Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier, the four-time and defending MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, came out on top during the rain-affected second and final day of the official MotoAmerica pre-season test Wednesday at Barber Motorsports Park.
After rain and tire wear issues limited him to only a handful of laps on Day One, Beaubier got significantly more time on his Dunlop-shod 2020-model Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike on Day Two and finished with a best lap time of 1:24.332, which was the fastest time of the entire test.
“Everything went good. It’s a bummer we didn’t have more time, but we made the most of it,” Beaubier told Roadracingworld.com. “It was cool to ride this bike around this place, at a different track other than Buttonwillow back at California, where we have ridden every test so far.
“This bike is quite a bit different than my bike from last year, but it works good. There’s obviously some things we need to work on here and there just to get me a little more comfortable, get the balance a little bit better, but for the most part everything has been good so far.”
Beaubier said one big difference with his 2020-model Yamaha is its Magneti-Marelli engine electronics.
“I feel like the software we’re using now makes a big difference on engine braking,” said Beaubier. “We’re just using a little bit more cut. As you know, we used to run it pretty free on wheelie control and TC [traction control] and stuff like that, and now we’re starting to use a little more intervention. I think it’s helping. Everything with this software is just a little more precise, which is good for me, because that’s something we struggled with in the past. Our system was good, but I feel like this stuff is more precise in the areas where I need it.”
After riding only on Garrett Gerloff’s 2019-model Yamaha on Day One, Beaubier’s new teammate Jake Gagne got to sample his 2020-model YZF-R1 for the first time on Day Two. Gagne made the most of his time on the new machine and finished second-best with a 1:25.919.
Toni Elias ended up a relatively distant third on Day Two, but the Spaniard said he used the limited track time to do crucial development work on his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000 rather than focusing on going as fast as possible.
“Today, I test some wet maps [in the morning], and I tried another swingarm in the afternoon,” said Elias. “It is something totally different than what we used before. From that, we understand many things. It was important because from there we will take our direction for this year. So, we’ve been super lucky at the end to have that dry time and have the opportunity to test this.
“OK, we sacrifice the lap time. We had a lot of things to improve on from yesterday, but the most important thing today was this swingarm, know the feeling with that, give the information, and from there we have to build things. We don’t have much time, but we have to do it.”
Elias’ teammate Bobby Fong, the reigning MotoAmerica Supersport Champion, continued his education on his new GSX-R1000 Superbike and its advanced electronics Wednesday.
Four-time AMA Superbike Josh Hayes continued riding in place of injured Mathew Scholtz on Day Two and helping the Westby Racing team sort out the engine mapping on their new 2020-model Yamaha YZF-R1.
Josh Herrin, meanwhile, bounced back from his painful highside crash on Tuesday and was able to put in some valuable laps on his new Schiebe Racing BMW S1000RR Wednesday.
After a slightly rough start on Day One, PJ Jacobsen ended up with the fastest lap time in the Stock 1000 class with a 1:26.494 on his Celtic HSBK Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R. Jacobsen said some big changes to the chassis geometry and suspension settings on his new Ducati helped him feel more comfortable.
In the Supersport class, Hayes was the quickest rider in his one and only session on his MP13 Racing Yamaha YZF-R6, but the veteran was using the test at Barber to prepare for his Daytona 200 assault this coming weekend and has no plans to ride in MotoAmerica Supersport competition in 2020.
The fastest rider at the test who does plan to compete in MotoAmerica Supersport was Kevin Olmedo, who is moving up to Supersport in 2020 after enjoying success in MotoAmerica Junior Cup in 2019. Olmedo did a best lap time of 1:29.639 on his new Hagerty Tucker Altus Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R600.
Gus Rodio turned the fastest time in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup class, a 1:39.456 on his Rodio Racing Kawasaki Ninja 400, during a test session Wednesday afternoon that looked more like a four-rider race with Samuel Lochoff, Ben Gloddy, and Matias Mulet.
