MotoAmerica Sunday Wrap Up from IMS

Fong And Zanetti Win, Beaubier Crowned
At The Brickyard
Beaubier Wraps Up His Fifth MotoAmerica Superbike Crown

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 11, 2020) – Three things of note jump out after a three-HONOS Superbike race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: for starters, Italian Lorenzo Zanetti ended a winless drought for Ducati in AMA Superbike racing that dated back to 2010. Then there was Bobby Fong’s arrival as a bonafide MotoAmerica Superbike star with a weekend that saw him win two races and finish second in the only one he didn’t win. And it all wrapped up with the bow on top being the fact that Cameron Beaubier emerged from a somewhat difficult weekend with a fifth MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in his back pocket.

For the first time all season, Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha’s Beaubier wasn’t the dominant force at Indy. With the weight of trying to put the championship on ice in the penultimate round, Beaubier had some struggles. He crashed out of Saturday’s race one and it put a visible dent in his confidence for Sunday’s two races. Even with the pressure, he persevered and finished on the podium in both races – third in race two and second in race three. With that, he takes an insurmountable 97-point lead to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in two weeks where he hopes to return to his winning ways in an attempt to match Josh Hayes’ 16-win season from 2012.

“A long time,” Beaubier said when asked how long Sunday’s second race felt like it lasted. “To be honest, I felt like I just lost a little confidence after three crashes this weekend, and the little electrical gremlins we had, which it doesn’t happen often, but the Superbikes, the electronics are so complex that just one little thing you do wrong can just kind of throw everything off. Luckily everything was fine that last race today, but after the tires heat cycle, I just had no confidence, man. Sure, I could have gone faster but I wanted to bring this thing home after crashing three times and having my guys stay up until midnight a couple nights this weekend fixing my bike. Obviously, I’m over the moon happy, but I’m just relieved at the same time to get this plate for my guys, for Monster Attack Yamaha and everyone at the team, my family, my friends, everyone that supports us. 6D my helmet sponsor, it’s their first Superbike Championship and I think Attack’s first Superbike Championship as well.

“I just had pure fun this year. It was so fun just ripping off those wins. I was just really enjoying riding my bike all year. I’ve never felt so comfortable on a bike and just at home with my guys. We really built a family together, Yamaha and me. It’s just such a privilege to ride for them. This is my eighth-year riding for them, and we’ve been able to rack up six championships together. I’m just so thankful for the opportunity and everything they’ve given me. Just going to enjoy this one and go have fun at Laguna.”

Zanetti, meanwhile, started Sunday morning off with a victory on his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York Panigale V4 R Superbike in the second of the three HONOS Superbike races following his first podium a day earlier. The win ended a drought for Ducati in the AMA Superbike Series as it was Ohioan Larry Pegram who rode his privateer Ducati to the Italian manufacturer’s last victory at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California on March 27, 2010.

In winning at The Brickyard, Zanetti also became the first Italian to win an AMA Superbike race since Alessandro Gramigni rode a Fast By Ferracci Ducati to victory at Brainerd in 1996.

Zanetti was in a race-long battle with Saturday’s race-one winner Fong and his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki for the duration of race two on a cloudy and cool Sunday morning, the Italian taking over for the first time with three laps to go. On the final lap, Zanetti was able to hold off Fong by just .196 of a second. Beaubier was third, .323 of a second from the win with his teammate Jake Gagne a close fourth. With the top four covered by just .505 of a second it was the best HONOS Superbike race of the year, thus far.

