian national flat track champion Doug Lawrence, who will make the move to the Pro road race ranks this season aboard a Suzuki GSX-R1000. Lawrence announced his new Suzuki Canada program for the 2017 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at the Toronto Motorcycle Show last weekend.

“I’m excited to get a program to ride the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 in 2017,” confirms the man some call ‘Fresh.’ “I’m excited to go road racing, that’s what it comes down to. I’ve had some offers, with different bikes, from great people, and really I’ve just been trying to figure out what could work the best for me. I appreciate all the help from everyone, and I think the Suzuki program is right for me. My aim is to build with that, to get the ball rolling with Suzuki and their return (to Canadian Superbike).

“I’ll get a bike, hopefully, by mid-March, and get it track-ready,” Lawrence continued. “For me, with my level of road racing experience, it’s essential to just get on the track and get riding. I need bodywork and suspension, but that’s really all I will need to get out and start riding. Then I can get going from there, get the feedback for the people who are working with me.

“I think that usually, with Suzuki, things are pretty close to perfect, and this bike has been in development for some time,” says Lawrence about his weapon for 2017. “I’m confident that the new GSX-R1000 will be good.

“People tell me it doesn’t make sense to test on old tires, things like that, and I do understand the advice,” notes Lawrence, whose entry into the Pro SBK ranks is perhaps the most interesting story of the 2017 CSBK preseason. “But I have only ridden a road race bike for seven or eight days in total. I really just need to get some laps in before we really start development, doing race laps, race-distance testing. I just need to get the bike underneath me, really fell it, and go from there. I’d like to ride Grand Bend, Mosport, Shannonville, before those national rounds. I would like to go down south, I have some good connections in Ohio and Michigan. We’ll see what happens.

“I have to manage my plan, not get too overwhelmed with stuff – I have been so excited over the past few months. I need to get one motorcycle ready, and go from there.”

As far as flat track racing goes in 2017, the former No. 1 plateholder is depending on his mechanic and father, Doug Sr, to lead the charge.

“My Dad is excited for me, and wants to see where I’m going. He’s not a huge road racing fan,” Lawrence laughs. “He knows what I have going on, and he wants me to do it. He’s building another flat track bike for me, to ride in the new Twins class in the States.”

However, Lawrence did admit that following the national CSBK tour will curb his Canadian flat track appearances.

“My riding in the Flat Track Canada national series will be restricted. I raced 26 weekends last year, and I got a bit overwhelmed in the last half of the season. My mind was focused on the CSBK round at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) after I started my first national at St-Eustache, and I know my flat track program suffered for that. I’m not committed to too-too much in the States, and fortunately my dad says ‘Hey, we’ve got this bike ready for you whenever you want to go for it and ride.’ 

“Right now, I have a plan for doing the first two American half-miles before the CSBK nationals start, but I have to dedicated my time and mind to the Suzuki program for the CSBK national series. After the final CSBK round at CTMP, there are still four or five American Flat Track races I can get to in the United States. Those eight or so AMA races are at racetracks I want to ride at as well.

“I have some goals in flat track that I want to achieve, and I feel like I can turn up at those races and be right up to speed.”

As far as support is concerned, Lawrence admits that “there is lots of talking going on, and I have been waiting to get the Suzuki deal confirmed. I have supporters and friends who have helped, and I know they are there for me, and now I have to get out there and work on it. I know that we can’t have the big factory deals of 10 or 20 years ago, but I really wanted to do it, to race the CSBK series.”

Lawrence will be visiting several tracks for the first time, including the home of the famed east-coast ‘roller coaster,’ Atlantic Motorsport Park, in Shubenacadie, NS.

“I’m excited to go places like Shubenacadie,” Lawrence states. “During the off-season, I have told people I actually had more fun racing at St-Eustache then I did at Mosport. I’ve been watching videos, and it seems like you have to be really accurate at Atlantic Motorsport Park. You have to minimize mistakes. It’s another track with a lot of character, lots of uphill and downhill. It’s all new to me.

“I think the Shannonville opener will be really tough; lots of the guys in the series grew up riding there. Grand Bend will be more of a level playing field, not too many of the national guys have a lot of laps around there. Mosport is at the end of the year; I like that place. The speed is a little higher than flat track, and it’s really flowing, but the track is in some ways forgiving. By that time, I aim to be up to speed with the faster group, and I’m comfortable with the drafting.

“I don’t have any specific goals in terms of finishing positions,” Lawrence humbly admits. “I’m more concerned with getting comfortable on the bike, be able to adapt to riding in the Pro ranks on a big bike. The Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year is a goal, but that isn’t my only target. I want to do better in every race. I have to wipe the slate clean after every race, good or bad. It’s a rebuilding process and there is a new race track at the next round. I can’t get too high, can’t get too low.

