Loris Baz leads his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati teammate Josh Herrin at Road Atlanta on Sunday.

The following is from Ducati…

The opening round of the 2024 Steel Commander MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Road Atlanta was a rainy encounter for the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati team with hard racing but successful in earning title points for the team.

Current Daytona 200 Champion Josh Herrin qualified third and led the first seven laps of race one on Saturday until he was on the receiving end of a hard pass and into the gravel trap.  However, Herrin worked his way back to fifth place by the finish.

Additionally, impact followed just after the finish in race one. Herrin’s teammate, Loris Baz, who had just finished sixth, was run into by another rider at high speed. The resulting impact destroyed both machines, with Baz suffering an injured ankle.

Race two on Sunday, with a blanket of cloud and heavy rain, gave Baz some physical reprieve as he toughed out the conditions to take seventh on the day to leave Georgia sixth in the points.

Herrin completed his weekend with a ninth-place finish in race two and sits one place behind his teammate at seventh in the championship standing. The series continues to Barber Motorsports Park in a month’s time.

Josh Herrin (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati–#2)
“Yesterday’s race was going good until we got run off the track,” Herrin said. “The bike was feeling good. After we went off the track, we went half a second per lap faster, every single lap, than anyone on the track for the last 10 laps of the race.”

“Today just wasn’t our day. We know we have what it takes to be successful, but we have some homework to do to capitalize and get the most points we can for the next race.”

“Thank you to all our sponsors and team members for all their hard work over the weekend. We’ll push hard at the next round at Barber.”

Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati–#76)
“It was a limitation weekend, especially for today after the crash we had yesterday at the finish line of race one,” Baz said. “I was very sore this morning, so for today, I was just praying for rain. That at least made it possible for me to race.”

“I couldn’t do the warm-up in the morning because of the crash, but I started the race as calm as possible. I needed to figure out how to ride with my injured foot, and I started to increase the pace because of the full wet conditions. As I went faster, I had a moment where I had some pain in my ankle, so I decided to bring it home and be safe. That meant seventh for us today. As I say, it was damage limitation, and now I will try to recover as much as possible before round two in a month.”

PJ Jacobsen won both of the Supersport races at Road Atlanta.

The following is from Rahal Ducati Moto…

The Rahal Ducati Moto team departs the Road Atlanta circuit with confidence after a dominating doubleheader at the 12-turn track. Today’s Race 2 ran under wet conditions and it was PJ Jacobsen who led the way for the Rahal Ducati Moto team, sweeping the opening weekend on his XPEL machine in a stellar performance. Finishing just behind Jacobsen in second was the Roller Die + Forming rider, Corey Alexander, providing the team a 1-2 finish in its second-ever race.

Kayla Yaakov showed incredible speed and quickly rode through the field to gain six positions to P6 and clock the quickest lap of the race at that time before ultimately high-siding, ending her weekend early. Despite the incident, the young rider proved she is a staple within the Rahal Ducati Moto team.

With the redeeming results coming out of the weekend and Jacobsen and Alexander sitting first and second in the championship standings, respectively, the entire RDM team looks forward to continuing its growth and improvements to become the most competitive team in the paddock.

Today’s race concludes race activity at Road Atlanta. The Rahal Ducati Moto Panigales will head back to Indianapolis to prepare for the next Supersport race. Rounds 3 and 4 of MotoAmerica competition will take place at the famed Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, May 17 – 19. 

Keep up with all things Rahal Ducati Moto by visiting RahalDucatiMoto.com and following our social media @rahalducatimoto. 

Cameron Beaubier was first and second in the two Steel Commander Superbike races in Georgia.

