Beaubier Fastest Amid Soggy Road Atlanta Practice

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Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha's Cameron Beaubier was the fastest of the HONOS Superbike field on Friday at Road Atlanta. (Brian J. Nelson Photo)
Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha's Cameron Beaubier was the fastest of the HONOS Superbike field on Friday at Road Atlanta. (Brian J. Nelson Photo)

BRASELTON, Ga.  – The second of two HONOS Superbike sessions on Friday afternoon at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta was a stop-and-start affair with rain, lightning and finally more rain bringing a premature end to the day.

That meant the quickest lap of the day was set in the dry morning session with defending four-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier leading the way on the opening day in Georgia.

Beaubier, who had mechanical issues early in the morning session, didn’t waste much time in getting to the top of the timesheets when he returned to the track. It was on his 10th lap that he did his best time, a 1:25.380. That put him .346 of a second ahead of Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African a similar difference ahead of Beaubier’s Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha teammate Jake Gagne. M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Toni Elias and Bobby Fong ended the morning session fourth and fifth.

Scholtz was fastest in the wet session, though Beaubier and Gagne didn’t bother going out in the wet conditions.

HONOS Kawasaki’s Richie Escalante, the only rider who remains undefeated in the MotoAmerica Series thus far in 2020, picked up where he left off from Road America – at the top. Escalante led the qualifying session on Friday, besting M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly by .122 of a second. Altus Motorsports’ Kevin Olmedo ended the day third, .883 of a second behind Escalante.

Rocco Landers dropped under his own lap record in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup class, the talented youngster riding his Norton Motorsports/Ninja400R/Dr. Farr/Wonder C-backed Kawasaki Ninja 400 to a best lap of 1:41.901. That earned Landers a new lap record but very little breathing room as BARTCON Racing’s Dominic Doyle was nipping at his heels and just .035 of a second behind his rival. Celtic HSBK Racing’s Samuel Lochoff was third fastest, besting Quarterley Racing/On Track Development’s Benjamin Gloddy and Blake Davis Racing’s Blake Davis, the just-turned-14-year-old Davis making his MotoAmerica debut.

Altus Motorsports’ Cameron Petersen rode his Suzuki GSX-R1000 to the fastest lap of the day in the Stock 1000 class, the South African ripping off a 1:27.777 to lead Disrupt Racing/CCFOfficesolutions.com’s Geoff May, who was making his 2020 debut in the MotoAmerica Series. Ride HVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander ended the day third.

With the second session wet, 1-833-CJKNOWS Accident & Injury Law’s Kaleb De Keyrel led the dry Twins Cup Practice 1 session, the Minnesotan leading Roadracing World Young Guns/Sportbiketrackgear.com’s Rocco Landers by .430 of a second. Brittenum Construction/Hayden Schultz Racing’s Hayden Schultz ended the session with the third fastest time.