MotoAmerica – North America’s new road-racing series spearheaded by three-time 500cc GP Champion Wayne Rainey – debuted this past weekend at Circuit of the Americas just outside of Austin, Texas, during the second round of MotoGP.
Saturday’s race was held under wet conditions, but this didn’t stop the 40-year-old Mississippian Josh Hayes. The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 pilot would win the 12-lap race, beating his teammate Cameron Beaubier to the line by over five seconds.
But things changed on Sunday; Hayes would have to settle for second after his 22-year-old teammate Beaubier beat him to the line by 0.445 of a second.
Hayes pushed and pushed throughout the 12 laps, and the race came down to the final corner. Beaubier played good defense, and held his line, not allowing Hayes to pass. Then, coming off turn 20 to the start/finish line, Beaubier sprinted to the win, earning his fourth Superbike-class win in America.
Hayes earned second, and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden took third; Hayden also earned third aboard the GSX-R1000 Saturday. Hayden was running up front in the beginning of the race at the 3.426-mile circuit, but got his bike sideways in esses that run from corners three through six.
He eventually engaged in a battle with RoadRace Factory’s Jake Gagne, who competes in the Superstock 1000 class. Gagne would earn fourth overall, but first in his class; he also won Saturday’s Superstock 1000 race. Taking second in the Superstock 1000 class was Aprilia HSBK Racing’s Dustin Dominguez, and third went to FourFour Motorsports Yamaha’s Taylor Knapp.
Following the race, Beaubier commented on his win: “Going into today we made a little front-end change, raised it up a little bit just to try it. We’ve been struggling a little bit getting off some off some of the tighter corners yesterday.
“I was actually struggling pretty good in the beginning. Roger [Hayden] and Josh [Hayes] had some pace on me. I slowly started connecting the corners a little bit better and getting some more confidence. I finally got by those guys. I put my head down the last few laps and I knew Josh was right there.”
Beaubier also commented on the charging Hayes: “I saw him coming in to the last corner and I was like, ‘No, this is my frickin race.’ It was pretty cool to get it done today. I looked back to make sure he was up and then looked at my leg and there was some rubber there. But it’s a lot of fun racing these guys. I feel like we have respect for each other, but at the same time we can lean on each other pretty hard. I’m looking forward to this year.”
The series now heads directly to Road Atlanta in Georgia; Beaubier and Hayes are now tied in the Superbike class with 45 points each. In the Superstock 1000 class, Gagne has a perfect 50 points due to his double win at Circuit of the Americas.
2015 Austin MotoAmerica Superbike Results, Sunday:
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
3. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
4. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
5. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
6. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
7. Bernat Martinez (Yamaha)
8. Aaron Hersh (Suzuki)
9. Ricky Orlando (Kawasaki)
2015 Austin MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Results, Sunday:
1. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
2. Dustin Dominguez (Aprilia)
3. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha)
4. Geoff May (Yamaha)
5. Devon McDonough (Aprilia)
6. Tyler O’Hara (Yamaha)
7. Mark Heckles (Yamaha)
8. Marcel Irnie (BMW)
9. Barrett Long (Ducati)
10. Jeff Wrobel (Suzuki)
Photography by Brain J. Nelson