The following is from Tytlers Cycle Racing…

It was an almost perfect start for the Tytlers Cycle Team who thanks to a win in the season opener and valiant performance to finish second on race two leave Road Atlanta as joint leaders of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship. 
With forty-five points on the board Cameron Beaubier was on fine form and despite having missed the final part of the 2023 season through injury the former champion was almost unstoppable as 2024 began. 
Mixed conditions saw both Beaubier and his new team mate JD Beach qualify well – in fifth and eighth positions respectively, the pair at the sharp end on both Saturday and Sunday. 
With the #6 taking the win in race one, for JD – who returns full time to the series this year – it was a strong seventh at the flag after a race long nineteen lap battle with Loris Baz and Richie Escalante. 
Sunday saw early rain soak the 2.5-mile circuit but as the second race got underway a rapidly drying line appeared. At the front JD Beach made the most of a fast start, latching onto the early race leader. As the race progressed the #95 seized the advantage, as team mate Beaubier closed on the duo out front. Relinquishing the lead as the trio lapped slower traffic JD went down yet despite the crash, he was able to remount and recover to take a well-deserved fourth at the flag. With JD out of podium contention all eyes were on Cameron Beaubier who despite applying pressure in the final laps to race leader Jake Gagne, had to be content with second at the flag.
In Supersport Stefano Mesa qualified x before powering his Kawasaki ZX6R to eighth in the opening race of the season. He failed to finish Sunday’s second race. 
Cameron Beaubier“I am pretty happy coming out of Atlanta with a 1-2. My bike felt great all weekend with a good base from first practice. Sunday was the first day I rode the BMW in the wet and I didn’t get the best feeling in warm up. After a slow start to the race, I started feeling comfortable and was able to mount a challenge. A big thanks to the team for working as hard as they do. I am looking forward to Barber so see you all there.”
JD Beach: “The first race weekend with the Tytlers BMW team had its difficulties and I’m glad to get the first one out of the way. The goal for race one was just to try to move forward and finish the race and get a feeling of how the BMW was over a race distance. The result wasn’t quite what we hoped for, but we gained some good knowledge and track time. On Sunday in morning warm up I was feeling good from the start in the rain. I knew the start of the race was going to be important to put myself up front to try and fight for the win. I had a good battle all race long with Jake (Gagne) and Cam B. I took the lead but got slowed up by some lappers and dropped down to third. From there I was trying to charge back forward but hit a wet patch and had a big high side. I slid probably 150 feet but ran to the bike and remounted for fourth. Thanks to the team for all their efforts. Let’s see what we can do at Barber!”
Stefano Mesa: “It was the weekend of the season in Atlanta with the new crew and whilst not the weekend we were all hoping for, the team worked hard to try and get me feeling comfortable on the bike and give me the best bike they could but we could never find a good feeling. We ended race one with a P8 and unfortunately suffered a crash in race two. The Supersport class is stacked, and the bikes are fast this year so we will do our homework and come back stronger at Barber.”

Gus Rodio extended his Twins Cup points lead with a consistent weekend at Road Atlanta.

