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Jul 17, 2019

MotoAmerica: The Final Round Of Press Releases From Last Weekend's Event At WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Updated)

Michael Barnes (111) on the Quarterley Racing Ducati Monster 797 at Laguna Seca. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Quarterley Racing On Track Development riders Barnes and Daniels Podium, Astudillo, Hobbs and Gloddy Make Progress

At round six of the 2019 MotoAmerica series, Quarterley Racing On Track Development riders Michael Barnes and Dallas Daniels both made the podium in their classes, while teammates Jamie Astudillo, Teagg Hobbs and Ben Gloddy all made significant progress in their racing.

While Barnes took second in the Twins class, he extended his lead in the series to a total of 18 points. By finishing second in the LIQUI MOLY Junior Cup race, Daniels also solidified his second place in the points, leaving the track with a 61 point advantage over third. Just 26 points behind the class leader, Daniels still has a solid chance of still taking the championship for 2019. To complete the weekend, each one of Daniels’ teammates in the Junior Cup series scored points.

Michael Barnes:

“Laguna Seca is just so much fun! I got pole in qualifying but my main concern was coming out ahead of my main rival in the points standings. I’m seeing him as my biggest championship threat. I’m making a lot of progress in riding the bike, and my focus is getting up to pace as soon as possible. I got my best start of the season but we’re still down on power compared to a few of the other bikes. We’re looking to address that for future rounds. We haven’t rebuilt the motor or done any serious maintenance since the start of the season. What we really need is just more grunt coming off the corners. The eventual winner of the race had a really fast bike. He took off and I found myself in a battle with my points rival. He got into turn two a little too hot and ran wide and I just ducked underneath him. I made a charge for the leader on the last lap but at that point he was just a little too far out ahead. By the end of the weekend I increased our points lead in the series to eighteen. I’m extremely pleased with the setup of motorcycle at the moment, especially against the quicker bikes. It’s confidence-inspiring going into last half of season and it was great to get on the podium with so many Ducati fans there."

(Above) Dallas Daniels. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Dallas Daniels:

“I qualified third and finished second. I thought we had a little speed to run with the leader but a bad start cost us. I wheelied off the start and dropped back to fifth. I got back up to second but the other riders kept repassing me. It was a hard, big battle for second, bumping and banging every single lap, and that’s what allowed the leader to pull out on us. At first there were four of us going for the position, then one rider dropped off the back and another one fell. That left just me and one other rider trying to get on the second step of the podium. We were going back and forth the entire race. A few times we got into each other. I could almost hear the crowd screaming every time we went by. I got second by about a bikelength. I was happy to get second place but still really upset because I wanted to win that one. The points leader in the series got just five additional points on me. I’m only 26 points down and I think it can be made up by the end of the season. The Quarterley Racing On Track Development team is giving me the best I can ask for in equipment and support to help make that happen.

(Above) Ben Gloddy (72). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Ben Gloddy:

“What an incredible weekend, getting to see the World Superbike guys race made the trip out here worth it. Laguna is a track I have wanted to race for as long as I can remember. It was different than I expected but it was fun for sure! I wish we had a second race there this weekend, I think I could have made even more improvements. I qualified 14th overall and after a fun back and forth battle with another racer, he was able to beat me to the line and I came in 11th. I learned a lot this weekend and will definitely improve here next year. Thank you all so much for the support, this has been an exciting couple of rounds for me and I can't wait to come back next month to race at Sonoma.

“I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to join the Quarterley Racing Team for the 2019 season; it really has been a good fit and experience for me. Bob Robbins, Dale Quarterley and all of the mechanics are top notch and I cannot thank them all enough for all of the time and hard work they put into making each weekend possible for Dallas, Jamie, Teagg and I. I also have the best teammates; nobody in the paddock has more fun than us.”

(Above) Teagg Hobbs (79). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Teagg Hobbs:

“Thanks to Quarterley Racing On Track Development for giving me an amazing bike to race this weekend! Riding at Laguna Seca was an experience of a lifetime. It’s a world-class racetrack, with World Superbike and MotoGP. I really like the back section, the corners leading up to corkscrew; it’s a blast riding up to it. I also like Rainey Curve. The track really fits my riding style. After the last round at Utah we found out there was something wrong with the bike. We changed that part Thursday before practice even started. After that I felt I should be back where I belong. This time the gap from me to leaders was insanely smaller than Utah. As rounds progress I’m sure we’re going to keep moving forward. I made progress throughout the weekend and I am happy with the feeling of the bike right now. I qualified twelfth and was eighth at the end of the first lap. Then I made a mistake going up the hill to the Corkscrew and got dropped back to twelfth. I was moving back up through the field when a rider crashed in front of me at the exit of turn two, causing me to run off track with about four laps to go. A few riders went by while I was in the dirt and I rode as hard as I could to catch back up but I didn’t have enough time to do so and ended up in where I qualified in twelfth. I’m feeling confident with the bike and I’m looking forward to the next round at Sonoma!”