“I compared yesterday, and the key of today is the work of the guys during the night,” Zanetti said. “They changed the balance for the bike. Yesterday, I’m not really confident on the front tire. Today I did a really good job. This morning in warmup I was in first place so I think that the whole race I can win. It’s not easy because from yesterday also the tire (temperature) is different, maybe seven or eight degrees less. So just try to keep calm because yesterday when I tried to stay in front to Bobby (Fong) I did a mistake, so today I just stay on back for half part of the race and study. So, when I try in the last four or five laps, the tire is dropped and it’s difficult to manage. Some parts of the track Bobby is better than me, and some I’m better. So, it’s difficult, but in the end is all right. I don’t want to think a lot. Just try to improve a little bit again for the second race of today and try to be again on the podium. This is incredibly important for me but also for Ducati because four months ago not many people trust in me that I can do it, to be able to ride in the U.S. and win some races. So, I think it’s a really good target today for me.”

The third race was all Fong. After a red flag came out when his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate Toni Elias crashed out of the lead (and right in front of him), Fong simply dominated. Chased by Gagne and Zanetti, Fong’s win got really comfortable when Gagne crashed and Zanetti ran straight at the end of the front straight, joining in fourth place. Gagne was able to remount from his blunder to finish seventh, but the miscues moved Beaubier to second and he was able to hold off Zanetti’s charge to take the spot – 9.8 seconds behind the fleeing Fong.

“No, it’s a good feeling,” Fong said when asked if this was the best weekend of his life. “First of all, I just want to say congratulations to Cameron (Beaubier). The whole pack has been chasing him all year long. He’s rode so good all year long. Hopefully, we’ll battle with him at Laguna. We all know if he didn’t have a championship to win, he would have been right there with me or in front of me. Who knows? But it’s been a good weekend. I can’t complain. It’s been weird, though. This weekend we haven’t changed anything on the bike. We started FP1 and we made minor changes, a few clicks of something, whatever. Usually every weekend we have a completely different motorcycle every session, almost. This was the first weekend where I said, ‘Just don’t touch it. I’ll figure it out.’ We made a little bit of TC stuff and fork maps, but other than that this was the most consistent motorcycle I’ve rode this year. So, it definitely paid off and I definitely had a good feeling out there. Had plenty of moments out there on the front (tire), just trying to get a 36 (1:36 lap time) for a while but it didn’t happen. Thankful to get some money and get the win. Looking forward to Laguna.”

With Fong (2-1 finishes), Zanetti (1-3 finishes) and Beaubier (3-2 finishes) getting the most out of the weekend, what of the rest?

Scheibe Racing BMW’s Josh Herrin mixed it up with the lead pack in both races before eventually finishing sixth and fourth, giving him the fourth highest point score on the day.

Gagne was then the best of the rest, though the Californian looked to deserve even better as he was set to finish on the podium for a second straight day until the crash in race two. Still, he ended the day with fourth- and seventh-place finishes.

Altus Motorsports’ Cameron Petersen, who wrapped up the Stock 1000 title on Saturday, finished sixth and seventh in the two races on Sunday; KWR Racing’s Kyle Wyman ended up ninth and fifth with his brother Travis riding the Travis Wyman Racing BMW to two eighth-place finishes.

HONOS Superbike Race Two

Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
Bobby Fong (Suzuki)
Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
Toni Elias (Suzuki)
Josh Herrin (BMW)
Cameron Petersen (Suzuki)
Travis Wyman (BMW)
Kyle Wyman (Ducati)
Danilo Lewis (BMW)

HONOS Superbike Race Three

Bobby Fong (Suzuki)
Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
Josh Herrin (BMW)
Kyle Wyman (Ducati)
Cameron Petersen (Suzuki)
Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
Travis Wyman (BMW)
David Anthony (Suzuki)
Michael Gilbert (Suzuki)

Escalante Takes Supersport Title At Indianapolis
Motor Speedway
Mexico’s Richie Escalante Earns His First MotoAmerica Title

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 11, 2020) – Richie Escalante became the first Mexican to win an AMA National Road Racing Championship when he wrapped up the 2020 MotoAmerica Supersport Championship on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after another perfect weekend on his HONOS Kawasaki. The victory was his 13th of a near-perfect season for the 25-year-old.

