2014 Road America AMA Pro Racing Saturday Recap
2014 Road America AMA Pro Racing Saturday Results
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier continued his stunning early season with another amazing performance on Saturday at the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America.
Reigning GoPro Daytona SportBike champ Beaubier has made an impossibly smooth transition to AMA Pro SuperBike. After claiming the points lead in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Beaubier extended that advantage Saturday at in Elkhart Lake. He powered to the first pole of his premier-class career in the morning, then followed that up by out-dueling his legendary teammate, Josh Hayes, to win an epic 13-lap contest in the afternoon.
“I can’t think of a better day,” Beaubier said. “That was probably the best race of my career right there.”
After finally dropping a scrappy Martin Cardenas on the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000, the two works Yamaha men squared off in pursuit of the checkered flag. It was a much-anticipated showdown featuring one of the most decorated riders in series’ history tangling with one of its most heralded prospects, both men armed with identical YZF-R1 equipment.
Beaubier threatened to run off into the distance once he finally made his way into first on lap six, stringing together a pair of blistering sub-2:13 laps. However, three-time champ Hayes refused to give in, clawing his way back from nearly a second back and reclaiming the lead on lap eight.
Beaubier ran wide shortly after being repassed, and the Mississippian boasted a healthy 1.604-second gap with just four laps remaining.
The rookie then managed what arguably hasn’t been done to Hayes since his rookie season – he simply outpaced the veteran ace. Beaubier tracked Hayes back down and stormed by entering Turn 1 on the race’s final lap. Once through, Beaubier registered a flawless lap to hold Hayes off at the checkered flag by 0.306 seconds.
“Josh was riding awesome – he was so strong on the brakes,” Beaubier said. “That made it really hard to pass anywhere. I knew that once I got past Josh I had to go. I had to put my head down and see what happened. I saw ‘.5′ on my board and I kept pushing. I made a couple mistakes and almost crashed in the first corner and Josh went by me. Then I over-broke myself going down into Turn 5 and I thought it was over.
“I put my head down and pushed as hard as I possibly could. I was making a couple mistakes just trying to catch back up but I was able to close the gap with about a lap-and-a-half to go. I got by him in the first corner. I knew he was super strong on the brakes so I just tried to block the inside a little bit and I made it to the finish.”
Runner-up Hayes said, “It was a really fun race; I had a great time riding. It started off with quite the battle with Martin. … When Cam came by, he put me pretty wide into Turn 1. It cost me a lot. It was a big gap. I just had to settle in and, fortunately, we already had a small gap on Martin by then. I started focusing on putting in some good laps and seeing where I could chip away at Cam. I had a couple spots that seemed like mine and he had a couple spots that seemed like his. I ran him down pretty slowly and then he had a big front-ender in Turn 1 that got me back in the show.
“I thought I was going to be okay there for a little a while but he closed the gap immediately. I said, ‘all right, we’re going to race this thing to the end.’ When he came by I wasn’t too surprised and I was pretty content to sit still. I had drafted him up the front straightaway once and I just tried to stay clean behind him. I made a couple small mistakes that put me a little further behind him than I wanted to be. I knew I had to do Canada Corner and the next two turns absolutely perfect if I wanted to make it work, and I messed up Canada Corner, ran a little wide and was really late getting on the throttle there. I was always pretty far behind so I went for it big coming onto the front, and ended up out of the seat trying to make something happen.”
Cardenas stayed within a second of the top two through six of race’s 13 laps, but once he lost the tow he dropped well out of the chase. The Colombian ultimately came home in third but finished more than 15 seconds off the winner’s pace.
“The race was pretty good – especially the first part,” Carndeas said. “The last half I lost contact with these guys – they were faster than me. I did the best I could but I didn’t have anything for them in the second half of the race. I just tried to stay upright and bring it home in third. Hopefully tomorrow we can be a little bit stronger.”
Cardenas’ Yoshimura Suzuki teammate, Roger Hayden, finished a lonely fourth, having double-digit-second padding in both directions at the stripe.
ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing’s David Anthony scored his third fifth-place result in as many races this season, fending off third Yoshimura entry Chris Clark for the position.