(Above) Jamie Astudillo (49). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Jamie Astudillo:

“Laguna Seca is my favorite track on the calendar. I was gridded 18th and finished 15th in the race. It was pretty fun. I did accomplish one of my goals, and that was to hang with the pack that always seems to follow the leaders, and I stayed with them for most of the race. Toward the end they got away a little and I didn’t really have anyone to push me or to keep me on the pace. I didn’t know anyone was catching me until I looked around on the last lap. He never really showed me a wheel and I beat him at the line buy just a fraction of a second. The good thing about the weekend was that I got a championship point out of it and I’m getting a better feeling for the bike. I also realized what was going on in my head while I’m riding, so I took a lot away from this weekend for sure. My riding is a work in progress at this point. I’m getting more comfortable on the bike and feeling more at home on it, and I’ll be able to bring that to Sonoma and, hopefully, keep progressing as the rounds go on.”

Quarterley Racing On Track Development sponsors for 2019 include Inter-Tech Supplies, Fast By Ferracci, Inc, Yoshimura Research & Development of America, Inc., Wiseco Powersports, Motul USA., Regina Chain, BrakeTech USA, Inc., Ferodo Racing, Matt & Jesse, Scott Powersports, Inc., Defiance Lifestyle, Woodcraft Technologies, Dynojet Research Inc., Beta Tools of Italy - USA,,, MOTO-D Racing, Fast Bike Industries, VAN DYK Recycling Solutions, Earl’s Racing Team and Kiwi Classic Moto. Michael Barnes is also sponsored by Ducati North America and Moto Corse Performance.

More, from a press release issued by RiderzLaw Racing/Aguilar Racing:

RiderzLaw/Aguilar Racing Overcomes Adversity at Laguna Seca

(Above) Jason Aguilar (96). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

With 4 weeks between races after Utah, Jason Aguilar was going to focus on rest and conditioning to recover from injuries and illness in preparation for the FIM World Superbike and MotoAmerica Championship at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey. Those plans were quickly derailed when Jason was returning home from the gym late at night, tripped over the front steps to his home, and left a dent on the front door from his head while badly dislocating his left pinkie finger. Jason then followed that up with a bad sore throat that led to an inner ear infection that required to a second trip to the Emergency Hospital in the days leading up to the race. Still battling illness when Jason was coming up the hill to enter the track for Friday practice and qualifying, he had to pull over to the side of the entrance road due to nausea. Not the best start to the race weekend.

Despite all that adversity, Jason still managed to finish 7th in morning practice. Afternoon qualifying saw Jason turn more laps than any other rider, but he started to tire toward the end of the session and was only able to qualify 10th. Due to the tight scheduling for the combined WSBK and MotoAmerica event, Jason was not scheduled to ride on Saturday, and was only scheduled to attend the Paddock Show hosted by Michael Hill in the morning and autograph posters. With a day of rest, Jason was hoping to finally feel better for Sunday’s second qualifying session and race.

Sunday’s second qualifying session started with perfect weather and perfect track conditions. After getting some rest, Jason was feeling somewhat better. Jason came in for a tire change with about 10 minutes to go and was running in 9th having just put in his personal best lap time at Laguna Seca. Just as Jason was about to put in another best lap that would have certainly moved him up in position, the red flag came out from another rider’s crash, ending the qualifying session early with 4 ½ minutes remaining. 9th would be his starting position for the race, since the tight schedule for television did not allow for the session to be completed.

At the start of the Supersport race, Jason got pushed out when a rider in front of him wheelied across his line. That caused Jason to lose a couple positions and he came across the line in 11th place at the end of the first lap. On the second lap, Jason had the fastest trap speed of the race at 140.459 mph, picked off the 10th place rider, and set out after the 9th place rider who was now 1.2 seconds ahead. By lap 6, Jason was closing the gap, and a crash up front allowed both riders to move up a position. At the start of lap 7, Jason had closed the gap on the 8th place rider who crashed out in Turn 2, forcing Jason to brake to avoid the crash. That resulted in Jason moving into 8th place, but he lost a couple of seconds to the 7th place rider who had extended his advantage to 3.5 seconds. Jason started his push hard to make up the 3.5 second deficit. By lap 16, Jason had closed to 0.2 seconds. On the next lap Jason made the pass for 7th place and pulled away in the final laps to secure his finishing position. The 7th place finish was certainly not what the team was hoping for, but under the circumstances, it was an excellent result.

Jason Aguilar: “While I was not in the best shape coming into the race weekend, my team gave me a great bike as shown by the top speeds I was consistently setting during the weekend. My setup was good from the start and I am really happy with my team now. Being the closest race to my home in Sothern California, many of my sponsors attended the race which was really cool. I was glad I was able to give them a good result, and I am really looking forward to Sonoma next month.”

