2016 Laguna Seca MotoAmerica Preview

2016 Laguna Seca MotoAmerica Preview | Suzuki/Yamaha Feud Continues
Yamaha’s Beaubier leads Suzuki’s Hayden

The 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Race Series will be making its way to Mazda Raceway Laguna this weekend, July 8-10, 2016, for the penultimate round. Based in the gorgeous Monterey Peninsula, Laguna Seca has been home to some of the finest road racing over its storied time.

This round also marks the final series-within-a-series race – the Honda Superbike Showdown – and Honda will be handing the keys of a 2016 Honda Civic Sedan to one hard working rider.

It’s going to be a busy weekend, with two leagues converging on one track; the round nine of the 2016 World Superbike Championship will take place the same weekend at the legendary raceway. As of now, defending MotoAmerica champ Cameron Beaubier is leading the point standings in both MotoAmerica Superbike Championship and the Honda Showdown.

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The Monster Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 pilot’s lead isn’t as dominant as it was by this time last season. Beaubier has 253 points, and leads by a narrow margin of 25 points over teammate Josh Hayes, a four-time AMA SuperBike Champion. In third, 26 points back, is  Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 pilots Toni Elias, a Moto2 Champion. One point behind Elias is his teammate Roger Lee Hayden.

Suzuki teammates on top heading into Laguna Seca MotoAmerica 2016
Suzuki’s Hayden leads teammate Toni Elias

Beaubier does have an edge against much of the field – he’s a California native and considers Laguna Seca to be something of a treat, “Laguna Seca is my home race and it’s the one I look forward to all year,” said Beaubier who in nearby Roseville.

“It’s cool racing with the World Superbike guys and in front of a big crowd. I also have plenty of family and friends coming so it all makes for a great weekend. I’m also in a good spot in the championship so that and going to a track I really like has me feeling good.”

Beaubier is beaming and having won the second race last year, as well as his general experience with the track point to doing well in the coming days.

There are only two rounds (four races) left in the 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Race Series; Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the series finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park in September, which was a washout when it hosted round three.

With four of the top riders in the MotoAmerica series within striking distance, Beaubier can hardly pop the champagne in celebration. In all, only 27 points separate the top four riders as they heads to the bay area, and one mistake from any of them could spell disaster for their title hopes.

MotoAmerica Superstock 1000

The Superstock championship had been close all season, but that was before Meen Motorsports’ Josh Herrin had a winning streak that now has him in a dominant position within the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship after six straight wins. Herrin leads Quicksilver/Latus Motors Racing’s Bobby Fong by 42 points. In third place is HSBK Aprilia’s Claudio Corti, eight points behind Fong. There has been hard racing within the Superstock class, and we expect no different at Laguna Seca.

MotoAmeica Supersport/Superstock 600

In Supersport, the championship title is now between Y.E.S/Graves Yamaha riders Garret Gerloff and defending Supersport Champion, JD Beach. Gerloff has maintains a 23 point advantage as they descend on Laguna Seca. That’s well within striking distance and after having a slow beginning, he’s now on a hot streak, winning four races in a row. Gerloff is still in a prime position as he can finish second to Beach in the remaining races and still take the title by eight points.

Yamaha's Gerloff heads to MotoAmerica 2016
Yamaha’s Gerloff

The threats to Gerloff, aside from Beach, come in the form of M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com riders Valentin Debise and Cameron Petersen, each of them have won races this year and seen several podium finishes. Collectively, the two are in third and fourth place overall.

Meen Motorsports’ Joe Roberts has proven to be in the running as well, though the rider is in the Superstock 600 class, he’s been seen running in the front of the pack a handful of times this season.

Speaking of which, the Superstock 600 Championship has already been settled with Riders Discount/Tuned Racing’s Bryce Prince having secured an early title victory at Utah Motorsports park.

Prince has won seven races in the Superstock 600 class this season which has given him a total of a 114 points lead over Millennium/Kyle Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman and HB Racing/Meen Motorsports Yamaha’s Dakota Mamola, the pair tied for second and 13 points ahead of fourth-placed Richie Escalante on the matching HB Racing Yamaha bike.

KTM RC Cup

The tightest championship battle with two rounds remaining is in the KTM RC Cup where Brandon Paasch leads Anthony Mazziotto III by just 15 points. Paasch has five wins to four for Mazziotto and the two New Jersey riders are set to take this title fight to the bitter end. Aston Yates, meanwhile, continues his late season charge after winning his second race of the season in race two in Utah a few weeks ago.

Of all the title battles this year, nothing has been closer than the KTM RC Cup where Brandon Paasch leads Anthony Mazziotto III by a mere 15 points. Paasch has five wins vs Mazziotto’s four and the two New Jersey riders are set to take their title fight to the end – granted that no mistakes come up for either of them. Ashton Yates, is quickly following up so perhaps we will see the season long battle get disrupted.

That’s your Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca preview, and we’ll be on scene at the race. Hope to see you all at Laguna Seca, this weekend!

2016 Laguna Seca MotoAmerica on TV

beIN Sports will provide live coverage of the action Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10 – check your local listings for times.

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