WSBK: GEICO US Round promises to throw up stunning weekend for all
Fans in for an action packed weekend around the legendary Laguna Seca
Rolling into the legendary WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is preparing for a sensational round eight of the season and fans are guaranteed to have a stunning weekend trackside. With all tickets offering free paddock access, as well as open grandstand seating, every side is covered for the GEICO US Round.
Welcoming the Paddock Show stage to the Californian circuit, it will be bigger and better than ever before this weekend as it offers American fans the new format which is bound to go down a storm. Each session will be shown live on stage, with commentary and special guests throughout the weekend. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, as a whole host of chat shows will light up the stage on Friday, before the Opening Day Show ends proceedings with the fastest three, top independent and all American riders.
Saturday at the Paddock Show stage will light up the paddock, as Americans are introduced to the all new Race Shows which allows fans to hear from riders just minutes after the Prosecco DOC is sprayed on the podium. With the help of the SuperShow after all on track action has finished, you will be able to see all WorldSBK riders on stage to end Saturday, before the Party in the Paddock rounds out the day. Sunday will provide plenty of on stage entertainment with Race Podium Shows taking over the schedule, but offering the most exclusive chats. It won’t be an area to miss.
Ahead of seeing your favourite riders out on track, why not head to the Marketplace which is open from Friday onwards and offers your chance to buy merchandise for your favourite riders. On top of this there will be expositions and product displays to keep you entertained. Or you could head to Ducati Island for their pure Ducati experience from Friday to Sunday, which will offer demos, live entertainment and the chance to see the Ducati WorldSBK riders.
If fans have ever dreamt of riding around the 3.6km of stunning tarmac with their own bikes, then this weekend is the chance for their dreams to come true. On Saturday lunchtime, there will be a unique opportunity on offer for fans to take to the track with their own bike, as well as a passenger. Requiring a ticket, this is too good of an opportunity to miss.
If the racing action on track got your heart pumping, then the circuit have the perfect solution for you to let out your adrenaline with a go-kart track right in the paddock. Open from Friday right through to Sunday, it offers the chance to put your skills to the test right in the heart of the track.
If you’re missing out on being trackside, or aren’t opting to camp at the circuit which provides first class views of the stunning circuit, then ensure you are enjoying SBK® somewhere just as sensational!
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team head to Laguna Seca this weekend where hometown hero Jake Gagne returns to the circuit he made his WorldSBK debut, while Leon Camier gets his first chance to ride the legendary American circuit on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
At approximately 3.61 kilometres (2.223 miles) in length, the Laguna Seca circuit is the shortest on the WorldSBK calendar however packs numerous challenges within its 11 corners, including the ultra-fast Turn 1 and the world-famous Corkscrew which plunges almost twenty metres from entry to exit.
This circuit is where Gagne made his WorldSBK debut with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team in 2017 where the American rider grabbed a pair of point-scoring finishes in a fine performance. With half a season of WorldSBK racing experience now under his belt, Gagne is aiming for his best race weekend of the year at a circuit he loves.
For Camier, the Laguna Seca round comes off the back of strong performances at Donington and Brno and with the summer break fast approaching, the British rider is aiming to move closer to the front runners at a circuit where the sublime handling and braking stability of the Fireblade should prove advantageous.
The WorldSBK action at the United States round starts this Friday at 0945 local time (GMT -7) with Free Practice 1. Race start on both Saturday and Sunday is at 1400 local time.
Leon Camier 2
Laguna Seca is quite a challenging circuit but it is really cool to ride probably one of my favourites so I’m looking forward to getting started on Friday. At this track it’s really important to have a good feel with the bike there’s some developments we’ve made on the chassis side that I think will help me on the Fireblade this weekend. Physically I’m feeling better, my shoulders and ribs have come on a lot so now we need to get out there and see if we can close the gap to the guys at the front.
– Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Jake Gagne 45
I’m really stoked to get on the Fireblade at Laguna Seca. It will be a really special weekend racing on home turf and at a track I’ve had such great memories. One year ago at Laguna was my first ride with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, it will be really nice already having ridden Laguna Seca and having some good data to build on. We’ve been making some definitive progress the last few weekends so I think it’s time to make another good step up and put it all together. I’ve always enjoyed Laguna Seca being such a unique track, so I’m really excited to get on track on Friday and see all the US WorldSBK fans!
Beaubier Leads The Way To Monterey
Round Five Hits WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
COSTA MESA, CA (June 20, 2018) – Two points. After four rounds and eight races in the 2018 MotoAmerica Motul Superbike Championship, just two points separate two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier from defending series champion Toni Elias. That’s right. Two measly points.
With two victories in the last round at Road America, Cameron Beaubier vaulted himself into the lead in the 2018 MotoAmerica Motul Superbike Championship. Now it’s time for WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.| Photo By Brian J. Nelson
And now the battle heads to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for this weekend’s Championship of Monterey in Northern California with all the ingredients in place for a thriller. Add in the fact that the MotoAmerica races (Motul Superbike, Supersport, Liqui Moly Junior Cup and Twins Cup) will take place on the same weekend as the World Superbike round at Laguna and you have the makings of a weekend that won’t soon be forgotten.
First things first. That Motul Superbike Championship. Prior to the Road America round three weeks ago, things were going all Toni Elias’ way. The Spaniard and his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 had won five of the six races and he was leading the title chase by over 30 points. Then Road America happened.
In race one in Wisconsin, a three-way fight for the lead between Beaubier, Elias and Josh Herrin resulted in controversial contact between Beaubier and Elias, with Elias crashing out. Beaubier beat Herrin for his first victory of the season and, with Elias failing to score a point, the championship is suddenly a fight again. The following day saw Beaubier and his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing YZF-R1 beat Herrin to the finish line again, with an out-of-sorts Elias ending up fourth.
