Petronas Yamaha has just brought on 25-year old Garrett Gerloff for his official MotoGP debut at Assen this weekend – and the American rider is ready to rip up the asphalt.
According to a report by MCN, Gerloff is set to succeed Franco Morbidelli after an existing knee injury – acquired at Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Training Ranch – caused problems that were further aggravated at the Catalan Grand Prix.
Unfortunately, the aggravated injury will also keep Morbidelli from competing in the Dutch TT.
“I’m excited for the opportunity ahead, I’m not someone who runs away from a challenge, so I’m ready to get to the track,” Gerloff has said in a statement. “It’ll be a new circuit for me, I like trying new tracks, it looks fun, fast and flowing, and really suits my riding style. I’m looking forward to jumping on the Yamaha M1 again and twisting the throttle.”
Gerloff has already tucked three podiums under his proverbial belt from his debut WSB campaign last year – and with his current standing at sixth overall in WSB standings, the young racer is eager to continue in his successes.
“We’ll see how things go, but I feel good and would like to thank Yamaha and the team for considering me. It won’t be easy, but I’m going to give it my best shot!”
Should Rossi decide to retire, there is potential that Gerloff could have a shot at a potential position at the Petronas Yamaha team next season.
Fingers crossed for the weekend, and stay tuned here at MotorbikeWriter for more MotoGP-related updates!
The 2019 MotoAmerica Championship of New Jersey saw Garrett Gerloff and Cameron Beaubier share the EBC Brakes Superbike wins, leaving Beaubier within striking distance of championship leader Elias, who missed the podium across both races. Heading into the final round that places Toni Elias on 333-points to Beaubier’s 317, with third places Garrett Gerloff back on 276.
PJ Jacobsen took both of the weekend’s Supersport wins, relegating championship leader Fong to second place in each race, and narrowing his lead to just 10-points heading into the final.
Rocco Landers meanwhile clinched the Liqui Moly Junior Cup title on Saturday, and followed that up with another win on Sunday, now holding 325-points in the standings, with the closest riders being Kevin Olmedo on 214, and Dallas Daniels on 200.
Alex Dumas took the Twins Cup win in the single race held for the weekend, with Andrew Lee coming out on top for the Stock 1000, winning the 2019 title on Sunday.
Superbike Race 1
Garrett Gerloff continued to hold the hot hand in the MotoAmerica EBC Brakes Superbike Series, the Texan winning race one in the Championship of New Jersey for his fourth win in the last six races.
Gerloff had his hands full for the entire 23 laps of the New Jersey Motorsports Park race with his teammate Cameron Beaubier, the three-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion ending up 1.7 seconds behind at the finish line. JD Beach rebounded from a tough stretch of races to finish third, his first podium since his victory in race two at VIR the first weekend in May.
The Gerloff, Beaubier and Beach podium gave Yamaha a one-two-three for the first time this season. Gerloff and Beaubier used their strong finishes to gain some points on championship leader Toni Elias, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider ending up a distant fourth on the day – some 25 seconds behind Gerloff.
With only race two and the two races at Barber Motorsports Park for the season finale remaining, Beaubier trails Elias by 28 points, 320-292, with Gerloff 44 points in arrears in third. Beach strengthened his hold on fourth in the championship with a 13-point gap over Josh Herrin, who was seventh in race 1 on the second Yoshimura Suzuki.
Although he didn’t win, Beaubier clawed back valuable points on Elias, while Beach was happy with a return to the podium, the two-time Supersport Champion and the Attack team finding a cure for the chatter issue that has slowed him of late.
With Elias a distant fourth, he had some three seconds on Mathew Scholtz, the South African holding off Jake Lewis by just .060 of a second for fifth place. Herrin, in turn, hands his full with SJake Gagne with the Yoshimura Suzuki besting the BMW by 0.169 of a second. Kyle Wyman finished ninth with David Anthony rounding out the top 10.
Superbike Race 2
Cameron Beaubier at least has a chance n the final round at the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Barber Motorsports Park in two weeks after winning the second EBC Brakes Superbike race on Sunday.
Beaubier, who finished second on Saturday and won on Sunday to claw back into championship contention with just the two races at Barber left on the 2019 schedule, trails Toni Elias by 16 points, 333-317. Elias had an off-weekend and finished fourth in both races, giving up 19 points to his rival Beaubier.
On Saturday, Beaubier lost out to his teammate Garrett Gerloff and on Sunday he had his hands full with JD Beach. Gerloff, meanwhile, was declared unfit to race after a big crash in the morning warm-up session that left him concussed.
Beaubier and Beach were joined up front by Mathew Scholtz, but the South African ended up finishing third, some seven seconds behind Beaubier. Beaubier was also able to gap Beach in the closing laps, besting the two-time Supersport Champion by 1.44 seconds after 23 laps for his fourth win of the season and the 36thof his Superbike career.
“At the beginning I was pretty confident going in just because I felt like I had pretty good pace there at the beginning of the race yesterday, and then after latching onto (Garrett) Gerloff he kind of pulled us three away from the field. Then at the end it was us two. I was pretty confident that my bike was going to be better than it was yesterday, but I was struggling pretty bad at the beginning when the tires were new. I feel like we’ve been fast at every round, one of the fastest guys if not the fastest, but we just have not been able to put it together when it counts. So today feels really good. Obviously, I’m bummed for my teammate that he couldn’t line up with us today. I think for sure obviously his pace has been incredible all weekend. He definitely would have been another Yamaha in the mix. I feel really good going into Barber. We’re still in striking distance. We’re closing the points down. Just going to keep my head down and see what happens.”
