Following a one week break after Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier dominated Road America, the 2016 MotoAmerica Championship headed to the deep south for round six at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.Race one was one of redemption and disappointment. Qualifying on the front row were Cameron Beaubier (Monster Energy/Grave/Yamaha), Taylor Knapp (Yamahlube/Westby Racing), and Toni Elias (Yoshimura Suzuki). Ahead of Barber Motorsports Park, Beaubier seemed like the clear front runner, the California coming off a double win at Road America – but that all changed when the lights went out. The terrible heat, the humidity, and a technical track where the YZF-R1 couldn’t extend its legs changed everything this weekend.
Getting a brilliant start, Beaubier and the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 team shot out front, Hayden immediately pushing up into the lead pack. But Beaubier was just a bit too hungry on the opening lap, blowing the first corner and running off track. From then on, his race was settled, clawing through the technical Barber Motorsports Park while the front runners made their escape.
Roger Hayden seized the opportunity and held onto the lead from lap one until the end. The two Yoshimura Suzuki’s running away from an obviously hungry Josh Hayes who was desperately moving through the ranks but some fast Superstock bikes in form of Josh Herrin on the Wheels in Motion/Meen Motorsports R1, Claudio Corti of Aprilia HSBK, and Taylor Knapp slowed his march.Once through, four-time AMA Superbike champ Hayes was too far behind to make a podium finish happen and with Beaubier working his way through the field, he eventually settled in fourth place.The Superstock 1000 battle was intense, with riders constantly within striking distance of one another. Points leader Herrin lead the pack from the start of the race and maintained it throughout. But the hot weather has made keeping the bike upright more difficult than many anticipated. On lap 7, Aprilia’s Corti suffered a vicious high-side and though he was walking around immediately after the accident, which means he just gave up precious points to his most heated competitor Herrin.Taylor Knapp, who ran a brilliant race throughout and qualified in P2, lowsided in the last lap. Sadly, his bike took far too much damage to make it into race two. This allowed Bobby Fong who had been hunting his fellow Superstock 1000 riders down the entire race a much needed podium finish.The big story from race one is, of course, Hayden. Until now, the brother 2006 MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden hasn’t won a single Superbike race. That all changed to do with a pure display of dominance by the Southern boy. In familiar territory, he fought off Elias who bided his time, trailing Hayden by narrow margins.In the final laps, Elias struck in signature form – on the brakes, bike shaking savagely, Elias struck two more times but wasn’t able to make the passes stick. Across the line, it was Hayden who finally secured a win in front of friends and his entire family, with his parents and brothers, Nicky and Tommy watching. Hayden had this to say: “Finally I got that win. I earned that one, lead from flag to flag. Toni didn’t give me any room, he never gives up. We’ve been close so many times and finally today, it all paid off.” The race winner continued, “Finally I got that win. I earned that one, lead from flag to flag. Toni didn’t give me any room, he never gives up. We’ve been close so many times and finally today, it all paid off.”“It’s a little more special having my parents here because they’ve done so much for me. Not only in racing but in life, they’ve always been by my side. So for them to be here; my dad’s health hasn’t been the greatest so seeing a smile on his face, there is no price tag on it.”“He had a better pace. Some laps I rest, I lose a little bit and I come back. The most important moment was the last two laps. I try, I make a mistake. I mistake again.”
2016 Barber MotoAmerica Superbike Race One Results:
2016 Barber MotoAmerica Superbike Race Two Recap
With Knapp out of the race, both Yoshimura Suzuki riders were on the front row, alongside Beaubier, the man on pole. Elias and Beaubier got off the line quickly, as did Superstock 1000 riders of Corti and Herrin.From the onset, Elias set the pace with a determined Hayden chasing Beaubier in second place. Behind them, Hayes slashed his way through the Superstock bikes, not doing better than fourth for the remainder of the race.With the Yamaha rider seemingly subdued by both Barber and the weather, it appeared that Toni’s GP experience along with Hayden’s southern upbringing, gave them an edge against the rest of the field. So while we’ve seen the Yamaha bikes run dominant races for the last few events, things can change when the environment favors someone with just a bit extra.Elias and Hayden diced it up several times throughout the race, but in the end, it was Elias who took home the checkered flag. “It was not easy because I was sure the guys behind me had a better pace. I learned a lot from the first race. I was suffering a little bit trying to follow Roger,” said race winner, Toni Elias and that’s what we saw as well but according to Elias, it was a team effort, “I made him improve and he makes me improve, it’s the only way we can beat the Yamahas.”Roger Hayden claimed a solid second place finish, only a tenth behind Elias with Beaubier, Hayes and Josh Herrin rounding out the top five.In Superstock 1000, Herrin remains the man to beat with four consecutive race wins under his belt. The battle in Superstock has been remarkably close this season but after Corti suffered a major high-side in race one today, Herrin has been able to extend his points lead further. Corti now sits in third place due to his DNF with Bobby Fong moving into second place.Bobby Fong trailed Josh Herrin close and secured a second place finish. After a disappointing race one result, Danny Eslick managed to pull off a third place finish. He had a mechanical issues which caused him to retire from race one. Claudio Corti picked up fourth place and Matthew Scholtz secured a top five Superstock 1000 finish.That’s it from Barber Motorsports Park. If you’ve been missing out on MotoAmerica action, all you need to do is contact your service provider and make sure you can get BeIN sports. The racing is close and there are a handful of riders that I’m sure we’ll see hitting the world stage in a few years. So racing fans that didn’t know – know you know, get BeIN and support American road racing.
2016 Barber MotoAmerica Superbike Race Two Results:
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.