MotoAmerica: It’s Beaubier Day at Road Atlanta
With Q1 and Race1 complete at Road Atlanta we discuss the events of the day and how we arrived at 2 wins for the Beaubier brothers.
Superbike favorite and reigning champion Jake Gagne delivered a crushing performance in Qualifying 1. Leading 2nd place rider and 5 time AMA Superbike Champion and Tytlers Cycle Racing rider Cameron Beaubier by almost 1 second. However, it was Beaubier that would have the last laugh. In a heated on track battle, Gagne and Beaubier pulled away from the pack within the first 3 laps. The two riders were mostly in a race of their own with P3 – P5 riders bunching up in a battle for 3rd behind led by 2022 Supersport champion and now Warhorse HSBK Ducati Superbike rider Josh Herrin.
Gagne led the race early. However a perfectly executed draft on lap 7 into the braking zone before Turn 10 saw Cameron Beaubier through to the front of the pack. Gagne held on to Beaubier for a few laps but Beaubier started to pull away in the later stages of the race. Ultimately this resulted in a 0.340s lead when the checkered flag waved. Josh Herrin was able to hold off the pack and secured third to complete the podium on his first race out on a Superbike.
After a self proclaimed ‘surprising’ pole position in qualifying, Orange Cat Racing rider Ezra Beaubier was able to translate his qualifying success to a win in Race 1; his first ever at the national level. Beaubier finished 2.787s ahead of the second place rider Travis Wyman.
Beaubier had the following comments to the media after the race, “A lot has changed. New team. New bike. And just a new mindset, really. Just happy with where I’m at. Everything was just clicking. Yesterday I surprised myself with pole. I definitely did not expect that at all. To go out and win today, that was another huge shocker. I did not expect it to come that easy. I know these guys are fast. Last year I left everything I had out on the track and sometimes, a lot of times, ended up on my head. My main goal for the year was I just wanted to see every checkered flag.”
“Last year I had so many DNFs, that I just want to be there until the end. To come out of the box swinging like this, it’s a dream come true. That was the easiest race of my life, literally. Everything was clicking and working. I wanted to lead, especially coming into the lappers, just because if you’re the first guy through the lappers, you usually are able to get through them a little bit cleaner. Even when Geoff (May) passed me, I wanted to go straight back past him because I wanted to be at the front. I knew I had a little bit more in the tank if needed. I just kept hitting my marks. Everything was just clicking. It was like a dream out there. It was just butter.”
P2 finisher Travis Wyman had some electrical issues with the bike earlier this weekend but they did not appear to change the outcome of the race today. Rounding out the podium was 25 year MotoAmerica veteran Geoff May. May lead the race early but fell behind as tires started to wear.
In a post race interview, May stated that after this weekend he would be retiring from professional racing. It is with a heavy heart that the MotoAmerica fans accepts this statement. Geoff has seen the transformation of the sport during the golden years. With 25 years of dedication to the sports and multiple race wins. Geoff May will forever be remembered forever for his longevity and contributions to growing this sport.
In other news, Cameron Petersen who had a major crash yesterday appeared uninjured amounting a P4 finish in Race 1. Tomorrow we will keep an eye for any delayed issues but Petersen seemed to be comfortable on the bike.
New Warhorse HSBK Ducati rider Xavi Fores won Race 1 today in a close battle with Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider Tyler Scott. The margin separating the two was 0.041s at the end of the race. Veteran Josh Hayes placed 3rd. There had been speculation as to whether Fores was the real deal and able perform at this level of racing. Fores finished 5th fastest in qualifying but was able to find the pace to take the win.
However, Rocco Landers did not enter the Supersport class this weekend. With Josh Herrin’s departure Landers was easily the favorite to win the class. By missing round 1 and with the class schedule changes this yea. A Landers charge for first place will be an uphill battle. We hope to see him on grid at Barber Motorsports Park.
Our rider of the day goes to Cory Ventura. Cory started in P25 and found the pace to work his way up to finish P9 in veteran like fashion. Unfortunately, Cory’s early crash coupled with early morning rain in Q2 eliminated his ability to improve his qualifying times for a higher grid spot. We are excited to see what Cory can do when he starts the race from the front. Three riders did not finish Race 1.
After a commanding qualifying, substitute rider for Rodio Racing – Powered By Robem Engineering, Rocco Landers seemingly was a world ahead of the competition. However, Landers was not able to secure the win in Race 1 due to what appeared to be a major motor malfunction. A plume of blue smoke smoke-screened the bikes behind. Landers was visibly unhappy with the result after the race.
Returning in true champion fashion Blake Davis took P1 over Rodio Racing – Powered By Robem Engineering’s Gus Rodio by 0.276s. Landers was running P2 when the mechanical issue arose which promoted Rodio to P2. Jackson Blackman had a run at third place but could not mount an attack that would see Cycle Tech’s Hayden Schultz behind him. Blackman had to settle for 4th by a margin of just under 2 tenths.
Junior Cup featured some new and some familiar faces this year. Bad Boy Racings rider Avery Dreher finished on top of the table 6 tenths ahead of Max VanDenBrouck who many favored to win the race. Hayden Bicknese finished P3 behind Max Van. In 4th was Rossi Moor who had qualified P7. Rossi Moor on the sole KTM RC390R on grid found the pace and made up 3 positions in his debut race of the 2023 season.
Dreher stated after the race, “Coming into this season, I had high hopes of getting into the top three in the championship. Been working pretty hard. The race was tough. Just tried to play it smart. It sucks that we had the restart, but there was a little bit of contact in there. At the end of the race, I got shuffled back a little to fourth, and then clawed my way back up into third which was where I anticipated being. Just went by Max (Van).”
King of the Baggers
H-D Screamin’ Eagle’s Kyle Wyman won Race 1 of the Mission King Of The Baggers races at Road Atlanta this weekend. Despite the win Wyman stated in a post race interview with MotoAmerica media that he was struggling with shifting issues. he stated, “During the race, I made a really clean first lap, and then second and third lap I kind of spaced a couple things, made some mistakes. I lost a half second on the back straightaway with some weird shifting. Kind of waited too long to get a shift, got rev limiter, upshift, had to backshift and upshift again. I had to gather it up a little bit in the first two or three laps. Then just kind of settled into that kind of mid to high 30 pace.”
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