Beaubier Scores Shock MotoAmerica Championship

Cameron Beaubier (1) leads teammate Garrett Gerloff Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park. (Brian J. Nelson Photo)
Cameron Beaubier (1) leads teammate Garrett Gerloff Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park. (Brian J. Nelson Photo)

LEEDS, Ala. – What seemed like the improbable three days ago turned into reality for Cameron Beaubier Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park.

The Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing rider won his fourth MotoAmerica Superbike crown by five points over his rival Toni Elias with a sweep of the two EBC Superbike races at Barber Motorsports Park.

Beaubier did everything he needed to do in the Championship of Alabama. He needed to win both races and he needed Elias to finish third or worse in both. Elias struggled to a fourth-place finish on Sunday to give Beaubier the title.

Sunday’s victory was the sixth of the year for Beaubier and the 38th of his AMA Superbike career. More importantly, it earned him a fourth AMA Superbike title, which puts him in a tie with his former teammate Josh Hayes for second in AMA Superbike history. Mat Mladin is at the top of that list with seven AMA Superbike championships.

For the second straight day, Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff finished second, the Texan again leading the early laps before playing good soldier and not putting up a fight when his teammate caught up. Beaubier, meanwhile, had made things difficult for himself by running off the track in turn one on the opening lap, but he got the job done.

“I couldn’t believe what happened off the start,” Beaubier said. “I’ve been feeling so good. My R1 has been working so good all weekend – Friday, Saturday, this morning, warmup, Sunday. I knew what I had to do. I knew I had to get in front and win the race and Toni (Elias) had to get third to win. I thought it was all out the door. I was in the grass. I tried to go around the outside of (Josh) Herrin and everyone knows you don’t go around the outside of Herrin. You end up in the grass. So that’s what happened. I got back on the track. I think I was like around eighth or something like that. These guys were riding so good. They were so hard to pass, and they were trying to pass each other as well.

“So, I made it really, really tough on myself, but I had nothing to lose. I just put my head down and pushed as hard as I could. I can’t even believe we were in this position going into this race – seven points out of the lead after yo-yo-ing to 30 points back on Toni (Elias), and we’re sitting here with the number-one plate. I just can’t believe it, really. It’s amazing. I just owe it all to my team Yamaha. It really is like a big family. I love all those guys. It’s Rick’s (Hobbs, his crew chief) last year. He’s retiring after this year. He’s been a huge key, if not thekey, to these four championships. I owe a huge portion of it to him. I’m really going to miss that guy.”

Third place on Sunday went to Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African some 10 seconds behind the Yamaha duo but almost three seconds ahead of Elias. Kyle Wyman was fifth on Sunday, his best result of the season on his KATO Fastening/Ducati Richmond/KWR Ducati.

The final Supersport race of the season was red-flagged with five laps to go in the race when M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider Bobby Fong, who clinched the championship with his win in Saturday’s race one, crashed out of the lead. Fong was able to successfully remount his bike and ride it back to the pits, which, by rule, meant that he was declared the winner of the race.

There was understandably confusion on the podium, but the final results from race control declared Fong the victor with 2 Wheel Legal – Hudson Motorcycles Yamaha rider Richie Escalante finishing second and Celtic HSBK Racing Yamaha’s P.J. Jacobsen finishing third.

In Liqui Moly Junior Cup, 14-year-old phenom Rocco Landers matched his age with the number of class victories he won on the season as capped off his 2019 championship with his 14th race win out of 17 total races. Landers won the pole aboard his Motorsports/Dr. Farr Kawasaki, won Saturday’s race one, and then dominated Sunday’s race two where he took the checkered flag by more than three seconds over second-place finisher and BARTCON Racing Kawasaki rider Dominic Doyle, who also finished second on Saturday.

Third place on Sunday went to Quarterley Racing/On Track Development Kawasaki’s Benjamin Gloddy, the New Hampshire rider scoring his first MotoAmerica podium result after finishing fourth on Saturday.

There was virtually no denying Franklin Armory/Graves Kawasaki rider Andrew Lee from defending his Stock 1000 Championship and, even after clinching the title two weeks ago at New Jersey, Lee came into Barber Motorsports Park, earned the pole position, won Saturday’s race one, and finished out the season with one more win in Sunday’s race two, which was his 8th victory out of 11 races on the season.

The Sunday podium was a carbon copy of Saturday with Team Norris Racing’s Michael Gilbert and Mesa 37 Racing’s Stefano Mesa finishing second and third, respectively, for the second consecutive day.

In the final MotoAmerica race of the season, Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki rider Alex Dumas clinched the championship with his third-place Twins Cup result. Meanwhile, Chris Parrish, who started the season on a Suzuki and concluded it on a Ghetto Customs/AP MotoArts Yamaha, notched his second win and fourth podium of the year. Second place went to Michael Barnes, which was his eighth podium this season.