Two Supersport wins in a row, plus another podium, for brand-new Yamaha YZF-R6
In what many are saying was one of the most exciting Superbike races in recent years—if not of all time—Cameron Beaubier prevailed in a race-long battle among five riders that lasted virtually the entire length of Saturday’s 21-lap MotoAmerica Superbike Race 1 at Road Atlanta. For the two-time and defending Superbike champion, it was the 20th career Superbike victory for the 24-year-old rider aboard his Yamaha YZF-R1.
Cameron’s Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Josh Hayes also finished on the podium in third after leading the race for all but five of the laps.
Earlier in the day, Cameron earned the pole position in what was also an action-packed and exciting Superpole qualifying session.
“I didn’t get a very good start, and Toni [Elias] and Roger [Hayden] did, which I was not too happy about,” Cameron said. “Josh [Hayes] did a good job getting to the front, and he was setting a really good pace. I had to keep telling myself to be patient during the race, so I just concentrated on being smooth, and that put me in a position to finally take the lead. In the end, I had to get aggressive because I know that’s what it’s going to take to beat these guys. I was able to get past Toni on the final lap, and hold the lead to the finish line. It was a fun race, and I’m sure tomorrow will be another battle, but my team and I are ready.”
Josh said, “We’ve been making quite a few changes to the bike here at Road Atlanta, and for the race, we finally settled on about what we started the weekend with. When I was leading, I didn’t think my pace was going to be enough for me to maintain the lead at the end. But, there was a lot of passing in that race, and when that’s going on, I like to be sitting at the front so I can just let what happens behind me, happen. We got a good result today with third, but after leading all those laps, I just need to work on being stronger at the end for about three more laps.”
In the afternoon’s Supersport race, which was itself an exciting contest, Garrett Gerloff emerged from a race-long battle with Valentin Debise to notch the victory after executing a skillful and deciding pass on the French rider in the final two laps.
Garrett’s Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha teammate JD Beach, who won last week in Texas, finished third and joined Garrett on the podium.
“We have a really good bike in this brand-new R6,” Garrett said. “The red flag [that stopped the race] actually helped me because we were able to make a couple of changes to the bike, and it was even better after the restart. We’ve got the bike set up so that it’s really strong at the end.”
JD said, “After the race was red-flagged and re-started with 8 laps to go, I knew I needed to do something quick. So I got a good start, but then Valentin came flying past me. After that, I made a mistake and just blew the turn. I’m happy that I was able to get back up to third place again, which is where I was before the re-start. I’m looking forward to Race 2 tomorrow.”
Sunday’s Supersport Race 2 from Road Atlanta will start at 2:25 PM EST, and Superbike Race 2 is at 3:30 PM EST. Both races will be broadcast live on beIN Sports.
For more Yamaha racing news, results, photos, and videos, visit YamahaMotorsports.com/Racing. Also, check out “YamahaMotorUSA” on your favorite social media site.