2016 Utah MotoAmerica Preview

2016 Utah MotoAmerica Preview | Can Yoshimura Suzuki Team Carry On?
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger lee Hayden and Toni Elias lead grid

Yoshimura Suzuki riders Roger Lee Hayden and Moto2 Champi0n Toni Elias enter the Utah round of the 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Superbike Championship with some renewed confidence. Both claimed wins, as well as a second-place finishes, at Barber Motorsports Park for round six. But the question is: can the Yosh riders carry on at Utah Motorsports Campus June 23-25?

“It’s nice seeing my hard work pay off,” Hayden said when asked about his win in race one at Barber. “I feel a little bit more relaxed now. I finally did it and I did it the right way. I led flag to flag and had somebody up my tailpipe that has won a lot of races. It wasn’t like a couple of guys crashed or it was wet or whatever. I’m relieved because it’s not, ‘When is he going to do this? He’s never going to beat the Yamahas…’ They can’t say that anymore.”

Suzuki Roger Lee Hayden and Toni Elias head to Utah MotoAmerica
Suzuki’s Toni Elias and Roger Lee Hayden

Hayden has finally secured a victory, after seeing an uncharacteristic dry spell. But the main issue facing two of the four points contenders is the 3.048-mile Utah Motorsports Campus. And as we’ve seen over the past season, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 just doesn’t have the legs of the newly redesigned Yamaha YZF-R1 that the Monster Energy / Graves / Yamaha team of Josh Hayes and the reigning champ Cameron Beaubier are throwing around the track.

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“I like the track in Utah,” Hayden said. “I’ve always done pretty good there. The only thing we struggle with is a little bit of acceleration, but at Barber my bike seemed pretty good off the corners compared to everybody. I think we’re figuring some little things out to make things easier. We were there at Road America and it’s kinda the same type of track so I think we have a good chance again this weekend. We’ve been there every weekend.

“I’m only 14 points out of the championship and one point behind Josh (Hayes) so it’s a track I like and I know I need to keep the ball going. I want to win again. I want to tighten up the points and I want to be a real contender. I have a lot of confidence right now in myself, the team and everybody so I’m looking forward to it.”

With only three rounds left in the season, things are coming to a head and usually by this time we begin seeing the silhouette of a winner emerging. However, the point standings show that Beaubier, Hayes, Hayden and Elias could all grab the 2016 title.

Aprilia Claudio Corti to Utah MotoAmerica
Aprilia’s Claudio Corti

The reigning Superbike Champion Beaubier is currently sitting at the top of the charts, a mere 13 points ahead of his teammate and four-time AMA SuperBike Champion Hayes. Hayden is a single point behind Hayes and by an even narrower margin, five points ahead of Toni Elias.

Yamaha was a dominant force in the 2015 MotoAmerica season, across all classes but it seems, even without a major refresh, Suzuki has been able to refine setups to the point of success. During the 2015 MotoAmerica season, Yamaha picked up 18 wins in the superbike class. Today, Yamaha has managed seven race wins to the Suzuki’s five – so it seems that diversity is on the rise.

And that trend of diversity is showing in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship as well. Four brands are showing title contention between: Meen Motorsports’ Josh Herrin, leading on his Yamaha R1; Quicksilver/Latus Motors Racing’s Bobby Fong on the new Kawasaki ZX-10R; Aprilia HSBK’s Claudio Corti on the RSV4 RF; and Cycle World Suzuki Hayden Gillim aboard the venerable GSX-R1000.

Herrin recently became the Superstock 1000 points leader after he managed to secure four consecutive win over Claudio Corti who is putting up a magnificent fight.

2016 Utah MotoAmerica Supersport Preview

Y.E.S Graves Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff has claimed six Supersport victories in the 2016 seaso,n and will enter the Utah round with a 33-point lead in the championship standings. And while many might write him off as the winner, there are three rounds left in the season, so plenty can change. With defending Supersport Champion JD Beach finding his stride, it could easily come down to the wire.

In terms of points, it looks like the Y.E.S Graves Yamaha riders will have to settle it among themselves, with their nearest thread, M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s Valentin Debise, a long 62 points behind and close on his tail is teammate Cameron Petersen, 91 points behind.

Yamaha's Garrett Gerloff heads to Utah MotoAmerica
Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff

As it stands, JD beach needs to sweep the rest of the season in order to defend his title. Even if he does manage that incredible feat of consistency, he’ll need some serious mistakes out of Gerloff. Because winning the next three rounds will see him finish eight points shy of the title, given that Gerloff makes podium finishes as well.

The Supersport Championship has been playing out a bit different with some front runners making their escape early on. Riders Discount/Tuned Racing’s Bryce Prince established dominance early on and now has a 93 point lead over HB Racing/Meen Motorsports’ Dakota Mamola, who sits in second place overall. There is a strong possibility that Prince will secure his championship with a few races remaining.

But second place in the championship standings is still hotly contested. Mamola is currently two points ahead of Millennium Technologies/KWR’s Travis Wyman, not tt mention Altus Motorsports’ JC Camacho finding himself in third. However, EMR Excel Racing’s Connor Blevins and HB Racing/Meen Motorsports’ Richie Escalante are certainly going to throw their hats into the ring for second place.

2016 Utah MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup Preview

While the Superstock 600 Championship will likely be decided early, the KTM RC Cup most definitely won’t. Brandon Paasch and Anthony Mazziotto III will most certainly fight to the end in that one with Paasch currently 10 points clear of fellow New Jersey resident Mazziotto by just 10 points. Those two are 65 and 55 points clear of third-placed Ashton Yates with Jody Barry right behind Yates in their battle for third in the championship.

The KTM RC Cup has been able to showcase some incredible skill from young riders, since its inception and the stand outs from that field are coming in the form of Brandon Paasch and Anthony Mazziotto III. Paasch and Mazziotto have been trading victories all season, narrowing following one another in the point standings since the beginning. But the battle for the title seems to be between them with their nearest competitors coming in the form of Ashton Yates, and Jody Barry who are over fifty points behind.

Both Paasch and Mazziotto have four races wins apiece with Yates and Barry each winning a race thus far in 2016.

2016 Utah MotoAmerica TV Schedule

Want to watch the action? Here’s how! (All Times EST)

BeIN SPORTS

  • June 24 – Superbike Superpole 1 (Live) 4 p.m.
  • June 24 – Superbike Superpole 2 (Live) 4:15 p.m
  • June 24 – KTM RC Cup Race 1 (Live) 4:45 p.m.
  • June 24 – Supersport/Superstock 600 Race 1 (Live) 6 p.m.
  • June 25 – Superbike Race 1 (Live) 2:40 p.m.
  • June 25 – KTM RC Cup Race 2 (Live) 3:50 p.m.
  • June 25 – Supersport/Superstock 600 Race 2 (Live) 5:15 p.m.
  • June 25 – Superbike Race 2 (Live) 6:15 p.m.

BeIN SPORTS CONNECT

  • June 24 – Superbike Superpole 1 (Live) 4 p.m.
  • June 24 – Superbike Superpole 2 (Live) 4:15 p.m
  • June 24 – KTM RC Cup Race 1 (Live) 4:45 p.m.
  • June 24 – Supersport/Superstock 600 Race 1 (Live) 6 p.m.
  • June 25 – Superbike Race 1 (Live) 2:40 p.m.
  • June 25 – KTM RC Cup Race 2 (Live) 3:50 p.m.
  • June 25 – Supersport/Superstock 600 Race 2 (Live) 5:15 p.m.
  • June 25 – Superbike Race 2 (Live) 6:15 p.m.