So now, as the series heads to the Monterey Peninsula, Elias is no longer atop the championship point standings. For the first time all season. But, again, we’re only talking two points here.
With his two impressive second-place finishes at Road America, Attack Performance/Herrin Compound’s Josh Herrin vaulted himself to third in the championship point standings. Herrin is 38 points behind Beaubier, 36 behind Elias and 10 ahead of Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African the only rider other than Beaubier and Elias to taste victory this season.
Herrin has three podium results heading into this weekend’s races and all three have been runner-up finishes. Herrin is punching the clock and really going to work this weekend as he will take part not only in both MotoAmerica Motul Superbike races, but also in the two World Superbike races.
While Herrin had two stand-out rides in Wisconsin, Scholtz suffered through his worst weekend of the season. The South African crashed in race one, remounted and scored two points. In Sunday’s race two, he crashed again and wasn’t able to remount, losing 38 points and his third-place spot in the points to Herrin.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis continues to pound away at a consistent season with five fifth-place finishes. Lewis did one better than that in race one at Road America with his fourth-place finish but dropped a spot on his average with a sixth on Sunday. Lewis is – you guessed it – fifth in the title chase heading to Monterey.
Then comes Motul Superbike rookie Garrett Gerloff, the two-time MotoAmerica Supersport Champion who turned heads last year at WeatherTech Raceway with his fast lap times in the Supersport class. Gerloff has already visited the Superbike podium three times and he’s just three points behind Lewis in the championship.
Racer/team owner Kyle Wyman is seventh, eight points behind Gerloff and nine ahead of Scheibe Racing BMW’s Danny Eslick with Eslick having his best weekend of the season so far at Road America.
Fly Street Racing’s David Anthony and Quicksilver/LEXIN/Hudson Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong round out the top 10 in the series as we hit the halfway point in the season this weekend.
With the top two in the Motul Superbike class separated by just two points, that’s the polar opposite of the Supersport class where Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves Yamaha’s JD Beach has built himself a 43-point cushion in the championship. Beach has won four of the six races and finished second in the other two to lead Rickdiculous Racing’s Hayden Gillim, 140-97. TSE Racing’s Cory West is third in the series, 18 points behind Gillim and 19 ahead of Tuned Racing’s Braeden Ortt. M4 medAge Suzuki’s Nick McFadden is just one point behind Ortt after his best weekend of the year at Road America.
Beach had to face M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Valentin Debise for the first time at Road America, the Frenchman finally back on track after his crash at Daytona in March. Debise came back with a bang, winning race one at Road America and finishing second in race two.
Much like in the Motul Superbike class, things got tight at the top in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup Series at Road America. In fact, the difference is the same: two points. Although he won on Saturday, championship points leader Alec Dumas crashed his Orange Brigade/JP43 KTM on Sunday and that allowed Yates Racing’s Aaron Yates to move to within two points in the championship. Sean Ungvarsky, who is also a member of the Orange Brigade, is third in the championship, 21 points behind his teammate.
The new Twins Cup class will also compete at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with Ghetto Customs-backed Chris Parrish leading Altus Motorsports’ Jason Madama by seven points after three races. RBoM’s Curtis Murray is third in the standings, 33 points behind Parrish.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Notes
With his five victories on the season, Toni Elias now has 21 Superbike victories, which puts him sixth on the all-time list in what is just his third season of racing in the MotoAmerica Series. The Spaniard is also the fastest in history to get to the 20-win mark. With his 21 wins, Elias is five behind Cameron Beaubier. Beaubier, who is fifth all-time, is just two wins behind fourth-placed Ben Spies on the list.
Three riders have won Motul Superbike races this season: Elias (5), Cameron Beaubier (2) and Mathew Scholtz (1).
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden earned pole position for last year’s two Motul Superbike races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Hayden lapped at 1:23.875 during Superpole to lead Josh Hayes (1:23.949) and Toni Elias (1:23.952).
When it came to race time, no one was faster than Elias. The former Moto2 World Champion beat Hayden by .543 of a second to win race one on the 2.2-mile track with Beaubier finishing third, some eight seconds behind. In the second race, Elias again beat Hayden to the line – this time by 1.3 seconds after Hayden’s last-ditch effort to pass in the final corner. Josh Herrin finished third after Beaubier crashed out of the battle for the lead in Rainey Curve.
Mathew Scholtz pulled off the double last year in the now-defunct Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class. Scholtz and his Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha YZF R1 have now joined the Motul Superbike class after taking the Superstock 1000 Championship in 2017.
Garrett Gerloff won the Supersport race last year en route to earning his second straight Supersport Championship. Gerloff beat JD Beach by 1.5 seconds. Jason Aguilar, meanwhile, won the Superstock 600 race over Shane Richardson.
Last year’s KTM RC Cup (now Liqui Moly Junior Cup) was all about Cory Ventura as he beat Alex Dumas, who is leading this year’s Junior Cup Series, by 4.7 seconds. Draik Beauchamp was third.
MotoAmerica president and three-time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey won two Superbike races at Laguna Seca (1983 and 1986) and three 500cc Grands Prix (1989, 1990 and 1991). MotoAmerica’s Race Director Doug Chandler has also tasted success at Laguna, winning two Superbike races (1996 and 1997) as well as two Supersport races in April and July of 1998.
Cameron Beaubier and Toni Elias are the only current riders in the Superbike class to have tasted Superbike success at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. In addition to winning two Superbike races here (one race in both 2015 and 2016), Beaubier has also won three Daytona SportBike (now Supersport) races on the Monterey Peninsula. Elias hadn’t won at Laguna prior to last year, but he won both races en route to the Superbike Championship.