Post Road America: What The Teams Have To Say

Jake Gagne had a solid weekend at Road America.

The following is from Scheibe Racing BMW…

For team founder Steve Scheibe, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin has been familiar ground for several decades. It’s the home course. The baseline. He’s raced here himself, and has worked on product development for multiple major manufacturers more years than many riders in the paddock have had birthdays. He’s been on hot pit numerous times with management, some legendary names, looking on in his relentless pursuit for improvement and proving the value of using racing as a means to perfect and promote a product. Everyone knows races aren’t won with raw speed, or lowest single segment times, or even a best lap, but this weekend was a small victory for Steve. While other bikes have gone faster on other days, on this particular day – a cool, sunny Sunday in June – his bike went the fastest.

The weekend started with MotoAmerica EBC Brakes Superbike Championship Series Qualifying Practice 1&2 on Friday, after making adjustments to engine settings and chassis on the team’s Hayes Brakes equipped BMW S1000 RR, further adjustments were made to the suspension and brakes as rider Jake Gagne has gotten more familiar with the machine as he continues to get more seat time. “I was really excited to come back to Road America. I love this place and I knew the bike would like it. The first and second practice as far as speed goes didn’t go how we wanted so we didn’t make it into Superpole but I didn’t really stress out about it. We had new parts to check and things to work that actually went really well so we’re happy with that, and focused on what we needed to make improvements.”

Saturday proved once again that the only predictable thing about midwestern weather is that it’s always unpredictable. Morning warm up was rainy and grey, and when it looked like things were clearing after the session, a short blast of hail went through before things started to dry. By race time in the afternoon the radar wasn’t looking cooperative again, and the start of the race was delayed when parts of the over four mile long course situated on 640 acres of rolling green landscape saw more rain. Things finally got underway and Jake brought the bike across the finish line in eighth place, just behind VIR winner JD Beach.

Gagne noted, “We made progress from yesterday especially with the chassis adjustments which is great, I’m happy about that and I know we all really want to be in that fight and we’re getting closer and closer. After today we have a good idea of what to focus on and the main points to help us get to that next level and get to the guys in front of us. Hats of to the team, they’ve been working really hard, and I want to do them proud and get some good results for them. We have a good idea of the direction we want to go so we’ll get back to work tonight and do some talking.”

Scheibe was also content with the result. “I was happy that we finally got enough time with Jake on the bike today to make changes and he can see specific things that need work. We’re past the introduction where we’re moving footpegs and getting to know different people, making all the little adjustments for body position. He’s never ridden a BMW before or used this brake he’s never heard of and we’re finally through that. He was very clear today on what was working and what needed work. We’re just a little something away from running with the lead group.” Local sponsors Hayes Performance Systems and Regina Chains, supporters, family and friends came out in full force to cheer the team on.

Overnight the team worked on a few more adjustments to the chassis, and by Sunday morning warm-up everyone was feeling confident. As the lead four factory supported riders gapped the field, Jake moved the RR up from P11 to seventh place, narrowly missing sixth when a small mistake allowed Kyle Wyman to get by on his Ducati on the final lap.

“We had some good changes for warm up, helping the bike turn a little bit better, spin the bike a little bit better when I wanted so we definitely went in the right direction. In the race I was leading that little pack for a while with Kyle Wyman, Jake Lewis and Cam Peterson. Last lap I knew Wyman was behind me and I made a little mistake coming out of turn three and ran just a bit on the dirt on the curb so Kyle came by me and I tried to stick with him until the last turn. There was a yellow in 14 so I couldn’t make the pass, and then thought with this BMW I could draft past him at the line but miss-timed the slipstream and didn’t get there. We’re all happy with the progress made and what we learned about the bike.”

His top speed during the race was the fastest though, at 183.861 which was the highest top speed of the weekend, which pleased Scheibe. “For me it’s a personal accomplishment, after spending so many years here dissatisfied with vehicle top speed because you can only do so much with a v-twin, to have the highest top speed. It’s very rewarding for me to have that victory after all this time that I had the fastest bike out there. We’re now at a firm starting point. We have everything we need now, and we’re building a nice base. From here on out it’s just racing.”

We’re approaching the mid-point of the ten race season with race five at Utah Motorsports Campus in Grantsville, Utah, June 15-16. The course will be shortened this year to the East half of the track, so it’ll be new to most of the riders having never seen that configuration before. Jake is looking forward to it. “I like Utah, and this time we’re not running the full course which will be interesting, and fun to switch it up a little bit.”

