ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier continued his stunning early season with another amazing performance on Saturday at the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America.
Reigning GoPro Daytona SportBike champ Beaubier has made an impossibly smooth transition to AMA Pro SuperBike. After claiming the points lead in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Beaubier extended that advantage Saturday at in Elkhart Lake. He powered to the first pole of his premier-class career in the morning, then followed that up by out-dueling his legendary teammate, Josh Hayes, to win an epic 13-lap contest in the afternoon.
“I can’t think of a better day,” Beaubier said. “That was probably the best race of my career right there.”
After finally dropping a scrappy Martin Cardenas on the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000, the two works Yamaha men squared off in pursuit of the checkered flag. It was a much-anticipated showdown featuring one of the most decorated riders in series’ history tangling with one of its most heralded prospects, both men armed with identical YZF-R1 equipment.
Beaubier threatened to run off into the distance once he finally made his way into first on lap six, stringing together a pair of blistering sub-2:13 laps. However, three-time champ Hayes refused to give in, clawing his way back from nearly a second back and reclaiming the lead on lap eight.
Beaubier ran wide shortly after being repassed, and the Mississippian boasted a healthy 1.604-second gap with just four laps remaining.
The rookie then managed what arguably hasn’t been done to Hayes since his rookie season – he simply outpaced the veteran ace. Beaubier tracked Hayes back down and stormed by entering turn one on the race’s final lap. Once through, Beaubier registered a flawless lap to hold Hayes off at the checkered flag by 0.306 seconds.
“Josh was riding awesome – he was so strong on the brakes,” Beaubier said. “That made it really hard to pass anywhere. I knew that once I got past Josh I had to go. I had to put my head down and see what happened. I saw ‘.5’ on my board and I kept pushing. I made a couple mistakes and almost crashed in the first corner and Josh went by me. Then I over-broke myself going down into turn five and I thought it was over.