Two points is all that separates first from second in the one championship still up for grabs as the 2018 MotoAmerica Series comes to a close this coming weekend at the Barber Motorsports Park with the Championship of Alabama, September 21-23.
That lone championship will fall to either Chris Parrish or Jason Madama with one of those two going down in history as the first champion of the inaugural MotoAmerica Twins Cup. As the series heads to Alabama, Ghetto Customs’ Parrish finds himself just two points ahead of Syndicate/AP MotoArts’ Madama in an East Coast vs. West Coast, Suzuki vs. Yamaha finale. To make things even more interesting, the Twins Cup at Barber has attracted a record 33 entries.
But just because Cameron Beaubier wrapped up his third MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at New Jersey Motorsports Park two weeks ago, don’t think for a second that the two Motul Superbike races at Barber won’t be intriguing. In fact, they promise to be even more exciting as no one has a points lead to protect and everyone is in with a shot of winning the races that everyone remembers most – the last two of the season. So, the gloves should be off.
While Beaubier is an insurmountable 81 points clear of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias, the Spaniard is 36 points ahead of Attack Performance/Herrin Compound Yamaha’s Josh Herrin so although the opportunity is slim, Herrin is still mathematically alive in the battle for second in the title chase.
Fourth place in the title chase is held by Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, but the South African is just 11 points ahead of Beaubier’s Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Garrett Gerloff, with M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis just another 14 points behind in sixth.
With his second-place finish in race two at NJMP two weeks ago, Roger Hayden vaulted his way past KWR’s Kyle Wyman for seventh but those two are separated by just two points going into the season finale. For Hayden, the Barber race will be even more special in that it is his final race as the youngest of the Hayden family of racers is hanging up his boots after Sunday’s race two at Barber.
Danny Eslick holds down ninth in the title chase on the Scheibe Racing BMW with David Anthony 10th on the Fly Street Racing Kawasaki. Bobby Fong and Cameron Petersen can duke it out for intrateam bragging rights as the two Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda teammates are separated by just three points in 11th and 12th, respectively.
As is the case in Motul Superbike, the title chase in the Supersport race is also a done deal. Well, at least for the top spot where JD Beach earned his second career title in the Supersport class in round nine at NJMP. The battle for second is also complete with Hayden Gillim and his Rickdiculous Racing Yamaha guaranteed that spot as he is 100 points clear of the battle for third going into the final round.
And what a battle that is. Three riders – M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Valentin Debise, KWR’s Bryce Prince and M4 medAge Suzuki’s Nick McFadden – are tied for third going into Alabama with 150 points apiece.
Quicksilver/Hudson Motorcycles’ Richie Escalante is also in with a chance as he is just 13 points behind that trio. Meanwhile, Cory West and YCRS/Mazziotto Racing’s Anthony Mazziotto III are tied for seventh, though West won’t be taking part in the Barber race. Tuned Racing’s Braeden Ortt and Rickdiculous Racing’s Jason Aguilar round out the top 10 heading to Alabama, with those two separated by just four points.
French Canadian Alex Dumas wrapped up the Liqui Moly Junior Cup two weeks ago in New Jersey, but things are tight in the battle for second in the title chase. MP13 Racing’s Cory Ventura holds down second but is just 13 points ahead of Yates Racing’s Ashton Yates and 15 ahead of MonkeyMoto/AGVSPORT’s Jay Newton. KTM Orange Brigade/Ghilliman Racing’s Sean Ungvarsky is fifth, eight points ahead of RiderzLaw’s Jackson Blackmon.
The Stock 1000 class features the least dramatic points chase with RiderzLaw’s Andrew Lee wrapping up the title two weeks ago and both Weir Everywhere Racing’s Travis Wyman and Team Lewin Estates’ Chad Lewin fairly safe in second and third in the championship. Shane Richardson and Stephen Incledon are fourth and fifth, respectively, heading to the final round.
Barber Motorsports Park Fast Facts…
Last year’s two Motul Superbike races were thrillers with Saturday’s dry race won by Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden by just .7 of a second over Josh Herrin with Mathew Scholtz third on his Superstock 1000-spec Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1. Herrin rode the factory Monster Yamaha as a fill-in rider for the injured Cameron Beaubier.
In Sunday’s soaking wet race two, Mathew Scholtz took the win from Toni Elias by 1.013 seconds after Jake Gagne crashed out of the battle for victory with Scholtz on the final lap. A day earlier, Gagne had given the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda team a reason to smile with a fighting fourth-place finish. Third place in the rain on Sunday went to Josh Hayes in his final race on the factory Yamaha.
Roger Hayden, who was the King of Superpole in 2017, earned the top spot in qualifying again at Barber Motorsports Park with his quick lap of 1:24.091 to best Scholtz and Josh Herrin.
Four riders have won Motul Superbike races thus far this season: Cameron Beaubier (8), Toni Elias (7), Josh Herrin (2) and Mathew Scholtz (1).
In addition to leading the Motul Superbike class in wins going into the series finale at Barber Motorsports Park, Cameron Beaubier also leads the way in pole positions. Beaubier has earned pole five times in 2018 through the Saturday morning Superpole sessions. Mathew Scholtz has two poles and Toni Elias and Josh Herrin have one apiece.
The first Superbike races held at Barber Motorsports Park were won by Aaron Yates and Kurtis Roberts in September of 2003. Yates won race one with Roberts taking race two. Yates’ son Ashton currently races in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup and Supersport Series in the MotoAmerica Series.
Cameron Beaubier’s eight wins thus far in 2018 have moved him to 32 career Superbike wins, which puts him in a tie for third on the all-time win list with Miguel Duhamel. A victory in one of the two remaining races at Barber Motorsports Park would move him to second all alone. Mat Mladin leads the way in all-time Superbike wins with 82 and Josh Hayes is second with 61.
Toni Elias has moved to sixth on the all-time list with his seven wins so far this year. He is now five victories behind Ben Spies, with the Texan sitting in fifth place. Roger Hayden, meanwhile, would love nothing more than to add to his nine career Superbike wins in what will be the final two races of his career at Barber. Hayden is 19th on the all-time list, one win behind Mike Baldwin and two behind Anthony Gobert. Josh Herrin, with his two wins this season, is now 24th on the all-time list, two behind Tommy Hayden and Wes Cooley.