Scheibe Racing, founded by Steve Scheibe in 2001, is a Wisconsin based MotoAmerica Superbike team on a BMW S1000 RR sponsored by: Hayes Brakes, VP Racing Lubricants, Akrapovic, Renthal Chainwheels, Regina Chains, and Alpha Racing.

Toni Elias and Josh Herrin split wins at Road America this past weekend.

The following is from Yoshimura Suzuki…

It was a weekend of winning for Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing in MotoAmerica Superbike action at the scenic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Toni Elias overcame a tough last-lap battle to take victory in Saturday’s race one. Then it was Josh Herrin’s turn on Sunday, racing to the checkered flag for his second victory of the season, giving Yoshimura Suzuki a sweep of both Road America rounds.

Unfortunately for Elias, the weekend ended with a crash on the final lap of Sunday’s race while battling for the lead. The good news for the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion, is that he had a big enough lead in the standings, that in spite of the tumble, he still leaves Wisconsin with a nine-point series lead -151-142 -over rival Cameron Beaubier after four of 10 doubleheader weekends.

Herrin’s win put him in a much better position in the championship. The 2013 AMA Superbike Champion is now fifth in the standings, but only eight points out of third.

Saturday Elias came out on top of a battle that featured as many as seven riders at times and whittled down to four riders by the end. The race was run in tricky conditions with occasional light rain. At the finish line, Elias was .253 of a second ahead of his championship rival Beaubier. For Elias it marked his 28th-career MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike victory. That moved him into a tie with former Yoshimura Suzuki champion Ben Spies for fifth on the all-time MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike wins list.

Elias also used the speed of his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 to win Superpole at Road America, his second pole of the season.

Afterwards Elias said, of the Road America weekend, “We are doing a great job, but everybody is so fast. It’s so competitive, so close, anything can happen. We had a great win on Saturday and then I had the crash today because I flinched in the final turn when Cameron came in. I could not finish because the handlebar broke off.

“I congratulate Josh for his win. He has worked hard and is very deserving of this. I am sorry to my team for my mistake, but we will come back and fight again to build back our lead.”

Herrin was ultra-competitive in both races. He was fighting for the lead on the final lap of Saturday’s race before he and Elias nearly came together in turn five and Herrin was forced to run wide, costing him a podium. He finished fourth. In Sunday’s race it was another showdown between the Yoshimura Suzuki teammates up front and this time Herrin emerged the victor.

“I wanted to pass Toni on the last lap in a place where he didn’t expect it,” Herrin explained. “The carousel seemed like a good spot. It was a little scary, but luckily, I was able to make it work. I’m super pumped to get this win today. We’ve found that comfortable spot with the bike and it’s a missile. I’m happy and ready to tackle the rest of the season.”

Herrin now has eight-career MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike victories.

The championship next travels west to Utah Motorsports Campus just west of Salt Lake City on June 15-16. The races are televised nationally on Fox Sports 2.

JD Beach finished fourth in Sunday’s EBC Brakes Superbike race at Road America.

The following is from Attack Performance Estenson Racing…

After a tough start to the weekend at round four of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Road America, JD Beach and his Attack Performance Estenson Racing team continued to make forward progress forward, finishing fourth in race two on Sunday, June 2.

Qualifying on a Superbike at Road America for the first time since 2011 was a challenge for Beach, but he and his team had a good showing when it came time to race until bad luck struck with a technical issue late in race one.

Although disappointing, the dirt track/road racer saw the positive gains made and went into race two looking for improvement. He got a good start from seventh on the grid and ran a solid fifth for most of the race. The factory four were able to pull a gap on the 4.05- mile track, so Beach and fellow privateer rider Mathew Scholtz combined forces to try to catch the leaders. When it became clear that strategy wasn’t going to work, the pair battled for position, with Beach ultimately finishing fourth after an error by one of the factory riders caused them to crash out of the race.

Race two was better than the first race, but we kind of lost touch with the lead pack. I was running in fifth with [Mathew] Scholtz right behind me. I think we both rode a smart race and we weren’t really trying to pass each other. We started to close in on the lead guys a bit, then with about three laps to go, we kind of knew we weren’t going to get up with them. So then we started to have a good battle. It was fun, for sure. It was nice to bring the bike home in fourth. We for sure need to pick up the pace some, but I think we learned some things. I’m really looking forward to the next round in Utah.”

Bobby Fong. (50) and his teammate Sean Dylan Kelly (40) finished first and second in the Supersport race on Sunday.

