One-hundred seventy-one rider entries in six classes. Fit that in your Brain, nerd. See you this weekend. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Brainerd International Raceway is next up on the 2024 MotoAmerica schedule as FIM/AMA-sanctioned professional motorcycle road racing makes its annual stop in the heart of Minnesota’s vacation country. Six race classes will each practice, qualify, and compete in two feature races evenly divided among Saturday and Sunday to deliver the action and excitement of 12 main events throughout the weekend.

Let’s take a closer look at the one-hundred-seventy-plus-one entries who will compete on Brainerd’s 2.5-mile, 13-turn road course:

Steel Commander Superbike

Let’s face it, we have no idea how things are going to end up at the end of this year’s Steel Commander Superbike Championship. As we approach the halfway point of the season, all the major teams and riders are still very much in this thing. Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing‘s Jake Gagne and Cam Petersen have each won races and are starting to overcome their physical challenges. Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW‘s Cameron Beaubier is injured, but three-time Australian Superbike Champ and current Mission King Of The Baggers phenom Troy Herfoss should do nicely in Beaubier’s stead, and he’ll be complemented by a teammate in JD Beach who is getting up to speed quickly on a new bike and in a new team just like he always does. Wrench Motorcycles Yamaha‘s Bobby Fong is taking it to the “factory” guys with his team’s Herculean privateer effort, and he sits third in the Championship with three podiums, two runner-up results, and consistent finishes in his favor. Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s madcap duo of Josh Herrin and his French doppelgänger Loris Baz have the bikes, the team, and the talent to dominate the podium. TopPro Racing BMW‘s Sean Dylan Kelly is punching far above his weight as a Superbike rookie on a new-to-him motorcycle in a new-to-him team and there’s much more to come from him. And Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki riders Brandon Paasch and his new teammate Xavi Forés are starting to string together some better results as they get more comfortable with each lap completed. Plus Real Steel Motorsports rider Hayden Gillim is having a watershed year aboard his Honda CBR1000RR-R as he rakes in Honda contingency support while he races what is essentially the same mostly stock Fireblade SP in both Steel Commander Superbike and Stock 1000.


The finishes have been close in this season’s Supersport Championship, but Rahal Ducati Moto‘s quietly confident PJ Jacobsen has been quietly, confidently building points amidst the checkered-flag drama, and it’s given him a slight gap back to Strack Racing Yamaha‘s Mathew Scholtz, who has weathered the storm of some tough, early-season starts to stay within a dozen points of Jacobsen. Beyond Jacobsen and Scholtz, the points gap becomes cavernous with 53 points separating N2 Racing BobbleHeadMoto Yamaha’s Blake Davis. Then, it’s just a couple of points apiece that separate Davis from Altus Motorsports Suzuki‘s Jake Lewis, then TopPro Racing Suzuki‘s Maxi Gerardo from Lewis, and finally, just one point behind Gerardo is Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki‘s Tyler Scott.

As a side note, we welcome back former literbike rider Bradley Ward, who will try his hand in Supersport this weekend at Brainerd aboard a Wrench Motorcycles – ADR Motorsport Suzuki. Ward, who is a right likeable British bloke, had a couple of bad injuries over the course of two consecutive years at New Jersey Motorsports Park. He returns to MotoAmerica once again as a teammate of David Anthony, and we can’t wait to see Ward and wish him well in his comeback.

Junior Cup

We’re hearing a few rumors that this may be the final year for the MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship, and if that’s the case, then the series’ entry-level riders are certainly wrapping up one of MotoAmerica’s more popular race classes with a lot of excitement. BARTCON Racing Kawasaki’s Matthew Chapin has won three of the six races so far this season, and it’s put him atop the standings, albeit by a narrow, nine-point margin. Speed Demon Racing Kawasaki‘s Logan Cunnison has won two of the other three races this season, and that’s kept the Arizonan in the hunt for the title. New York Safety Track Racing Kawasaki‘s Yandel Medina is the winner of the other race this season, and he’s also very much within striking distance.

