2017 Superprestigio V Results
When JD Beach isn’t training or racing his Yamaha YZF-R6 in the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship, he’s typically riding flat track.
His love for the sport brought him to Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi this past weekend for the fifth edition of the Superprestigio Dirt Track race.
Beach did nothing but impress, winning each of three Open-Class finals and taking the Superfinal, which combines the Open and Superprestigio classes.
Joining the No. 95 Ausio/Grau Racing Yamaha YZ450F pilot on the Superfinal podium were fellow American Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Kawasaki KX450F, -1.687 seconds) and the Spaniard Ferran Cardus (No. 77 Team Grau Suzuki RM-Z450, – 3.328).
JD Beach is only the third rider in history to win the Superprestigio; MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez earned two, and AMA Grand National Champion Brad “The Bullet” Baker the other two.
Both previous winners were absent from the 2017 Superprestigio, Marquez saying a “tough and stressful” 2017 MotoGP Championship where he claimed his third title. Riding in place of Marquez was independent Yamaha team rider Johann Zarco; the Frenchman had troubles, and crashed out of the Superfinal.
Things were much different for Beach. The American Flat Track reports that Beach had wheel and shock problems, requiring him to run a different set-up to what he’d ridden during his previous days in Spain.Beach not only rebounded from his rough beginning but absolutely shined in the finals, grabbing the Open Final win and then going on to take in dramatic fashion exactly what he flew to Barcelona for – the Superprestigio Final win for America.
“It was a crazy day for sure!” Beach said. “After practice, we found that my front wheel was broken, so we started changing things… Everyone, and especially Briar’s team, have been such a help. Coming in, I didn’t expect this. I struggled yesterday, and qualifying wasn’t so good.
“But it worked out. Everyone helped. I’m at a loss for words, really. Gotta thank Brad Baker! He couldn’t make it this year, and I was the first guy he called. I was honored to take his spot. I’m pumped that Briar and I went 1-2. He wanted a different order, I’m sure, but it worked out. Hopefully we can go on to Paris next year and fight again!”
Beach’s fellow American had to rebound to make it a Team USA One-Two. The KX450F rider came together with Cardus at the start, but fought his way back to pass the Spanish Flat Track National Champion in the end and take second. It wasn’t exactly the result Bauman was hoping for, but he was happy to bring home a top result for the U.S. and enjoyed his first time overseas for his debut Superprestigio race.
“It was a little wild in that main event,” Bauman said. “I had a pretty good start, but got shuffled back to fifth or sixth early. It was very tight, and I had to make some aggressive moves; I think I got into just about everyone on the track at some point. Unfortunately, that’s how we grow up riding in America; you gotta muscle your way around sometimes. J.D. had my number for the Open finals. In the Super Final, my tire came in, and I was able to get second.”
As for Cardus, he was happy to put Suzuki RM-Z450 on the podium and to continue his flat track racing education against two very tough short track riders from American Flat Track’s premier class.
“I’m quite happy, and I have enjoyed learning from all these great U.S. riders, from Brad (Baker), and JD, and Briar,” Cardus said. “I’m hoping to improve even more to do even better in the future, here in Spain and in the U.S. also. I’m working to come to the U.S. in 2018 and hopefully take part in all of the AFT championship events. Thanks again to Brad Baker and my Suzuki Team Grau for all the support.”
On the outside looking in was former Moto2 World Champion/reigning MotoAmerica Superbike Toni Elias. The No. 24 Yoshimura Suzuki rider took top honors in the Superprestigio Class and got off to a great start, but fell victim to some good ol’ fashioned American-style short track racing, ultimately getting shuffled back to fourth. Completing the top five was Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio, a solid effort for the Moto3 rider on the No. 21 Zaeta.