The following is from Team Hammer…

Team Hammer scored a spectacular 1-2 in Sunday’s MotoAmerica Supersport race at Road America and also earned second place in the Twins Cup race.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammates Bobby Fong and Sean Dylan Kelly monopolized the lead, with nobody else managing to get to the front of the thrilling 11-lap Supersport race.
Fong and Kelly swapped the first two positions back and forth for the opening half of the race. At that point, Fong moved to control the pace at the front while Kelly hung back in third in the close, three-rider shootout for the win.
Fong never put a wheel wrong despite heavy pressure from behind. He took full advantage of his Suzuki GSX-R600’s outstanding acceleration and top speed to hold his position on the four-mile circuit’s long straightaways. Fong earned the checkered flag with 0.357-second to spare.
Kelly struck on the race’s final lap, putting himself in position for a last-gasp sting in the sprint to the flag. The 17-year-old turned the quickest lap of the race (2:19.041) on the last lap, with an ideal launch out of the final corner. He then slipstreamed past an opponent to steal second at the line by a 0.022-second.
The win was Fong’s second of the season. “I’m excited to be up on top of the box,” Fong said. “It was a great battle. I was just trying to hit my marks and run a smooth race. It’s been a hard few races for me with the crashes last time. I’m so thankful to be up front; we need the points for the championship. I’ve never won a championship before but I have the right team behind me to do it this year. I’m just going to keep plugging away.”
Kelly said, “I tried to work with Bobby in the beginning. We actually did a pretty good job pulling away so there wasn’t a big group like yesterday. I decided to save my tires because that’s something I messed up yesterday. It worked out. I had a little bit extra on that last lap. It wasn’t enough to reach Bobby. He did a really good job and he was very consistent, but it was enough to get the fastest lap, which is important to me as I continue to make steps forward.”
Up-and-coming Canadian Alex Dumas impressed throughout the Twins Cup race on the Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki SV650. After claiming a grid spot on the inside of Row 2 in the morning’s qualifying session, Dumas traded positions back and forth in the multi-rider fight.
Dumas utilized late-braking heroics in Turn 5 and Canada Corner to secure his runner-up finish on the race’s final lap, just 0.319-second off the win.
“I hoped to be up there with the guys,” Dumas said, “I wasn’t too bad in qualifying, so I expected to fight for the podium. I really had fun battling with all those guys. It’s my first podium this year, and I’m ready to get more at the upcoming races.”
Autovest Suzuki’s Joseph Blasius finished less than a quarter-of-a-second outside the top 10 in 11th.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis improved on his Saturday result in Sunday’s second Superbike race; the lanky Kentuckian finished eighth after scrapping for sixth to the checkered flag.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Felipe MacLean also fared better on Sunday, finishing 10th in the Superstock 1000 race.
Team Hammer will be back in action in two weeks as the 2019 MotoAmerica series travels to Utah Motorsports Campus on June 15-16.
Kyle Wyman matched his best result of the season on Sunday at Road America.

The following is from KWR…

Kyle Wyman posted up a season-best 6th place finish Sunday after bouncing back from a Saturday crash at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Wyman rode his Genuine Broaster Chicken/SC Project Ducati Panigale V4 R to what was an impressive result.

The KWR team has been hard at work this season developing the new bike for competition, and this most recent result is a sign of good things to come for the small team. After a tough Friday qualifying day, where Wyman missed Superpole for the first time all season, the Broaster Chicken-sponsored team made some massive changes to the bike to get Wyman more comfortable.

After a terrible start in Saturday’s race one, Wyman battled through from the back of the grid to run in the lead group, running lap times the same as the leaders for the first three laps of the race. Wyman made a mistake on lap four, was late to the brakes in turn one and ran off track. In an effort to slow the bike, he crashed in the gravel trap just short of the tire wall. The crash ended the bid for a season-best result on Saturday, but with big promise for Sunday.

“Saturday’s race for me was just really weird,” Wyman said. “I think I was just flustered from the moment I woke up that morning. After missing Superpole I was frustrated and felt like I was on the back foot all weekend. I got a terrible start in the race, ran off in turn 5 on the first lap, then worked my way back up into the lead group only to run off again and crash. It was hectic and not a race I’m proud of. Too many mistakes. It’s a real shame because the bike felt the best it has been all year long.”

Sunday was a new day, and Wyman went out in the morning warm-up session with some additional changes to the chassis on the Panigale. The bike began to overheat after 5 laps into the session and the KWR team was tasked with their biggest challenge of the year.

“It turned out that in the crash from Saturday we punctured a tiny hole in the new radiator,” Wyman added. “We only had one of the new H2O radiators from Italy and no spares, so we took it to a local shop to get fixed. They couldn’t fix it, and we were in a mad scramble to put together the bike with a stock radiator for the race. My guys got the bike back together just in time for the sighting lap.”