The following is from Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering…

It was another positive step for Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering rider Gus Rodio toward claiming his first MotoAmerica Twins Cup title Saturday and Sunday at Road Atlanta. The 2023 Twins Cup runner-up’s hard-earned second- and third-place finishes in the weekend’s two Twins Cup races allowed him to grow his advantage in class standings from 19 points to 22.
Rodio’s teammate – Twins Cup rookie Alessandro Di Mario – struggled a little in Sunday’s wet conditions, but his dry-weather pace was on full display as he challenged Rodio for second place in the closing stages of that race and scored his second podium finish of the year.
Neither Rodio nor Di Mario went out for the very wet Friday morning practice session but were near the top of the time sheets for Friday afternoon’s Qualifying 1. Rodio wrapped up that session third fastest – and the quickest of the Aprilia riders – while Di Mario ended up fifth-fastest. Saturday morning’s Qualifying 2 saw Rodio drop one position in the qualifying order to secure fourth place on the starting grid, and Di Mario held onto a fifth place starting spot for the round’s two Twins Cup contests.
Race 1 had an unusual start, as flickering starting lights caused the race to be quickly red-flagged and reduced from 13 laps to eight. When competition did get underway, Rodio made the most of a good launch off the line and was running right behind the race leader at the first corner. Di Mario held onto fifth place as the field navigated the tight first few corners of the Road Atlanta circuit, and both Rodio and Di Mario were part of a four-rider group that broke away from the remainder of the field at the front. Rodio led the race during Lap 2, though he slipped to third place for several laps before finishing the race in second place. Di Mario eventually worked his way up to third and even showed his teammate a wheel on the last lap. He finished in third place — just 0.107 seconds behind Rodio – to give Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering two riders on the podium.
Wet conditions were the order of the day for Sunday’s Race 2, and Rodio came back from a so-so start to clinch a hard-fought second podium finish of the weekend. Both Rodio and Di Mario slipped down the running order several positions off the start, and Rodio and Di Mario ended their first laps running in sixth and 10th, respectively. Di Mario managed to move up one place on Lap 8 and finished the race in ninth, while Rodio had moved up two positions by the end of Lap 4 and methodically closed the gap to the third-place rider in the remaining six laps. A pass at the last corner on the last lap allowed Rodio to secure his second podium finish of the weekend by a margin of just 0.214 seconds.
With Rodio’s closest championship rival scoring a win Saturday but finishing in eighth place Sunday, Rodio was able to grow his lead in the Twins Cup standings by three points. He now holds a 22-point advantage with eight races remaining this season. Di Mario’s podium Saturday limited the damage to his championship challenge, and he now sits fourth in the points standings after his first four races in the Twins Cup.  
Gus Rodio / No. 96
“I had a great Race 1. I was a little off the pace coming into the race, so I knew I had to make some changes with my riding to run at the front. I was super happy to have been fighting for the win the whole race. I knew the rain was going to be a challenge on Sunday, but I kept focused on staying smooth and consistent. Overall, it was a great weekend to work on keeping our points lead given the circumstances. I’m super excited to be heading to Barber Motorsports Park next.”

Alessandro Di Mario / No. 27
“Race 1 went pretty well. I want to thank my team and all my mechanics for the changes they made to my Aprilia RS 660 – it felt amazing during the race. It was really exciting to fight for the podium and be up there with all the fast riders in this class. I knew racing in the rain wasn’t going to be easy, but I concentrated on not making any mistakes and bringing home some points. Barber is one of my favorite tracks, so I’m really looking forward to going there next.”

Rocco Landers won Saturday’s BellissiMoto Twins Cup race at Road Atlanta.

The following is from Suzuki…

Suzuki Motor USA (Suzuki) and its lead road racing teams – Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki and RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki – showcased their obvious potential as the 2024 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship season kicked off at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. 

The Sunday weather and some racing misfortune each conspired to limit many of the final results. The bright spot though was Rocco Landers (97) winning Saturday’s Twins Cup race, marking the new Suzuki GSX-8R’s first-ever victory in only its second race weekend in competition.

RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki ace Rocco Landers made good on the all-new Suzuki GSX-8R’s immense racing promise, securing both pole position and the motorcycle’s maiden MotoAmerica win with a spirited and scrappy ride on Saturday. Wet conditions prevented the former class champ from doubling up on Sunday, but Landers still negotiated the tricky conditions to eighth place points in Race 2.

“Things came together a bit late in the offseason, but everyone on the team busted their tails to have us ready,” Landers said. “Getting this first podium on the GSX-8R at Daytona was nice, but to win this race at my favorite track is another level beyond that. It was such a fun race after having to fight hard and work my way up from third. I’m stoked and really can’t thank everyone enough at RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines and Suzuki,” added Landers.

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s talented new young gun Rossi Moor (92) posted the second-best time to Landers to officially put the GSX-8Rs 1-2 in the qualifying order. Unfortunately, Moor suffered a high-speed crash in the session and was not medically cleared to make the start. He came back on Sunday to register a brave seventh place finish.

Road Atlanta marked the opening of the 2024 MotoAmerica Supersport championship, with March’s fabled Daytona 200 serving as a standalone, non-points-paying race. Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott (70) looked to get his title push off to a quick start, throwing down a pole-winning performance aboard his next-generation GSX-R750, qualifying nearly a half-second quicker than any other rider could manage. Unfortunately, Scott crashed out of Saturday’s race on lap 12 of 18 shortly after passing his way into the lead and making a break at the front. He bounced back with a sixth-place ride in treacherous wet conditions on Sunday.

