Utah Motorsports Campus will be buzzing this weekend with the return of high-level motorcycle racing as MotoAmerica makes its annual trip to Tooele County beginning with practice and qualifying sessions on Friday and continuing with races Saturday and Sunday.
“We are excited to welcome back our friends from MotoAmerica,” UMC General Manager Willem Geyer said in a press release. “They never fail to put on a great show for our fans. The speed of the bikes and the athleticism of the riders is just astounding, and we’re looking forward to a great weekend.”
Toni Elias, who won both Superbike races at UMC last season en route to the series championship, will be back along with his teammate, Roger Hayden, who finished second in both races a year ago. But coming into this weekend, it’s 2016 series champion Cameron Beaubier, who also has a win at UMC to his credit, who is atop the standings, with Elias second and Josh Herrin third. Beaubier is riding a four-race winning streak into UMC, where he picked up a victory in the first race of the 2016 event.
“We struggled a little bit at Utah last year and, in the past, it hasn’t been one of the best tracks for us,” Beaubier said in a press release. “It hasn’t been terrible. I’m definitely going to start my weekend there like I do every other weekend and see where we are at. Our bike is definitely quite a bit different than it was there last year. I will go in with an open mind and see what we have. Utah’s been a good track for him (Elias) the last few years and we will need to be on our A game and do the best we can at Utah. I want to take advantage of the races and the racetracks that suit our R1. If Utah is not one of them, I will be as smart as I can and move on.”
In the Supersport class, 2015 champion JD Beach has a commanding 52-point lead with five wins in seven races. Hayden Gillim, competing for UMC-based Rickdiculous Racing, sits second in the season standings with a win earlier this season at Road Atlanta, while Valentin Debise won at Road America. Jason Aguilar will also compete in the Supersport class aboard the No. 96 Yamaha for Rickdiculous Racing.
The local team will also field an entry for Roy-based rider Gauge Rees in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup class. Justin Delong, Oleg Pianykh and Sherwick Min, who regularly compete in the Utah Sport Bike Association’s Law Tigers Masters of the Mountains series at UMC, will also take part in this weekend’s action.
Admission is free for the practice and qualifying sessions on Friday, with the action beginning at 9 a.m. with practice for the Twins Cup class. On Saturday, opening ceremonies will take place at 12:35 p.m., with races for the Liqui Moly Junior Cup (1 p.m.), Supersport (2:30 p.m.), Superbike (3:30 p.m.) and Twins Cup (4:30 p.m.) to follow. Sunday’s schedule consists of opening ceremonies at 12:35 p.m., with the Liqui Moly Junior Cup (1 p.m.), Supersport (2:30 p.m.), Superbike (3:30 p.m.) and Stock 1000 (4:30 p.m.) races afterward.
Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are available online at www.utahmotorsportscampus.com or at the track’s box office. For more information, call (435) 277-8000.