Elias Bests Beaubier In MotoAmerica Thriller

Toni Elias (24) leads the way during Saturday's MotoAmerica Superbike event at Circuit of the Americas. (Brian J. Nelson Photo)

AUSTIN, Texas – Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias continues to show that he is the MotoAmerica version of Marc Marquez when it comes to winning motorcycle races at the Circuit of The Americas.

Elias won a scintillating battle with Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier to earn his sixth victory out of seven starts in Texas.

After 15 laps of the 3.426-mile Circuit of The Americas, Elias beat Beaubier by just .089 of a second after a battle that went to the final two corners. And Beaubier’s teammate, Garrett Gerloff, was just .248 of a second behind in third place – despite starting the race from the back of the grid.

“Before I arrive at COTA this year, I was pretty sure they will be there this year, because all the things happening in Atlanta was 200 percent they could be there,” Elias said. “And that is what happened. Every practice they’ve been there. We worked well, but still we are missing something. We have to work more to find it. Anyway, today was pretty particular. It rained a lot. The track was not the same as yesterday. Was so different. Big difference to lead the race or be in second or third position. It was much more easy just because the wind is much less. The wind made me make a couple mistakes in the last lap when I was pushing hard. I think for that, he was more close than the other laps.

“I didn’t expect he’d pass me on the bridge down there. I didn’t expect it. I tried to move quick and also I closed the door before the last corner, but he made it. So, congratulations. Is an amazing ride. I played my card. Was good. We finished and win this race. It’s amazing. I need to sit down with my team, work a little bit more, find something for tomorrow, especially with the rear grip. Anyway, we are consistent, happy. Let’s see what happens.”

Josh Herrin, who led at times early in the race, ended up fourth, 1.9 seconds behind his teammate Elias.

J.D. Beach rode the Attack Performance Estenson Racing Yamaha to fifth, some four seconds clear of fellow Kentuckian Jake Lewis on the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki.

Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz ran off the track once, crashed and remounted to finish seventh, barely besting FLY Racing/ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony and Omega Moto’s Cameron Petersen, with the trio separated by just .454 of a second.

KWR Ducati’s Kyle Wyman rounded out the top 10 finishers.

Scheibe Racing BMW’s Jake Gagne didn’t make the start after crashing out of the warm-up session prior to the start of the race, tweaking his previously broken leg. Gagne has made the decision not to race Sunday and will rejoin the series at Virginia Int’l Raceway, May 4-5.

With his second win of the season, Elias leads the MotoAmerica EBC Brakes Superbike Championship by nine points over Beaubier, 70-61.