After years of Yamaha R1 domination, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias has proved the Suzuki GSX-R1000 can still win in the stateside Superbike class.The former Moto2 Champion, who was contracted as a substitute rider for the injured Jake Lewis, doubled at the opening round of MotoAmerica in Austin. The Spaniard followed that up with the race-one win in Road Atlanta. But Elias crashed out of race two at Road Atlanta, destroying any chances of four-straight victories.
The man who won race two at Road Atlanta? The reigning MotoAmerica Superbike Champion, Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier. And the Californian was at it once again this past weekend for round three of MotoAmerica at New Jersey Motorsports Park.The YZF-R1 pilot earned the pole Saturday under dry conditions, but things would change drastically for Sunday’s double header. Thunderstorms rolled through Millville, N.J., causing a crashfest at NJMP’s Thunderbolt circuit.Beaubier mastered these wet conditions, earning both race wins and putting himself back into title contention. With his wins – worth 50 points – he bumped from seventh to second; Beaubier has 88 points, trailing teammate Josh Hayes by four points.As for four-time AMA SuperBike Champion Hayes, he jumped into the championship lead after earning second in both NJMP races Sunday. Claiming third in both races was HSBK Aprilia Claudio Corti.Beaubier now has 14 career-Superbike wins, two behind the men tied in 10th for overall AMA SuperBike wins – Eddie Lawson and Scott Russell.Following the race-two win, Beaubier said: “To be honest at the beginning I was kind of stressed out. I felt a lot better than in the first race today, feeling-wise I felt a little bit faster. I came by and I had half a second and the next lap I was like ‘Oh, man this is going to be good.’“I came back around and it said (plus) .0. I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ I put my head down and just kept pushing. I knew Josh was right there and it seemed like he made a little bobble and I came by and it said ‘Plus 2.’ It just started growing from there and I just tried to ride as smart as I could and eased my way around the track at the end. And I was able to do the double.”As for the new MotoAmerica points leader, Hayes said: “There’s not too many times in my career that I can say that I settled for a position,” Hayes said after race two. “Really early on I kinda made a run at Cam (Beaubier) but the risk factor was going up extremely high.“I don’t know if his bike was handling a little bit better than mine that he could continue to ride like that. We had a big gap and it was hard not to just say, ‘Oh, well, I don’t have the pace and I’m not fast enough to ride with Cam and I’m going to take what I’ve got here.’ I figured the guys would beat me with a hammer if I came back in the crash truck from that race.”The story was much different for Elias, who struggled in the rain; he finished 18th and 12th, respectively. He moved to third overall in points, 13 behind Hayes.As for Corti, the Italian finished third overall, but earned both wins in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class, giving him the lead with 111 points.The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of round four at Virginia International Raceway.Photography by Brain J. Nelson
2016 NJMP MotoAmerica Superbike, Race 1 Results:
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 3. Claudio Corti (Aprilia) 4. Larry Pegram (Suzuki) 5. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 6. Corey Alexander (Ducati) 7. Ryan Jones (Yamaha) 8. Danny Eslick (Yamaha) 9. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 10. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
2016 NJMP MotoAmerica Superbike, Race 2 Results:
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 3. Claudio Corti (Aprilia) 4. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki) 5. Corey Alexander (Ducati) 6. Larry Pegram (Suzuki) 7. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha) 8. Ryan Jones (Yamaha) 9. Danny Eslick (Yamaha) 10. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
This week Teejay chats to Tyler Poppe. Tyler works on the TV show Mayans MC–and yet he doesn’t ride an American V-Twin. Wassup with that?? Also, Arthur finds out from friend Mike Cardillo about his thoughts on the full-size version of the Kawasaki KLX 140R F trail bike.