Beach, Roberts And Mazziotto Shine At Barber


Coming into the 2015 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship, JD Beach was hopeful of winning his first career race in the Supersport class.

He checked that box at the very first race in Texas and ever since the Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves Motorsports Yamaha rider has proven to be the man to beat for the championship. Today, in scorching temperatures at Barber Motorsports Park, Beach became the first four-time winner on the season with a narrow victory over his series rival Josh Herrin.

Close racing was the theme of the day at Barber. Beach's victory over Herrin was just .269 of a second in the first race of the day. In the second race, things were just as tight with Wheels In Motion/ Motorsports' Joe Roberts barely besting his championship rival Richie Escalante by a scant .284 of a second to win the Bazzaz Superstock 600 race.

In the second round of the KTM RC 390 Cup, 15-year-old Anthony Mazziotto III beat Hayden Schultz to the line in the red-flag shortened final by just .081 of a second. Championship leader Gage McAllister, meanwhile, was just .302 of a second behind Mazziotto in third place.

Monster Energy/Graves Motorsports Yamaha's Cameron Beaubier was fast on Friday and he was fast again today, the Californian earning his second Superbike pole position of the year and the fourth of his young Superbike career. Beaubier lapped at 1:25.599 to put .455 of a second between himself and Yoshimura Suzuki's Roger Hayden going into what is expected to be two hot and tortuous 23-lap races on Sunday. Beaubier's teammate Josh Hayes will fill the front row of the grid.

The battle for victory in the Supersport final was fought out between four riders - Beach, Herrin, Bobby Fong and Garrett Gerloff - though it looked like it would always be either Beach or Wheels In Motion/ Motorsport's Herrin with the upper hand. And after 21 hard-fought laps, it was Beach earning his fourth win of the year.

"It was hot out today," Beach said. "Just like home (Kentucky) - real hot and humid. You could tell how hot it got today because these guys this morning were doing really fast laps. I think the fastest lap in the race was a 1:27.5 so the speed definitely wasn't as fast, but Josh (Herrin) and Garrett (Gerloff) and Bobby (Fong) were all going really good. I was surprised to be up there really because I've struggled this weekend. My bike was working great and we definitely have some stuff we need to work on for tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow the race will be as good today for me."

Third place went to Fong and his Latus Motors Racing Triumph, the Californian who has struggled with a shoulder injury earning his first podium of the season. Beach's teammate Gerloff was relegated to fourth, well clear of fifth-placed Tomas Puerta on the Roadrace Factory Yamaha R6.

Heading into Sunday's second race, Beach leads Herrin by five points, 165-160, in the title chase. Gerloff is third with 137 points.

Thus far this season the Bazzaz Supertock 600 Series has been about three men: Roberts, Escalante and Travis Wyman. Today there were two more interlopers - Bryce Prince and his Tuned Racing teammate Jason Aguilar. Prince was in a battle with Roberts when his bike expired early on, but Aguilar was able to bring glory to the team when he held on for third and his first podium of the season.

Meanwhile, at the front, Escalante gave Roberts all he could handle on the run to the flag, the Mexican fighting back to get to .284 of a second at the checkered flag. The win was Roberts' fifth on the year and it gives him an 11-point cushion on Escalante in the title chase, 145-134. Wyman, who sits third in the series point standings, had his first non-podium finish of the year on his Kyle Wyman Racing Yamaha. Wyman ended up seventh.

"At the beginning, Bryce (Prince) got a great start and I didn't really want to sit behind him," Roberts said. "I wanted to get out and go. He wasn't really dropping back like I thought he would and he tried to make a move on me going into turn 12.

"I kinda shut the door on him. I looked behind and he wasn't there, but I saw Richie (Escalante) and I had a comfortable (one) second lead and I just tried to maintain that. The conditions were a little bit sketchy with how hot it was. I was just trying to maintain that gap and came across some lappers and unfortunately got held up by them. Richie started catching me and it got to the point where on the last lap he was right behind me... I knew if I messed up, Richie would have got by me. Great job by him."