“Going into the race, I told Cameron what my race plan was so he would know. We got going and it started off great. Then he kind of was screwing the plan up. So, I had to get out front. I led a few laps. The bike was feeling really good today. We were just trying to go. Towards the end Cameron got back by me. I started to lose the front just a little bit, and he picked the pace up just a bit. I just kind of lost touch a little bit. For half the year, how it’s been going, it’s been tough. To get a third and a second in the same weekend is great. I just got to thank my whole Attack Performance Estenson Racing team. We’ve still got one more round to go, so we’ll see what we can do.”
Elias was at the opposite end of the spectrum. He was happy. But only happy to have New Jersey in his rear-view mirror after a difficult weekend.
“It was a tough weekend, maybe the toughest I’ve had in a long time. We tried to improve and change things, but it seemed it was impossible to improve. I went six seconds faster in the race today than yesterday, but still it was not enough to improve my position.I see things in positive way, and we are still leading the championship by 16 points going into the final round. I’d rather be ahead than be behind. We will analyze and if we have to change our setup completely, okay, we will do it. We will go and play as hard as we can at Barber and see what happens.”
Jake Lewis finished fifth, one spot better than on Saturday, and ahead of sixth-placed Kyle Wyman. Josh Herrin was seventh with Jake Gagne ending his weekend with an eighth-place finish. David Anthony and Cameron Petersen rounded out the top 10.
With Beaubier now trailing Elias by 16 points, Gerloff holds on to third though he’s dropped to 41 points behind after missing Sunday’s race. Beach is 20 points adrift of Gerloff in fourth place and 24 points ahead of Herrin, who is now just three points in front of Scholtz.
The 2019 Championship of Sonoma, Round 7 of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, saw Garrett Gerloff take the Saturday race win, with Toni Elias in tow, while Beaubier was a non-finish in a result that looked set to decide the Superbike championship.
Sunday’s Race 2 proved that anything can happen however, with Toni Elias crashing out and Beaubier taking the win, leaving Elias with a strong but not insurmountable lead, while Gerloff and Beaubier are separated by only six-points in the standings.
In the Supersport class Hayden Gillim took out the Race 1 win on Saturday from Bobby Fong and PJ Jacobsen, while Sunday Jacobsen claim the win from Fong and Bryce Prince, with Gillim having to settle for fourth. Andrew Lee claimed victory in the single Stock 1000 race of the weekend.
In the Liqui Moly Junior Cup Rocco Landers continued to build his lead with Kevin Olmedo his closest competitor over the weekend. Alex Dumas meanwhile took a clean win in the Twins Cup class, with a single race run and the rider holding a 12-second lead over second placed Draik Beauchamp.
Superbikes – Saturday
Toni Elias took a giant step towards winning his second MotoAmerica EBC Brakes Superbike title in the Championship of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway, the Spaniard finishing second to Garrett Gerloff while his main championship rival Cameron Beaubier crashed out of the race on lap two.
Elias’ second-place finish combined with Beaubier’s non-finish gives him a 59-point lead in the championship heading into Sunday’s second EBC Brakes Superbike race, 266-207.
While Elias may have gained the most on a sunny Saturday in Northern California’s wine country, the day belonged to Gerloff. Hot off his win in race two at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca a month ago, the Texan bested Elias by 10.3 second to take his second career EBC Brakes Superbike race win.
Gerloff was quick all day, ending up the second fastest qualifier behind his teammate Beaubier, the three-time series champion who had won the last four Superbike races held at Sonoma. Gerloff didn’t waste much time in taking the lead from Elias after Beaubier crashed out of the lead on the second lap – just moments after passing Elias.
In addition to taking his second win, Gerloff also took big gains in the title chase and is now just a single point behind Beaubier in third place with 206 points.
Third place today went to Mathew Scholtz, the South African besting JD Beach. Fifth place went to Jake Gagne in his best finish of the season. Max Flinders had his best career Superbike finish in sixth. Sam Verderico finished seventh in the race that featured an exorbitant amount of non-finishers. The non-finishers included Beaubier, Josh Herrin, Kyle Wyman, David Anthony, Jake Lewis and Cameron Petersen.
EBC Brakes Superbike Result – Saturday
Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
Toni Elias (Suzuki) +10.369
Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) +21.193
JD Beach (Yamaha) +27.084
Jake Gagne (BMW) +50.380
Superbike – Sunday
Sunday’s race in the Cycle Gear Championship of Sonoma was further proof that it truly ain’t over till it’s over. With most series observers, including Cameron Beaubier, thinking the 2019 MotoAmerica EBC Brake Superbike Championship was a foregone conclusion after Beaubier crashed out of Saturday’s race and championship leader Toni Elias won, suddenly it wasn’t.
Elias crashed out of Sunday’s race early and Beaubier rode to victory, his fifth in the last six Superbike races at Sonoma Raceway, and his third of the season. And just like that, the championship is back on with Elias leading Beaubier and his YZF-R1 by 34 points with three rounds and six races left in the title chase.
With fast-starter Beaubier leading, Elias crashed out of second place on the third lap. From there it was yesterday’s race winner Garrett Gerloff giving chase to Beaubier, the Texan putting up an admirable fight until losing front tire grip that forced him to slow his pace. That allowed Beaubier to cruise to a 5.281-second win, pocketing the 25 championship points that come with it.
“It just feels really good to get a win today after crashing three laps in yesterday, especially just after kind of being in a rut lately. I saw plus 3.5 on my board and I was like, ‘Let’s just take this home.’ It feels really good. Obviously, it’s unfortunate I crashed yesterday. I thought it was pretty much all over points-wise going into today. I think it was good for me,though, because I just went out with the intention to win. Don’t go ride careful or nothing like that. Just put your head down and go race. Go race to win. I felt like I rode loose. I felt like I rode good. We’re back in it.”