“We started off sunny and happy with good times. We were close to the class’s outright track record. I felt good in the first race, but I lost the front at the top of the hill. I hit the ground abruptly and suddenly. It was a sudden, quick, and violent flip to the ground. The second race went fairly well, considering we had a big crash Saturday, and the normal issues after that. We got through them the best we could and got some points.”

Scott’s teammate and fellow title hopeful Teagg Hobbs (79), also struggled to take full advantage of his outright pace at Road Atlanta. The second year Supersport ace left the weekend with a pair of solid tenth-place results aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R750 and is eager to improve next time out.

“My weekend wasn’t as tough as my teammates’ weekend, but it wasn’t what we are looking to do either,” said Hobbs. “In the dry, we had a lot of pace but couldn’t really put it all together. In Race 1, we had an issue causing us to lose time every lap. Sunday was just a wet mess. At a certain point, I was just trying to bring home a shiny bike and get what points we could. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next round.”

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki newcomer Joel Ohman (92) rounded out the team’s Supersport efforts, claiming 23rd- and 26th-place finishes in his racing debut with the squad.

“It was my first experience on a team like this. It’s no surprise I went faster than I have ever have before, by like 3.5 seconds,” said Ohman. ”In some ways, it was a tough weekend for everyone, but I know what to work on for the next round. We made changes to the bike for me that I felt were big improvements. My goal is to win one day, and this was a good first step.”

The run of bad luck that permeated the team’s overall efforts was most apparent in the premier Superbike class. Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante (54) crashed in a two-rider incident just moments after finishing Saturday’s season opener in eighth place. Despite walking away from the crash under his own power, Escalante was later diagnosed with a left wrist fracture and compression fractures of the L1, L2, and L4 vertebrae. After spending the night at a local hospital, Escalante was released to fly home to Mexico for further medical evaluation and treatment.

Teammate Brandon Paasch (96) had a difficult weekend of his own. Paasch crashed out of a top-ten position aboard his GSX-R1000R early in Saturday’s dry Superbike contest and then suffered another DNF the following day in challenging, variable conditions.

“It was a rough weekend for our team. I had never ridden a Superbike before here and I figured I would just jump on and go. It didn’t quite work out that way, and I struggled to get up to speed,” said Paasch. “In Race 1, I crashed on my own, trying to hang with the group and pushed a little harder than the conditions allowed. Sunday, we had an issue and I crashed again with about five laps to go.”

Suzuki Motor USA (Suzuki) will have another opportunity to make good on its full podium potential when the MotoAmerica season returns to action at Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 17-19.

Jaret Nassaney (left) and Jake Lewis (right) are both aboard Suzuki GSX-R750s in Supersport this season.

The following is from Altus Motorsports…

After some significant off-season changes and extensive winter testing, the Altus Motorsports team rolled into the Road Atlanta paddock with high hopes and excitement. Since the final round of the 2023 season, the team acquired a new rig, built an impressive three-rider roster, brought back Team Manager/Crew Chief Boyd Brunner, New Data Engineer Murph, and decided to focus their efforts on a single MotoAmerica class. 

For 2024, the team has consolidated its efforts and will run three Suzuki GSX-R750s in the MotoAmerica Supersport class. This strategic decision will streamline the team’s operations, enhancing knowledge and optimizing parts utilization. The MotoAmerica Supersport class is stacked with talent this year with many former MotoAmerica Superbike and international racers. 

The weekend was filled with highs and lows for the team. Despite significant laps of winter testing, two of the three bikes suffered from electrical issues during Round 1. Unfortunately, the problems impacted both practice time and race results for Jaret Nassaney and Torin Collins. On the positive side, Jake Lewis garnered a podium finish for the team in Race 2 on Sunday.

Jaret Nassaney had a challenging weekend at Road Atlanta.

