Barring a complete and utter catastrophe, Cameron Beaubier will drive out of Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday night with a fifth MotoAmerica Superbike Championship riding shotgun in his rental car.
Heading into this weekend’s three (yes, three!) HONOS Superbike races at the Racing Capital of the World, Beaubier holds a 103-point lead over his Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha teammate Jake Gagne and a 104-point lead over Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz. Semi-simply put, Beaubier could fail to finish any of the three races at The Brickyard and Gagne could win all three and Beaubier would still head to the series finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with a 47-point lead, which would mean he would only have to score 28 points at Laguna to take the crown.
Given the season that he’s having in which he has won 13 of the 14 HONOS Superbike races held, doing the math on this is a waste of time. But humor us. If Beaubier wins all three races at Indy and Gagne finishes second in all three, the points lead will be an insurmountable 118 points with 75 available at Laguna. If he wins twice and Gagne finishes second in those two races, the lead would be 113 points with 100 points available (25 from race three at Indy and the three races at Laguna). Of course, there are other possibilities. Gagne could win and Beaubier finishes eighth, 12th… but that’s math for another day and uses a part of the brain we likely won’t have to use this weekend.
The bottom line is much simpler: If Beaubier does what he normally does and Gagne and Scholtz do what they normally do, the battle for second in the title chase will go to the very last race in California.
To say that Beaubier has been dominant would be a vast understatement. As mentioned, ad nauseam, he’s won 13 of 14 races and was leading when he crashed out of the lead in the only race he didn’t win. You could say he’s on a heater.
“I’m excited to go to Indy again,” Beaubier said. “I have good memories there from 2015 with two great battles with Rog (Hayden) and Josh (Hayes). This has been a dream season for me and the team so far and we plan on continuing this run at Indy and Laguna. Both of those are special racetracks with a lot of history and it’s fun to be a part of that.”
The battle for second in the title chase will surely carry on at The Brickyard. Gagne holds a one-point lead over Scholtz and has been on the podium in 10 of the 14 races with seven of those coming via second-place finishes. Scholtz has stood on the podium 10 times with six second-place finishes. Both have one non-finish apiece.
Neither Gagne nor Scholtz have won a race in 2020, but the same can’t be said for M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong. Fong took what was given him when Beaubier crashed out of race two of Road America 2. He was in second place when Beaubier made his miscue and he was able to fend off Gagne’s constant harassment to earn what was the first AMA Superbike win of his career.
Fong comes to Indy fourth in the standings – 58 points from second and 57 points from third. He’s also 22 points clear of his fifth-ranked teammate Toni Elias. Elias, of late, has started to resemble the Elias of old but the Spaniard has only visited the podium once all season – in race one at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Elias’ season has been consistent with five fifth-place finishes and a smattering of fourths… definitely not what the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion has become accustomed to in what is his first season with the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team.
KWR Racing’s Kyle Wyman is sixth in the series standings as we head to the penultimate round, 15 points adrift of Elias and just five clear of Scheibe Racing BMW’s Josh Herrin. FLY Racing ADR’s David Anthony and Altus Motorsports’ Cameron Petersen are separated by just nine points in the battle for ninth in the series standings.
Tenth place is currently held by Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman but Ride HVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander is in contention for that spot – just nine points behind Wyman.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Notes…
This weekend’s MotoAmerica Superbikes at The Brickyard event will mark the second time the series has visited Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the first time since the series inaugural season in 2015.
Both of the Superbike races in 2015 were won by Cameron Beaubier, but both were ever so close. In race one, Beaubier and his factory Yamaha topped Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden by just .040 of a second with Hayden turning the fastest lap of the race with a 1:38.067. In race two, Beaubier again topped Hayden and again it was close – .015 of a second. Beaubier’s teammate Josh Hayes was just as close in third, only .297 of a second behind the winner. Hayden again had the fastest lap – a 1:37.989.
Beaubier was the fastest qualifier in 2015 with his 1:37.247 besting Hayden’s 1:37.949 and Hayes’ 1:38.343 in Superpole.
Three – yes three – HONOS Superbike races will be held at The Brickyard this weekend to make up for the cancellation of the Circuit of the America’s round in Austin, Texas. Three Superbike races will be held at Indy and three more are scheduled for the series finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to allow the series to still consist of 20 HONOS Superbike races.
Only three MotoAmerica classes were run in 2015 as the series joined MotoGP for the Red Bull Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Superstock 1000, which shared the track with the Superbike class, and Supersport were the two classes other than Superbike to race at The Brickyard. Jake Gagne, who is now Beaubier’s teammate on the Monster Energy Attack Racing Yamaha team, won both Superstock 1000 races over Josh Day and Taylor Knapp in race one and Josh Day and Sheridan Morais in race two. The lone Supersport race was won by Graves Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff over Bobby Fong and JD Beach.
Of the 15 entries in the Superport class in 2015, eight of those are still in the MotoAmerica Series: Bobby Fong, Cameron Petersen, Travis Wyman, Corey Alexander, Jason Aguilar, Josh Herrin, David Anthony and Kyle Wyman. Only Aguilar is still racing in the Supersport class, however.
Twenty bikes gridded for the Superbike/Superstock 1000 race in 2015. Six of those were Superbikes and the rest were Superstock 1000 entries. Twenty-four Superbikes are entered in this year’s HONOS Superbike races.
One rider who was at Indy in 2015 but not racing in the MotoAmerica races was Toni Elias. The 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion was racing in the MotoGP in a one-off ride with AB Motoracing Honda RC-213V-RS. The following season, Elias was part of the MotoAmerica paddock with Yoshimura Suzuki and he’s never looked back.
A round of the MotoGP World Championship was held at The Brickyard for eight years and ran its last race in 2015, the lone year they were joined by MotoAmerica.
Cameron Beaubier’s two wins at Barber Motorsports Park, September 19-20, were the 50th and 51st career AMA Superbike victories for the Californian. That puts him just 10 wins behind his former teammate Josh Hayes for second on the all-time AMA Superbike win list. Mat Mladin is the all-time leader in AMA Superbike wins with 82.
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