What a difference half a decade makes…or does it?
With just one week to go before the start of MotoAmerica Superbikes at The Brickyard, it’s interesting to take note of what’s different, or not so different, in 2020 compared with 2015.
In 2015, Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier earned the pole position in Superbike on a sunny Friday afternoon at The Brickyard. Beaubier’s fast lap of 1:37.247 notched his third pole position of the season in the eighth round of the championship. That lap put him 0.702 of a second ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden. Third fastest on that Friday five years ago was Beaubier’s teammate Josh Hayes. Fourth fastest was Roadrace Factory/Yamaha’s Jake Gagne, the YZF-R1-mounted Californian besting HSBK Racing Aprilia’s Sheridan Morais, who qualified fifth.
The Supersport class also held its qualifying session on Friday and, at the top of the heap was Latus Racing Triumph rider Bobby Fong, the Californian taking pole for the second straight round, with a fastest lap of 1:39.848.
Fong was joined on the front row by then-championship points leader JD Beach and his Yamalube/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha teammate Garrett Gerloff. Josh Herrin, also aboard a Yamaha, qualified fourth, while Yamaha-mounted Cameron Petersen rounded out the top five in MotoAmerica’s middleweight class.
SUPERBIKE QUALIFYING: 1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:37.247; 2. Roger Hayden (Suzuki); 1:37.949; 3. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:38.343; 4. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:38.421; 5. Sheridan Morais (Aprilia) 1:38.446.
SUPERSPORT QUALIFYING: 1. Bobby Fong (Triumph) 1:39.848; 2. JD Beach (Yamaha) 1:39.892; 3. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) 1:40.521; 4. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:40.611; 5. Cameron Petersen (Yamaha) 1:40.879.
And, in an interesting side note from 2015, then-MotoGP rider Toni Elias was also at Indy, competing in the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, which ran concurrently with MotoAmerica that year. Elias had a one-off ride with AB Motoracing aboard a Honda RC-213V-RS.
During the weekend, Elias had a conversation with his hero Wayne Rainey, who was (and is) President of the KRAVE Group that runs the MotoAmerica Series. Elias expressed to Rainey that he would really love an opportunity to race in the MotoAmerica series and live in the U.S.
Of course, the following year, Elias’ dream came true when he joined Yoshimura Suzuki’s MotoAmerica team…and, you know the rest.
To purchase tickets for all MotoAmerica events, click HERE
For information on how to watch the MotoAmerica Series, click HERE
For the full 2020 MotoAmerica Series schedule, click HERE