2016 New Jersey MotoAmerica Preview
After two long months of summer break, the 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Race Series will conclude with the final round September 9-11 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J., otherwise known as the Yamaha Superbike Challenge of New Jersey.
Two races remain for the Superbike class, with 50 points up for grabs. The defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier has been training hard for the coming weekend. He leads with 298 points, 29 points ahead of YZF-R1 teammate Josh Hayes and 35 ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias.
The Superbike title is on the line and Beaubier will certainly be working to maintain it. With Elias and Hayes both within striking distance, it’s anyone’s guess who will be the victor. A betting man might settle on Beaubier, who has been consistent throughout the 2016 MotoAmerica season, but with veterans Hayes, a four-time AMA SuperBike Champion, and Moto2 Champion Elias in the mix, we’re not so sure it’ll be cakewalk for the defending champ.
When it comes to scoring points, every place is important. Last season, it was class specific point distribution, but now, all of that has gone out of the window. Instead, if a rider finishes sixth place, he or she will earn sixth place points, regardless of the class they’re in. That means that if Beaubier slips up – he could easily say goodbye to his point lead. It may be hard, though, considering he dominated the early summer NJMP MotoAmerica Superbike races.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to New Jersey to try and wrap up the title,” Beaubier said. “I’m going to put myself in a position in the first race and see if I can win the race or finish on the podium and make my life easier for the second race. Basically, I just want to be smart through the whole weekend. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday I just need to be focused. I want this second championship more than anything and we have worked hard for it, especially after the rough start to the season. We’ve been able to fight our way back to the top. I think the two ride days (at Buttonwillow in California) really benefitted us so we’re not showing up after not riding for two months.”
Riders Discount/Tuned Racing’s Bryce Prince and Meen Motorsports’ Josh Herrin have already secured their title position; picking up the Superstock 600 and Bazzaz Superstock 1000 titles, respectively.
2016 NJMP MotoAmerica Supersport
It’s all come down to the final two races, and for the Supersport class, the battle is between Y.E.S Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff and his fellow teammate, JD Beach. Only 14 points separate the two, and 50 points available are available this weekend.
JD Beach is going to be entering NJMP with a good bit of confidence – having picked up five consecutive wins. But due to his performance in the start of the season, he’s up against some heavy odds. If Gerloff succeeds in grabbing two second-place finishes this weekend, Beach will lose the title. We knew it was going to be close when everything wrapped at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca but the stakes are quite high this coming weekend.
“I’m excited to be racing again after such a long break, but I’m really happy that I was able to work on some stuff that I wanted to work on,” Gerloff said. “I’m ready to get back on my bike, have some fun, and do the best I can do. Whatever happens, happens.”
2016 NJMP KTM RC Cup Series
The final championship title still in the running is the KTM RC Cup Series. Brandon Paasch and Anthony Mazziotto III have been duking it out all season. Paasch has landed five wins to Mazziotto’s five, but both are no strangers to the podium. With a 19 point lead in favor of Paasch, the two are going to have a lot to settle this weekend.
Better weather this time around?
This will be the second stop of the season at NJMP but this time around, riders will have a chance to redeem themselves. On May 1, terrible weather struck the raceway and fans, along with riders, were drenched in rain. Yoshimura Suzuki put that behind them with a string of successful race weekends, but they’re going to be on the hunt.
Despite the bad weather at NJMP last time out, Aprilia HSBK’s Claudio Corti wasn’t impacted. The Italian rider, who has tons of experience in less than savory conditions, won both Bazzaz Superstock 1000 races, not to mention his third-place finishes overall against the Superbikes. Corti will likely be racing in dry conditions as the local weather calls for warm temperatures and sunshine for all three days at New Jersey Motorsports Park, and though the title might be over, he’s still got plenty left to say.