The Decorated Veteran And The Young Gun Dominate
While it’s too early to hand out the number 1 plates with three rounds and multiple races remaining in the series, it’s about time to fire up the engraver.
Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier leaves New Jersey Motorsports Park and heads to Barber Motorsports Park this week with a massive 84-point lead in the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship after what was another walk-in-the-park victory for the four-time series champion. Over in Liqui Moly Junior Cup and Twins Cup, 15-year old “Boy Wonder” Rocco Landers dominated both classes, both days, with four wins across the weekend to claim the points lead in both.
The most thrilling class racing, with its championship still very much in play, is in Supersport, as Richie Escalante continues to battle hard against rivals Sean Dylan Kelly and Brandon Paasch for the checkered and the title in each and every race.
Superbike- Beaubier All Day, Both Days
Cameron Beaubier jumped out front in both days of Superbike racing and never looked back, leaving the field to fight for the podium scraps. The hotly contested 2nd and 3rd positions have been between Beaubier’s teammate Jake Gagne and Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz much of the season, with M4 Suzuki ECSTAR riders Toni Elias and Bobby Fong in the hunt as well as Kyle Wyman, Corey Alexander and Cameron Petersen in every race.
So the pattern lays out like this- Beaubier runs away, and the real battles take place among the rest of the pack. And there have been some thrilling racing for the rest of the podium. Future champions are among those fierce competitors. If you want to watch a master at his craft, keep your eyes on Beaubier in every race. He puts on a race clinic, week after week. If you want to enjoy heart pounding competition, keep your eyes on the rest of the Superbike class. That’s where the real on-track battles are.
Junior Cup and Twins Cup- The Boy Wonder
Rocco Landers, last year’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup champ (in his rookie season, mind you), is so rapidly evolving as a rider, in two separate race classes, its mind-blowing to watch every week. Landers is such an entertaining racer to observe- off the track he’s an energetic, almost fidgety, talkative teenager, super friendly. On track, he’s an absolute beast, riding with a youthful abandon and aggression that has propelled him into the points leads in both Junior and Twins Cups, and a possible two-title season before its all over. His skills are incredible, almost innate. To master both a Kawasaki Ninja 400 and a Suzuki SV650, then ride them each to wins in the same day, both days… an American Marc Marquez? The comparisons have been drawn.
Supersport- The Most Thrilling Racing in the Series
The weekly on-track battles between current points leader Richie Escalante, Sean Dylan Kelly and Brandon Paasch in the 600cc class are among the best action this season. The racing is so intense with these three, finishes are often separated by milliseconds. Escalante took the lead and ultimately the race on day 1, followed by Paasch then Kelly, but day 2 saw the intensity ratchet up considerably. As an example, Kelly, aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki made a breathtaking pass up the inside of Escalante, in a spot where it didn’t seem like a pass was possible. And then, it was Paasch’s turn. Riding his Celtic HSBK Racing Yamaha, the local rider made almost the same pass on Escalante and in the very same turn on a subsequent lap. The only difference was that the opening was even more narrow, and Paasch left tire rubber on Escalante’s leathers on the way through. At the checkers, Kelly took the win, Paasch finished second, and Escalante raced his HONOS Kawasaki across the stripes to complete the podium. That, is some thrilling race action.
Stock 1000 rounded out the weekend, and South African Cameron Petersen showed once again why he deserves a Superbike ride next season. He absolutely dominated the class in its singular race for the weekend, running away from the pack on his Altus Motorsports Suzuki to a win of over 6 seconds, after actually backing off some from an 8-second advantage earlier in the race. We think a Superbike team will snatch him up for next year.
The racing heads south to the challenging Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama next weekend.
For the complete 2020 MotoAmerica Series schedule, click HERE
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*Race details provided by Paul Carruthers and Sean Bice, MotoAmerica
*Photos by Brian J. Nelson Photography