Following the postponement of the MotoGP/MotoAmerica event at Circuit of The Americas, the 2020 MotoAmerica season is set to kick off April 17-19 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Day Two Best Test Times (all on Dunlop tires):
- Cameron Beaubier (Yam YZF-R1), 1:24.332
- Jake Gagne (Yam YZF-R1), 1:25.919
- Toni Elias (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:26.819
- Bobby Fong (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:27.386
- Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), 1:27.635
- Josh Herrin (BMW S1000RR), 1:28.131
- Mauricio Hidalgo (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:36.391
- PJ Jacobsen (Duc Panigale V4 R), 1:26.494
- Alex Dumas (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:28.136
- Taylor Knapp (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:28.530
- Maximiliano Gerardo (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:30.318
- Joseph Giannotto (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:30.835
- Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R6), 1:29.297
- Kevin Olmedo (Suz GSX-R600), 1:29.639
- Sean Dylan Kelly (Suz GSX-R600), 1:29.897
- Brandon Paasch (Yam YZF-R6), 1:30.269
- Lucas Silva (Suz GSX-R600), 1:30.769
- Nolan Lamkin (Yam YZF-R6), 1:31.424
- Jaret Nassaney (Suz GSX-R600), 1:31.791
- Tony Blackall (Yam YZF-R6), 1:34.247
- Roberto Hernan Medina (Yam YZF-R6), 1:34.431
- Shane Hobgood (Yam YZF-R6), 1:37.923
- William Sweeney (Yam YZF-R6), 1:39.661
Liqui Moly Junior Cup:
- Gus Rodio (Kaw Ninja 400), 1:39.456
- Samuel Lochoff (Kaw Ninja 400), 1:39.990
- Ben Gloddy (Kaw Ninja 400), 1:40.560
- Matias Mulet (Kaw Ninja 400), 1:40.825
- Jack Roach (Kaw Ninja 400), 1:41.035
- Cameron Jones (Hon CBR500R), 1:43.054
- Kody Kopp (Kaw Ninja 400), 1:49.081
More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Beaubier Ends Barber Test On Top
Four-Time MotoAmerica Champion Leads Dunlop Test
BIRMINGHAM, AL (March 11, 2020) – Bad weather again led to less track time for the teams taking part in the MotoAmerica Dunlop Preseason Test at Barber Motorsports Park, but Mother Nature cooperated in the afternoon of day two with cloudy skies and a dry racetrack. And the riders responded with quicker laps as four-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier knocked yesterday’s fast man Toni Elias from the top spot with his 1:24.332.
Beaubier’s best lap came in the seventh session of the two-day test and the first dry session on Wednesday, the 1:24.332 on his Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha knocking M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Toni Elias from the top spot with Elias’ best of 1:25.371 coming on Tuesday afternoon.
“I think we got in 25-plus laps this afternoon, which is better than nothing considering the weather,” Beaubier said. “Everything was okay. It was actually pretty nice, riding my new bike on this track and trying to compare it with last year. I’ve ridden it at Buttonwillow the last few times, so it was nice to do kind of a back-to-back because the track surface really hasn’t changed other than it just being clean from the race. It was just nice to get on a new track. I feel like we have a couple things to work on. For the most part, everything was pretty damn good. Right now, I’m leaving content, even with just a few laps. We’re already down to a closer race pace on a super green track than we did last year. All in all, it was good.”
Second fastest on Wednesday and third overall went to Beaubier’s new teammate Jake Gagne with his 1:26.494 moving him ahead of KWR’s Kyle Wyman, who left early to start his drive to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he will defend his Daytona 200 victory this coming weekend. Wyman lapped at 1:26.336 on his Ducati Panigale V4 R on Tuesday.
Celtic HSBK Racing’s PJ Jacobsen, meanwhile, was third fastest on Wednesday and fifth overall on the second Ducati in the class.
Altus Motorsports’ Cameron Petersen was another who opted out of Wednesday’s proceedings, but his fourth quickest time from Tuesday put him sixth overall after the two-day test. FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong and Scheibe Racing BMW’s Josh Herrin rounded out the top 10 overall from the two days of action.
MP13 Racing’s test rider Josh Hayes ended up the fastest of the Supersport riders over the course of the two days, topping Altus Motorsports’ Kevin Olmedo and M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly.
