It all comes down to this. With just two races left in the 2019 MotoAmerica EBC Brakes Superbike Championship, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias leads Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier by 16 points as the series heads to the season finale this weekend – the Championship of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
By virtue of his eight wins and 14 total podiums in 18 races, Elias is at the top of the standings and trying to wrap up his second MotoAmerica Superbike title. Beaubier, meanwhile, finished second and first in the two races two weeks ago in New Jersey for his fourth win and 15thpodium of his season. While Elias can take the title with two second-place finishes if Beaubier wins both, Beaubier will need a little help from his friends to take the title.
More scenarios? If Beaubier wins both races, and Elias finishes second in one and third in the other, Elias takes the title by two points. If Beaubier wins both races and Elias is third in both, Beaubier would earn his fourth AMA Superbike title by two points. Lots of ifs ands and buts, but this championship is far from over as Elias is coming off a weekend where he finished off the podium in both races at NJMP.
The battle for third in the title chase will go to Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff as he leads his old Supersport sparring partner JD Beach by 61 points with just 50 points up for grabs. Gerloff has put together a solid sophomore season in the class, matching Beaubier with four wins on the season – with those four coming in the last seven races. Gerloff won Saturday’s race at NJMP two weeks ago, but crashed in the morning warm-up session on Sunday, banged his head and was ruled out of the afternoon race.
Beach and his Attack Performance Estenson Racing Yamaha, meanwhile, has 24 points on Yoshimura Suzuki’s Josh Herrin in the battle for fourth in the title chase going into Barber, and Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz is just three points behind Herrin. That spot will no doubt go to the wire.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis has a hold on seventh, 39 points clear of Scheibe Racing BMW’s Jake Gagne. Gagne, in turn, has 11 points on Omega Racing’s Cameron Petersen. FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony is 10th, six points behind Petersen.
If you think the Superbike title chase is close, the Supersport battle is even closer. Just 10 points separate series leader Bobby Fong from second-placed PJ Jacobsen which basically translates into winner take all. Well, except for the other factors that come into play – like several men capable of getting into the mix and messing up the math.
One of those is Rickdiculous Racing’s Hayden Gillim, the Kentuckian sitting third in the title chase and 35 points out of the lead. Gillim would like nothing else but to end his season on a high and play the spoiler role in the final two races. Ditto for Fong’s M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate Sean Dylan Kelly, who is 34 points behind Gillim and fresh off the “water bottle” gate controversy from the New Jersey round.
Hudson Motorcycles Richie Escalante and Tuned Racing’s Bryce Prince could also play a role in the outcome of the championship as both have showed the ability to run up front this year.
The third championship still up for grabs is the Twins Cup, but Roadracing World Young Guns’ Alex Dumas has one hand on the number-one plate as he leads the title chase over The Draik 77’s Draik Beauchamp by 21 points with just the lone 12-lap race on Sunday afternoon left on the schedule. Quarterley Racing’s Michael Barnes will likely finish third as he’s 12 points behind Beauchamp and 36 clear of Curtis Murray.
The other two class championships – Stock 1000 and Liqui Moly Junior Cup – were signed, sealed and delivered in New Jersey with Andrew Lee taking the Stock 1000 title for a second straight year while 14-year-old sensation Rocco Landers completely dominated the Junior Cup title chase.
Landers has raced his Ninja400R.com/Norton Motorsports/Dr Farr-backed Kawasaki to 12 wins so far in 2019 – out of 15 starts. His points lead going into the season’s final two races is a staggering 111 points. Altus Motorsports’ Kevin Olmedo is a lock for second in the championship as he’s now 14 points clear of Dallas Daniels, who won’t be racing in the series finale at Barber Motorsports Park.
Lee and his Franklin Armory/Graves Kawasaki-backed ZX-10R has an insurmountable 57-point lead over Mesa 37’s Stefano Mesa going into Barber after winning six of the nine rounds, including five in a row. The only battle left in the Stock 1000 class is for third as Norris Racing’s Michael Gilbert leads Weir Everywhere Racing BMW’s Travis Wyman by eight points and Ameris Bank’s Geoff May by 17 points.
Barber Fast Facts…
Last year, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias showed up at Barber Motorsports Park having lost his EBC Brakes Superbike title at the previous round in New Jersey to Cameron Beaubier. But Elias, despite qualifying seventh, went out and won both races in Alabama, topping Josh Herrin by 7.3 seconds in race one and his rival Beaubier by just .333 of a second in race two. Beaubier, meanwhile, with the title already his, crashed out of race one.
Beaubier was the fastest of the fast in Superpole last year, the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing rider lapping at 1:23.514 to best Herrin by .392 of a second. Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz completed the front row.
The MotoAmerica riders will spin wheels for the first time on newly repaved Barber Motorsports Park in Friday practice and with that comes the unknown. Dunlop, however, is fully prepared for the new surface with their test rider Taylor Knapp testing the new surface in the week leading up to the season finale.
The rider with the most Superbike pole positions thus far in 2019 is Garrett Gerloff. The Texan has qualified fastest on four occasions in his sophomore season in the class, one more than his teammate Cameron Beaubier (3). Toni Elias has two pole positions heading into the final round of the season.
Five riders have won EBC Brakes Superbike races in 2019: Toni Elias (7), Cameron Beaubier (4), Garrett Gerloff (4), Josh Herrin (2) and JD Beach (1).
Cameron Beaubier’s race-two win at NJMP two weeks ago was the 36thAMA Superbike win of his career, a mark that has him third on the all-time win list behind Mat Mladin (82) and Josh Hayes (61). Toni Elias, meanwhile, has 32 wins, which places him in a tie for fourth with Miguel Duhamel on the all-time list. Josh Herrin is tied for 24thwith Wes Cooley with their eight career Superbike victories and Garrett Gerloff’s four wins this year puts him in a tie for 27thwith Jamie James and fellow Texan Bubba Shobert. The other active riders with AMA Superbike wins are Mathew Scholtz (2) and JD Beach (1). In total, 58 riders have won at least one AMA Superbike race.
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 and Roberts took race two. Yates’ son Ashton currently races in the Stock 1000 class in the MotoAmerica Series.
The Supersport race one a year ago was won by Hayden Gillim over JD Beach by just .098 of a second with Valentin Debise a close third, .960 of a second behind. In race two, Gillim again bested Beach – by just .029 of a second. Debise was a more distant third in race two.
Last year’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup races were both won by Alex Dumas, who was crowned as the series champion. A year later and Dumas is on the verge of being crowned again – this time as the Twins Cup Champion.
Andrew Lee won the lone Stock 1000 race last year at Barber and earned the championship. Lee beat Chad Lewin and Shane Richardson in the season finale. The lone Twins Cup race was won by Robert McLendon III with Chris Parrish finishing eighth to wrap up the title.