MotoAmerica Steel Commander Superbike: Road Atlanta Race 1 Results

MotoAmerica Steel Commander Superbike: Road Atlanta Race 1 Results

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Precision Track Days brings you the results of this weekend’s events.

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Cameron Beaubier won MotoAmerica Steel Commander Superbike Race One Saturday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, in Braselton, Georgia. Riding his Dunlop-shod Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW M 1000 RR, Beaubier won the 19-lap race by just 0.240 second.

Three-time and defending Champion Jake Gagne was the runner-up on his Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha YZF-R1 and finished less than 0.1 second ahead of pole-sitter Bobby Fong, who took third on his Wrench Motorcycles Yamaha YZF-R1.

Sean Dylan Kelly took fourth, just 3.548 seconds behind Beaubier in his first race on his TopPro Racing BMW Superbike.

Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin crossed the finish line fifth, 0.7 second behind Kelly.

Herrin’s teammate Loris Baz came home sixth, a fraction of a second ahead of Beaubier’s teammate JD Beach (seventh) and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante (eighth).

Seconds after taking the checkered flag, Escalante ran into the back of Baz, and both riders crashed heavily. Escalante was transported to the hospital, but the condition of Escalante and Baz was not immediately known at post time.






More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:

Beaubier Over Gagne And Fong In Road Atlanta Superbike Thriller

The Steel Commander Superbike Series Begins With A Race For The Ages At
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta


The battle for the Superbike win came down to Gagne (1) vs. Fong (50) and Beaubier (60). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
The battle for the Superbike win came down to Gagne (1) vs. Fong (50) and Beaubier (60). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.


BRASELTON, GA (April 20, 2024) – In a titanic battle that began with as many as seven riders fighting at the front and ended with three, Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Cameron Beaubier came out on top with a pass on Attack Performance Yamaha’s Jake Gagne with two laps to go in a thrilling Steel Commander Superbike season-opening race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday.

The win was the 60th Superbike victory of Beaubier’s career and it came with the five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion biding his time and sitting behind Gagne and Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong for the last third of the race. Beaubier planned to make his move with three laps to go, but instead had to wait until the penultimate lap. He made the move and made it stick, beating three-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Gagne to the line by .240 of a second in what was his comeback race from the injuries he suffered last year at Pittsburgh International Race Complex.

For many, Fong was the surprise of the weekend with the Wrench Motorcycles Yamaha YZF-R1-mounted Fong earning pole position in the morning Q2 session, then running at the front for the duration and ending up third and just .332 of a second from race-winner Beaubier.

TopPro Racing Team’s Sean Dylan Kelly was an impressive fourth in his MotoAmerica Superbike debut. The Floridian was quick from the get-go and didn’t put a foot wrong – even as he battled in the heated pack at the front in the first portion of the race. Kelly was just 3.5 seconds behind Beaubier and .7 of a second ahead of Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin.

Herrin was at the front of the Superbike pack early in the race, battling primarily with Fong for the top spot as the others hooked in behind the lead duo. Fong made a pass on the inside of Herrin early in the race, but it was the second time that he made the same move in the final corner that ended up going horribly wrong for Herrin. With the door open enough for his Yamaha to fit through, Fong made the move in the final corner and the result was Herrin running off the track on the exit.

By the time he rejoined the racetrack, Herrin was well back and forced to do an admirable job of moving forward again with passes on Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante, Tytlers Cycle Racing’s JD Beach, and Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Loris Baz.

Herrin ended up fifth with Baz sixth, Beach seventh and Escalante eighth with the top eight separated by under six seconds. Real Steel Motorsports’ Hayden Gillim and Thrashed Bike Racing’s Max Flinders rounded out the top 10.

After crossing the finish line just .6 of a second apart, Baz and Escalante were involved in a big crash together at the end of the front straight after both crossed the finish line.

Two of the series stars had bad days with Brandon Paasch crashing his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki out of the race after just two laps and Attack Performance Yamaha’s Cameron Petersen crashing, remounting, and finishing 15th to at least salvage a championship point. Petersen was running near the front when he was penalized two spots for passing under a waving yellow flag. After doing so, Petersen crashed but was able to remount and finish the race.


Cameron Beaubier – Winner

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty over motorcycles after Pittsburgh. Sitting at home hurt, but all of us share this passion. Got motorcycles in our blood. A couple months go by and then you start getting hungry. The team posted the date for the first test and then you got something to work towards. Then after that, I was just itching to go racing. We got a couple good tests under our belt. Felt really good at the test. Made some good progress with the bike, with the Tytlers guys. Big hats off to them. They worked their butts off all off-season to elevate our game. Yesterday didn’t necessarily start out great, throwing the bike down the road in the second practice. But today was awesome. We didn’t make it easy, Jake (Gagne) either, on ourselves, starting on the second row of the grid, just with how stacked the field is right now. Like Jake said, it’s pretty awesome to race with all these guys. I was only two or three tenths off, and I was back in fifth in qualifying. That hasn’t been the case so much in the past years in MotoAmerica Superbike. So, it’s pretty cool. Just happy to be back and happy to feel healthy. Jake was setting a good pace up there in front. I think we were all kind of in management mode. The track was pretty greasy. We were sliding around. I feel like it would have been pretty risky to go any faster. I was just trying to bide my time. Bobby (Fong) was making it really difficult because he was so late on the brakes. I kept catching him on the back straightaway and had to roll out a little bit. I would catch him at the worst spot, going into the kink, and then he would brake super deep down into 10. So, I was kind of stuck there. I was just biding my time until the last few laps. I was able to make a couple good passes. Jake and I went back and forth that last lap and was able to bring it home. It’s a good feeling.”

