Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha's Cameron Beaubier moved out of a tie with 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden and into sixth on the all-time AMA Superbike win list with his 18th career victory in race one on a sunny Saturday at the Utah Motorsports Campus.
A few hours later, however, Yoshimura Suzuki's Toni Elias turned the tables on his rivals to score the victory, his fifth of the season, in what was the second scintillating Superbike race of the day in Utah.
The margin of victory in both races - combined - was just .291 of a second.
Race one was the normal Superbike thriller with Beaubier's teammate Hayes surprising even himself with a pace that had him at the front of the pack from the start and a pace that kept him there for the majority of the race. That was until Beaubier upped the pace with a 1:49.776 lap to take over at the front on the 16th lap. From there he was never headed, winning his seventh race of the season by just .171 of a second over Hayes. Yoshimura Suzuki's Roger Hayden was third, 1.1 seconds behind, with Elias a few tenths behind in fourth and seething with grip issues.
"I felt like I had a couple of areas where I was stronger than Josh (Hayes)," Beaubier said after race one. "But he had a couple of areas where he was stronger than me also. I knew Rog (Hayden) and Toni (Elias) were right there and I didn't want to wait too long to try and make a move on Josh just because I know it's just as easy for Toni and Rog to pass me on the brakes as it is for Josh.
"I wanted to at least lead going into the last lap and see what happens," Hayes continued, "I thought I threw it all away when I ran wide into five. I thought Josh was going to squirt up the inside of me, but I was able to get it stood up and on the fat part of the tire to squirt out of there."
With his win and second-place finish on the day, Beaubier extended his championship points lead to 25 points (a race win pays 25 points) over Hayes, 253-228, with second, third and fourth separated by just two points. Elias is third with 227 points and Hayden is fourth with 226.
Fifth place overall went to Bazzaz Superstock 1000 class winner Josh Herrin, the Wheels In Motion/Meen Motorsports rider earning his sixth win of the season and his fifth in a row. Herrin now leads the Superstock 1000 title chase by 42 points over Bobby Fong, 268-226. Claudio Corti is third with 218 points.
Herrin barely bested Yamalube/Westby Racing's Mathew Scholtz, the South African racing to sixth overall and second in class in his debut for the team. Those two were just fractions ahead of TOBC Racing's Danny Eslick, the Oklahoman third in class.
Superbike rider Jake Gagne was eighth on his Broaster Chicken/Roadrace Factory Yamaha R1 with Quicksilver/Latus Motors Racing's Fong and Aprilia HSBK's Corti rounding out the top 10 finishers.