Gerloff had a solid weekend at Sonoma and leaves Northern California with a win and a second place.
“My team gave me an awesome bike today, I really felt good on it. Wasn’t too different from yesterday. Yesterday I ran the softest front compound there was, and it ended up shredding on me at the end of the race. I tried the little bit harder compound this morning and just hated it. I didn’t like it. I was hoping that with the higher temperature today and stuff that the soft would maybe go a little bit longer, and I think it did but just not the whole race. It sucks. I wish I could have adapted a little bit better to the green tire this morning, but we just didn’t want to take the chance. I felt good at the beginning of the race. Ran off in the chicane on the fifth lap or sixth lap, which helped him (Beaubier) get out a little bit farther in front. Just did everything I could to try to kind of reel him back in. Felt like I was, to a certain extent, but then with like nine laps to go, my front was just so gone that I had trouble just turning the bike into the chicane and the last corner. Just really heavy braking front load corners. That was it. Kind of sucks, but we learned a lot this weekend. It was still a good weekend. First and second is not too bad. It’s cool that we’re right there in the championship, more or less. It feels good. Just try to keep taking steps forward. I’m really excited for Pittsburgh. It’s a track I really like. See how it goes there.”
Third place on Sunday went to Josh Herrin, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider making up for yesterday’s first-lap crash.
“It feels good, it sucks coming in being on a factory team and seeing these guys that are expecting a win and not doing good. Not to say that third is great, but I think all of us could say at the team that it feels pretty good today. This weekend hasn’t been good at all. A lot of people have been struggling, besides these two. Like I said, it feels really good. I’m happy to be up here. Hopefully Pittsburgh treats me a little bit better and we can be fighting up there with these guys at least. That would feel really good if we could at least see them at the end of the race. Thanks to the entire team for putting in all the work. I know it sucks being out in the heat and then having to repair a bike all night, so thank you to Jimmy, Frenchie, Ollie, Davey, all the guys, Scott, for putting in the work. Congrats to these guys. I look forward to going to Pittsburgh.”
As much as he gained in Saturday’s race, Elias lost in Sunday’s.
“We made a little change to the front fork, I was feeling comfortable because I went with the medium tire and I was expecting a great race from mid-race to the end. I was in a good rhythm behind Cameron (Beaubier). I didn’t feel like I was pushing. I didn’t feel like I made a mistake or braked too late, but maybe with the change I did in the front, it was too hard and I just lost the front in one of the bumps. I’m sorry for the team, but I want to look in a positive way. We still have a 34-point lead. It’s not 59 like it was yesterday, but it’s still 34. We still have six races and we’ll see what happens.”
Fourth place went to Mathew Scholtz, the South African finishing third on Saturday. Scholtz battled with Herrin for most of the race and also had JD Beach nipping at his heels for the duration. Beach ended up just over a second behind in fifth place, a day after the Kentuckian finished fourth.
Jake Gagne was sixth, some four seconds ahead of Cameron Petersen. David Anthony rebounded from a crash in yesterday’s race to finish eighth. Jeremy Coffey and Sam Verderico rounded out the top 10.
With the series heading to Pittsburgh International Race Complex in two weeks, Elias leads the title chase, 266-232, over Beaubier with Gerloff third on 226. Beach is fourth with 159 points, 11 better than Herrin.
EBC Brakes Superbike
Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) +5.281
Josh Herrin (Suzuki) +21.832
Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) +26.470
JD Beach (Yamaha) +27.796
EBC Brakes Superbike Standings
Toni Elias 266
Cameron Beaubier 232
Garrett Gerloff 226
JD Beach 159
Josh Herrin 148
Mathew Scholtz 139
Jake Lewis 121
Cameron Petersen 90
David Anthony 84
Jake Gagne 83
Max Flinders 65
Supersport – Saturday
After the Supersport race was red-flagged because of a crash on the first lap, it was re-started, and Hayden Gillim went to the front and hung on to a narrow lead to capture his fifth win of the season.
Second-place finisher and current championship leader Bobby Fong closed the gap to Gillim as the laps wound down and brought his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki home in second. As a result, Gillim closed the points gap to just 13 behind Fong. Third place went to PJ Jacobsen.
Supersport Race Result – Saturday
Hayden Gillim (Yamaha)
Bobby Fong (Suzuki) +0.102
PJ Jacobsen (Yamaha) +3.089
Bryce Prince (Yamaha) +7.213
Joshua Hayes (Yamaha) +10.692
Supersport – Sunday
In Sunday’s Supersport race, PJ Jacobsen notched his second win of the season after passing Bobby Fong late in the race. Fong, who is leading the championship, tried a couple of times to get back around Jacobsen, but he used discretion to maintain his second-place position rather than put valuable points in jeopardy. Bryce Prince put his Yamaha on the podium in third.
“Right from the beginning with the bike I felt really good. It was weird. In the beginning, everyone was running low 40s, high 39s. The pace was really slow. When that was happening, I felt really good. So, I just wanted to move to the front. I haven’t been there so much, but I just decided I wanted to go to the front and just try to lead this thing until the end, and I just pushed as hard as I could. The team, Celtic HSBK Racing, gave me a great bike today. We made some changes overnight, really just with some gearing and a little bit of the suspension. It was working really good. I’m pretty pumped. Also, Jake Zemke helped me with some line choices. I was struggling in the esses with these guys yesterday. So, I think I got everything pretty right today.”
