Pittsburgh Doesn't Disappoint for MotoAmerica
It’s been an exciting weekend of racing for MotoAmerica in Pittsburgh.
Begin Press Release:
Wampum, PA – August 26, 2017 – MotoAmerica’s two-time and defending Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier, and defending Supersport Champ Garrett Gerloff, both were winners in their first-ever races at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, new to the MotoAmerica race calendar for 2017. And, for both riders, their performances got better and better as the laps wound down.
Cameron got a good start from the second row on the grid, and he was almost immediately in the lead pack and dicing with his rival Toni Elias. The two Champions passed each other back and forth, until Cameron ultimately took the lead towards the end of the race, and crossed the finish line with a gap of nearly one-and-a-half seconds back to Elias. Also, he ran his fastest laps of the race in the latter stages of the 22-lap event.
“It was a really good race for us,” Cameron said. “I felt like I struggled a little bit with grip in the beginning, but as the race went on, the bike kept getting better and better, and my lap times kept improving. I’m happy to get this win today and keep this momentum going.”
Speaking of “getting better and better,” that’s been the ongoing theme for Josh Hayes, who has won all four of his Superbike Championships in the latter stages of his racing career. Today, as Josh lined up on the second row for the race, Keith McCarty, Motorsports Racing Division Manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., presented the Mississippi Madman with a commemorative hat for starting his 300th career AMA road race.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized for 300 AMA starts,” said Josh. “I didn’t even know until Keith brought it to my attention on the grid. Also, it’s cool to have it happen on the same weekend that Vale (Valentino Rossi) is being honored for 300 starts in GP. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had such a long career and opportunity to ride in so many races, and I’m proud to represent Yamaha and the AMA in this way.”
About his race, in which he finished fifth in the Superbike class and eighth overall, he said, “Unfortunately, I made a big mistake in turn one on the first lap, and I put myself in a bad position right from the start. From that point forward, I feel like I ran a good race. I had a solid pace, and I was able to catch up to some of the riders at the front. My laptimes towards the end of the race were pretty decent, so if I hadn’t run off the track going into the first turn off the start, I’d have had a better end-result. I’m glad I get to race again tomorrow and put all that behind me.”
Superbike Race 2 is on Sunday at 3:15 PM EST.
Garrett, who ran a lightning-fast lap earlier in the day to earn the pole position, also ran off the track in the first turn at the start of Saturday’s MotoAmerica Supersport race, but he fared even better than Josh. Showcasing his trademark smoothness, Garrett recovered quickly from his grassy excursion and clicked off fast lap after fast lap. He was the only rider to dip into the 1:43s, and he pressed his advantage all the way to the checkers, where he won by more than 19 seconds in a display of utter dominance.
“Once I got my pace going, I felt like I could just keep running fast laps to the end,” commented Garrett. “We keep making improvements to an already great bike, and I can’t thank my team enough for all they do. It’s been a great season so far, and I just want to keep having fun. I can’t wait to race again tomorrow.”
Garrett’s teammate JD Beach notched his 12th podium result of the season, with his third-place finish.
The fan-favorite, Kentucky-based rider said, “I know I can’t win all the races, but I wish I could have been closer to the front and in the fight. We’re pretty far back in the points, and we don’t have a lot of races left. But, we’re not giving up, and we’ll work on some things so we can come back strong tomorrow.”
Supersport Race 2 from Pittsburgh International Race Complex will go green on Sunday at 2:25 PM EST.
MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
- Toni Elias – Suzuki 320
- Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha 255
- Roger Hayden – Suzuki 236
- Josh Hayes – Yamaha 164
MotoAmerica Supersport Standings
- Garrett Gerloff – Yamaha 271
- JD Beach – Yamaha 248
- Valentin Debise – Suzuki 176
For more Yamaha racing news, results, photos, and videos, visit http:// www.YamahaMotorsports.com/Racing