The MotoAmerica Road Racing Series Concludes in Dramatic Fashion at Barber Motorsports Park
We discussed the 2019 season with president Wayne Rainey, before the racing got underway Saturday morning-
Three class titles were still in contention- Superbike, Supersport, and Twins Cup. Rocco Landers and Andrew Lee had effectively sewn up their titles in Junior Cup and Stock 1000 going into the weekend, but came ready to put on a clinic for opposing riders anyway, as both handily won their first races on Saturday.
Toni Elias, the Superbike points leader going into the weekend, found the newly repaved track surface difficult to navigate, crashing out so bad in a Friday practice session that his crew had to stay up much of the night to reconstruct the bike, from the frame up. He didn’t fair much better in qualifying, and barely podiumed by race 1 end, the Yamahas of defending champ Cameron Beaubier and Garrett Gerloff seizing the 1 and 2 respectively. This brought Cameron within 7 points of Toni going into Sunday’s final runs.
Bobby Fong battled all season, on and off the track, to claw to the top of the points in Supersport approaching the Barber round, with PJ Jacobsen hard on his tailpipe points-wise. Bobby jumped to the hole shot right from the launch in race 1, and never gave up the lead, running a near flawless race, flag to flag. With his win, Bobby earned enough points to clinch the Supersport title and lay claim to the coveted #1 plate for 2019.
Young upstart Rocco Landers ran away from the pack again in Junior Cup, with only Dominic Doyle giving him a run for his money to the checkered. This 14 year old is a phenom, a prodigy, amassing 13 wins so far this season (his rookie one, by the way) with one more Sunday.
Andrew Lee cemented his grip of the Stock 1000 class on Saturday, his dominating win sealing his back-to-back title defense from all comers.
Sunday brought more beautiful conditions for racing, and Rocco Landers initialed his Junior Cup championship with another spectacular win, matching his age with his 14th victory of the season. Dominic Doyle again gave chase, but again finished 2nd behind the young champ.
Andrew Lee also scored another victory in his already-clinched 2019 Stock 1000 championship, in a virtual carbon copy of his win on Saturday, as Michael Gilbert and Stefano Mesa again rounded out the podium.
In Twins Cup, Alex Dumas lost the race to 2018 champion Chris Parrish and Michael Barnes, but the 3rd place finish was enough to give Dumas the 2019 championship on points. Dumas was the Junior Cup champ last year. Amazingly, last year’s champ, Chris, almost didn’t complete the 2019 season, much less take the final victory. Low on funds, then when he crashed his Suzuki, without a bike, one friend hosted a fundraiser to keep Chris in contention, and another friend built him a bike in three days. Chris reflected, “That’s what all the names on the side of the motorcycle are- all the people who sponsored the last three rounds. I couldn’t have been here without them.” That’s what the motorcycle community does, whether on the track, in the dirt, or on the road.
In a controversial Supersport finish, newly crowned champ and race 2 leader Bobby Fong crashed out with 5 laps to go, but was able restart the bike before the red flags came out, and ride it back around to the pits, which by rule, meant he was declared the winner of the race when it was called due to debris on the track. Both the teams of Richie Escalante and PJ Jacobsen lodged protests, but both were overruled by race control.
The premiere Superbike class saw drama from the get-go, as Cameron Beaubier found himself in the grass after an attempted outside pass on Josh Herrin in lap 1. Battling back from 8th place, Cameron put on a show of superhuman determination, knowing to claim enough championship points to defeat Toni Elias and retain his defending champion crown, he absolutely had to win the race, and Toni had to finish 3rd or worse.
Battling back from 8th place, Cameron put on a show of superhuman determination
And that’s what happened, with a little help from Yamaha teammate Garrett Gerloff. Garrett led much of the race, and when Cameron finally was able to work up through the crowd, even past Toni, to tuck back in behind Garrett, the pair led the remaining laps. Garrett deferred to his teammate in the end, as Cameron pulled past to claim the incredibly hard-fought battle back to the front, and his 4th MotoAmerica Superbike title. Toni finished out of podium contention, with Westby Racing Mathew Scholtz taking the 3rd spot on the podium. What. A. Race.
Here’s a gallery of our shots from Supersport and Superbike races 2-
Here at Road Dirt, we clearly love motorcycle racing, whether on pavement or in dirt. A weekend with MotoAmerica is always thrilling for us, as are the times we get to cover American Flat Track, AMA Supercross, NHRA Motorcycle Drag Racing, and any other form of racing involving two wheels and a motor. Motorcycling and racing are intrinsically intertwined. Always have been. Racing is certainly a big part of Road Dirt’s “RIDE LIFE” mantra, and always will be.
Oh, and we caught up with our friend Jake Gagne, whom we’ve tracked and highlighted across the 2019 season, for some final comments and reflections. Check this out-