PJ Jacobsen (Yamaha)
Bobby Fong (Suzuki) +8.196
Bryce Prince (Yamaha) +10.988
Hayden Gillim (Yamaha) +11.737
Joshua Hayes (Yamaha) +15.613
Bobby Fong 200
Hayden Gillim 180
P.J. Jacobsen 164
Richie Escalante 136
Sean Dylan Kelly 125
Bryce Prince 117
Joshua Hayes 105
Jason Aguilar 84
Nick McFadden 83
Lucas Silva 58
Liqui Moly Junior Cup – Saturday
In Liqui Moly Junior Cup race one, Rocco Landers won his eighth race out of 10 so far this season, and though he notched the victory in dominant fashion, it was not without drama.
The Californian had a couple of “moments” during the nine-lap event where he and his Kawasaki were not in sync, but the talented 14-year-old maintained his composure to take the checkers by a little over one and a half seconds over second-place finisher Kevin Olmedo. Third place went to Marc Edwards, the local rider also aboard a Kawasaki.
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 1
Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
Kevin Olmedo (Kawasaki) +1.513
Marc Edwards (Kawasaki) +1.584
Josh Serne (Kawasaki) +1.659
Brenden Ketelsen (Kawasaki) +7.089
Liqui Moly Junior Cup – Sunday
Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race-two podium was a carbon copy of Saturday’s result. Rocco Landers tallied his ninth win out of 11 races so far this season, but the 12-lap event was a battle between him and Kevin Olmedo, who led the majority of the laps.
Landers seemed to be biding his time, and on the final lap, he pounced and passed Olmedo for the lead, and ultimately, the win. Local rider Marc Edwards matched his third-place finish on Saturday with another third place on Sunday aboard his Kawasaki.
“I didn’t have an exact plan as to what corner I’d pass him in, but the couple laps to the end, I just started trying to see what was going on, just tried to step back and think about it, I really wanted to see what I could do. On the last lap there, I was just following him a little bit. Coming up towards the end, I was like, ‘I got a good run. Just see what happens here.’ I came up on him and got by him. It was a very fun race. He was going so fast, and so was everyone.”
Liqui Moly Junior Cup
Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
Kevin Olmedo (Kawasaki) +0.219
Marc Edwards (Kawasaki) +19.408
Brenden Ketelsen (Kawasaki) +20.161
Josh Serne (Kawasaki) +30.698
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Standings
Rocco Landers 250
Dallas Daniels 174
Kevin Olmedo 153
Gauge Rees 98
Dominic Doyle 81
Jackson Blackmon 79
Damian Jigalov 72
Marc Edwards 63
Samuel Lochoff 62
Brenden Ketelsen 57
Stock 1000 – Sunday
The weekend’s Stock 1000 race saw local rider, defending class champion, and current points leader Andrew Lee get his fourth victory of the season with a dominant performance that saw him start from the pole, get the holeshot into turn one, and lead every one of the 14 laps to the checkers aboard his Kawasaki.
Michael Gilbert also rode his Kawasaki to second place after getting by Geoff May with just two laps to go in the race. May finished third to round out the podium.
“The Franklin Armory/Graves Kawasaki crew has been working really hard lately, getting a bike underneath me that I can go out there and ride to my full potential today. The bike was just feeling really great. I got a good start, and I knew these guys were going to be breathing down my neck. After qualifying, I felt like I had some pretty good pace underneath me. I was looking at the pit board and I was like, ‘Man.’ The grip wasn’t great for me. I was just clicking my markers and getting lap in, lap out, just trying to stay consistent. I’m just happy to come away with three wins in a row. So, hopefully, moving forward we can keep it going.”
Stock 1000 Race Results
Andrew Lee (Kawasaki)
Michael Gilbert (Kawasaki) +7.608
Geoff May (Kawasaki) +11.472
Stefano Mesa (Kawasaki) +17.123
Travis Wyman (BMW) +23.288
Stock 1000 Standings
Twins Cup – Sunday
The Twins Cup race saw a big shakeup in the championship after points leader Michael Barnes’ Ducati had a technical issue, which took him out of the race lead, out of the race, and unfortunately, out of the championship lead.
Alex Dumas then took over the lead, put his head down, and stretched out a gap of more than 12-seconds by the time he took the checkers. Second place went to Draik Beauchamp, while Joseph Blasius finished a close third.
The race result vaulted Beauchamp into the championship lead with 108 points, Dumas is in second with 107-points, and Barnes was shuffled down to third in the standings. But, he has 106-points, so only three points separate the top three title contenders.
“Michael (Barnes) passed me on the first lap coming into the last corner, he was going pretty fast. I followed him for two or three laps until he had a problem. I didn’t know if I could win. I was catching him at some places on the track where I was faster, and he was pulling a gap on me at other places. It was really hard to just keep up with him and stay behind him really close to make a pass. It was pretty much a lonely race at the end. I just took it home, and I’m really happy.”
Toni Elias claimed the Saturday Superbike win at Laguna Seca, with Garrett Gerloff and Cameron Beaubier completing the podium, to kick off the weekend. Sunday would see Gerloff claim the Race 2 win, with a 4.449-second lead over championship leader Elias, with third places Beaubier now has a 39-point deficit to contend with.
Supersport saw a single race for the weekend, run on Sunday, where Bobby Fong took the win from PJ Jacobsen and Richie Escalante, with a crash by standings leader Gillim catapaulting Fong to an 18-point lead.
Andrew Lee claimed the Stock 1000 race win, while Kaleb DeKeyrel came out on top in the Twins Cup. Rocco Landers continued his domination of the Liqui Moly Junior Cup class, with another win.
Toni Elias may not have led any of the practice or qualifying sessions at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, but he led the only thing that paid points on Saturday as the Spaniard raced to his sixth EBC Brakes Superbike win of the season in the Championship of Monterey.
