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
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
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