MotoAmerica Championship at Sonoma Raceway Day One Report

Cameron Beaubier dominates Motul Superbike on Saturday

Cameron Beaubier put together the best performance of his season today in the MotoAmerica Championship at Sonoma Raceway, the two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion riding his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing R1 to a 6.1-second win in a race that was never in doubt.

Beaubier, who lives just 90 minutes away from Sonoma Raceway, was fast from the get-go as he led every session on Friday and Saturday, earning pole position this morning in Superpole. In the race he was dominant from the beginning, leading off the start and never letting up. By the end of the race he was over six seconds clear of his rival Toni Elias as he stormed his third Motul Superbike win of the season.

“Overall, it’s been a good weekend so far,” Beaubier said. “As soon as we rolled the bike off the truck on Friday I felt comfortable on the thing. We made a couple changes here and there but we put ourselves in a good position after Superpole and I just tried to nail my start. I knew I was first going into the second corner, but I didn’t expect to see a one second gap coming into the second lap. I just put my head down after that. From what Toni (Elias) said it was pretty crazy on that first lap so I think I got a little relief from that. I’m super happy with how today went and I know tomorrow is going to be a little tougher. This one is definitely for my team because I know how hard they work back at the shop and they like winning just as much as I do, if not more. It feels good to put my bike back on the top step for this race and hopefully we turn it around for the rest of the season.”

Yoshimura Factory Suzuki's Elias had a rougher road to the front as he got bunched up off the start and found himself well back in the pack while he watched Beaubier streak away at the front. The Motul Superbike Championship leader didn't panic and instead methodically picked his way through the field on a march to the podium. Late in the race he moved around M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's Jake Lewis to take over second spot and he held that to the finish for his 12th podium in 13 races.

cameron beaubier motoamerica race action
Cameron Beaubier had his best race of the season on Saturday as he dominated the Motul Superbike class at Sonoma Raceway.Brian J. Nelson

Elias was rewarded for his efforts with 20 points and he goes into Sunday’s race two with a 60-point lead over his Yoshimura Factory Suzuki teammate Roger Hayden, as Hayden was taken out of the race on the opening lap when Josh Herrin crashed into him in the Carousel. Combine Hayden’s non-finish with Elias’s second place and the Spaniard now leads the title chase by 60 points, 280-220, over Hayden. Beaubier is third in points, 75 behind Elias with 205.

“I felt very comfortable during the weekend,” Elias said. “The bike is working good. The pace is good. Cameron (Beaubier) is another step this weekend. Of course my goal was to have a good start and then try to win but I saw in the second corner that was

impossible because everyone was so aggressive trying to pass. In five or six corners Cameron was like ‘see you’ and was very far (away)! I saw a lot of mistakes and crashes so I just tried to stay calm and make my rhythm. Everyone was pretty aggressive and I didn’t want to make a mistake so when everything started to clear up I was able to find my rhythm again. I honestly felt so good during the race. Then it was just a question of time and luck. I knew I could arrive on the podium but I didn’t expect to be second. We are in a good position for a championship but I don’t think about that. Tomorrow we have another race.”

Third place went to Beaubier’s Yamaha teammate Josh Hayes, the four-time Superbike Champion also having to fight his way through the pack to score his fourth podium finish of the season at a racetrack where he’s won Superbike races five times in his career. Hayes passed Lewis on the final lap to take the last podium spot.

“The start was a little frantic but okay,” Hayes said. “As things started to spread out I was able to take advantage of Toni, jump in there with him and just try to focus on moving forward. A few people made some mistakes that helped me out a little bit. As the race wore on I was able to make some more passes but I made a mistake and it cost me a little bit of time. It wouldn’t have been so bad but we immediately caught a large group of traffic that hurt me. Towards the end I got a good run off of turn one and was able pass him (Jake Lewis) heading into turn two, so third is what I got today. We learned a few things during the race and hopefully we can improve a little bit tomorrow.”