Wyman left for the sighting lap straight from the truck, with more big changes to the chassis for race two. After an excellent start from the fourth row, Wyman found himself in a race-long battle for 6th place with fellow riders Jake Gagne, Cam Peterson and Jake Lewis. Wyman passed Gagne on the final lap and held on for 6th, matching his best finish of the season.

“Race two was awesome, and so much fun,” Wyman said. “There’s nothing I love more than a big battle at Road America and coming out on top of it. My bike was the best it’s ever been, so I think we’ve finally found a good setup on the Panigale V4 R and the top speed of the Ducati was good enough to hold off the BMW to the line – and we still have a completely stock motor. After all the drama of almost missing the race, it feels amazing to have come away with a solid result to get us back on track.”

“After such a long, tough year last year it’s an amazing feeling to be back in the battle for some respectable positions. My goal was to cut our gap to the front in half, and we accomplished that this weekend. The Ducati adventure just grabbed a gear and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come the rest of the season. I want to extend a huge thank you to Genuine Broaster Chicken for their title support at Road America, SC Project USA and the loyal KW Army for continuing to support me no matter where we finish. Looking forward to Utah in a couple weeks.”

Wyman holds down 10th overall in series standings leaving Road America.

The 2019 MotoAmerica Series continues June 15-16 for round five, at Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, UT.

Draik Beauchamp won the Twins Cup race at Road America.

The following is from AP Moto Arts…

Draik Beauchamp took his debut MotoAmerica Twins Cup win aboard his AP Moto Arts Yamaha FZ-07 in a thrilling race at Road America.  Despite an impressive wheelie from his sixth place grid position that cost him a few positions, Beauchamp methodically worked his way forward, and crossed the line in second position at the end of the second lap.  Half a lap later, Beauchamp made his way past the Suzuki of Alex Dumas to take over at the front.  Fending off several spirited attacks from the likes of Dumas, Kris Turner, and Michael Barnes, Beauchamp used his racecraft and the power of his AP Moto Arts-prepared Yamaha FZ-07 to seal the deal on his maiden MotoAmerica Twins Cup victory.  Beauchamp’s win slots him into third in the championship standings (just five points adrift championship points-leader and reigning champion, Chris Parrish) as a solid contender for the MotoAmerica Twins Cup title.

“I started off on the second row, not exactly where I wanted to start the race. My main goal was to get up to the front and battle with the leaders. My strategy was to get past them and keep them behind me and take it home, hoping that nobody would draft me at the line. We got the job done. Thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters for getting me to this point.”

Travis Wyman had a mixed weekend in Road America.

The following is from Weird Everywhere BMW…

It was a weekend of close racing and tough luck for Weir Everywhere BMW rider Travis Wyman at the MotoAmerica Dunlop Championship at Road America.

The 2018 MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Class runner up and Las Vegas resident entered the weekend hoping to score his first win of the 2019 season at the class’ first doubleheader event May 31-June 2 at Road America. Two of Wyman’s five career MotoAmerica victories have taken place on the historic 4.048-mile circuit, and Wyman scored the first-ever Stock 1000 pole position at the track in 2018.

The team started the weekend off strong as Wyman claimed a front row starting position. In Saturday’s Race 1, Wyman got a good start aboard the team’s BMW S 1000 RR but got separated from the leading two riders early in the race. He then found himself in a close battle for third place and missed out on a podium finish by 0.112 seconds. In Sunday’s Race 2, Wyman was in the leading group of three riders from the start. He was making a move for the lead on the last lap when he lost traction on his front tire and crashed out of the race. While a race win eluded him, Wyman left Road America having maintained fourth place in the Stock 1000 championship standings.

The next round of the MotoAmerica series takes place on a new track layout at Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah (formerly known as Miller Motorsports Park). For 2019, all MotoAmerica classes will race on the 2.2-mile East Course. Wyman has ample experience at the facility as a motorcycle road racer and as an instructor for the Ford Performance School, which should help the team get its BMW package dialed in quickly.

Travis Wyman / #24
“It ended up being a tough weekend for us, but we did collect some valuable championship points and are still in the battle for the class title. Everyone on our team really stepped up their game this weekend and we had two good qualifying sessions that put our BMW S 1000 RR on the front row. I had a great battle with another rider in Race 1 and just came up a little short drafting him to the finish line. We made some changes after Race 1, and it was great battling for the lead in Race 2. I made an aggressive move that unfortunately didn’t work out on the last lap, but that’s how racing goes sometimes. While everyone on the team expected stronger race results this weekend, we found a really good setup for Race 2 and will take what we learned to the next round. I have a lot of experience at UMC and expect to be right back at the front there.”