Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias continues to show that he is the MotoAmerica version of Marc Marquez when it comes to winning motorcycle races at the Circuit of The Americas. Elias won a scintillating battle with Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s 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 the Attack Performance Estenson Racing Yamaha to fifth, some four seconds clear of fellow Kentuckian Jake Lewis on the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz ran off the track once, crashed and remounted to finish seventh, barely besting FLY Racing/ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony and Omega Moto’s Cameron Petersen with the trio separated by just .454 of a second.
KWR Ducati’s Kyle Wyman rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Scheibe Racing BMW’s Jake Gagne didn’t make the start after crashing out of the warm-up session prior to the start of the race, tweaking his previously broken leg. Gagne has made the decision not to race tomorrow and will rejoin the series at VIRginia International Raceway, May 4-5.
With his second win of the season, Elias leads the MotoAmerica EBC Brakes Superbike Championship by nine points over Beaubier, 70-61. Scholtz is third with 42 points, two better than Beach. Lewis rounds out the top five with 29 points.
“Going into the last lap I felt like I had a couple spots where I was a little bit better than him and he had some spots that he was better than me. I felt pretty strong in the last section today compared to previous times here. Overall, really I felt like my R1 was working pretty good compared to the past few years here. So, hats off to my team for giving me a good bike this weekend. I tried to go up the inside of him in the second-to-last corner because I felt like I was getting through that right pretty good. He tightened up his line pretty good going in there, just because obviously it’s the last lap. Then he didn’t take the same line he did, so I kind of had to square off that corner a little bit and I just had no drive going into the last corner. He got me going into the last corner. He stood it up, played it smart. There was nothing I could really do about it. Like I said, I’m happy with where are wright now with the bike and with my riding and my team. I got a really strong teammate this year. Garrett’s riding really, really good. I feel like it’s really good for both of us, just pushing each other forward and forward. It’s going to be a fun rest of the year. Looking forward to tomorrow.
“Just had a little bit of trouble getting the bike started. The pace car passed me so I guess by the rules I had to start from the back of the grid. Definitely a hard first lap because the first sector is all just one line, it seems like. I was getting pretty frustrated trying to get around these guys. Luckily Cameron (Beaubier), Toni (Elias) and Josh (Herrin) and whoever else they were kind of dicing and catching each other, slowing each other up and gave me the opportunity to come back. I was fired up from having to start in the back of the grid. Kind of a slap in the face, but it was good. It gave me some motivation and I was able to come back and be close to these guys for the last couple laps. In the last corner I thought I was going to have the opportunity to get up the inside but of course I missed a shift going in there and couldn’t get the thing into second gear. So, I came out of the last corner clear and just didn’t have the drive to try to pass at least one of them. It’s good. The bike was good. Ready for tomorrow and going to go give the best I got.”
“Before I arrive at COTA this year, I was pretty sure they will be there this year, because all the things happening in Atlanta was 200% they could be there. And is what happened. Every practice they’ve been there. We worked well, but still we are missing something. We have to work more to find it. Anyway, today was pretty particular. It rained a lot. The track was not the same as yesterday. Was so different. Big difference to lead the race or be in second or third position. It was much more easy just because the wind is much less. The wind made me make a couple mistakes in the last lap when I was pushing hard. I think for that, he was more close than the other laps. I didn’t expect he pass me on the bridge down there. I didn’t expect it. I tried to move quick and also I closed the door before the last corner, but he made it. So, congratulations. Is an amazing ride. I played my card. Was good. We finished and win this race. It’s amazing. I need to sit down with my team, work a little bit more, find something for tomorrow, especially with the rear grip. Anyway, we are consistent, happy. Let’s see what happens.”
EBC Brakes Superbike
- Toni Elias (Suzuki)
- Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
- Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
- Josh Herrin (Suzuki)
- JD Beach (Yamaha)
- Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
- David Anthony (Kawasaki)
- Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
- Kyle Wyman (Ducati)