Yoshimura Suzuki won its second straight race at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, but it wasn’t the one ridden by yesterday’s winner Toni Elias. This time it was Josh Herrin on the top step of the podium after winning the seventh AMA Superbike race of his career in the MotoAmerica Championship of Texas.
Herrin battled for 13 of the 15 laps with his teammate Elias, with Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier always within striking distance. In the final two laps, Herrin was able to put his head down and he crossed the line .958 of a second ahead of Elias with Beaubier 1.6 seconds behind in third.
Fourth place went to Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff, the Texan coming on strong at the end of the race to finish 3.2 seconds behind Herrin. Gerloff, in turn, was well clear of fifth-placed Jake Lewis on the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki.
Omega Moto’s Cameron Petersen finished sixth, some three seconds ahead of KWR Ducati’s Kyle Wyman. FLY Racing/ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony, Weir Everywhere Racing BMW’s Travis Wyman and Thrashed Bike Racing’s Max Flinders rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz was 13thafter being getting the meatball flag that forced the South African to pit. JD Beach, meanwhile, crashed out of fifth place late in the race on the Attack Performance Estenson Racing Yamaha.
With two rounds (and four races) of the EBC Brakes Superbike Championship in the books, Elias has a 13-point lead over Beaubier, 90-77, with Herrin moving past Scholtz and into third with 49 points to Scholtz’ 45. Beach and Lewis are tied for fifth with 40 points each.
“Just mentally, I feel like I was a lot more prepared today. We spent a lot of time at the track last night. We ran a different tire today, but it’s two totally different weather conditions today, so I don’t think that really had much to do with it for us. Just made the right choice, I guess. It’s just been, like Toni said, every day I think I get more comfortable on the bike. Each time I can race it and actually put in those hard laps I learn a lot. We have a lot of data to look at and I can learn what I’m doing wrong, what I’m improving on. Like I said on the podium, it’s been such a crazy off-season. I had super highs coming into it and then, once the season started, I was bumming pretty hard because I just wasn’t riding like myself. I think I was just getting so excited at the beginning of the races that I was kind of blowing it for myself, riding like a rookie a little bit. I just had to kind of reset my brain and just relax a little bit. Toni set an amazing pace. I was able to keep up with him. I had to keep telling myself, don’t pass at the end of the straight. My bike was a missile today. I had to roll off as soon as we got three-quarters of the way down the straightaway. Just felt super comfortable. I saw whatever happened to his bike or the mistake he made going into one of the corners with two laps to go. Just put my head down. At first I thought that he did it on purpose to get me to lead, but when I had a little gap when I looked on the front straight, I’m coming onto the last lap and I realized that it was something going on. So for sure, he would have been there. Like I also said out there, he’s been the best teammate. I have so much fun with him. We work good together. It’s been great. Hopefully that doesn’t change. Hopefully the team stays the way it is and we can fight all year and get a lot of 1-2’s like this. It feels so good to be able to get a win for Suzuki. Two wins this weekend. They won a MotoGP race, so it’s a big day for them. Thank you to everybody at Suzuki and Yoshimura for believing in me.”
“I just was trying to do my race, my pace. There is still something I am missing, because it’s me. Riders we have to choose the tires, the things. Mistake a little bit before the race. I choose the same tire as yesterday, when yesterday I wasn’t happy. I choose it again because I was thinking today with more temperature was better but is the same tire. Last year in Barber I had some bad feeling, too. So, I think today it’s been a good advice to cancel the tire for the future. I’m not going to use it anymore, for sure. But anyway, I was there. I was doing my pace. The team is working so good. We don’t change anything on the bike, just the track condition was much better than yesterday. But I didn’t expect at the end to have this little issue with the shifter. After that, I lost everything, and I couldn’t fight. It’s okay. These things happen in race. A little bit pissed off because I could fight a little bit more. Maybe we could have a big battle with Josh. But anyway, I’m happy for him. 1-2 for Suzuki is so, so good. He deserves this more than anyone. So, very happy for him, for the team, too. After all, I’m happy to take this second place. Let’s continue like this. This is going to be long. Let’s see.”
I gave 110 percent that race just to hang onto those guys. They were riding so good. The pace was a second and a half faster than it was yesterday. I don’t know where the hell they found that. I was just hanging on for dear life. All in all, I’m really happy that I was even able to keep pace with the Yosh boys this weekend. This is always a pretty tough track for us. It just gives me confidence going into the rest of the year. I wasn’t able to even fight with them today. I was just able to latch onto their rear wheel at times. Like I said, it gives me confidence going into the rest of the season. There are some places where we need to work on the R1. Mainly just getting off the corner and midrange, but once we get it up on top the bike’s fast. We definitely have a weapon going into the rest of the season. A third, it’s a third. I always want to win every time I get on the bike, but it’s shaping up to be a really exciting season. The superbike class is stacked this year. Josh rode his butt off today. I’m super happy for him. He put it to us the last two laps. I saw him creeping away from Toni and I was barely holding on to Toni. Hats off to both these guys. I’m excited for a really tough year and battling it up with these guys.”
EBC Brakes Superbike
- Josh Herrin (Suzuki)
- Toni Elias (Suzuki)
- Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
- Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
- Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
- Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
- Kyle Wyman (Ducati)
- David Anthony (Kawasaki)
- Travis Wyman (BMW)
- Max Flinders (Yamaha)