If Cameron Beaubier is going to make a real run at defending his MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, he needs to do what he’s done the past two seasons at Sonoma Raceway. He needs to sweep both of the EBC Brakes Superbike races in the Cycle Gear Championship of Sonoma.
At least he knows he’s done it before.
Beaubier comes into his home race in Northern California wine country with a 39-point deficit to championship leader Toni Elias, the Yoshimura Suzuki-mounted Spaniard having a dream season thus far with six wins in the first six rounds (12 races). To claw his way back into contention, Sonoma borders on being a must-win for Beaubier and his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing team.
What Beaubier needs is for history to repeat itself. After all, ever since MotoAmerica brought AMA Superbike racing back to Sonoma in 2017, Beaubier is unbeaten. And those wins have come easy. In 2017, Beaubier topped Elias by 6.1 seconds in race one. In race two he beat his rival by 7.2 seconds. Last year, Beaubier did it again, besting Josh Herrin by 7.2 seconds in race one and Elias by 6.5 seconds in race two.
But the list of those standing in his way is plentiful. And at the top of that list is championship points leader Elias. In addition to his six wins, Elias has stood on the podium in every race with the exception of race two at Road America when he crashed out of the battle for the lead on the final lap. He’s been a model of consistency. Fast consistency, with six wins, four second-place finishes and one third-place finish. That’s 11 podiums in 12 races. And that’s how you get a 39-point lead.
Beaubier has won twice on the season and finished on the podium 10 times with one race crash DNF and a fourth-place finish in race one at the Utah Motorsports Campus.
Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff heads to Northern California with the hot hand as he’s fresh off his first EBC Brakes Superbike win at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca a month ago. Gerloff got that debut win in race two after finishing second to Elias in race one. The Texan is third in the series point standings, 26 points behind Beaubier and 65 in arrears of Elias, with nine podiums on the season. Gerloff finished fourth in both Superbike races last year at Sonoma Raceway.
Then comes JD Beach, Gerloff’s foe from their Supersport days. Beach is fourth in the series standings heading to Sonoma, 46 points behind Gerloff and just three points ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Josh Herrin. Beach and Herrin have both won this year with Beach riding the Attack Performance Estenson Racing Yamaha R1 to victory at VIR and Herrin earning two wins – one at Circuit of The Americas and the other at Road America.
The top five in the series standings are the five riders who have won races in 2019.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis is fifth in the series standings, the Kentuckian having scored points in every round thus far. Lewis’ best finish so far is fifth – and he has five of those.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz is hoping to revitalize his season in the second half as he enters Sonoma seventh in the series standings with two podiums – both of which were second-place finishes. Scholtz trails Lewis by six points and his well clear of countryman Cameron Petersen, the South African seventh on the Omega Moto Yamaha YZF-R1.
FLY Racing/ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony and Scheibe BMW’s Jake Gagne round out the top 10 in the EBC Brakes Superbike Series after the summer break. Kyle Wyman, meanwhile, is 11thon the Ducati Richmond/KWR Panigale V4R and will attempt to race at Sonoma with the surgically repaired left wrist he broke in the last round at Laguna Seca.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong heads to Sonoma Raceway with a two-win race streak and the lead in the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship. The Stockton, California, rider holds an 18-point lead over Rickdiculous Racing’s Hayden Gillim with those two having dominated the season thus far with four wins apiece. Gillim crashed out of the race at Laguna Seca, allowing Fong to take the win and the championship points lead.
Celtic HSBK Racing’s PJ Jacobsen and 2 Wheel Legal – Hudson Motorcycles’ Richie Escalante are the best of the rest with those two tied for third in the series. With 123 points each, the pair are 37 points behind Fong. Jacobsen joins Fong and Gillim as race winners in 2019.
Rookie Sean Dylan Kelly is fifth on the second M4 ECSTAR Suzuki, just eight points behind the pair in front of him.
