This just in from MotoA:
Elias Takes Motul Superbike Race Two
At Road America
Beach Scores Supersport Victory Over Gerloff
ELKHART LAKE, WI (June 4, 2017) – Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias won a red-flag shortened Motul Superbike race today in the final day of the Dunlop Championship at Road America, the Spaniard topping his teammate Roger Hayden by .131 of a second when the race was stopped for a second time because of oil on the racing line in turn one.
Elias leads Hayden and Beaubier in Motul Superbike Race 2 | Photo: Brian J. Nelson
The race was stopped twice. The first time came on the opening lap when Bobby Fong, Jake Lewis and Mathew Scholtz crashed on the exit of turn five. Fortunately, the three escaped injury and Lewis and Scholtz were able to restart the race with Fong being forced to sit it out with a badly damaged motorcycle.
From the onset of the restart, the race at the front was hot and heavy with Elias and Hayden going at it at the front while Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier fought through from a bad start to join them. The shortened eight-lap race looked set to be a thriller to the end, but ended up with an anticlimactic finish when Josh Herrin’s HelmetSounds/Western Services/Meen Motorsports Yamaha blew up on the entrance to turn one and left oil on the racing surface. That brought out the red flag and the premature end to the race.
Since Elias had led across the line the lap of the incident, he was awarded victory by .131 of a second over Hayden with Beaubier just .854 of a second adrift in third place.
“On the paper, this race was short, 13-laps and shorter than most of our other races, but after the red flag only eight laps,” Elias said. “I know Roger (Hayden) and Cameron (Beaubier) can be especially strong in the first 10 laps of the race. I passed Roger, but he passed me back, so it was difficult to try and open a gap on the guys behind me. I’m a little bit disappointed to end the race like this because I think that we could have put on a good show for the people who came out to watch us today. The team and I have been working well, consistent, and it is a good weekend for us continuing to manage the points lead. This race win today is for Nicky (Hayden) and the Hayden family.”
Beaubier’s teammate Josh Hayes was fourth, the four-time AMA Superbike Champion battling for the majority of the race with Herrin until the Georgian’s motorcycle failed him and ultimately caused the red flag.
Scholtz rebounded from his first-lap crash to finishing fifth in the Motul Superbike class and that gave him victory in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class, his second of the season. The win combined with Fong’s non-finish also moved the South African into the lead in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship by six points over Fong.
TOBC Racing’s Danny Eslick was sixth and second in Bazzaz Superstock 1000, the Oklahoman barely besting veteran Larry Pegram, who was having his first weekend on the Superbike-spec Scheibe Racing/Hayes Brake BMW.
Jake Gagne rode his Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda Superbike to eighth with Cycle World Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim and Helmet Sounds/Western Services/Meen Motorsports’ Bryce Prince rounding out the top 10. The latter two were third and fourth in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class, respectively.
Hayden was relatively pleased with his second-place finish to Elias, though like the other two in the top three he was left wondering what could have been had the race run the full distance.
“It would have been nice if the race went the distance or was event one lap shorter to benefit me,” Hayden said. “The team made a lot of changes to my bike from yesterday and I felt quite a bit stronger today in some of the areas that were my weakness yesterday. I got a good start and just put my head down and tried to be fast right away, which was a little bit faster than yesterday. Toni (Elias) got by me and was running a good pace and we went back and forth a couple of times. I tried to race him as hard as I could and when there was a hole to pass I tried to make it happen. Sometimes the red flags help you and sometimes they can hurt you, it’s part of it and it was still a good race to finish second and leave here with good points. I love Utah, it’s a good track for me, while this track has been one of my worst and I’m happy to leave here with a podium.”
Beaubier was in the same boat, though he said he was having some front-end issues that he didn’t have in yesterday’s victory.
“I was pretty bummed out that our race got called after the red flag,” Beaubier said. “Obviously our race only had like two laps left, but it was just kind of a bummer and I got some stuff to work on heading into Utah. I need to work on and improve my starts, there’s no reason to put myself in the middle of the pack like I have been doing and play catch up the rest of the race. I need to speed my race craft up at the beginning of the race, because anything can happen as you saw today. Overall, I’m happy to be back on the podium and I was able to get some decent points today. I feel good going into Utah, I really enjoy that track and my Yamaha R1 works great there.”