The KTM RC 390 Cup that started two weeks ago at Road America was back in action today at Barber with a different winner. While Gage McAllister was able to win both races at Road America, today it was Mazziotto's turn to taste victory. The Jimmy Winters Motorsports rider was the rider in front when the race was red-flagged and ultimately called official because of a downed bike in the racing line. Second went to Hayden Schultz with McAllister taking third.

McAllister, however, maintains his championship lead over Jody Barry, 66-46, with Barry finishing sixth today. Schultz moves to third in the series standings with 32 points.

"I'm glad I was able to finish the race, let alone be on top of the podium," Mazziotto said after two non-finishes in the opening round at Road America. "It was definitely a great race for me and a great race for them. I wish it would have gone the last two laps, because that would have been an insane last lap. It definitely feels a lot better to be on top of the podium now. I love racing motorcycles and it's just a bummer when you can't finish."

The combined Superbike/Superstock 1000 class held its Superpole sessions on Saturday with Beaubier emerging from the 15-minute session with pole position. The factory Yamaha star will be joined on the front row by Hayden and teammate Hayes.

Row two will consist of the surprise of the weekend, Sheridan Morais. The South African took full advantage of his new Aprilia RSV4 to post the fourth quickest time overall and the fastest lap of the Superstock class for the HSBK Aprilia team. Morais will be joined on the second row by Yoshimura Suzuki's Jake Lewis and his Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike and Roadrace Factory's Jake Gagne, the Californian riding his back-up Superstock R1 in Superpole after his number-one bike blew up early in the session - consequently bringing out a red flag and a delay while track workers cleaned up the resulting oil spill.

TOBC Racing's Taylor Knapp, Turbo Turtle Racing's Danny Eslick and Yamalube/Westby Racing's Josh Day will complete row three.

"I felt really good so far this weekend on the R1," Beaubier said. "I struggled here really bad last year with two crashes and it was a pretty frustrating weekend. To come back here this weekend and have a good Friday practice and good qualifying and practice today, it gives me a little bit more confidence going into tomorrow.

"I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a tough day tomorrow. I'm just going to try to put together some solid laps. These guys are ripping so it's going to make for an interesting and really tough two races."

1. JD Beach (Yamaha);
2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha);
3. Bobby Fong (Triumph);
4. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha);
5. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha);
6. David Anthony (Suzuki);
7. Cameron Petersen (Yamaha);
8. Ben Young (Yamaha);
9. Kaleb De Keyrel (Yamaha);
10. Hayden Gillim (MV Agusta).

1. Joe Roberts (Yamaha);
2. Richie Escalante (Yamaha);
3. Jason Aguilar (Yamaha);
4. Wyatt Farris (Yamaha);
5. Nick McFadden (Suzuki);
6. Michael Gilbert (Yamaha);
7. Travis Wyman (Yamaha);
8. Curtis Murray (Suzuki);
9. Ryan Jones (Kawasaki);
10. Christian Crosslin (Yamaha).

1. Anthony Mazziotto;
2. Hayden Schultz;
3. Gage McAllister;
4. Josh Serne;
5. Alejandro Gutierrez Mejia;
6. Jody Barry;
7. Gabe Miller;
8. Mason De Keyrel;
9. Christopher Kosan;
10. Devin Husband.

1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:25.599;
2. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 1:26.054;
3. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:26.159;
4. Sheridan Morais (Aprilia) 1:26.216;
5. Jake Lewis (Suzuki) 1:26.469;
6. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:26.849;
7. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha) 1:26.950;
8. Danny Eslick (Honda) 1:27.527;
9. Josh Day (Yamaha) 1:27.708;
10. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 1:28.055.

Top Image: JD Beach (95) leads Josh Herrin (2) and Garrett Gerloff (31) in their battle for victory in Saturday's Supersport final at Barber Motorsports Park.

Credit: Brian J. Nelson.

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