No one in the MotoAmerica Series has won more races in 2019 than Rocco Landers, the Oregonian and his Njnja400R.com/Norton Motorsports/Dr. Farr-backed Kawasaki Ninja 400 having scored seven wins in the season thus far. That gives him a 26-point lead over Quarterley Racing/On Track Development’s Dallas Daniels in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup Series, the Kentuckian battling Landers in almost every round but coming up short with the exception of his lone win in Utah.
El Salvador’s Kevin Olmedo is the only other rider keeping the lead pair honest, the Altus Motosports rider is third in the point standings but 87 points behind Landers.
Franklin Armory/Graves Kawasaki’s Andrew Lee comes to Sonoma with a two-race win streak and an 11-point lead in the Stock 1000 Championship. The defending class champion has three wins total to lead Mesa37’s Stefano Mesa, the North Carolinian having won a single race and landing on the podium in every race so far. Norris Racing’s Michael Gilbert has also won a race and he sits third in the championship, 46 points behind Lee.
Racing veteran Michael Barnes heads the Twins Cup Championship heading to round seven of that class, the Floridian having won twice to start the year on the Quarterley Racing Ducati Monster 797. Barnes leads AP MotoArts’ Draik Beauchamp, whose lone victory came at Road America, by 18 points. Roadracing World Young Guns’ Alex Dumas is third, 24 points behind Barnes. Dumas, the non-defending Liqui Moly Junior Cup Champion, also has a victory in the class.
Sonoma Raceway Fast Facts…
The first-ever AMA Superbike race held at Sonoma Raceway (nee Sears Point and Infineon Raceway) was won by Paul Ritter on a Ducati in 1977. Ritter came back a year later to win again before someone different won for the first time in 1979. That rider was Freddie Spencer, who would go on to win three World Championships.
The all-time winningest Superbike racer at Sonoma Raceway is Australian Mat Mladin. Mladin won nine races at Sonoma, with all of those victories coming on Suzuki GSX-Rs. Josh Hayes and Miguel Duhamel are tied for second on the all-time Superbike win list at Sonoma with five wins each and Cameron Beaubier and Ben Spies are tied for fourth with four wins apiece.
MotoAmerica President and three-time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey won his only Superbike race in Sonoma in 1983. Rainey also won Formula 1 (500cc GP bikes) and 250cc GP races at the Northern California facility.
As mentioned previously, Beaubier has won all four MotoAmerica Superbike races held at Sonoma Raceway, including a clean sweep of last year’s two races. Beaubier beat Josh Herrin in race one and Toni Elias in race two with those two riders now teammates on the Yoshimura Suzukis.
In addition to winning both races, Beaubier also earned pole position for last year’s EBC Brakes Superbike races with his 1:34.071 besting Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz by .414 of a second.
Beaubier also had the fastest laps in both races, the Yamaha man lapping at 1:35.067 in race one and 1:35.197 in race two.
With his six wins this season, Toni Elias is moving rapidly up the list of all-time AMA Superbike winners, the Spaniard now fifth with 31 victories and just a single win behind fourth-placed Miguel Duhamel. Cameron Beaubier leads all active MotoAmerica Superbike racers with 34 wins and that puts him third all-time behind Mat Mladin and Josh Hayes, who is how racing in the Supersport class. As for the other active MotoAmerica racers, Josh Herrin has eight career wins; Mathew Scholtz has two; and JD Beach and Garrett Gerloff have one each.
JD Beach topped Valentin Debise in both Supersport races at Sonoma last year en route to winning his second Supersport title. Beach is now in the EBC Brakes Superbike class. Ashton Yates and Cory Ventura split wins last year in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup class; Andrew Lee won the lone Stock 1000 race; and Jeffrey Tigert took the win in the Twins Cup race.
Five riders have won EBC Brakes Superbike races this year: Toni Elias, Cameron Beaubier, Josh Herrin, JD Beach and Garrett Gerloff.
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