Earlier this year, Cameron Beaubier celebrated the 100th AMA Superbike race of his career with a victory in Pittsburgh. Today, he went out and won for the 50th time in the premier class of the MotoAmerica series in what was his 105th start. That translates to a winning percentage of .476. In other words, Beaubier has won nearly half of the Superbike races in which he has started. Impressive stuff.
Today’s win came in HONOS Superbike race one of the MotoAmerica Superbikes at Alabama round of the 2020 MotoAmerica Series at Barber Motorsports Park and, like the majority of his wins in 2020, it was a dominant one. Beaubier ran wide on the opening lap in turn five, allowing Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz to squeeze past. The four-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion, however, wasted little time in re-passing the South African and from there he was never headed, winning his 12th race of the season by 4.5 seconds with a celebratory stand-up wheelie across the finish line.
The win puts Beaubier at 300 points after 13 races and gives him an 89-point lead over his Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha teammate Jake Gagne heading into Sunday’s race two at Barber.
“To be honest, it’s just weird,” Beaubier said of winning this 50th Superbike race. “It makes me feel old when you say I got 50 races. That’s crazy right now how fast everything goes by when you’re a motorcycle racer, I guess. It’s been incredible. It’s crazy. I don’t even know what to say about that. It’s pretty cool to be next to some of the greats on the books. In regard to today, I knew going into the race it was going to be pretty tough because both these guys had pretty strong pace, especially Mat (Scholtz) yesterday afternoon. He was just clicking off low 24s and high 23s. I knew today was going to be tough. I feel like we found a little bit of something this morning after practice going into Superpole. I just got really comfy out there on my bike. Put my head down there in the beginning. I almost ran off the track going down into Charlotte’s Web (turn five) and slotted into second. I knew I had pretty good new-tire pace, so I just wanted to try to get by Mat (Scholtz) as soon as I could and put my head down. He squared me up and passed me in the last corner, and then I was able to square by him on the straightaway. And then from there on I just put my head down and it seemed like they got in a little fight and I was able to sneak away early. Actually, my front tire, it felt like it started shredding there towards halfway to the end of the race. I was pretty nervous when I felt that feeling. I feel like every rider knows that feeling when you start to push that front and you feel it in almost every right-hander. It’s like you’re surfing. Just pushing over the pavement. It was pretty early on and I was like, ‘oh no, I’m done.’ But the thing hung in there and I was still able to do a couple high 23s and low 24s on it. I was surprised. I came in and it was cheese grated, but it still hung in there. So, hats off to Dunlop for bringing good tires this weekend. I feel like no one really knew what to expect going into this round and how the asphalt was going to be. Like I’ve said all weekend, the owners have done such a good job resurfacing this place.”
Gagne ended up second in the 20-lap race, coming out on top of a battle with Scholtz and earning himself a 10-point lead over Scholtz in the battle for second in the championship. For Gagne it was his 11th podium of the year and his seventh second-place finish.
“We’ve just been a little behind all weekend,” Gagne said. “We didn’t have the best day yesterday. Made a couple mistakes on a couple different sides of things. Reset today. We had a different bike today than we did yesterday. Kind of the bike that we brought from New Jersey. It just wasn’t working here yesterday. We kind of made a couple little mistakes, like I said. But hats off to the crew. They never give up. We’re always looking for those little improvements. Cam’s flying. Mat’s flying. We knew we were off yesterday, so we made it happen and had a better bike today. Got off to a pretty decent start. Mat and Cam were duking it out there on that first lap, so I had a good front-row seat for that. I saw Cam kind of really pull the pin and he took off. Now it was kind of me and Mat. I got a really good drive and slipped underneath him down the back straight there. Just tried to put my head down. I think all of us weren’t exactly sure how these tires were going to hold with the situation we’ve had all weekend. So, I think I was just trying to click off consistent paces. We were kind of there in the low 24s and mid 24s. I just kind of wanted to click off something I could keep doing until the end. The tires held up. These Dunlops held up good. Hats off to the team again. We’ll see if we can make a couple of changes tomorrow and try to pick up the pace a little bit, especially at the beginning when Cam’s out there.”
For Scholtz it was podium number nine on the season.
“Once Jake (Gagne) came past me I kind of thought that he would be quicker for the first half, but we kind of got to the halfway point and I wasn’t catching him as quick as I thought that I would,” So just have to go back to the trailer tomorrow and try to (find some) drive out of the corners. I feel like that’s where we were losing our time to Cam (Beaubier) and Jake. Cam was just flying, and Jake definitely pulled something out of the hat today.”
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Toni Elias finished fourth, 19.1 seconds behind Beaubier and 5.7 seconds ahead of Altus Motorsports’ Cameron Petersen, the South African impressive in putting his Stock 1000-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the top five of a HONOS Superbike race.
Sixth went to Elias’ teammate Bobby Fong, some two seconds behind Petersen. KATO Fastenings/KWR Ducati’s Kyle Wyman was seventh behind Fong and well in front of Scheibe Racing BMW’s Josh Herrin.
FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ Andrew Lee ended up ninth in his HONOS Superbike debut in his first ride on the team’s GSX-R1000 and his first ride of any kind on a Suzuki. Lee came out on top of a race-long battle with Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman by just .013 of a second.
Race two of round seven of the series will take place tomorrow afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park.
Superbike Race One
- Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
- Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
- Toni Elias (Suzuki)
- Cameron Petersen (Suzuki)
- Bobby Fong (Suzuki)
- Kyle Wyman (Ducati)
- Josh Herrin (BMW)
- Andrew Lee (Suzuki)
- Travis Wyman (BMW)