“I’ve been through all of these things in my flat track career,” summarized Canada’s newest Pro Superbike racer. It’s a different discipline, but it’s still racing a motorcycle.”

Saturday, 25 February 2017 08:57


Reigning Mopar CSBK Champ Szoke Inducted into Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame

Legendary motorcycle road racer Jordan Szoke joined the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame at their 22nd Gala Induction Ceremony at the Glenn Gould Studio Theatre at the CBC Building in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Saturday evening, October 22.  Born in Bradford, ON., and recently moved to Lynden, ON., Szoke has won the Canadian National Pro Superbike crown a record 11 times, as well as further success in numerous pavement support categories and off-road activities.

Reigning Mopar CSBK Champion Szoke, riding for Express Lane/BMW Motorrad Canada aboard a S100RR, has also earned three perfect seasons on the National tour, unbeaten in 2010 (with Honda) and 2015 and 2016 for BMW.  The 37-year-old won his first career Superbike Feature National at Race City in Calgary, Albert in 1998, winning the title for Kawasaki at the end of the same season. 

Since then, Szoke has built a record total of National Superbike events, with a running total of 59 successes, including 14 consecutive wins heading into the 2017 season.

Szoke was presented to the Hall of Fame Gala audience by Fiat Chrysler/Mopar Executive Jim Kiritsis, one of the key supporters for the Waznie Racing squad.

“When you start racing, you think about the next race, maybe the next win, the next Championship, the next season,” explained Szoke from handsome CBC stage.  “Then you get to a certain point, and you consider what you have achieved, how far you have come – and it makes you feel old!”

“I think that most people know that with motorcycle racing, the wear and tear is a major issue with your career, with the amount of time you can compete at a top level having so much to do with injuries, recovery, and all those factors.

“I am very fortunate, that things have gone very well for me over all the years at all the tracks in all the series,” smiled Szoke.  “I might limp a little when I get up in the morning, but by the afternoon everything is working fine!  I want to race as long as I can be competitive at a high level, for a few more years.

“I think when you listen to all the of the other inductees in their speeches, there is a clear theme of the help and guidance of our mechanics, for the technical side, as well as the important support of family of friends.  Some of those people belong in the Hall of Fame too.”

The last motorcycle roadracer to join the Canadian Hall of Fame was British Columbia’s Tom Walther, a star in the late 1980s who died racing Superbikes in Japan.  Walters was inducted in 2012.  Three-time Canadian Superbike Champion Michel Mercier, currently the owner of the FAST Racing Scholl, joined the Hall in 2008. 

The year before, 1980s AMA Formula One/G.P. class star Alan Labrosse, also a successful car racer and currently the owner of Autodrome St-Eustache, was inducted. 

Szoke’s induction marks the first 1990s (and later) era motorcycle racer to be inducted, and the rare acknowledgement of a competitor still active and at peak form.

The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame have their next Ceremony next year in Montreal, Quebec on February 25.  Among the roadracers entering the two-wheeled Hall in their 11th annual event is Miguel Duhamel, Pascal Picotte and Peter Hurst.    

Sunday, 23 October 2016 15:33


New FTC Champ Beattie Recovering from Ohsweken Injuires

Newly crowned Flat Track Canada Champ Steve Beattie is recovering from serious injuries suffered at the final round of the Flat Track Canada National Championships at Ohsweken Speedway, west of Hamilton, ON, on the evening of September 24.

Petrolia, ON-based Beattie is in hospital in Hamilton, and is expected to remain there for the next few days.  His injuries include a broken collar bone, broken left hand and two broken vertebrae in his neck.  Beattie suffered no loss of range of mobility from the crash, and is said to be in a positive frame of mind while recovering. This is the fourth time that Beattie has suffered serious neck injuries in a motorcycle racing-related incident.

Beattie runs the TwentySix Suspension firm, and also serves as a trainer at a Gym.  He has previously earned the National Flat Track Overall Championship title in 1992, 1995 and 1997.  Prior to the incident at Ohsweken, the unretired Beattie was in the midst of a very successful summer of racing. Earlier in the Ohsweken program, Beattie had won the "Dash for Cash" race on his Honda "framer."

Beattie’s crash with his Kurt Beigger Racing Honda single occurred just after the start of the final Expert Open class race of the year, in the final National of the season.  Exiting the second turn, a few positions into the still tightly-bunched pack, Beattie lost control and fell along the edge of the track’s outside retaining wall, and was struck by two other racers.

The race was immediately stopped and the Safety Crew went to work on Beattie, stabilizing him before he was transferred to Hospital by Ambulance, late Saturday night.

