SONOMA, Calif. – Sunday’s MotoAmerica race in the Cycle Gear Championship of Sonoma proved the old adage that it isn’t over until it’s over.
With most series observers, including Cameron Beaubier, thinking the 2019 MotoAmerica EBC Brake Superbike Championship was a foregone conclusion after Beaubier crashed out of Saturday’s race and championship leader Toni Elias won, suddenly it wasn’t.
That’s because Elias crashed out of Sunday’s race early and Beaubier rode to victory, his fifth in the last six Superbike races at Sonoma Raceway, and his third of the season.
Just like that, the championship fight is back on, with Yoshimura Suzuki’s Elias leading Beaubier and his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing YZF-R1 by 34 points with three rounds and six races left in the title chase.
With fast-starter Beaubier leading, Elias crashed out of second place on the third lap. From there it was yesterday’s race winner Garrett Gerloff giving chase to Beaubier, the Texan putting up an admirable fight until losing front tire grip that forced him to slow his pace.
That allowed Beaubier to cruise to a 5.281-second win, pocketing the 25 championship points that came with it.
“It just feels really good to get a win today after crashing three laps in yesterday, especially just after kind of being in a rut lately, I feel like,” Beaubier said. “I feel like we’ve been really fast. We’ve had really good pace the last few tracks we’ve been to, but we just haven’t been able to put races together. So that one felt really, really good in front of the hometown crowd and stuff like that.
“I knew Toni (Elias) and Garrett (Gerloff) were going really fast this morning and all weekend. So, I just kept my head down, kept my head down, and I opened up a little gap. Then I kind of settled down a little bit. Then I saw it kind of start closing. Garrett started closing on me, so I started pushing and making a couple mistakes, running wide here and there. I was like, ‘Man, I’m going to do something stupid. I’m going to crash doing this.’ So, I just kind of backed it down a little bit and just made sure I hit my marks. I ended up going a couple tenths faster. But he kept me honest all the way up until seven to go or something like that.
“I saw plus 3.5 on my board and I was like, ‘Let’s just take this home.’”
Gerloff had a solid weekend at Sonoma and leaves Northern California with a win and a second place, while third place on Sunday went to Josh Herrin, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider making up for Saturday’s first-lap crash.
Fourth place went to Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African finishing third on Saturday. Scholtz battled with Herrin for most of the race and also had Attack Performance Estenson Racing’s JD Beach nipping at his heels for the duration. Beach crossed in fifth.
In Sunday’s Supersport race, Celtic HSBK Racing Yamaha rider P.J. Jacobsen notched his second win of the season after passing M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong late in the race.
Fong, who is leading the championship, tried a couple of times to get back around Jacobsen, but he used discretion to maintain his second-place position rather than put valuable points in jeopardy.
Bryce Prince put his Tuned Racing Yamaha on the podium in third.
Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race-two podium was a carbon copy of Saturday’s result.
Ninja400R.com/Norton Motorsports/Dr. Farr Kawasaki rider Rocco Landers tallied his ninth win out of 11 races so far this season, but the 12-lap event was a battle between him and Altus Motorsports Kawasaki rider Kevin Olmedo, who led the majority of the laps.
Landers seemed to be biding his time, and on the final lap, he pounced and passed Olmedo for the lead, and ultimately, the win.
Local rider Marc Edwards matched his third-place finish on Saturday with another third place on Sunday aboard his Feel Like A Pro/RiderzLaw Racing Kawasaki.
The weekend’s Stock 1000 race saw local rider, defending class champion, and current points leader Andrew Lee get his fourth victory of the season with a dominant performance that saw him start from the pole, get the holeshot into turn one, and lead every one of the 14 laps to the checkers aboard his Franklin Armory/Graves Kawasaki.
Michael Gilbert rode his Team Norris Racing Kawasaki to second place after getting by Ameris Bank Kawasaki rider Geoff May with just two laps to go in the race. May finished third to round out the podium.
The Twins Cup race saw a big shakeup in the championship after points leader Michael Barnes’ Quarterley Racing Ducati had a technical issue, which took him out of the race lead, out of the race, and unfortunately, out of the championship lead.
Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki rider Alex Dumas then took over the lead, put his head down, and stretched out a gap of more than 12 seconds by the time he took the checkers.
Second place went to AP MotoArts Yamaha rider Draik Beauchamp, while Autovest Suzuki rider Joseph Blasius finished a close third. The race result vaulted Beauchamp into the championship lead with 108 points.