2016 Laguna Seca MotoAmerica Results
For stateside motorcycle racing fans, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was the only place to be this past weekend. The venue in Monterey, Calif., hosted World Superbike and MotoAmerica, and brought in over 61,000 fans throughout the three-day event.
Read our Laguna Seca World Superbike Race Coverage: Laguna SBK Race 1; Laguna SBK Race 2
The penultimate round of MotoAmerica at Laguna Seca resulted in a tighter points battle in the Superbike and Supersport classes, and a title to Josh Herrin in the Superstock 1000 class.
Herrin’s fourth in race one and eighth in race two allowed him to clinch the Bazaaz Superstock 1000 title – he now has a insurmountable 50-point lead heading into the season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park September 9-11.
In the Superbike class, the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1s piloted by Cameron Beaubier – the reigning MotoAmerica Champion – and four-time AMA SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes dominated.
Beaubier earned the race-one win at the 2.238-mile circuit containing 11 corners. He finished a mere 0.300 of a second ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias (GSX-R1000), with Hayes claiming third. In race two, Hayes would earn the win 0.257 of a second ahead of Beaubier, and Elias would finish third.
“At the beginning of the race, I was getting a little nervous,” Beaubier said after taking his eighth win of the season in race one on Sunday. “I was getting a gap put on me. I almost ran into Toni Elias on the fourth lap and I dropped behind Roger (Hayden) and had to catch up. I feel like at the beginning of the race their bikes were working better with the new tires and as the race went on mine seemed better than theirs. I’m really happy with the win and big thanks to my team.”
Beaubier also won the series-within-a-series, the three round Honda Superbike Showdown. Over three rounds (six races – Barber, Utah, Laguna Seca), the California amassed 127 points, finishing 13 ahead of Elias. Due to his win, 2006 MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden presented him with a 2016 Honda Civic sedan.
With his race-two win, Hayes earned his 60th Superbike career win.
“Both races were very similar I thought and both races were a lot of fun,” Hayes said after winning race two. “This one had the end result that I was looking for in the first one so I’m really proud to win this race for my boys and to put on a show for all the fans who came out. It was an incredibly fun race.
“It was nerve-wracking. Like I said on the podium, I got tired of holding my breath and closing my eyes so much waiting for the Spanish Stud Missile over there. Every time I made a mistake it was like, ‘Oh no, here it comes.’ I got a bit of a surprise when it was Cam (Beaubier) going into the last turn. I knew I was pretty tight and I was like ‘He doesn’t like being down there.’
“He’s a little bit smaller than me and still has a little growing to do so I was a little worried because I know he gets a good run off that last turn. So it was just getting it turned and get it pointed straight and accelerating as smoothly and as best I could. He had a pretty big one next to me so I was like, ‘Hang on little buddy.’ Even when that happened, I was still nervous that Toni was coming. I thought he was somehow going to still dive-bomb me before the finish line.”
As for Elias’ Yoshimura Suzuki teammate, Roger Lee Hayden basically took himself out of championship contention with a crash in race one and a fourth-place finish in race two. Hayden now trails Beaubier by 59 points with 50 championship points up for grabs in New Jersey’s two races.
2016 Laguna Seca MotoAmerica Supersport Recap
Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s JD Beach continues to pile the pressure on his Supersport Championship leading teammate Garrett Gerloff with the Kentucky resident reeling off his fifth win in a row to narrow the points lead to 14 points on the Texan with the two New Jersey races remaining.
Beach was aided in his title hopes by Frenchman Valentin Debise, the M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki rider beating Gerloff to the flag for second place to take points away from the championship leader. Beach will still need some help even if he wins the final two races at New Jersey because he’d lose the title by four points if Gerloff finished second in both.
Debise’s teammate Cameron Petersen finished fourth in Sunday’s 21-lap race, the South African holding off Galfer USA/Team H35 Honda’s Benny Solis Jr. Sixth place went to Bryce Prince, the newly crowned Superstock 600 Champion beating HB Racing/Meen Motorsports’ Richie Escalante and ADR Motorsports/Fly Racing’s Nick McFadden to take his eighth class win of the season.
ModoBag/MD Racing’s Andrew Lee and Newton Racing’s Jay Newton rounded out the top 10.
Beach knows there’s work to be done, but he also knows he’s in with a shot of defending his Supersport crown.
“I still have got a lot of work to do to try and overtake Garrett in the points,” Beach said. “He still has a good gap. I still need to win the last two races, but we’re just going to keep trying. Now I owe Valentin (Debise) some money for beating Garrett because he got second. It’s a small fee now, but after the next couple of races if I can overtake the points the fee might go a bit higher. It’s kind of an incentive program for him (Debise).”
2016 Laguna Seca MotoAmerica Superbike Race 1: 1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha); 2. Toni Elias (Suzuki); 3 Josh Hayes (Yamaha); 4. Josh Herrin (Yamaha); 5. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha); 6. Danny Eslick (Yamaha); 7. Claudio Corti (Aprilia); 8. Bobby Fong (Kawasaki); 9. Sheridan Morais (Yamaha); 10. Jake Lewis (Suzuki).
2016 Laguna Seca MotoAmerica Superbike Race 2: 1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha); 2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha); 3. Toni Elias (Suzuki); 4. Roger Hayden (Suzuki); 5. Claudio Corti (Aprilia); 6. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha); 7. Sheridan Morias (Yamaha); 8. Josh Herrin (Yamaha); 9. Kyle Wyman (Yamaha); 10. Jake Lewis (Suzuki).
Superbike Point Standings: 1. Cameron Beaubier (298/8 wins); 2. Josh Hayes (269/2 wins); 3. Toni Elias (263/5 wins); 4. Roger Hayden (239/1 win); 5. Josh Herrin (239); 6. Claudio Corti (136); 7. Bobby Fong (120); 8. Danny Eslick (94); 9. Hayden Gillim (93); 10. Jake Gagne (74).
2016 Laguna Seca MotoAmerica Supersport Results: 1. JD Beach (Yamaha); 2. Valentin Debise (Suzuki); 3. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha); 4. Cameron Petersen (Suzuki); 5. Benny Solis Jr. (Honda); 6. Bryce Prince (Yamaha); 7. Richie Escalante (Yamaha); 8. Nick McFadden (Yamaha); 9. Andrew Lee (Yamaha); 10. Jay Newton (Yamaha).
Supersport Point Standings: 1. Garrett Gerloff (286/6 wins); 2. JD Beach (272/6 wins); 3. Valentin Debise (214/1 win); 4. Cameron Petersen (178/1 win); 5. Joe Roberts (129); 6. Benny Solis Jr. (124); 7. Bryce Prince (122); 8. Travis Wyman (80); 9. Dakota Mamola (79); 10. Richie Esclanate (66).