Four-time and defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier made the most of a private two-day MotoAmerica team test at Ridge Motorsports Park, near Seattle, Washington. After learning the track for the first time on Tuesday, Beaubier returned on Wednesday, jumped on his Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike, chopped two seconds off his lap time, and ended up the fastest rider at the test.
“It was nice to be able to sleep on it overnight and come back ready to go today,” said Beaubier, who improved from a 1:43.1 on Tuesday to a 1:41.1 on Wednesday, according to his crew chief Richard Stanboli. “At least for me, going to a new track, having a night to clear your head and come back and know where you’re going the next day has always helped me.
“It was a pretty fun test for us. The weather was perfect. It was 80 degrees both days. I really enjoyed myself, especially today, knowing where the track went and connecting everything. We really didn’t work on the bike too much. We made some changes here and there, played with some [steering head] offsets a little bit, which we don’t normally play with. But other than that, it was about getting comfy on the track and learning the track, and we did that.”
Beaubier’s teammate Jake Gagne used some limited previous knowledge of the challenging track to lead the unofficial time sheet on Day One, but on Day Two, Gagne slipped to second-best. That, however, didn’t change Gagne’s feeling about the test.
“It was good,” Gagne told Roadracingworld.com. “We got a lot of stuff done. We got to dial in some electronic stuff, TC and engine braking stuff, a couple of little chassis things. But it was a good day. We got a lot of laps in again. We got all of the main things we wanted to try out of the way and did some good learning. I think we have a pretty good handle on the track.”
But no rider was happier about his test than M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Toni Elias, who ended up ranked third in the small field of riders.
“Today was really good,” said former MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Elias. “I’m very happy because the team work like animals. We basically tried all the things we wanted, all the things we had in the program. I’m very happy. We did an incredible job. We worked so hard, and it made me improve. I don’t think we made one step. I think we made two steps forward. I’m not there yet, but we are on the way and I feel much more comfortable.”
While Beaubier, Gagne, and Elias all made “time attacks,” efforts to achieve the fastest lap time possible with the race tires available at the test, a disruption to Bobby Fong’s test led him and his crew to focus on continued testing toward a race setup on Day Two.
“We went faster, but I couldn’t get in a fast lap at the end,” said Fong. “We ran into some issues today at the beginning of the day, so we didn’t get to try everything that we wanted. But we made the best of what we had and improved our time quite a bit. We didn’t focus on a single fast lap, but I feel we have a good race pace.”
Elias’ and Fong’s teammate Sean Dylan Kelly, the only Supersport rider at the test, continued dialing in his GSX-R600 on Wednesday. Kelly’s best lap of 1:45.0 was less than three seconds off the Superbike riders’ pace on the 16-turn, 2.47-mile road course.
Oregon resident Rocco Landers, the defending MotoAmerica Junior Cup Champion, was the only other rider to take advantage of the test and continued riding his Norton Motorsports/Ninja400R.com/Dr. Farr Racing Kawasaki Ninja 400 on Day Two.
MotoAmerica is scheduled to race at Ridge Motorsports Park August 28-30.
Unofficial Day Two Lap Times (as supplied by teams):
- Cameron Beaubier (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 1:41.1
- Jake Gagne (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 1:42.1
- Toni Elias (Suz GSX-R1000R), Superbike, 1:42.3
- Bobby Fong (Suz GSX-R1000R), Superbike, 1:42.6
- Sean Dylan Kelly (Suz GSX-R600), Supersport, 1:45.0
- Rocco Landers (Kaw Ninja 400), Junior Cup, 1:53.8