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Aug 10, 2018

MotoAmerica Superbike: Cameron Beaubier Continues Domination In QP2 At Sonoma Raceway (Updated)

Cameron Beaubier (6). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier came into the Cycle Gear Championship at Sonoma Raceway, Round Seven of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Series, riding a huge wave of momentum, having won five of the last six Superbike races.

The two-time former Champion then carried that momentum through Friday by posting the fastest lap times in each of the two Motul Superbike Qualifying Practice (QP) sessions on his YZF-R1.

Not only was Beaubier fastest overall Friday with a 1:35.531 in QP1, but he was one second faster than anyone else in QP1 and 0.8 second faster than the field in QP2.

“It seems like we picked up right where we left off here last year,” said Beaubier, who won both Superbike races at Sonoma Raceway by large margins in 2017. “Our bike is pretty much the same as it’s been and it’s working well. We tried some changes in the afternoon session, but it was so windy and the track was so greasy from the heat that it was hard to tell if the changes were good or not. Other than that, everything feels good and we’re in a good position.”

Mathew Scholtz was second-fastest in QP2 and overall on Friday with a time of 1:36.414 on his Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike thanks to some changes he and his crew made in between sessions.

“The bike was a little hard to ride,” said the 2017 MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Champion. “We made some changes to smooth things out. We took some torque out of the engine and lengthened the gearing. Our race pace is looking good, and I’m looking forward to the race. I really want to get back on the podium. That’s where we should be.”

Riding a completely new Attack Performance/Herrin Compound Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike after destroying his previous Superbike in a 123-mph highside crash last time out at Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC), Josh Herrin was second-best in the morning with a 1:36.528 and third-fastest in the tougher conditions during the afternoon session with a 1:36.780.

Defending MotoAmerica Superbike Toni Elias was third in QP1 (1:36.761) and fourth in QP2 (1:37.039), but he said not to worry.

“We arrive here with a new bike and many new parts and ideas,” said Elias. “I wanted to test everything today. This means I lose a lot of time today changing really big things. So I only got 28 laps when I normally might get 40 or more. But I don’t need quantity of laps. I need quality of feedback and ideas. We found some new things, and I think I will be there tomorrow.”

Elias’ teammate Roger Hayden lowered his time significantly from QP1 to QP2 and ended up fifth in the later session with a 1:37.728.

“It’s not going too bad. Better than normal for me here,” said Hayden, who recently announced he would retire at the end of the 2018 season. “It’s weird to say, but I slowed down to go faster. In the morning I was rushing everything, and in the afternoon I moved my brake markers back and everything flowed better and I went faster.”

Danny Eslick was 16th out of 17 riders in QP1 but finished QP2 in sixth thanks to his team swapping out an overheating engine and a faulty rear-wheel speed sensor on his Scheibe Racing BMW S1000RR in between Friday’s two sessions.

Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff was ranked seventh at the end of QP2 and not feeling very happy about it.

“We left Utah with a balanced bike that gave me a good feeling, and now it feels nothing like that,” said Gerloff, who pointed out he went faster at Sonoma Raceway last year on his Yamaha YZF-R6 Supersport machine (1:36.531) than he has so far this weekend on his factory Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike (1:37.572).

Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda’s Cameron Petersen (1:38.346), M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis (1:38.400), and Lucas Oil/KWR Yamaha’s Kyle Wyman (1:39.156) rounded out the top 10 riders at the end of QP2, even though Wyman was sidelined early in the session by a broken valve seat that killed his engine.

The Motul Superbike field will be back in action for Free Practice Three at 10:15 a.m. local time on Saturday, the Superpole session to sort out the top 12 spots on the grid happens at 11:30 a.m., and Race One is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.

Cycle Gear Championship Of Sonoma

MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Series

Sonoma Raceway

Sonoma, California

August 10, 2018

Motul Superbike Qualifying Practice One Results (all on Dunlop tires):

1. Cameron Beaubier (Yam YZF-R1), 1:35.621

2. Mathew Scholtz (Yam YZF-R1), 1:36.414

3. Josh Herrin (Yam YZF-R1), 1:36.780

4. Toni Elias (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:37.039

5. Roger Hayden (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:37.728

6. Danny Eslick (BMW S1000RR), 1:38.011

7. Garrett Gerloff (Yam YZF-R1), 1:38.058

8. Cameron Petersen (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 1:38.346

9. Jake Lewis (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:38.400

10. Kyle Wyman (Yam YZF-R1), 1:39.156

11. Geoff May (Yam YZF-R1), 1:39.293

12. Jayson Uribe (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 1:39.515

13. David Anthony (Yam YZF-R1), 1:39.931, crashed twice

14. Max Flinders (Yam YZF-R1), 1:42.065

15. Sam Verderico (Yam YZF-R1), 1:42.156

16. Bruno Silva (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:43.284

17. Alex Phillis (Kaw ZX-10RR), no lap time recorded

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