Motorcycle Racing News MotoAmerica COTA MotoAmerica Superbike Race 1 | Red Flag Assists Elias

COTA MotoAmerica Superbike Race 1 | Red Flag Assists Elias

2016 COTA MotoAmerica Superbike Race 1 Results

COTA MotoAmerica Superbike Race 1 | Red Flag Assists Elias
Yoshimura Suzuki substitute pilot Toni Elias leas the grid

Due to training accident in February, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Jake Lewis is sidelined for at least the opening two rounds of the 2016 MotoAmerica Championship.

Yoshimura Suzuki didn’t want to simply leave the GSX-R1000 sidelined; instead, the team signed Moto2 Champion Toni Elias to substitute for the injured Lewis. Elias showed promise immediately during pre-season tests, but truly proved himself Saturday by winning the opening MotoAmerica Superbike race at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

The race was interrupted by a red flag when Kyle Wyman’s Yamaha YZF-R1 blew up on the back straight during the fourth lap, dropping oil and eventually catching fire. Before that, Elias’ teammate Roger Lee Hayden – the Kentuckian who also earned the pole – was in the lead.

But upon the restart – a five-lap dash to the checkered flag – Hayden lacked grip as Elias charged to the lead and earned the win. Hayden found himself in a heated battle with Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes, a four-time AMA Superbike winner.

Hayden was able to hold off Hayes, and finish second, 1.714 of a second behind Elias, and 0.198 of a second ahead of Hayes. As for the reigning MotoAmerica Superbike Champion, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier crashed out on the second lap before the red flag, ending his chance for any points Saturday and positioning him at the back of the grid for Sunday’s second race.

Following his COTA MotoAmerica race one win, Elias says “I suffer a lot in the beginning of the first race,” Elias said after victory. “I try to follow Roger (Hayden) and Cameron (Beaubier), but was impossible. First of all I thought it was a rear tire, maybe something was wrong. I couldn’t control the rear slides. After two or three laps it start to lock on braking the rear wheel, go straight and (I make) many mistakes.

COTA MotoAmerica Superbike Race 1  Toni Elias
Toni Elias

“I be lucky when I see the red flag because I go straight to them (the crew) and say, ‘Something is wrong.’ Yesterday was much more comfortable and it was not the tire, not the track. It was a little sensor that was broken and they finally find the problem and the second race the bike was perfect, just like yesterday. I had grip and it was controllable. I push a lot, but I had some attacks from Josh (Hayes), but I want to win. And finally we did it and I’m happy. I want to thank Yoshimura Suzuki for giving me this opportunity.”

Earning fourth was Broaster Chicken/Roadrace Factory’s Jake Gagne, who was followed by Latus Motors Racing’s Bobby Fong during his debut on the Kawasaki ZX-10R. Wheels In Motion/ Motorsports’ Josh Herrin earned sixth, and the top spot of the Superstock 1000 class.

Rounding out the top 10 were Yamahalube/Westby Racing’s Josh Day, MotoEverything/DieselOps Racing’s Taylor Knapp, Team Rabid Transit’s Sheridan Morais and TOBC Racing’s Danny Eslick, who was not able to race the Daytona 200 due to suspension.

Ahead of Sunday’s race 2 at MotoAmerica, Elias has 25 points, five ahead of Hayden and 9 ahead of Hayes.

2016 COTA MotoAmerica Superbike Race One:

  1. Toni Elias (Suzuki)
  2. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
  3. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
  4. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
  5. Bobby Fong (Kawasaki)
  6. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
  7. Joshua Day (Yamaha)
  8. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha)
  9. Sheridan Morais (Yamaha)
  10. Danny Eslick (Yamaha)

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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