Elias won a battle between himself and the Yamaha Factory Racing duo of Garrett Gerloff and Cameron Beaubier, the Texan getting the better of his three-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion teammate Beaubier to finish second, and .778 of a second behind Elias.
With Elias winning and Beaubier finishing third, the points gap has grown to 35 points, 226-191, heading into Sunday’s second of two EBC Brakes Superbike races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“I’m happy. My team did an amazing job. My family is here. My son is here. It’s his first race ever for him. Thirty-five points now in the lead of the championship, but as you all know, you can’t get too comfortable. Mistakes can happen. You’ve got to stay calm. There’s still many, many races to go. Today has been a really good race but doesn’t mean anything tomorrow. These guys will improve some details. The championship is so long, and many things will happen. My championship lead had some advantage riding in one race in MotoAmerica, and then in the corner of the race I crashed. So, I lost almost everything. But we are increasing it again, so that’s good. Let’s keep doing every race like this, keep going, working like this. We are doing a great job.”
Gerloff finished on the podium for the eighth time this season and for the seventh race in a row. It was also his third runner-up finish of the year as he searches for his first career Superbike win. Beaubier was visibly disappointed with third place and his ninth podium finish of the season.
Herrin crashed after making contact with Beaubier, the Georgian battling for the lead at the time. Fourth place went to JD Beach, the Kentucky resident in the mix at the front until the closing laps. He finished 7.8 seconds behind Elias but was well clear of Jake Lewis, the Kentuckian racing to fifth all alone.
David Anthony was sixth, narrowly topping Cameron Petersen. Sam Verderico, Jeremy Coffey and Max Flinders rounded out the top 10 finishers. In addition to Herrin, Mathew Scholtz, Jayson Uribe and Kyle Wyman all crashed out of the race. Uribe and Wyman went down together in turn two on the opening lap with Wyman suffering a suspected broken wrist.
Superbikes Race 2
Garrett Gerloff fulfilled a life-long dream in the Championship of Monterey on Sunday, the 23-year-old Texan winning the first MotoAmerica Superbike race of his career in front of a record crowd at Laguna Seca.
In what was his 32nd career Superbike race in his sophomore season in the class, Gerloff was dominant. The two-time Supersport Champion was second off the start behind Toni Elias, made the pass early, and was never headed, pulling away to a 4.449 second win.
With Gerloff, who earned his second career Superbike pole position on Saturday, riding off into the sunset, the battle for second was just that. A battle. The protagonists were Toni Elias and Cameron Beaubier, and the pair exchanged body blows to the bitter end with Elias coming out on top by just .326 of a second after 23 laps of the 2.2-mile track.
“It feels so good, I was telling the TV earlier, I know it’s just a race win and these guys get wins all the time and I used to, but I haven’t for a while. There’s been a lot of emotions the past year and a half, getting used to the Superbike and everything. These guys haul ass everywhere. It’s tough, stiff competition out there. It’s been a long road. There’s been a lot of ups and downs. To finally get it and to do it here even more in front of the World Superbike guys and everything, it’s just something that I’ve wanted for so long, something that’s been on my bucket list forever. When I started racing, I was watching the MotoAmerica guys, AMA guys back in the day. That was one of the things that I wanted to accomplish in my life. To finally say that I got just one win, it just feels awesome. I’m ecstatic, for sure.”
The second-place finish for Elias may not have been a win on the day, but it was as far as the championship goes as he now leads Beaubier by 39 points, 246-207. Gerloff, meanwhile, is third in the series standings with 181 points after his first career Superbike victory. Beaubier was third for the second day in a row after controlling most of practice and qualifying.
Fourth place went Elias’ Suzuki teammate Josh Herrin, the Georgian in the mix for second place early in the race before fading back to the clutches of JD Beach, the Kentuckian beaten up from a morning crash in the first of two World Superbike races on Sunday. Herrin was able to beat Beach to the line by some two seconds.
Mathew Scholtz rebounded from a race crash yesterday to finish sixth today, the South African holding off Jake Gagne at the finish. Jake Lewis was eighth with Cameron Petersen and Jayson Uribe rounding out the top 10 finishers.
Toni Elias claimed the round win at the MotoAmerica Championship of Utah, with Cameron Beaubier having to settle for second in Race 2 after a red flag saw the race restarted as a sprint. In Supersport Hayden Gillim and Bobby Fong shared the wins, with each taking to the top spot on the podium as well as claiming a runner up position.
Rocco Landers took the Race 1 win in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup, but in Race 2 it was Dallas Daniels on the top step, with his first win of the season. In the Stock 1000 class it was defending champ Andrew Lee who took the win, while in the Twins Cup – which also only ran a single race on Sunday – Alex Dumas, who recently moved up from the Junior Cup, took the win.
EBC Brakes Superbike Race 1 (Saturday)
Toni Elias lost a boatload of points when he crashed out of race two at Road America two weeks ago, but he almost made all of those back with a thrilling victory in Race 1 of the Championship of Utah at the Utah Motorsports Campus.
In a race that featured as many as eight riders in the lead pack for nearly the duration, Elias emerged from the pack to win by 1.9 seconds after dropping as far back as seventh early in the race. But his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 got better as the race wore on and he was where he needed to be when it counted, earning the 29th victory of his MotoAmerica Superbike career – a mark that moves him to fifth on the all-time win list.
Once he worked his way to the front, he was able to pull a slight gap over the rest fighting behind him. In the end, the battle for the final podium positions went to Mathew Scholtz and Garrett Gerloff.
Scholtz’s race was a lot like Elias’ in that he also was back in the pack early in the race but was able to move his way forward. Both Scholtz and Elias were also helped a bit by Gerloff’s pass on JD Beach, with Gerloff forcing Beach and himself wide which allowed Elias and Scholtz to pass. Scholtz also had a come-together with Josh Herrin on his way through the pack.