The race start was successful on the second attempt, and Tyler Seguin battled for the lead with 2015 FTC Series Champ Doug Lawrence.  With Beattie out of action, Lawrence had a shot at retaining his red number one plate if he earned the victory.  But Seguin eventually pulled clear to win by three seconds, Lawrence was second in the final 2016 race, and Beattie hung on to the FTC National Title.

Monday, 26 September 2016 08:53


Seguin Wins, Injured Beattie Champ at FTC Ohsweken Debut

Flat Track Canada had its first event at the famed Ohsweken Speedway, and for almost all of the program the final national of the 2016 season was flawless in execution and spectacle.  After an evening of great completion on the half mile clay oval, the Expert Open class headed out for the final national race of 2016, ready to decide the 2017 No. 1 national plate.

Steve Beattie looked to have the overall FTC Title sewn up for the Kurt Beigger Racing Honda team, and merely needed to start the main event to earn his first career Flat Track Canada crown.  But Beattie fell exiting turn two on the opening lap, causing a red flag and a long delay for his careful removal from the race surface by the Safety Team.

Beattie was off to the hospital with a broken collarbone and concerns about possible other injuries, details to come shortly.  The race would start again from scratch, meaning that Doug Lawrence had a shot at retaining the Championship with his Town Moto/Parts Canada Honda CRF450 DTX machine.

There was some discussion as the field got ready for start two regarding the possible points ramifications, with various opinions suggesting a win, or maybe a top three, would allow Lawrence to retain his title.  It turned out only a win would do.

On the second start Lawrence and a back-from-injury Don Taylor (Jim Sehl/Motovan/Motosports of Trenton Yamaha) again pushed to the front, joined by the Tyler Seguin aboard his Evans Honda.  Eventually Taylor, the two time FTC champ in his first start since breaking a leg in an American event early in the summer, faded to place fourth and Seguin and Lawrence fought for the win.

Seguin eventually worked his way clear to take a well-deserved victory, the seventh different winner over the course of the 11 round series.  Lawrence wasn’t far back for second and not sure where he placed in the points – unfortunately “Fresh” came up just short. Rising star Brodie Buchan worked his way up to third aboard another KBR Honda single.

 “It feels great to win,” explained Seguin after a NASCAR-style victory burnout against the front straight wall.  “It’s the last race of the season, but still, a win is a win.  My season was really all over the place, and now things are starting to work we can maybe try some things down in the States.”

Lawrence was obviously emotional after a close race while trying to understand his title chances and consider the possible injuries suffered by rival-and-buddy Beattie.  Veteran Beattie runs a suspension service business, and the new champ was tweaking Lawrence’s refurbished fork right before the first, late afternoon Pro practice session.

“An awful lot was going through my mind,” admitted Lawrence of the 15-ap main event.  “At the end of the day, you really don’t want it to happen like that, the way things went for Steve.”

“I was maybe a tenth off where I needed to be, I was really close, in terms of lap times,” continued the outgoing number one.  “I wanted to be in (Seguin’s) way more, maybe park him in the corners, but I couldn’t quite make that work.

“The track was really awesome, it got better and better through the program, and we really had some great racing here tonight.

“Right now it really seems like a long year,” continued Lawrence, who raced and won at two events on the Mopar CSBK road racing national tour in 2016 and recently finished seventh at the AMA Pro event in Springfield.  “I’m looking forward to recharging my batteries and getting a new mind set, get geared up for next season.”

Buchan was satisfied with third place after a white knuckle run in the Main event.

“Everywhere I rode coming up, it was a cushion track,” explained the Pro based in Welland, ON, home of the famous short-track county venue.  “This place is hard packed, and it seemed like I had to be really careful.  So I’m pretty happy with the result, it was tricky and it seemed like the track got slick.”

In the Expert DTX category for stock-framed MX based machinery, Seguin held off Lawrence in a great fight at the front, Lawrence making a rare start in the “production” class after opting to enter on the machine he mostly uses at the short Welland venue.  Doug Beattie (Honda) edged Buchan in another good dispute, for third.  Buchan clinched the Expert DTX Title, distant rival Dave Pouliot (Kawasaki) hampered by a leg injury.  

The Expert Dash-for-Cash victory went to the Honda framer of Steve Beattie, prior to the new champ’s season-ending injury. Lawrence was a close second with Seguin third.

In the Intermediate Open division, Tyler Brown hung on to win, after a great dice that went down to the wire against runner-up Cody Marentette and third man Luke Rahm, all Honda mounted. 

In Intermediate DTX action, Brown won again, a bike length behind the fight for second, a dead heat between Marentette and the Sturgess Kawasaki of reigning Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike national road racing Champ Kenny Riedmann.

Top Novice was Jarrett Phibbs of Cottam, ON, who won both the Open and DTX divisions aboard a Honda CRF450.

Sunday, 25 September 2016 10:51


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


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


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


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