Jaret Nassaney qualified 14th out of 39 competitors. In Race 1, he got a good start and slotted into 10th heading into the first corner. Unfortunately in turn 7 he hit a false neutral which caused him to lose the front and crash. He picked the bike up, brought it back to the pits, and was able to rejoin the race and finish after some quick repairs. Sadly, he was too far down the standings to salvage any points. The morning warm-up on Sunday was wet and Nassaney touched the paint and had a crash. Another great start in Race 2 was spoiled by an electrical issue that shut the bike off as he rolled into turn 1 and forced him to retire from the race.

Jaret Nassaney: “It was a pretty rough weekend. We left Round 1 with no points and nothing to show the work we put in over the off-season. In Race 1, I got a great start and was fully committed. The bike went into first but then popped out and went into neutral causing me to lose the front. I got the bike up and back to the pit for them to fix some body work and finished the race but was too far back to salvage any points. Sunday, I got another amazing start in Race 2 When I went to open the gas to exit Turn 1, the bike shut off. Electrical gremlins took me out of Race 2. Super frustrating weekend.”

Jake Lewis got a podium finish in race two on Sunday at Road Atlanta.

Every time Jake Lewis rolled out onto the track at Road Atlanta, he got more comfortable on the Altus GSX-R750 and went faster. He qualified an impressive 4th and finished Race 1 in 6th. On Sunday in Race 2, Lewis showed his tenacity and skill in the rain. By the halfway point of the race, he worked his way up to 3rd. With two laps to go, he had caught the 2nd place rider, but opted not to do anything risky in the rain and settled for the final podium spot.

Jake Lewis: “I am happy with the weekend. Saturday didn’t go exactly as I expected, but it was nice to reward the Altus Motorsports team with a 3rd on Sunday. Big thank you to George and Janette and the whole Altus crew for giving me the opportunity to ride the Supersport class again. The team gave me a great bike to ride and we keep making it better.”

The latest addition to the Altus squad, Torin Collins, faced a challenging weekend. Friday’s P1 marked his debut on the Road Atlanta circuit. Just as he was getting acquainted with the track, a mechanical issue halted his progress after just four laps. The setbacks continued in the second qualifying session, as a new battery was installed Friday evening and it failed during Q2 further limited his track time. He was able to get the bike back during the session and his crew installed another battery.  Despite these obstacles, Collins impressively secured the 15th spot on the grid, showcasing his potential amidst stiff competition. In Race 1, he worked his way up to 11th. Just as he was about to make a move into the top 10, he ran off into the gravel and crashed. He did remount, but ended up finishing out of the points. In the second of the weekend’s Supersport races, Collins had another electrical issue on lap 11 and was forced to retire from the race. 

Torin Collins had some mechanical issues and bad luck at Road Atlanta.

Torin Collins: “It was a really disappointing race weekend for me and the team with all the mechanical issues and bad luck we had. The results definitely do not show how hard the team and I have worked so far this season. I am staying focused and motivated for the next round. We have a lot of good times ahead.”

George Nassaney: “Definitely mixed emotions about this past weekend. As proud as I am that Jake got on the box on Sunday, I am extremely frustrated with the issues Jaret and Torin faced. We worked very hard over the winter and set a goal to show up to each round with three competitive and reliable motorcycles. Before the next round, our crew chief and data engineer are going to come to Oklahoma and go through the bikes.  We will do an additional on-track test. We will continue to improve our procedures and work with our vendors to give our racers the machines they need to go out and show their talent.”

Altus Motorsports team is supported by WPS, Firepower, Suzuki Motor Corporation, Buy A Jet From Steve Main, Barnett, Evol Technology, Maxima Oils, Hot Bodies Racing, M4 Exhausts, Vortex EK, Motion Pro, SBS Brakes, BrakeTech USA, Pit Bull Products, GB Racing, Öhlins, Puig Racing, RS Taichi, Arai, Core Moto, Pro Bolt, Chicken Hawk Tire Warmers, Law Tigers Oklahoma, and Altus Factory Racing.

+ posts