Gerloff was having issues with his bike midrace and it cost him. Still, he ended up on the podium after passing his teammate Cameron Beaubier late in the race. Defending three-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion and pole-sitter Beaubier ended up fourth after leading the early laps.
Elias now leads the title chase by 21 points over Beaubier, 176-155. He came into the weekend just nine points ahead of Beaubier after his Road America race-two debacle.
EBC Brakes Superbike Race 1
Toni Elias (Suzuki) 35:10.727
Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) +1.969
Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) +2.463
Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) +5.473
Jake Lewis (Suzuki) +22.984
EBC Brakes Superbike Race 2 (Sunday)
Toni Elias knew he was beaten by Cameron Beaubier in the first half of the EBC Brakes Superbike race and he was just about to do the unheard of – settle for second place. But things changed when the red flag came out on the 13th lap, giving new life to the Spaniard who took full advantage to hold off Beaubier in a thrilling 10-lap sprint race to the finish.
The win gave Elias a clean sweep of the two EBC Brakes Superbike races at UMC, the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion extending his championship points lead to 26 points on Beaubier, 201-175.
Elias ended up just .303 of a second ahead of Beaubier at the finish with Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff just as close in third – .502 of a second behind Elias after those three scrapped for the entire 10-lap restart.
“Of course, it’s been a big help,” Elias said of the restart. “I don’t want to see that, but unfortunately it happened. When we saw the red flag, I start to be more comfortable like yesterday. Same thing I had to wait 12, 13 laps, 14 laps to start to be there. When I enter in my feeling, in my place, we could start to produce something every lap. I didn’t know if I was able to catch him or not because he was so strong. He did an amazing job from yesterday. The flag helped us. Then we played our cards. Luck fell on my side with increasing the gap in the championship. But it is long. Anything can happen. Thanks to my team.”
“I felt great as soon as the lights went out, I just put my head down and pushed there at the beginning. I had a two and a half second gap and I was pretty comfortable at that pace. I was really comfortable. My R1 was just hooking up everywhere. So that was pretty frustrating to see the red flag come out. I knew it was just going to be a dog fight until the end with these two guys, and I knew (Josh) Herrin was back there too. Like I said, it’s frustrating coming in second, but that was an amazing battle. Obviously, I wanted to win, but that was one I’ll definitely look back on. I’m just happy that we were in contention today and we had good pace. I think we had a little pace on everyone. Today we were going in the right direction, and onto Laguna.”
Herrin held on to finish fourth, dropping over nine seconds off the pace after an off-track excursion. He finished a second clear of JD Beach, who in turn was just a tick in front of his Kentucky neighbor Jake Lewis.
EBC Brakes Superbike Race 2
Toni Elias (Suzuki) 15:12.714
Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) +0.303
Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) +0.502
Josh Herrin (Suzuki) +9.582
JD Beach (Yamaha) +10.515
EBC Brakes Superbike Standings
Toni Elias 201
Cameron Beaubier 175
Garrett Gerloff 136
Josh Herrin 119
JD Beach 111
Mathew Scholtz 100
Jake Lewis 97
David Anthony 66
Cameron Petersen 65
Kyle Wyman 55
Supersport Race 1 (Saturday)
Hayden Gillim came away with his fourth Supersport win of the year in Race 1 at the Utah Motorsports Campus on Saturday, the Kentuckian coming out on top of a race-long battle with his championship rival Bobby Fong.
Fong, on the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki, gave Gillim all he could for the 14 laps of the 2.2-mile East Course but came up .101 of a second short. Gillim now leads Fong by 12 points in the championship point standings, 122-110.
Third place went to the man who sits in third in the championship – Richie Escalante. Like Gillim, Escalante also had his hands full with an M4 ECSTAR Suzuki – with this one ridden by rookie Sean Dylan Kelly. Escalante beat the 17-year-old Kelly to the line by 0.628 of a second.
Supersport Race 1
Hayden Gillim (Yamaha) 21:46.777
Bobby Fong (Suzuki) +0.101
Richie Escalante (Yamaha) +10.925
Sean Dylan Kelly (Suzuki) +11.553
PJ Jacobsen (Yamaha) +19.967
Supersport – Race 2 Sunday
Sunday’s race was a story of the hunter and the hunted. Bobby Fong got the jump on polesitter Hayden Gillim in the beginning of the 19-lap race, but Gillim managed to get past Fong in fairly short fashion. Fong stalked Gillim until the final turn on the final lap and drafted past him to snatch the victory by .003 of second.
It was Fong’s third Supersport race win of the season. PJ Jacobsen finished third when Fong’s teammate Sean Dylan Kelly, who looked to have the final spot on the podium clinched, experienced a mechanical issue on the final lap.
“I knew for sure I did not want to lead. I knew he hasn’t seen my cards yet. I did not want to lead. I knew where he was a lot faster than me and I knew where I was strong. I knew for sure that I was going to show him a wheel and stuff, but I definitely didn’t want to lead. I could tell that his pace was dropping at the end of the race. We definitely had a little bit more pace, but I just wanted to stick to the game plan. I knew as soon as I passed him, he’s such a demon on the brakes. We have been figuring stuff out on the Suzuki to brake a little bit deeper out there. I knew for sure if I would have passed him, he would have countered and taken me on the inside on the hard brakes. The plan, it did definitely change but I was sizing it up at least going out of the corner onto the start/finish line. That’s kind of all she wrote. But I’m definitely thankful to put the Suzuki on top of the box. I didn’t know how the last lap was going to go. I kind of just winged it on the last lap. If there was nobody, I was going to take it. I knew for sure that if I could get a good drive, I could get him closer to the start/finish line. Thank God it paid off, but it’s going to be a long season.”