The Liqui Moly Junior Cup riders were led by Rodio Racing’s Gus Rodio, the Kawasaki rider topping Celtic HSBK Racing’s Sam Lochoff.
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Westby Racing Participates In MotoAmerica Dunlop Official Preseason Test With Josh Hayes Filling In For Injured Mathew Scholtz
Birmingham, AL – March 11, 2020 – Despite the challenging weather conditions and the unfortunate fractured right clavicle that Mathew Scholtz suffered this past Sunday in a training crash aboard a motocross bike, the Westby Racing team made solid progress at the two-day MotoAmerica Dunlop Official Preseason Test held at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The first order of business was to find a rider who could thoroughly test the #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 in place of Mathew and deliver the valuable data and feedback to keep advancing the team’s Superbike program. Josh Hayes was already en route to Barber, and he was planning to test the MP13 Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 that he is racing in Sunday’s Daytona 200. Westby Racing team manager contacted Josh, and the “Mississippi Madman” graciously accepted the invitation to participate in as many of the eight scheduled Superbike practice sessions as possible, while also finding the time to ride his R6 in some of the eight scheduled Supersport practice sessions.
Josh not only put in a number of fast laps on the Westby Racing Superbike, but he spent a lot of time after the practice sessions with crew chief Ed Sullivan and electronics specialist Herschel Auxier poring over the copious data that Josh had collected during his laps around the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course.
About the test, Josh said, “I got a call from Chuck on Sunday night, and he said, ‘Man, this thing happened with Matty and, unfortunately, he’s not going to be able to ride at the test. Is there any chance you would be interested in riding the bike a little bit and helping us out just to gather some data and information?’ ‘Of course, I want to help you guys, I said. ‘I have to work on my 600 a little bit, and I have my coaching to do with the boys, but I don’t see why I can’t get out a little bit and do a little bit of work and help you guys out.’
“Fortunately, I’ve been doing some riding, but I was trying to remember the last time I rode a proper Superbike. I did do a few laps on the Westby Superbike here at a test a year and a half ago. The thing is definitely a lot of motorcycle, and stuff happens really fast on that thing. Mat’s setup is quite a bit different from mine, too, so there were a handful of things that were a challenge to me as far as the ergonomics on the bike. But, that’s not really what we were here to try to solve. With the upgrades and updates to the 2020 Yamaha Superbike, they wanted to make sure that everything was working properly. With my experience through the years with the Yamaha Factory team, it was a good opportunity to get some information and provide a second opinion about where they were going with the electronics. The majority of what we were working on with the motorcycle was making sure that we give Mathew the best tool possible to go out and battle with the frontrunners when the season starts.”
Westby Racing’s newest team member Cody Wyman was also in attendance at the Preseason Test, and he got some valuable seat time on the #34 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R3 Junior Cup bike.
Cody was the fastest rider in Junior Cup Practice 3 on Tuesday, but laps on a dry track were at a premium because of the persistent rain that fell during both days of the test. Overall, the New Yorker ended up fourth-fastest overall among Junior Cup riders at the test.
“We didn’t get as much track time as we wanted, but we definitely made progress each session finding time and becoming more comfortable on the bike,” Cody said. “I cannot wait to get to Road Atlanta. I haven’t been there in a few years, but I love the layout, and I’m looking forward to the getting the season started.”
Mathew Scholtz Injury Update
While the team was testing at Barber, Mathew was with the team on Tuesday to provide moral support, and then, he drove back home to Atlanta where he had surgery Wednesday to plate his fractured right clavicle.
Mathew said, “According to the surgeon, it was actually a pretty big fracture, so I’m glad that I got it taken care of. I have to wear a sling for three or four days, and then I can start physical therapy and also get on a stationary bike to keep my fitness up. I will definitely be ready to race at the start of the season next month.”
Next up for Westby Racing is round one of the 2020 MotoAmerica Championship, which takes place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on April 17-19.
For more Westby Racing updates, including news, photos, and videos, visit https://www.westbyracing.com
Also, visit “Westby Racing” on your favorite social media site.