Lewis had the best race of his season, the Kentuckian holding down second for most of the race before being passed by Elias and Hayes after getting a bad run through lapped traffic. Although he slipped to fourth in the Superbike class, he won the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class for the third time in the 2017 season.

“That was the plan after about halfway through the race (to get on the Superbike podium),” Lewis said. “I got a good start because of my qualifying. I saw Roger (Hayden) and Josh (Herrin) crash at the beginning and I was kind of stuck behind Matthew (Scholtz) and saw Bobby (Fong) getting away so I knew I had to go because for me and Bobby we both have to win for the championship. Once I caught up to him he crashed in the carousel so I just decided to keep pushing. Josh (Hayes) passed me late in the race but at that point I decided to play it safe and win the Superstock race, not pitch it down the road. Hats off to the whole M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team because I pretty much put a bike in the garbage can yesterday in free practice two so thanks to them for putting a good bike underneath me. I just need to keep winning races.”

Fifth-place went to Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship leader Mathew Scholtz, the Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha rider taking second in class to minimize any attacks on his championship points lead. Scholtz now leads the championship by 46 points over Lewis with Bobby Fong, the unluckiest of the championship hopefuls as he crashed out of second place on the Quicksilver Latus Motors Kawasaki.

Sylvain Barrier had his best outing of the season, the Frenchman riding his Brixx Performance BMW to sixth place after narrowly beating TOBC Racing’s Danny Eslick. Eslick, however, was third in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class.

Kyle Wyman rode his Décor Brilliance/Lucas Oils/KWR Yamaha R1 Superbike to eighth with Cycle World Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim and Team WD-40/Scheibe Racing’s Jason DiSalvo rounding out the top 10.

RESULTS

Motul Superbike

  1. Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha

  2. Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki

  3. Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Miss., Yamaha

  4. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky, Suzuki

  5. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha

  6. Sylvain Barrier, Oynnax, France, BMW

  7. Danny Eslic, Tulsa, Ok, Yamaha

  8. Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., Yamaha

  9. Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki

  10. Jason DiSalvo, Tiladega, Al, BMW

Motul Superbike Championship Standings

  1. Toni Elias, Barcelona, Spain, Suzuki – 280

  2. Roger Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 220

  3. Cameron Beaubier, Roseville, Calif., Yamaha – 205

  4. Josh Hayes, Gulfport, Miss., Yamaha – 140

  5. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha – 123

  6. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 106

  7. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky, Suzuki – 106

  8. Josh Herrin, Dublin, Ga., Yamaha – 105

  9. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 91

  10. Kyle Wyman, Macedon, N.Y., Yamaha – 84

Bazzaz Superstock 1000

  1. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky, Suzuki

  2. Mathew Scholtz, Dublin, South Africa, Yamaha

  3. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha

  4. Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki

  5. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha

  6. Tyler O'Hara, Petaluma, Calif., Yamaha

  7. Wyatt Farris, Calistoga, Calif., Kawasaki

  8. Sebastiao Ferreira, Parauna Goias, Brazil, Yamaha

  9. Jeremy Coffey, Vancouver, Wa., Kawasaki

  10. Sam Verderico, Wenatchee, Wa., Yamaha

Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship Standings

  1. Mathew Scholtz, Durban, South Africa, Yamaha - 261

  2. Jake Lewis, Owensboro, Ky., Suzuki – 215

  3. Bobby Fong, Stockton, Calif., Kawasaki – 198

  4. Danny Eslick, Tulsa, Okla., Yamaha – 181

  5. Hayden Gillim, Philpot, Ky., Suzuki – 151

  6. Bryce Prince, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha – 137

  7. Max Flinders, Preston, England, Yamaha – 104

  8. David Anthony, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 47

  9. Tyler O'Hara, Petaluma, Calif., Kawasaki – 45

  10. Anthony Kosinski, Crumstown, Ind., Yamaha - 37

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