Beaubier And Hayes Split Road America Doubleheader

Cameron Beaubier (2)  and Josh Hayes (4) battle at Road America.  [Jon Kanter Photo]

by AMA Pro Road Racing, photos by Jon Kanter

Cameron Beaubier and Josh Hayes each captured victories at Road America over the weekend and left the track five points apart in the standings.


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.”

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 1 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 5 and I thought it was over.

“I put my head down and pushed as hard as I possibly could. I was making a couple mistakes just trying to catch back up but I was able to close the gap with about a lap-and-a-half to go. I got by him in the first corner. I knew he was super strong on the brakes so I just tried to block the inside a little bit and I made it to the finish.”

Runner-up Hayes said, “It was a really fun race; I had a great time riding. It started off with quite the battle with Martin. … When Cam came by, he put me pretty wide into Turn 1. It cost me a lot. It was a big gap. I just had to settle in and, fortunately, we already had a small gap on Martin by then. I started focusing on putting in some good laps and seeing where I could chip away at Cam. I had a couple spots that seemed like mine and he had a couple spots that seemed like his. I ran him down pretty slowly and then he had a big front-ender in Turn 1 that got me back in the show.

“I thought I was going to be okay there for a little a while but he closed the gap immediately. I said, ‘all right, we’re going to race this thing to the end.’ When he came by I wasn’t too surprised and I was pretty content to sit still. I had drafted him up the front straightaway once and I just tried to stay clean behind him. I made a couple small mistakes that put me a little further behind him than I wanted to be. I knew I had to do Canada Corner and the next two turns absolutely perfect if I wanted to make it work, and I messed up Canada Corner, ran a little wide and was really late getting on the throttle there. I was always pretty far behind so I went for it big coming onto the front, and ended up out of the seat trying to make something happen.”

Beaubier now boasts an early 13-point advantage over Hayden with Hayes in third, 26 points behind the rookie title contender.

Jake Gagne’s victory in Saturday’s AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at Road America was a conquest the Californian had to win twice.

Gagne had a big lead, dominating on his RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha throughout the early and middle stages of the 12-lap event. After the race was stopped due to a red flag with nine laps complete, Gagne had to come back and whip the field again in a three-lap shoot-out.

Gagne, winner of last year’s race one at Elkhart Lake, was quickest throughout the 12 laps but the red flag erased the gap he’d earned. On the restart, Jake Lewis ( Meen Yamaha) jumped out to the holeshot, but Gagne moved back to the front by turn five. Gagne was able to handle other challenges and won by 1.318. The win is his second AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike victory.

“The first part of the race we were just clicking off laps,” said pole-winner Gagne. “We were a little bummed when we heard it was going to be a three-lap dash after the red flag. I knew the guys would be back up there on me. Jake and Garrett both made some moves. Going into the last lap, I tried to get a clean, strong lap. All of the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull crew and Penske worked really hard.”


Three-time AMA Pro SuperBike king Josh Hayes made it clear that he’s not ready to be put out to pasture any time soon at the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader. The 39-year-old dug deep in difficult conditions on Sunday and claimed the 43rd victory of his AMA Pro SuperBike career in a showcase of bravery and skill.

Just keeping his R1 on two wheels over the twice-stopped race’s final two laps was a supreme test of his skills as the rain poured down on the Wisconsin circuit. The Mississippian made it through despite a number of near-crashes on the tense run to the checkered flag – which was actually shown as a final red flag, stopping the race for good when a number of last-lap incidents.

“I’m really happy for my team,” Hayes said. “Big thank you to Monster Energy Graves Yamaha for providing me with what I need to win races.”

Commenting on the level of difficult of today’s victory, Hayes said, “It was harder than the hardest lap I’ve ridden around this racetrack just to negotiate around.”

Hayes’ Factory Yamaha teammate, Cameron Beaubier, made his first real rookie mistake during the dry portion of Sunday’s contest, prior to the race’s first red flag. The 21-year-old was the favorite coming into Race 2, having dominated in the lead-up to the race, reeling in the pole position and the win on Saturday.

Beaubier appeared content to sit just behind early-leader Hayes and Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Martin Cardenas and wait for the race’s second half before making his move, similar to the strategy he used so frequently en route to his 2013 GoPro Daytona SportBike crown.

However, looks can be deceiving. Beaubier lost the front of his No. 2 Yamaha YZF-R1 in Turn 1 on lap six of 13 and crashed out of contention.

Later that same lap, riders started to signal it was raining in the back half of the circuit and the race was red flagged shortly after.

Until the stoppage, Cardenas was glued to Hayes’ rear wheel at the front of the race, well separated from the remainder of the pack. Cardenas’ teammate, Roger Hayden, was all alone in third at the time, with ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing’s David Anthony leading a group that included Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram, KTM/HMC Racing’s Fillmore and third Yoshimura runner Clark.

At the restart, the frontrunners all took to the circuit with full slicks. The race resumed with Hayes opening an early advantage over Cardenas, while Hayden and Clark settled into a close fight for third.

However, when the rain returned a second time, it was with a vengeance. Hayes managed to hold on for the win, but Cardenas plummeted down the order.

Meanwhile, Anthony blasted forward and claimed the runner-up spot, the first podium result of his AMA Pro SuperBike career.

Despite being a lap down when the first red flag was shown, Beaubier reentered the fray from the pits at the restart. The rookie ran off track once and later crashed a second time. However, despite his difficult day, he picked up 13th place points for his title campaign.

As a result, Beaubier and Hayden are now tied atop the order with 90 points apiece. Hayes is right there as well, sitting third with 85 points.

RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Jake Gagne swept the weekend’s GoPro Daytona SportBike action at Road America on Sunday, taking it to the field once again en route to his third class victory. Gagne was the master of the four-mile track and led all 12 laps in the weekend’s second race.

Much like Saturday’s race, drama in the late laps put Gagne’s result in doubt when rain began to fall on the final lap. The leaders slowed their pace until the checkered flag flew moments later.

“To come out of here and get pole and two wins, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Gagne. “It was a nice race and I tried not to make any mistakes. It started raining at the end and it made me a little nervous. We’ll try to keep the momentum going into Barber and keep going faster.”

Gagne now leads series points over Danny Eslick by 22 points.

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