Heading into the final round of the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Toni Elias held a 16-point lead over Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier, the reigning Champion.The GSX-R1000 is no slouch at Barber, but neither is the YZF-R1, which going into Barber had earned 59 percent of all MotoAmerica Superbike wins. Beaubier was hungry to retain his title, and that’s just what he did after a dominating performance at Barber.
The 26-year-old California showed no remorse, winning both races as Elias was forced to settle for 3/4 finishes.This allowed him to take his fourth MotoAmerica Superbike title, Beaubier finishing the 10-round season with 367 points – five ahead of Moto2 Champion Elias.Beaubier claimed 17 podiums throughout the 2019 season, including six wins. This was also the 10th AMA Superbike title for Yamaha, the list of winners including:
Josh Hayes (2010, 2011, 2012,2014)
Beaubier (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019)
Josh Herrin (2013)
Finishing runner up in both Barber races was Beaubier’s factory Yamaha teammate, Garrett Gerloff. Claiming third in race one was Elias. In race two, Yamaha’s Mathew Scholtz finished third for an all-Yamaha podium.“I did everything I could to stay on the track there (in turn one),” CameronBeaubier said following race two. “Herrin got in there hot and I was on the outside of him. I clipped the dirt a little bit, got shuffled way back and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I felt so good going into the race because of the pace Garrett and I had yesterday and it felt even better this morning in warmup, so it put me on the back foot right away.“I just gave it everything I had to pass all those guys. They were so tough to pass. They’ve been ripping all year. I was so happy I was able to put a little gap on them. I just can’t believe it.“My teammate helped me out a little bit there at the end without fighting me too much. Hats off to him. He’s been riding incredible. It’s really tough but really rewarding having such a fast teammate like that.“It feels so good to keep the number one on my bike for everyone that supports us and especially Yamaha. It really is a big family. I love all of those guys. This one’s definitely for my crew chief, Rick Hobbs. He’s been my crew chief ever since we started on the Superbike together. He’s an amazing crew chief and an even better guy. This one’s for him.”Following is an official race recap from Yamaha:Beaubier had a 16-point deficit going into the season finale. With the cards out of his hands, the reigning Superbike champ was all in for the wins. He also needed his teammate Gerloff to join him on the podium in second for that final push in his late-season charge to the title.From the start, the Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing duo showed speed, topping the timesheets, with Gerloff leading the way on Friday and Beaubier taking Superpole. In race one, the Californian got a great start from pole but was shuffled back to third. His younger teammate put his head down and built a healthy lead at the front.On lap six, Beaubier made his move into second and set after the Texan. With five laps remaining, he was able to make the pass into the lead, and the factory bLU cRU riders set a hot pace to cross the line 1-2, over 18 seconds ahead of the competition.With the championship still in sight, Beaubier lined up again in Sunday’s race hoping for a repeat performance. That nearly went up in a puff of dirt going into the first corner as he was pushed wide into turn one. He recovered but was shuffled back to sixth.As champions do, he kept fighting while Gerloff was once again out front setting the pace. Beaubier was able to move his way through the pack fairly quickly and take the number two spot by lap five. He caught up to his teammate and moved into the lead four laps later. Once again, the pair set a fast pace and kept it on two wheels to get the job done, securing Beaubier’s fourth MotoAmerica Superbike Championship and Yamaha’s 10th AMA Superbike title.It also marked Beaubier’s sixth win of the season and his 17th podium. The cherry on top for a successful weekend was an all-Yamaha YZF-R1 podium with Mathew Scholtz joining the factory riders on the podium.Photos by Brian J. Nelson
2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship Final Standings:
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!