While two riders are on the verge of capturing titles in the 2019 MotoAmerica Series, the other three classes are still wide open with gaps ranging from 11 to 35 points – including the premier EBC Brakes Superbike Championship – as the series heads to New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend for the MotoAmerica Championship of New Jersey.
With his 75-point lead in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup Series, 14-year-old Rocco Landers is the rider facing the least resistance en route to the title and barring catastrophe he will wrap up the championship on Saturday in race one. With his nearest competitor, Dallas Daniels, not scheduled to take part in the last two rounds, Landers leads third-placed Kevin Olmedo by 77 points with 100 points (four races) up for grabs. Thus, if Landers wins on Saturday and Olmedo finishes second, the Ninja400.com/Norton Motorsports/Dr. Farr-backed rider from Oregon will lead by an insurmountable 82 points going into Sunday’s race two.
Landers has won 10 races thus far in 2019 with Daniels (1 win), Olmedo (1 win) and Cameron Jones (1 win) the only others to win races in the class.
The Stock 1000 Championship, meanwhile, is also well within the grasp of Andrew Lee and his Franklin Armory/Graves Kawasaki team. Lee holds down a 48-point lead over Stefano Mesa with three races remaining for that class. The Stock 1000 class will race once this weekend at NJMP and twice in the series finale at Barber Motorsports Park, September 20-22. If Lee wins on Sunday afternoon and Mesa finishes second, Lee will leave New Jersey with a 53-point lead with just 50 points left on the table at Barber.
Lee, the defending Stock 1000 Champion, has won four races in a row and five out of the eight races held prior to NJMP.
The other three classes are still unresolved with the champions likely not crowned until the final race concludes at Barber.
The Twins Cup only has two races left on its 2019 schedule – Sunday’s race at NJMP and the lone race in the finale at Barber. Roadracing World Young Guns’ Alex Dumas has a nine-point lead over The Draik 77’s Draik Beauchamp heading into New Jersey with Michael Barnes and his Quarterley Racing Ducati another 10 points behind in third. And the list of potential spoilers is long and includes defending class champion Chris Parrish and his Ghetto Customs Suzuki who can no longer defend his title but will be hungry to make his mark in the final two races.
Dumas holds the hot hand in the class with three wins in a row and four total for the 2018 Liqui Moly Junior Cup Champion, who has made the jump to the Twins Cup class a successful one.
With four races left on the Supersport schedule, just 20 points separate the top three as the series heads to NJMP. M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong leads the way with an 11-point lead over Rickdiculous Racing’s Hayden Gillim, 220-209. Celtic HSBK Racing’s PJ Jacobsen is third, 20 points behind Fong and nine behind Gillim. Fong’s teammate Sean Dylan Kelly, the class rookie who won both races at the last round in Pittsburgh, lurks in fourth place – 45 points out of first.
With his two wins at PittRace, Kelly became the fourth different winner in the class – joining Fong (4 wins), Gillim (5 wins) and Jacobsen (2 wins).
That brings us to the EBC Brakes Superbike class where Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias leads Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier by 35 points with four races (100 points) left to run. Elias has put together a seven-win season with Beaubier winning three races so far. Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff, meanwhile, has also won three races, but his DNF in race two at PittRace two weeks ago put a damper on his championship aspirations as he now trails Elias by 56 points.
Attack Performance Estenson Racing’s JD Beach, who has won once in 2019, sits fourth in the title chase, just six points better than two-time winner Josh Herrin on the second Yoshimura Suzuki. Herrin, in turn, is just 12 points clear of Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz as the battle for fourth in the championship likely won’t be decided until the final race.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis is coming off his best result of the season at PittRace, the Kentuckian leading several laps early on before ending up fourth in race two. Lewis is currently seventh in the championship, 22 points behind Scholtz and 34 points ahead of eighth-placed Jake Gagne on the Scheibe Racing BMW.
Omega Moto’s Cameron Petersen is just a single point behind Gagne in ninth and 13 points ahead of FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony, the Australian rounding out the top 10 heading to New Jersey.
NJMP Fast Facts…
With his race-two win at PittRace two weeks ago, Toni Elias now has 32 AMA Superbike wins on his resume. And that mark matches the MotoAmerica Superbike win total of 32 for Cameron Beaubier. Beaubier, however, won three AMA Superbike races before MotoAmerica took over the series and that gives him 35 total victories in the class.
Those 35 wins puts Beaubier third on the all-time AMA Superbike win list behind Mat Mladin (82) and Josh Hayes (61). Elias, meanwhile, is now tied with Miguel Duhamel for fourth with his 32 wins. Ben Spies, Fred Merkel, Nicky Hayden, Wayne Rainey and Eric Bostrom round out the top 10 on the all-time win list.
Elias has an opportunity to equal or surpass his championship-winning, 10-race-win season of 2017 with victories in the four races left in the 2019 MotoAmerica Series. Elias has seven wins going into NJMP and winning out would give him 11 victories on the year.
With his 10th win of the season coming in race one at PittRace, 14-year-old Rocco Landers equaled the win total set last year by 2018 Liqui Moly Junior Cup Champion Alex Dumas. The rider with the next highest total of wins in the class is Ashton Yates with three wins. Dumas, meanwhile, with his four Twins Cup wins this season, has moved ahead of 2018 Twins Cup Champion Chris Parrish as the win leader in that class.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz earned pole position for last year’s Superbike races at NJMP with his 1:38.154 set during the Superpole session. As is the norm for MotoAmerica’s two-day events, Superpole won’t be held this year at NJMP. The grid will be set based on lap times from the two qualifying sessions on Saturday.
Superbike race one a year ago was won by Josh Herrin over Scholtz and Beaubier in dominating fashion in precarious conditions. Herrin, who is now on the Yoshimura Suzuki team, rode the Attack Performance/Herrin Compound Yamaha YZF-R1 to a 37-second victory over Scholtz. Cameron Beaubier emerged victorious in an extremely wet race two, besting Roger Hayden by 13.6 seconds with Toni Elias finishing third. The victory, his eighth of the year, wrapped up a third championship for Beaubier.
Hayden Gillim and JD Beach split Supersport wins at NJMP a season ago, with Beach’s runner-up finish in race one enough to earn him his second MotoAmerica Supersport Championship. Beach is now in the EBC Brakes Superbike Championship and Gillim is only 11 points behind Bobby Fong in the 2019 Supersport title chase.
El Salvador’s Kevin Olmedo won the first Liqui Moly Junior Cup race of his career a year ago at NJMP in race one; Alex Dumas ended up on top in race two and that earned him the class championship.
Tawfik Khalil was a surprising winner in the Stock 1000 race last year at NJMP; and Kris Turner won the Twins Cup race after beating Brian McGlade by just .003 of a second.
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