KTM/HMC Racing’s Chris Fillmore salvaged seventh after running into mechanical issues during the lead-up to the race, while GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing Honda’s Chris Ulrich, Team AMSOIL Hero’s Cory West, and Farrell Performance’s Jason Farrell completed the race’s top ten.
Beaubier now boasts an early 13-point advantage over Hayden with Hayes in third, 26 points behind the rookie title contender.
Hayes and the rest of the field will now look to find an answer for the formidable newcomer ahead of Sunday’s 13-lap race.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Jake Gagne’s victory in Saturday’s AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at Road America was a conquest the Californian had to win twice.
Gagne had a big lead, dominating on his RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha throughout the early and middle stages of the 12-lap event. After the race was stopped due to a red flag with nine laps complete, Gagne had to come back and whip the field again in a three-lap shoot-out.
Gagne, winner of last year’s race one at Elkhart Lake, was quickest throughout the 12 laps but the red flag erased the gap he’d earned. On the restart, Jake Lewis (Motosport.com Meen Yamaha) jumped out to the holeshot, but Gagne moved back to the front by turn five. Gagne was able to handle other challenges and won by 1.318. The win is his second AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike victory.
“The first part of the race we were just clicking off laps,” said pole-winner Gagne. “We were a little bummed when we heard it was going to be a three-lap dash after the red flag. I knew the guys would be back up there on me. Jake and Garrett both made some moves. Going into the last lap, I tried to get a clean, strong lap. All of the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull crew and Penske worked really hard.”
Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha teammates were next, with Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach earning podium spots for their efforts. Gerloff regrouped from a morning qualifying crash that necessitated his team rebuild him a bike for the race.
Lewis took fourth place, having benefitted from the restart to push for the win.
Veteran Jason DiSalvo put the Castrol/Triumph/Sportbike Track Time Triumph Daytona 675 in fifth, ahead of former Road America AMA Pro SuperBike race winner Blake Young on the GN Gonzales Racing Yamaha.
Class rookie Tomas Puerta earned seventh on the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha, topping Kyle Wyman (KWR Yamaha), Benny Solis (Team 35) and Bryce Prince (Tuned Racing.)
Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Dane Westby was a contender for more than 11 laps. Westby held second on the final time around before he had a mechanical with half a lap to go.
DAYTONA 200 winner Danny Eslick highsided out early on the Riders Discount Racing Triumph Daytona 675. Afterward, the Oklahoman was vowing to have a more competitive Sunday. M4 Motorcycle Road Racing’s Joe Roberts also crashed in the 12-lap race.
AMA Pro SuperSport
Celtic/HVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander kept a pair of streaks alive with a dominant win in Saturday’s 10-lap AMA Pro SuperSport contest at Road America.
Despite having surgery to repair a broken collarbone just two weeks ago, Alexander powered from pole to claim the victory aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600 with more than four seconds to spare.
The reigning SuperSport East champ is now three-for-three in 2014. Today’s one-sided win also marked Alexander’s third straight at the high-speed Wisconsin circuit.
“I know the first lap at these long tracks is pretty key,” Alexander said. “I wanted to try to stay up front and not get passed under braking. The first three laps were going to tell the whole race so I wanted to put my head down and try to get a gap if I could.
“It’s hard to tell what two or three seconds are when you’re looking at your pitboard – you don’t know how far that really is. So I just kept pushing and tried to ride as hard as I could.”
Houston Superbike’s Dustin Dominguez escaped from a scrap with TOBC Racing’s Hayden Gillim to take a clear runner-up result. Gillim held on to claim the final spot on an all-Suzuki podium.
Alexander’s Celtic/HVMC teammate, Wyatt Farris, edged a very racy Kaleb De Keyrel on the De Keyrel Racing Yamaha on final lap as the two rounded out the top five.
Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series
Josh Chisum Racing Bartels Harley-Davidson’s Tyler O’Hara threw down a quick lap of 2:35.709 late to steal the overnight pole for Sunday’s Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series race at Road America.
He is joined on the provisional front row by Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson teammates Steve Rapp and Benny Carlson, who went 1-2 in the team’s home race at Road America one year ago.