MotoAmerica’s Musical Chairs: Who’s Getting The Superbike Seats?

What will the Superbike field look like in 2021? Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

It’s been five weeks since the 2020 MotoAmerica season concluded at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and as of today, December 1, there is less than one month remaining in 2020. Thus far, we don’t think there’s been nearly enough talk about the upcoming 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship. We’re going to do something about that, so read on.

On paper, this coming season looks to be the most wide-open and difficult-to-predict Superbike Championship in the six-going-on-seven-year history of MotoAmerica. Five-time Champion and winner of 16 out of the 20 Superbike races in 2020, Cameron Beaubier, has moved on to the Moto2 World Championship, which means that someone else is going to win the title in 2021.

But, before we speculate about who that title-winner may be, we have to figure out who’s racing where in 2021. Some of the seats are filled, or assumed to be filled, but a lot of them are not. So, we’re going to make some guesses. Come on along with us, just for the fun of it. And, please, no wagering.

Attack Performance Yamaha

Jake Gagne

Lead-pipe lock, who is entering the second year of his two-year contract with Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS), 2020 Championship runner-up who is favored to win 2021 Superbike Championship

Is it back to the future for former Yamaha Superbike rider Josh Herrin in 2021? Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Josh Herrin

Looking to rekindle his long former relationship with YMUS, former Yamaha Superbike Champion, formerly raced a Yamaha R1 Superbike for Richard Stanboli and his Attack Performance squad

Cam Petersen

Former Yamaha R1 Superbike rider, works with four-time Yamaha Superbike Champion and brand ambassador Josh Hayes, good friends with Jake Gagne and both work (and train) together at American Supercamp

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki

Bobby Fong

Quasi-lead-pipe lock, who won three Superbike races for team in 2020 after winning Supersport Championship for team in 2019, favored to win 2021 Superbike Championship

Cam Petersen proved his Superbike worthiness in 2020. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Cam Petersen

Won 2020 Stock 1000 Championship on Team Hammer-built Suzuki GSX-R1000, has full year of seat time on Suzuki, works with four-time Superbike Champion Josh Hayes who also works with Fong

Sean Dylan Kelly

Rapidly rising star, raced in Supersport for team in 2020, logical career progression

Alex Dumas

Rapidly rising star, raced in Stock 1000 for team in 2020, logical career progression

Westby Racing

Mathew Scholtz

Lead-pipe lock, who signed new contract with Westby Racing for 2021, favored to win 2021 Superbike Championship

Scheibe Racing

Josh Herrin

Had admirable first year racing BMW with solid development towards 2021 season

Will “Frenchie” Debise return to MotoAmerica? Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Valentin Debise

Former MotoAmerica Supersport star who would love to race in America again, international name attractive to BMW Motorrad, good fit for Steve Scheibe-run team

Lance Isaacs

Former World Superbike rider, former BMW Motorrad brand ambassador in homeland of South Africa, former BMW team owner, lives in Utah, would like to race a BMW Superbike in MotoAmerica

Stefano Mesa

Proven literbike race winner, known to like the BMW S 1000 RR, strong work ethic and “privateer mentality” would be good fit for team

KWR Ducati Team

Kyle Wyman

Lead-pipe lock (team owner), who had his best-ever Superbike season in 2020, still early in Ducati Panigale V4 R Superbike’s development

Celtic HSBK Racing

Lorenzo Zanetti

Six podium finishes and one win in just eight MotoAmerica races in 2020, Ducati Corse test rider who is “package deal” with Ducati Corse Panigale V4 R Superbike acquired by team in 2020

PJ Jacobsen

2020 season cut short by injury, didn’t have a chance to show full potential on Ducati, long-time relationship with Celtic Racing’s Barry Gilsenan

Elias is looking for a new Superbike and a new team. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Toni Elias

Publicly declared that he would like to race a Ducati, former Ducati MotoGP rider and long-time relationship with Ducati Corse

FLY Street Racing ADR Motorsports

David Anthony

Lead-pipe lock (team owner), who completed first year with new Suzuki Superbike, not quite ready to cease being team owner and lead rider

Sam Verderico

Familiarity with team and team logistics, still having fun, had a tough 2020 season and wants to improve on it

Bradley Ward

Promising Superbike season cut short by serious injuries at New Jersey Motorsports Park, will be back if 100% healthy

Michael Gilbert

Raced with ADR Motorsports at final two rounds of 2020 season, continuation of relationship for full 2021 season

Thrashed Racing

Max Flinders

Lead-pipe lock (team owner), who completed first year with new 2020 Yamaha Superbike, still early in bike’s development

Jones Honda/Yoshimura Honda

Ashton Yates

Faithfully carried Honda flag throughout entire 2020 season, patiently waited for 2021 Honda CBR1000R-RR Fireblade SP, strong relationship with Jones Honda

Toni Elias

Favored Yoshimura son, could rekindle historic Yoshimura Honda relationship and give extra attention to 2021 Honda CBR1000R-RR Fireblade SP debut in MotoAmerica

Altus Motorsports

Cameron Petersen

Won 2020 Stock 1000 Championship for team, Superbike ride would be natural progression for team and program, Petersen has strong relationship with team sponsor Hagerty.

Graves Kawasaki

Corey Alexander received support from Graves Motorsports in 2020. Will we see him aboard a Graves Kawasaki Superbike in 2021? Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Corey Alexander

Graves Technical Services supported Alexander’s Stock 1000 program in 2020, Alexander’s crew chief Chris Lessing has long-time relationship with Graves Motorsports

Andrew Lee

Won two Stock 1000 Championships on Graves Motorsports-built Kawasaki ZX-10R, raced Graves Motorsports Kawasakis in AFM

Richie Escalante

Won 2020 Supersport Championship on Graves Motorsports-built Kawasaki ZX-6R, logical career progression

Stefano Mesa

Proven Kawasaki ZX-10R race winner, long-time Team Green relationship, “privateer mentality” and strong work ethic are a valuable asset for any team

Valentin Debise

Raced Graves Motorsports Kawasakis in AFM in 2019, helped develop Graves Motorsports-built Kawasaki ZX-6R on which Escalante won 2020 Supersport Championship, former MotoAmerica Supersport star who would love to race in America again

HONOS Kawasaki/Ducati

Richie Escalante

Won 2020 Supersport Championship for team, Superbike ride would be natural progression for team and program, Escalante has strong relationship with team owner Humberto Baca

Toni Elias

Publicly declared that he would like to race a Ducati, former Ducati MotoGP rider and long-time relationship with Ducati Corse, strong relationship with team sponsor HONOS