The GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha Kicks Off This Weekend in Fontana, California
LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. -- America's top professional road-racing talent is laying down the horsepower at Auto Club Speedway's ultra-fast, 21-turn, 2.36-mile road course this weekend for the debut of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented by Yamaha.
Built by racers for racers and race fans, the three-round Shootout is bringing many national championship-winning road racers straight to fans in the motocentric states of California and Utah for a close-up view of the on-track action.
Each Superbike Shootout event is headlined by two professional classes: RaceFuelZ™ Pro Superbike and Dynojet Pro Sportbike. At this weekend's Yamaha SoCal Nationals, the Pro races will run alongside a full schedule of WERA semi-pro and amateur races.
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha will be out in full force with three-time Superbike Champion Josh Hayes and 2013 SportBike Champion Cameron Beaubier. In the off-season, Beaubier was promoted to full-fledged Superbike-rider status. He rewarded the boys in blue by winning a race at the season-opener in March. The 21-year-old comes to Fontana as a threat to become the Superbike Shootout's first Pro Superbike race winner.
Transplanted from Mississippi, Hayes is now a local from Oceanside California. He's excited to be racing so close to home: "I'm looking forward to racing in front of my friends and neighbors," he says. "It's a rare treat to be able to drive from my house to the track and, who knows, maybe I'll decide to pedal my road bicycle up to Fontana. We're hoping to see lots of SoCal Yamaha fans in attendance at Auto Club Speedway."
Yoshimura Suzuki's Pro Superbike riders include Sportbike and Supersport title winners Martin Cardenas and Roger Hayden, as well as Chris Clark, on the team's familiar, fearsome, blue and white GSX-R1000s. Other racers confirmed in the Pro Superbike class include three local residents: KTM/HMC Factory Superbike Racing Team's Chris Fillmore on the bright orange and black 1190 RC8R; Chris Ulrich on his GEICO Motorcycle Honda CBR1000RR; and "Aussie Dave" Anthony on his rapid Sic/Motul/Fly Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Leading the pack in Pro Sportbike may be one of the Y.E.S. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha Supersport teammates, Garrett Gerloff and J.D. Beach. Sportbike race winner Bobby Fong should be a contender on his Latus Motors Racing Triumph 675R, and so should 2013 Supersport race winner Joe Roberts on the M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Honda and Superbike winner Jake Zemke on his GEICO Motorcycle Honda. Local hero Benny Solis is ready to impress on his new Team35 Yamaha YZF-R6.
Tickets for this weekend's event are just $10 a day, and include pit passes so fans can see the machinery up close and get autographs from their favorite racers. In addition to the on-track racing action, on Saturday, Yamaha's "Fast Four" of Hayes, Beaubier, Gerloff and Beach will hold court in a special Q&A session with fans. Find them in the paddock's Media Center from 1:30 to 2:15.
On Sunday--from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. and 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.--Hayes, Beaubier, Gerloff and Beach will be on hand to sign posters and autograph other memorabilia. The morning autograph session takes place at the teams' garages in the paddock; the afternoon autograph session will be at the Yamaha Product Display Area.
Hanging out with racers is cool, but taking photos with a quartet of Monster Energy's official umbrella girls might be just as memorable. Find them in the pits and in the Yamaha team garages.
The action kicks off Saturday with practice for the RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike and Dynojet Pro Sportbike classes starting at 11:40 a.m., followed by qualifying beginning at 5:00 p.m. Sunday gets underway with morning practice starting at 9:00 a.m. and racing starting at 1:30 p.m.
The Heights Restaurant and Bar is a good place to be on Saturday night from 7:00 to 9:00. Race fans will get 20% off their total bill--including all drinks. Pro racers who qualify for the Superbike Shootout races are eligible to receive a free dinner. Owned by motorcycle road-racing fan Cliff Coglietti, the Heights is at 1883 N. Campus Ave., in nearby Upland.
After the action-packed series' inaugural race weekend, the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented by Yamaha moves north to Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California for the Arai Pacific Nationals hosted by AFM next weekend, May 3-4. The series then concludes with the Arai Mountain Nationals at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The Miller event is being hosted by the Utah Sportbike Association on Memorial Day weekend, May 24-25.
The new Superbike Shootout has generated tremendous industry support in the few months since it was conceived, with crucial support from: GEICO Motorcycle; Yamaha; Suzuki; Dynojet; RaceFuelZ; Arai; Honda; Motul; Galfer USA; Hotbodies; the American Motorcyclist Association; and many others.
Dunlop is providing spec tire service and Sunoco is provided spec fuel service. Companies providing service, displaying product and vending on site will include Arai, Alpinestars, Shoei, Evans Cooling Systems, Motul, California Superbike School, Galfer, Roadracing World, Specialized Products Distribution and more, including Suzuki's demo-ride operation.
For more information about the series, racers, tracks, vendors and sponsors, go toSuperbikeShootout.com, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.