Supersport Race 2
Bobby Fong (Suzuki) 29:32.860
Hayden Gillim (Yamaha) +0.003
PJ Jacobsen (Yamaha) +10.264
Bryce Prince (Yamaha) +10.809
Sean Dylan Kelly (Suzuki) +12.319
Hayden Gillim 142
Bobby Fong 135
Richie Escalante 107
P.J. Jacobsen 103
Sean Dylan Kelly 102
Bryce Prince 78
Joshua Hayes 72
Nick McFadden 59
Jason Aguilar 56
Braeden Ortt 47
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 1 (Saturday)
Rocco Landers won his sixth race in seven starts in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup race on Saturday at UMC, the Oregonian fighting through from a poor start to beat Dallas Daniels by just .142 of a second.
For Daniels it was sixth podium of the year and his fifth runner-up finish to his rival Landers. The pair are now separated by 26 points, 155-129.
Kevin Olmedo earned his fourth podium of the season and his third in a row with a close third-place finish over Isaiah Burleson, his best-ever MotoAmerica finish.
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 1
Rocco Landers (Kawasaki) 13:46.193
Dallas Daniels (Kawasaki) +0.142
Kevin Olmedo (Kawasaki) +8.382
Isaiah Burleson (Kawasaki) +8.455
Gauge Rees (Kawasaki) +17.022
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 2 (Sunday)
Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race featured the same riders at the front who have been consistent protagonists throughout the season, but Dallas Daniels, who started from the pole, successfully held off Rocco Landers and notched his first win of the season.
Landers, who was Saturday’s winner and the victor in six of the seven races prior to Sunday, finished second after nearly beating Daniels to the finish line. Meanwhile, Kevin Olmedo matched his Saturday third-place finish with another third-place finish on Sunday.
“The last section was definitely, I think, where I was the best. I was just kind of watching all race because I knew right from really the first sector, I was really losing time. He would get away from me just enough to where once we’d get to where I was good, I was just too far back to make something happen. So, I kind of dialed in where I was slow. Once I got in the lead, I didn’t really care what was going on. I just wanted to stay up there. I led the last four laps and when we got to the last lap, I knew he was right there because on the Jumbotron you could see him going into the left before the last two corners. So, I just tried to cut the best last two corners of the whole race. I was actually having some tire issues, kind of slipping a little bit. I was able to get the win and ‘finally’ is pretty much the way to put it. It feels really good.”
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 2
Dallas Daniels (Kawasaki) 16:57.419
Rocco Landers (Kawasaki) +0.044
Kevin Olmedo (Kawasaki) +9.674
Marc Edwards (Kawasaki) +17.495
Benjamin Goody (Kawasaki) +17.787
Liqui Moly Junior Cup Standings
Rocco Landers 175
Dallas Daniels 154
Kevin Olmedo 97
Gauge Rees 72
Dominic Doyle 71
Damian Jigalov 63
Samuel Lochoff 62
Jackson Blackmon 54
Isaiah Burleson 51
Toby Khamsouk 39
Stock 1000 Race 1 (Sunday)
Defending Stock 1000 Champion Andrew Lee showed why he has the big number one as he bided his time after the start of Sunday’s race, passed polesitter Geoff May aboard his Ameris Bank Kawasaki and pulled a healthy gap at the front, which he was able to maintain all the way to the finish line.
May finished second and Stefano Mesa was third. The win vaulted Lee into the points lead, and Mesa is now two points adrift in second place.
“I kind of knew where (May) was a little bit stronger. He had my number on the last part of the track, so I knew if I was going to make a move that would stick, I had to do it in the first four corners. That first section, it’s a pretty hairy section. It’s pretty quick. After some qualifying issues I’m just happy that my team got us back together. The Franklin Armory/Graves Kawasaki was really handling really well in the race. So, I’m just happy to be back in that first spot. Hopefully, we can continue the momentum.”
Stock 1000 Race 1
Andrew Lee (Kawasaki) 21:50.278
Geoff May (Kawasaki) +2.958
Stefano Mesa (Kawasaki) +6.922
Travis Wyman (BMW) +12.021
Michael Gilbert (Kawasaki) +16.369
Stock 1000 Standings
Twins Cup Race 1 (Sunday)
The MotoAmerica Championship of Utah proved to be a pivotal round for Alex Dumas, who moved up to the Twins Cup class after winning the 2018 Liqui Moly Junior Cup Championship.
The Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki rider not only earned both the provisional and final pole position, but he made the most of his number-one starting position, got a great start of the line, and pulled a gap, which he stretched out to more than 14 seconds by the time he crossed the finish line.
Michael Barnes finished second, which enabled him to take over the lead in the championship, and Cooper McDonald notched a breakthrough third-place finish aboard his Team AP MotoArts Yamaha in only his fourth professional motorcycle road race.
“The M4 guys put me on a nice bike. We’ve been improving the bike a lot since the last couple of weekends. I had a lot of fun at this race to just be in front. I’m excited for the next race and the rest of the season. I really want to thank everybody from M4 and Roadracing World. I’m really excited.”
You couldn’t have written a better script for Suzuki in the combined MotoGP/MotoAmerica weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. At the biggest motorcycle racing event in America, the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing team came away both MotoAmerica Superbike race wins and Superpole.
Icing on the cake came in the form of Team SUZUKI ECSTAR also winning the MotoGP race, with Alex Rins and his GSX-RR giving Suzuki a clean sweep of all races it participated in this weekend.