Let’s face it, this championship is anybody’s guess. That’s how things work in Junior Cup. They race in packs, slipstream back and forth, and pass each other in spots where it would seem impossible to pass. These riders are unpredictable and, dare I say, absolutely ruthless despite their young age.

No one knows that more than defending Junior Cup Champion Avery Dreher whose Bad Boys Racing Kawasaki wears the number one plate, and everyone in the class is challenging him, but none more than his own sister Ella. She feels bad that she has to take it to her big brother. Really, she does.

BellissiMoto Twins Cup

We’ve got a battle going on in the top 10 of MotoAmerica’s BellissiMoto Twins Cup Championship, and it involves multiple teams and multiple motorcycle manufacturers. The Aprilia RS 660 riders are being fiercely challenged by the Suzuki GSX-8R riders, and they are, in turn, facing a nonstop barrage from the Yamaha YZF-R7 riders. Two-time class champion Rocco Landers just took over the Championship lead at Road America two weekends ago with a podium finish and a win aboard his RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki. Fifteen-year-old Alessandro Di Mario notched two runner-up results aboard his Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering Aprilia at Elkhart Lake. And Giaccmoto Racing Yamaha rider Dominic Doyle‘s second win of the season and fourth podium finish makes it a Suzuki/Aprilia/Yamaha top three in the standings thus far.

Meanwhile, Di Mario’s teammate Gus Rodio and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki‘s Rossi Moor are stalking the perimeter. They are poised to put their early-season woes behind them and challenge for the championship, so look for progress from that pair this weekend.

Mission King Of The Baggers

Right about now, this Mission King Of The Baggers Championship has gotten very personal. It’s a uniquely American championship pitting the two brands of Big Twin Touring Motorcycles–Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle–against each other, but the way the season has gone thus far, it all comes down to Harley-Davidson Factory racer Kyle Wyman versus S&S/Indian Motorcycle’s Troy Herfoss.

Australian Herfoss is in the lead by just nine points over Wyman, and both riders have each notched four race victories apiece. The difference so far is that Herfoss has finished as runner-up in every race he hasn’t won, while Wyman had one race where he finished off the podium in fifth.

With Herfoss pulling double duty this weekend as a fill-in for injured Steel Commander Superbike rider Cameron Beaubier, will the additional track time help the Aussie or will it distract him from the job at hand, which is to keep putting that Indian Challenger in the winner’s circle? It’s a subplot that we are going to be very excited to watch.

Stock 1000

The Stock 1000 class only competes at five MotoAmerica rounds this season, but rather than lament the lack of literbike racing, let’s instead laud these literbike lords at one of their featured rounds. The 2024 Stock 1000 Championship has been a chance for defending champion Hayden Gillim to run his number-one plate on a new bike and new team for him: Real Steel Motorsports with backing from Steel Commander Corp., Southern Honda Powersports, Jones Honda, and American Honda. At Barber Motorsports Park, which was round one of the 2024 Stock 1000 Championship, Gillim won both races aboard his CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP and quickly established himself as the man to beat in the truncated series. BPR Racing Yamaha‘s Bryce Prince emerged as Gillim’s main contender, the Californian returning to the MotoAmerica series after a lengthy hiatus and proving that he’s still one of the best motorcycle road racers, not to mention racebike builders, in the U.S.

Admittedly, after just one Stock 1000 round completed, the crystal ball is still murky at best. Behind Gillim’s Honda, there is a squadron of additional Honda Fireblade SPs piloted by the likes of Irishman Richard Kerr, Geoff May’s protégé Gabriel Da Silva, and former Scheibe Racing Superbike rider Ashton Yates. Plus OrangeCat Racing BMW rider Jayson Uribe, Prince’s BPR Yamaha teammate Wyatt Farris, Flo4Law Racing Yamaha‘s Benjamin Smith, and Visit Indiana/Tom Wood Powersports BMW rider Nolan Lamkin.

For the full 2024 MotoAmerica schedule and to purchase tickets for MotoAmerica events, click HERE

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