Pre-Ridge Superbike Notes: Will Elias Podium? And More…

Toni Elias has been off the podium in nine straight races. Will he snap that streak at the Ridge this coming weekend? Photo by Brian J. Nelson

This weekend the 2020 MotoAmerica Series rolls into the Ridge Motorsports Park for the first time for round five of the championship. Here are some pre-event notes on the eve of tomorrow’s official MotoAmerica Dunlop test day at the facility in Shelton, Washington…

Toni Elias, the 2010 Moto2 World Champion and 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion, is on the worst run of his MotoAmerica Superbike career heading into PittRace. Prior to the current season, Elias had never gone more than three races without finishing on the podium. In 2016, the Spaniard’s first in the series, Elias failed to podium in three straight races (race one at Road Atlanta and races one and two at New Jersey Motorsports Park); in 2018 he matched that with three in a row (Road America race one and two and Laguna Seca race one). Dating back to the final race of last year when he finished fourth, Elias has now finished off the podium in nine straight races.

The Komatsu Superbikes at the Ridge event will be the second MotoAmerica round this season to take place without fans in attendance. The other to do so was the season-opening round at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Former World Superbike rider and current Ducati Corse test rider Lorenzo Zanetti will make his MotoAmerica debut at the Ridge, the Italian filling in for the injured PJ Jacobsen on the Celtic HSBK Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R in the HONOS Superbike class.

Zanetti was penciled in to fill in for Jacobsen at the PittRace round but due to COVID-19 he wasn’t able to travel in time to get to Pittsburgh. Jake Lewis rode the bike instead in round four.

Those with a long memory will recall when the Fast By Ferraci team brought an Italian over mid-season to ride a Ducati in the AMA Superbike Series… that Italian, Alessandro Gramigni, ended up winning two races for the Eraldo Ferracci-owned and run team in 1996.

Cameron Beaubier competed in his 100th AMA Superbike race in race two at PittRace and he celebrated in style with a victory – his 45th career win in the class. Beaubier made his AMA Superbike debut at Daytona in 2014 and he’s been winning almost ever since. Beaubier has missed just three races in his Superbike career with a shoulder injury in 2017 sidelining him for three races. He is third on the all-time Superbike win list behind Aussie Mat Mladin (82 wins) and his former teammate Josh Hayes (61 wins).

Eight. That’s the magic number for Cameron Beaubier as far as wins in a season. Beaubier has won eight races in three of his four championship-winning years and one more victory in 2020 will put him at eight wins already for the current season.

The most wins in a MotoAmerica Superbike season is 10, a mark Josh Hayes set in the first year of the MotoAmerica era in 2015 and a mark Toni Elias matched en route to his title in 2017.

Just two racers have won HONOS Superbike races so far in 2020 – Beaubier and Bobby Fong. Five racers – Beaubier, Elias, Josh Herrin, Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach – each won at least one race in 2019.

With no previous MotoAmerica races to go by, Beaubier’s best lap from the two-day test at the Ridge, July 14-15, is the mark to shoot for in Thursday’s test and the three-day race weekend that will follow it. Beaubier’s best from the test was a 1:41.1.