Toni Elias got the Texas party started by winning MotoAmerica Superpole aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. He then followed up with a thrilling victory in Superbike Race One on Saturday, with a last-lap, last-turn pass on rival Cameron Beaubier, bringing the crowd to their feet.
Then in Sunday’s Superbike Race Two, it was Yoshimura Suzuki finishing 1-2, with newest team member Josh Herrin breaking through to score his first win of the season. Elias was second.
MotoAmerica COTA Race 1
Elias won a scintillating battle with Cameron Beaubier to win his sixth out of seven starts in Texas. After 15 laps of the 3.426-mile Circuit of The Americas, Elias beat Beaubier by just .089 of a second after a battle that went to the final two corners. And Beaubier’s teammate, Garrett Gerloff, was just .248 of a second behind in third place – despite starting the race from the back of the grid.
Josh Herrin, who led at times early in the race, ended up fourth, 1.9 seconds behind his teammate Elias. JD Beach rode to fifth, some four seconds clear of fellow Kentuckian Jake Lewis.
Mathew Scholtz ran off the track once, crashed and remounted to finish seventh, barely besting David Anthony and Cameron Petersen with the trio separated by just .454 of a second. Kyle Wyman rounded out the top 10 finishers.
EBC Brakes Superbike Race 1
Toni Elias (Suzuki)
Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) +0.089
Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) +0.248
Josh Herrin (Suzuki) +1.913
JD Beach (Yamaha) +15.560
Jake Lewis (Suzuki) +19.165
Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) +35.247
David Anthony (Kawasaki) +35.344
Cameron Petersen (Yamaha) +35.798
Kyle Wyman (Ducati) +48.056
MotoAmerica COTA Race 2
Yoshimura Suzuki won its second straight race at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, but it wasn’t the one ridden by yesterday’s winner Toni Elias. This time it was Josh Herrin on the top step of the podium after winning the seventh AMA Superbike race of his career in the MotoAmerica Championship of Texas.
Herrin battled for 13 of the 15 laps with his teammate Elias, with Cameron Beaubier always within striking distance. In the final two laps, Herrin was able to put his head down and he crossed the line .958 of a second ahead of Elias with Beaubier 1.6 seconds behind in third.
Fourth place went to Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff, the Texan coming on strong at the end of the race to finish 3.2 seconds behind Herrin. Gerloff, in turn, was well clear of fifth-placed Jake Lewis.
Cameron Petersen finished sixth, some three seconds ahead of Kyle Wyman. David Anthony, Travis Wyman and Max Flinders rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Elias now has a 13-point lead over Beaubier, 90-77, with Herrin moving past Scholtz and into third with 49 points to Scholtz’s 45. Beach and Lewis are tied for fifth with 40 points each.
“Just mentally, I feel like I was a lot more prepared today. We spent a lot of time at the track last night. We ran a different tire today, but it’s two totally different weather conditions today, so I don’t think that really had much to do with it for us. Just made the right choice, I guess. It’s just been, like Toni said, every day I think I get more comfortable on the bike. Each time I can race it and actually put in those hard laps I learn a lot. We have a lot of data to look at and I can learn what I’m doing wrong, what I’m improving on. Like I said on the podium, it’s been such a crazy off-season. I had super highs coming into it and then, once the season started, I was bumming pretty hard because I just wasn’t riding like myself. I think I was just getting so excited at the beginning of the races that I was kind of blowing it for myself, riding like a rookie a little bit. I just had to kind of reset my brain and just relax a little bit. It feels so good to be able to get a win for Suzuki. Two wins this weekend. They won a MotoGP race, so it’s a big day for them. Thank you to everybody at Suzuki and Yoshimura for believing in me.”
“I just was trying to do my race, my pace. There is still something I am missing, because it’s me. Riders we have to choose the tires, the things. Mistake a little bit before the race. I choose the same tire as yesterday, when yesterday I wasn’t happy. I choose it again because I was thinking today with more temperature was better but is the same tire. Last year in Barber I had some bad feeling, too. So, I think today it’s been a good advice to cancel the tire for the future. I’m not going to use it anymore, for sure. But anyway, I was there. I was doing my pace. The team is working so good. We don’t change anything on the bike, just the track condition was much better than yesterday. But I didn’t expect at the end to have this little issue with the shifter. After that, I lost everything, and I couldn’t fight. It’s okay. These things happen in race. A little bit pissed off because I could fight a little bit more. Maybe we could have a big battle with Josh. But anyway, I’m happy for him. 1-2 for Suzuki is so, so good. He deserves this more than anyone. So, very happy for him, for the team, too. After all, I’m happy to take this second place. Let’s continue like this. This is going to be long. Let’s see.”
“I gave 110 percent that race just to hang onto those guys. They were riding so good. The pace was a second and a half faster than it was yesterday. I don’t know where the hell they found that. I was just hanging on for dear life. All in all, I’m really happy that I was even able to keep pace with the Yosh boys this weekend. This is always a pretty tough track for us. It just gives me confidence going into the rest of the year. Hats off to both these guys. I’m excited for a really tough year and battling it up with these guys.”
EBC Brakes Superbike Race 2
Josh Herrin (Suzuki)
Toni Elias (Suzuki)
Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
Kyle Wyman (Ducati)
David Anthony (Kawasaki)
Travis Wyman (BMW)
Max Flinders (Yamaha)
EBC Superbike Championship Standings
Toni Elias 90
Cameron Beaubier 77
Josh Herrin 49
Mathew Scholtz 45
JD Beach 40
Jake Lewis 40
Garrett Gerloff 36
David Anthony 36
Cameron Petersen 30
Kyle Wyman 25
Riders head back east to Virginia International Raceway for round three of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in Alton, Virginia, on May 4-5th.