GRANTSVILLE, Utah – Toni Elias knew he was beaten by Cameron Beaubier in the first half of the EBC Brakes Superbike race in the Championship of Utah at Utah Motorsports Campus and he was prepared to settle for second.
Things changed when the red flag came out on the 13th lap, giving new life to the Spaniard, who took full advantage to hold off Beaubier in a thrilling 10-lap sprint race to the finish.
The win gave Elias a clean sweep of the two EBC Brakes Superbike races at UMC, the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike champion extending his championship lead to 26 points over Beaubier, 201-175.
Elias ended up just .303 of a second ahead of Beaubier at the finish, with Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff just as close in third – .502 of a second behind Elias after the trio scrapped for the entire 10-lap restart.
“Of course, it’s been a big help,” Elias said of the restart. “I don’t want to see that, but unfortunately it happened. When we saw the red flag, I start to be more comfortable like yesterday. Same thing I had to wait 12, 13 laps, 14 laps to start to be there. When I enter in my feeling, in my place, we could start to produce something every lap. I didn’t know if I was able to catch him or not because he was so strong. He did an amazing job from yesterday.
“The flag helped us. Then we played our cards. Then we start the battle with Gerloff and Cam. Was really difficult because in this situation like today anything can happen. Could be good, could be bad, could be the worst case like I had in Road America. But today it works. He (Beaubier) did an amazing job. He gives me a lot of difficulties I never seen. Today is one of the days when I saw him (Beaubier) really strong. There are other times, but today was maybe one of the strongest days. It’s really difficult. It’s good for the show, but he (Gerloff) was there too. He’s there and all three can make a good show today. Luck fell on my side with increasing the gap in the championship. But it is long. Anything can happen. I’m not going to think about the championship because I was leading with 29 and in one race, I lose everything. So, let’s be focused, let’s work good. This is for myself, for my dad, for my family who is supporting me every day and for my best days and my bad moods also. Thanks to my team.”
Herrin held on to finish fourth on the second Yoshimura Suzuki, dropping more than nine seconds off the pace after an off-track excursion. He finished a second clear of Attack Performance Estenson Racing’s J.D. Beach, who in turn was just a tick in front of his Kentucky neighbor Jake Lewis on the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki.
In the hotly contested Supersport class, Sunday’s race was a story of the hunter and the hunted. M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong got the jump on polesitter and Rickdiculous Racing Yamaha rider Hayden Gillim in the beginning of the 19-lap race, but Gillim managed to get past Fong in fairly short fashion. Fong stalked Gillim until the final turn on the final lap and drafted past him to snatch the victory by .003 of second.
It was Fong’s third Supersport win of the season. Celtic HSBK Racing’s P.J. Jacobsen finished third when Fong’s teammate Sean Dylan Kelly, who looked to have the final spot on the podium clinched, experienced a mechanical issue on the final lap.
Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race featured the same riders at the front who have been consistent protagonists throughout the season, but Quarterley Racing/On Track Development Kawasaki rider Dallas Daniels, who started from the pole, successfully held off Rocco Landers to notch his first win of the season.
Landers, who was Saturday’s winner and the victor in six of the seven races prior to Sunday, finished second after nearly beating Daniels to the finish line. Meanwhile, Altus Motorsports Kawasaki rider Kevin Olmedo matched his Saturday third-place finish with another third-place finish on Sunday.
Defending Stock 1000 champion Andrew Lee showed why he has the big number one on his Franklin Armory/Graves Kawasaki as he bided his time after the start of Sunday’s race, passed polesitter Geoff May aboard his Ameris Bank Kawasaki and pulled a healthy gap at the front, which he was able to maintain all the way to the finish line. May finished second and Stefano Mesa was third aboard his MESA37 Racing Kawasaki.
The win vaulted Lee into the points lead, and Mesa is now two points adrift in second place.
The MotoAmerica Championship of Utah proved to be a pivotal round for Alex Dumas, who moved up to the Twins Cup class after winning the 2018 Liqui Moly Junior Cup Championship.
The Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki rider not only earned both the provisional and final pole position, but he made the most of his number-one starting position, got a great start of the line, and pulled a gap, which he stretched out to more than 14 seconds by the time he crossed the finish line.