The gap between 2016 champion Cameron Beaubier and 2017 champ Toni Elias in the MotoAmerica Motul Superbike Class standings just got a little wider after this weekend’s action at Utah Motorsports Campus.
Twenty-four hours after Elias beat Beaubier by less than half a second for Saturday’s victory, Beaubier dominated Sunday’s 17-lap event from start to finish, and saw his points lead swell to 49 points with eight races left on the schedule when Elias crashed out of the race on the sixth lap.
“I was just trying to hit my marks and be consistent and take as little risk as possible,” Beaubier said. “That was the most stressful for me, just try and make it to the finish. I feel really relieved after today to be able to win here and get a second place and come out with the points lead makes me feel really good going into the remaining races. Looking forward to getting back on the bike in a couple weeks’ time and try to continue on this roll.”
Elias was right on Beaubier’s back wheel in the early going, but made a mistake and slid off the track. He ran over to his bike and tried to get it restarted to salvage some points from the day, but he was unable to get back on the track.
“Cameron got a very strong start and put a gap on me in the first few laps,” Elias said. “Then I equalized and then for two laps I began to catch him. My bike was even better (Sunday), so I think we were looking good for another win. Then, unfortunately, I lost the front end and crashed. Sometimes it goes like this. The season is still long. I am going to remain positive and keep doing what I can to try to come back in this championship.”
Second place in Sunday’s race went to 22-year-old series rookie Garrett Gerloff, who finished 4.3 seconds behind Beaubier. Jake Lewis captured his first podium finish of the season, crossing the line 1.5 seconds after Gerloff for third place.
On Saturday, Elias finished ahead of Beaubier and third-place Josh Herrin. A Sunday-morning practice crash kept Herrin from racing Sunday afternoon and cost him third place in the season standings, as Matthew Scholz leapfrogged him.
The feel-good story of the weekend came in the Stock 1000 class. Chad Lewin, a Los Angeles real-estate agent making his MotoAmerica debut, survived a late-race challenge from Travis Wyman before holding off Andrew Lee for his first career victory. Salt Lake City-based racer Oleg Pianykh finished third.
It was an impressive effort from Lewin, who suffered a severe leg injury several years ago and never envisioned being back on a racing bike.
“I was supposed to have it amputated,” Lewin said. “I was never going to walk. I didn’t plan on riding again. I’m a full-time realtor. I have a real estate team. It pays the bills, and that’s my full-time job so I came here to have some fun. When the helmet goes on, it’s a different Chad that shows up. I definitely sent it a little more than expected. It was a really emotional win because I worked so hard. This is for my mom and my dad, so I hope they’re proud.
“Back to work tomorrow to sell some houses,” he added.
Pianykh said the effort to race at his home track only came together within the past few weeks.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a while,” he said. “I literally had no motorcycle, so we threw something together in pieces and here we are. I couldn’t do it without my friends and sponsors. This is my first professional podium and it feels pretty awesome.”
JD Beach continued his season-long dominance in the Supersport class, winning on both Saturday and Sunday to extend his lead to 82 points over Rickdiculous Racing rider Hayden Gillim. Beach has now won seven times this season.
Sunday’s race saw him pass Valentin Debise in the final few laps before holding off the Frenchman by 0.558 seconds for the victory. Braeden Ortt finished third, nearly 17 seconds behind Beach, while Gillim crashed on the 10th lap of the 15-lap race and was unable to finish.
“Val was able to get a little bit of a gap on me but, after about lap 10 or so, I think he made a little bit of a mistake,” Beach said. “The front (tire) seemed like it got better. The last five laps, I felt like it was a whole new bike. I was able to get by him on the front straightaway, and I tried to put my head down the last three laps or so. I did my fastest lap on the last lap. I felt really good.”
On Saturday, Debise had a mechanical issue and was unable to race. That set up a showdown between Beach and Gillim, with Beach winning by 1.31 seconds. Cory West was third.
In the Liqui Moly Junior Cup class for young riders, Alex Dumas won Saturday’s race just four days after the Canadian celebrated his 16th birthday. Ashton Yates was second and Cory Ventura was third.
Renzo Ferreira earned his first career MotoAmerica win in Sunday’s Junior Cup race in a thrilling finish, edging Jay Newton by .054 seconds. Dumas was third, .246 seconds behind Ferreira.
Chris Parrish won Saturday’s Twins Cup race by 13.7 seconds over Danielle Diaz. Justin Filice was third, finishing 39.2 seconds off Parrish’s pace.