Beaubier Extends Lead in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Standings with Two Wins at Barber
NEWS June 28, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 28, 2013) - Round 3 of AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike at Barber Motorsports Park was a big test for Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier. Beaubier won two of the season’s first three races and held a significant championship lead but the last time out at Road America he’d been beaten by Jake Gagne of RoadRace Factory/Red Bull.
Beaubier had looked just about perfect in the first two races of the year, running away at Daytona and pulling away on Saturday at Road America. But on race two, Gagne’s challenge was a tough one and Beaubier wasn’t able to top his rival. Gagne and RoadRace Factory took it to the factory team in a race with a plenty of riding on the ragged edge. It was over when Beaubier botched a corner with a couple of laps to go. Second was nothing to sneeze at, but Beaubier is on a mission to control GoPro Daytona SportBike and he wasn’t happy.
So the Californian came into Barber looking to do one thing – double and re-stamp the championship with his domination. He did just that, winning both races over Gagne in clear fashion.
Before the races, Beaubier pointed out what he saw as the problem in Wisconsin. He was going so well early on, he and the Graves team left the bike alone rather than adjust the settings. He also said it wouldn’t happen again.
After winning pole, Beaubier managed to lead all but four total laps (all at the beginning of the two races) on the way to two more wins. Beaubier moved to the front then pulled out his patented push to get away both times. On Sunday morning, his team made more changes and Beaubier changed to a Dunlop medium rear tire rather than the soft he raced on Saturday.
He now leads the points battle by 28 as the midpoint of the seasons nears.
Beaubier is in a high stress position in 2013. He’s charged with winning the championship for Yamaha and after winning seven races in 2012, anything less than the title would be somewhat of a disappointment. But at Barber Motorsports Park, and at the other 2013 races, Beaubier has proved he has what it takes. Four wins and a second place are fantastic results.
“I tried to get a good pace going and halfway through I tried to do some 1:27s,” said Beaubier. “I was able to pull a gap.”
“I felt like I was a lot more consistent on Sunday,” Beaubier commented. “We made a couple of changes to the suspension and that helped. I felt really good and I want to give it up to my team. They gave me an awesome bike and now we’ll move on to Mid-Ohio.”
Good riders take advantage when they have an advantage and Barber is one of Beaubier’s better tracks. He doubled in Alabama during 2012, too. Beaubier also won at Mid-Ohio last season.
Gagne was strong in Birmingham but not quite strong enough to top Beaubier. He managed to stick with his rival on Saturday until Beaubier wicked up the charge. A crash in the warm-up meant he was battered for Sunday’s race. He took care of business with everyone but Beaubier despite two sore legs, however, to earn more points.
“I had totaled my ‘A’ bike so the team put some of the ‘A’ stuff on the ‘B’ bike and we raced that,” said Gagne. “I got off behind Cameron (Beaubier) and about halfway through he took off. I had banged up my feet so I was feeling some pain. After he took off, I just managed the gap behind me. Second place is pretty awesome no matter what.”
On Saturday, Alabama resident Jason DiSalvo earned a fine third on the Latus Motors Racing Triumph Daytona 675R. The series veteran made his presence known with a spirited ride that saw him lead the opening two laps and looking exceptionally racy doing it.
“It was a really good race and I’m really happy to be back on the box. It has been a long time and what a fitting place to get back up there at my home track,” said DiSalvo.
“After the struggles we had, to make that much progress from Elkhart to here was really something. We had a test and worked pretty much exclusively on the balance of the bike.”
On Sunday, RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s JD Beach earned a spot on the box after a tough battle with Garrett Gerloff. Beach, third in points, improved on Saturday’s fifth place and continued his trend of finishing in the top five at every GoPro Daytona SportBike race so far in 2013. The dirt track ace held off his fellow Yamaha pilot by just 0.229 after 21 laps, a situation complicated by a penalty to Gerloff.
“Both races I had some fantastic battles. In race one, Dane (Westby) and Garrett (Gerloff) kept my race very busy. We had a race long battle, with Dane barely edging me out and myself beating Garrett by .003 at the line. While going over data after the race with Scott (Jensen) we knew we had the pace to run at the front. Overnight Scott and Danny (Anderson) worked their magic on the bike and had it working great Sunday. We had a great battle once again, but this time it was between Garrett and the clock. He jumped the start so he received the mandatory five-second penalty, but during the race he had a bit of a gap on me. I was running fourth and trying to run him down and we both kept putting fast lap after fast lap in. Even though I was within five seconds, I wanted to pass him to really get third. With three laps to go my chances where almost blown when we came up on a pack of lappers and I lost two seconds. On the last lap I had to go all out and was able to get third by 0.2. After all the hard work Scott and Danny put in over the hot weekend it felt really great. I can’t wait to get back on the bike at Mid-Ohio.”
Gerloff finished just behind Beach both races. Saturday saw him just 0.003 behind Beach and Sunday a jump-start penalty cost him a spot. The two have seen a lot of each other on the track in 2013 and it will be interesting to see which young rider can come out on top at the next round at Mid-Ohio.
“I didn’t really think I jumped (the start) that much, but I did get the holeshot, and I figured I was going to get the penalty,” said Gerloff. “I tried to stretch out a lead because I knew that I would have to make up the deficit. I felt like I rode a much better race than yesterday, but the start definitely messed things up for me. But, we’ll re-group and look for better results in Ohio.”
Dane Westby had a solid event on the GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing Honda, taking fourth and fifth place results as he continues to find his form after the Daytona injury.
"We had the pace to run at the front," Westby said after Sunday’s race. "With the little mistake we made in the beginning, it really lit a fire under me. Every time someone in front of me made a mistake, I saw it and smelled blood in the water. I just tried to make the best of the situation. I tried to pick off as many guys as I could. I thought I might even been able to get J.D. Beach in the last few laps after he ran into some traffic."
James Rispoli earned seventh and sixth in Alabama as the class rookie continues to impress in his first year in the class. So far in 2013, Rispoli has avoided the struggles many young riders experience in jumping to the GoPro Daytona SportBike class. Rispoli had finished seventh in each GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the year before improving one spot on Sunday.
"The weekend was full, with plenty of ups and a few downs. Overall though, another great step in the right direction,” said Rispoli. “The motorcycle, the team, and I are becoming more and more accustomed to GoPro Daytona SportBike. Race two on Sunday we had some very consistent laps, and we were only six seconds off the podium. We need to work on a few more things, and we will be fighting for some podiums.”
Another young rider showing progress was Benny Solis on the M4 Sportbike TrackGear.com Honda. Solis earned 10th and ninth in Alabama, flipping what former Daytona 200 winner Joey Pascarella accomplished on the Riders Discount Racing Triumph Daytona 675R.
The 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season will resume on July 12-14 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for the Buckeye Superbike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire. For tickets and more information regarding the event, please visit http://www.midohio.com/Schedule/Buckeye-Superbike-Weekend-2013.
This season's GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing action is being broadcast on CBS Sports Network as part of the CBS Sports Spectacular. Fans can find CBS Sports Network on their TV by using the channel finder at http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder.
In addition to the live broadcasts on CBS Sports Network, AMA Pro Live will be live streaming multiple channels of behind-the-scenes video of the weekend's activities alongside Live Timing & Scoring. AMA Pro Live puts fans in the director's chair, allowing them to choose from a variety of viewpoints including track cameras, paddock cameras and a press conference channel at http://www.amaprolive.com.
About GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing:
GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The 2013 schedule consists of nine rounds of competition on the country's finest road courses. The Series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.