“I’m really happy, especially this year when start the year I know (HONOS Kawasaki team principle) Humberto (Baca) tried to give me the best package, the best mechanics, the best crew chief,” Escalante said after wrapping up the title. “So, thanks to all my team to give me the best bike, and my crew chief, my mechanic. All the people who support me and my team. This is why we had an almost perfect year, 13 wins. I’m very happy. It’s a pleasure to race with Sean (Dylan Kelly) and Stefano (Mesa) and all the young riders, very talented. I’m very happy to race with these guys and every race try to push and give you my best. I’m very happy. One more race (weekend) in Laguna, so keep working to try to finish the season on the top.”

Rocco Landers, meanwhile, was the only other winner on the Sunday at The Brickyard featured two HONOS Superbike races, the Supersport race and a Liqui Moly Junior Cup race.

Supersport – Title Time For Escalante

With his 13th race win of the season, Escalante clinched the 2020 Supersport Championship in Sunday’s race two in style. Escalante completed another perfect weekend with wins in both races, and he did it in his usual fashion of surviving the early-lap onslaught of his competitors, persevering, and running fast laps all the way to the finish line.

On Sunday, he withstood challenges from M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly, who crashed out of Saturday’s race, and MESA37 Racing Kawasaki rider Stefan Mesa, who this weekend added the Supersport class to his usual repertoire of competing in Stock 1000. Kelly and Mesa threw everything they had at Escalante, and Kelly even led the race in all but one of the opening five laps, but then, Escalante established himself at the front and took the win by a little more than a second over second-place finisher Kelly. Mesa worked his way into second place on lap four and five, then Kelly overtook him, and Mesa brought it home in third place to complete the all-Latino podium.

Liqui Moly Junior Cup – Landers Perfect Again

After winning Saturday’s Twins Cup race, clinching the class championship, and winning Liqui Moly Junior Cup race one, Landers completed another perfect weekend on Sunday when he also won Liqui Moly Junior Cup race two.

The Norton Motorsports/Ninja400R/Dr. Farr/Wonder CBD Kawasaki rider started from the pole, got the holeshot, and led all but the second-to-last lap to take the checkered flag by a scant .157 of a second over BARTCON Racing Kawasaki rider Dominic Doyle.

The South African put in a strong performance and got even stronger in the final couple of laps when he took the lead on lap 10 of 11 and very nearly had the measure of Landers. Doyle came up just a little short and had to settle for second place.

Third place went to Celtic HSBK Racing Kawasaki’s Sam Lochoff, who started back in eighth position on the grid, was in fourth after the opening lap, and then battled Isaiah Burleson for the final spot on the podium. Lochoff secured third place on lap eight and maintained the position to the finish line.

“Today’s race was pretty good,” Landers said. “I’m stoked for Dom (Doyle) to finally get back up there with me. Under the circumstances, I think it’s super awesome how fast he’s going right now. I was struggling with the edge grip and driving grip the whole race. So, I didn’t have the feel that I normally would. Yesterday, I felt a little bit better, could be the heat of the asphalt. But I’m happy with the win.”

Supersport Race 2

Richie Escalante (Kawasaki)
Sean Dylan Kelly (Suzuki)
Stefano Mesa (Kawasaki)
Brandon Paasch (Yamaha)
Xavier Zayat (Yamaha)
Lucas Silva (Suzuki)
Kevin Olmedo (Suzuki)
Benjamin Smith (Yamaha)
Nate Minster (Yamaha)
Hayden Schultz (Kawasaki)

Liqui Moly Junior Cup Race 2

Rocco Landers (Kawasaki)
Dominic Doyle (Kawasaki)
Maximiliano Rocha (Kawasaki)
Benjamin Gloddy (Kawasaki)
Liam Grant (Kawasaki)
David Kohlstaedt (Kawasaki)
Jake Roach (Kawasaki)
Cody Wyman (Yamaha)
Blake Davis (Kawasaki)
Jay Newton (Kawasaki)

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