The Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha Factory Racing team experienced the agony and ecstasy of Superbike racing all in one day at Road Atlanta, and it was all sweetness and light at the conclusion of the race weekend as defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier got back to his winning ways with a victory in Race 2. Cameron’s teammate and four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes finished second.
In Race 1, with Cameron in the lead and Josh in second place and close behind Cameron, things got a little too close as the front wheel of Josh’s Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike made contact with the rear wheel of Cameron’s R1, which sent both Yamaha Factory riders and their bikes into the gravel and out of the race.
The Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha Factory Racing Superbike team and their two riders quickly regrouped, rebuilt their #1 and #4 R1 Superbikes, and were ready for Race 2.
When Sunday’s second Superbike race went green, Josh got the jump on Cameron, who earned the pole position inSaturday’s final qualifying. Cameron slotted into the lead pack and quickly worked his way into second where he raced in close formation with Josh throughout the entirety of the 22-lap main event, with the two teammates swapping the lead on several occasions. As the laps wound down, Cameron put his #1 R1 in front for good and took the checkers for his first Superbike victory of the season.
After the podium celebration, Cameron talked about what transpired in Superbike Race 1 followed by his comments about Race 2. He said, “Obviously, Josh has been racing a long time, and I really look up to the guy. I know he didn’t mean to have that happen, so we’ll move on and look forward. In Race 2, I felt like I could make some passes a little more easily than I could in Race 1. Josh did not make it easy, though. He wants to win just as badly as I do, and regardless of what happened in Race 1, we were both going for the win in Race 2. This win was important for my team and me, after the start we’ve had to the season. It’s great to get back to where we belong, and that’s winning races.”
Josh also gave his account of the events of Race 1, followed by his thoughts on Race 2, saying, “In Race 1, it was an unfortunate incident. It was late in the race, and the tires were getting to be a handful. When we were going into the turn, it felt like Cam went in there just a little bit different than he had been. I definitely ran into him, and I feel terrible about it. Race 2 went a lot more like I expected. We were able to draft each other a little bit and swap the lead. He pulled a little bit of a gap on me there at the end, and I tried to get back closer to him, but I just couldn’t catch him.”
The Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha Factory Racing team will be back in action in two weeks as the MotoAmerica Championship travels to the Northeast for the race at New Jersey Motorsports Park on April 29 – May 1.
|2016 MotoAmerica Superbike Standings||4/17/16|
|3||Josh Hayes – Yamaha||52|
|4||Jake Gagne – Yamaha||44|
|5||Josh Herrin* – Yamaha||43|
*Leads the MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Points Standings.
Watch The MotoAmerica Championship On BeIN SPORTS And BeIN SPORTS CONNECT
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