Jake Gagne – Second Place

“Yeah, definitely. It was cool. Going into the race, starting second row, having fast guys in front, fast guys behind, it’s a whole different story than last couple years. I keep saying it, but there’s so much speed in this Superbike class now. It’s pretty cool to be a part of. It was one of those days. All I wanted to do was get a clean start, but you never really know what kind of pace guys are going to have, especially that second half. I was actually kind of surprised. I wasn’t sure. Bob (Fong) passed (Josh) Herrin. He went off and then Bob ran a little wide and then I was in the lead. I wasn’t sure who was behind me, honestly. I knew Bobby was there. I figured Cam (Beaubier) was there. But I think it was pretty slick out there. The Dunlops held up well with the heat of the track. This place gets really greasy. I’m happy. The bike was working really, really good. Kind of like last year, I was just struggling with such bad arm pump half the race. I just felt like a sitting duck. Just shows you how good this Yamaha is working. It was a fun race. I knew somebody was going to try to pass me. Second-to-last lap, Cam came up the inside somewhere. We went back and forth a couple of times. It was a good race and a good way to start the year.”




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Gagne Scores Runner-Up Finish at MotoAmerica Superbike Opener

Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne takes runner-up finish in a hard-fought MotoAmerica Superbike battle at Road Atlanta

MARIETTA, Ga. –  April 21, 2024 – Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne scored a runner-up finish in challenging conditions at yesterday’s first MotoAmerica Superbike race of the 2024 season at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. His teammate Cameron Petersen unfortunately crashed in the latter half of the race but rejoined in 15th, where he would finish.

Gagne qualified fourth, coming just shy of a spot on the front row in the combined times. When the lights went green, he got a good start and slotted into fourth, and then made the pass for third on Lap 2. The reigning three-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion rode a calculated race in that final podium spot and advanced to second just before the start of Lap 8 when the frontrunner ran off track in the final corner. Shortly after, he passed fellow Yamaha rider Bobby Fong to claim the lead and ran a strong pace up front. It was a three-rider fight with the competition hot on his heels. Gagne held them off but unfortunately was dealing with arm pump issues, and in the final laps, he was passed by the competition. The Colorado rider countered to reclaim the lead, and the duo exchanged the lead a few times, but ultimately Gagne would cross the line second.

After being sidelined last Summer to repair a wrist injury, Petersen had a solid return to action at the season opener and qualified sixth. He was sixth after the start of the race and had the lead group in sight. The South African made the pass for fifth on Lap 5 and advanced to fourth after the race leader went off track. Unfortunately, he was assessed a two-position penalty for passing under a waving yellow flag and was shuffled back to sixth. Petersen worked on making his way back into the top five but crashed on Lap 13. Undeterred, he rejoined in 15th and rode on to score inside the points with that position. 

The Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing team looks forward to this afternoon’s Race 2 of the MotoAmerica Superbike season opener at Road Atlanta. 

Richard Stanboli – Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“Jake was on track for another race win, but unfortunately he had an arm pump issue and ended up second. Cameron was trying to make his way back into the top five and then crashed trying to avoid another rider. It’s not how we wanted to start the season, but our R1s are running great, and our guys have the pace to run up front. We look forward to getting back on top of the podium, in the wet or dry.”

Jake Gagne – Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing #1

“It’s the first race of the season, and everybody’s excited, so you never really know where you are going to be, but the bike was working really well. I got a good start, and I was trying to stay smooth, and I led a lot of the race. I just struggled really badly with arm pump after the halfway point. I’m happy in a way because we got a podium with how I was feeling. The bike was really good. I just didn’t have much fight there in the end.”

Cameron Petersen – Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing #45

“It was a little bit disappointing. After waiting all that time, I was hoping for more, but taking away the positives from the day, I ran at the front and had the pace to battle for the podium, and I felt really good. I got hit with the penalty – honestly, I didn’t see the yellow flags – and I had to drop two positions. I was trying to make my way back and then almost ran into the back of (Loris) Baz. It put me into a spot on the track that nobody really wants to be in, and I went down. Tomorrow’s a new day. It’s supposed to be wet. I’m looking forward to it.”

About Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.

Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS), is a recognized leader in the outdoor recreation industry. The company’s ever-expanding product offerings include Motorcycles and Scooters, ATV and Side-by-Side vehicles, Snowmobiles, WaveRunner Personal Watercraft, Boats, Outboard Motors, Outdoor Power Equipment, Power Assist Bicycles, Golf Cars, Power Assist Wheelchair Systems, Surface Mount Technology (SMT) and Robotic Machines, Unmanned Helicopters, Accessories, Apparel, Yamalube products, and much more. YMUS products are sold through a nationwide network of distributors and dealers in the United States.

YMUS has a corporate office in California, three corporate offices in Georgia, facilities in Wisconsin and Alabama, and factory operations in Tennessee and Georgia. Additional U.S.-based subsidiaries include Yamaha Marine Systems Company (YMSC) with divisions Bennett Marine (Florida), Kracor Systems (Wisconsin) and Siren Marine, Inc. (Rhode Island), Skeeter Boats (Texas), with division G3 Boats (Missouri), and Yamaha Precision Propeller (Indiana).

Yamaha Motor Finance Corporation, U.S.A. (Yamaha Financial Services), an affiliate of Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., offering financing solutions to support Yamaha Dealers and loyal Yamaha customers nationwide.  Yamaha Financial Services provides retail and commercial financing for the diverse line of Yamaha brand motor products based out of Cypress, CA and Marietta, GA.

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