Anthony Livano, Director of Sales & Marketing for Lexin Electronics added: “The Lexin team was present at Laguna Seca to support Jason as well, with their Sales and Marketing team cheering Jason on. The Lexin team all expressed pride and support, and are looking forward to Sonoma.”

Big Thanks to All of our Sponsors: RiderzLaw, Lexin, Honos, Torco, CL Auto Group, Moto Station, Graves Motorsports, Metric Method, TaylorMade Racing, Dunlop Tires, Yamaha Motor USA, FTECU, Superlite Sprockets, Motion Pro, Arai Helmets, Mithos USA, Alien Motion Batteries, SBS Brakes, EF Signs, SBK Paint, RFA Designs.

More, from a press release issued by AP MotoArts:

Solid Points Haul For Team AP MotoArts At Laguna Seca

Monterey, CA - AP MotoArts Twins Cup riders, Draik Beauchamp and Cooper McDonald, both endured set-backs throughout the Laguna Seca weekend, yet persevered to produce strong race results aboard their Yamaha FZ-07/MT-07 machines.

Beauchamp ended Friday afternoon's first qualifying session in P9, and was looking to Saturday morning's second qualifying session to improve his grid spot. Unfortunately, the notorious Laguna Seca morning fog spoiled his plans as the session was shortened and declared a 'warm-up'. The previous session's times would decide the starting grid, which meant a P9 grid position for Beauchamp. Cooper McDonald was making his debut at Laguna Seca. The Oklahoma rider quickly adapted to the demanding circuit and put in an impressive qualifying time that put him on the front row of the starting grid in P3.

As the red lights went out for the Twins Cup race, both AP MotoArts riders got solid starts as the field charged through turn 1 and into the infamous Andretti Hairpin. Midway through the opening lap, Beauchamp was briefly shuffled back to P10 before methodically working his way forward to bring home a very respectable P4 finish and retain second place in the Twins Cup championship points standings. McDonald got off the line well, and retained his position until the pack reached the entrance to the Corkscrew where he took over P2. McDonald spent the next six laps closely tailing the leader and looked to have the pace to take over at the front. Unfortunately, McDonald suffered a huge moment exiting turn 3 on lap 7, and was shuffled back to P8 where he would finish the race.

Draik Beauchamp - AP MotoArts Twins Cup #77

'My dad and Kae from ARacer USA really stepped up this weekend to get my bike ready and cared for this weekend. We dialed it in after getting some data in the first two sessions of the weekend. Lenny Albin with KTech was a great help, too.I was really looking forward to taking what we learned and dropping my times in Q2 on Saturday morning. Unfortunately due to the marine layer fog causing a delay, the session was shortened and considered a warm-up, so despite improving my times, it didn't improve my starting position. But we knew we had moved in the right direction.When race time came, I started from the 3rd row in 9th. I had a good launch, but early in the first lap, I had another rider push me wide and I was in P10 at the end of the first lap. Throughout the race I had one rider pass me, but other than that, I kept picking off the competition. I put my head down and ran hard knowing that I needed a strong finish to stay in the championship hunt. Perseverance that began weeks before shown through and afforded me a 4th place finish. This keeps me second in the points. We learned a ton this weekend and will show up at Sonoma, next month, a much more prepared unit.'

Draik would like to thank his sponsors: AP MotoArts, Aracer USA, Red Fox Racing,, Billy Mallory Law of Brick Gentry Law Firm, LS2 Helmets, NJK Leathers, Pit Pass Radio, Orient Express Racing, SBS Brakes, Jenspeed LLC, GB Racing, K-Tech Suspension USA, and Bob Fisher from Roaring Toyz.

Cooper McDonald - AP Moto Arts Twins Cup #120

'Overall, it was a great weekend! I qualified on the front row even though this was only my fourth pro race weekend and first time at Laguna Seca. Halfway into the race, I ran into some major tire issues before realizing we had a tire gauge malfunction giving us 10 pounds too much pressure in the front and in the rear, making it really hard to race with towards the end of the race. I ended up with a fifth place result and am now in the top ten in championship points. The team is really happy with this result!'

Cooper would like to thank his sponsors: AP MotoArts, SA Moto USA, LS2 Helmets, K&N Air Filters, and Specialized Racing Gear.

Draik and Cooper will be back in action August 10 - 11 at Northern California's Sonoma Raceway for round seven of the 2019 MotoAmerica Championship.

More, from a press release issued by Altus Motorsports:

MotoAmerica: Altus Motorsports Tucker VP Lubricants Race Report “Continued Improvement“ at Laguna Seca Raceway

(Monterey, CA) The strong cohesion that has developed in the Altus team over the first few rounds allowed the team to smoothly navigate the crazy schedule and take advantage of every minute.The MotoAmerica round at Laguna Seca is a jam-packed schedule. There is very little time for riders to learn the complicated track, teams to find a setup and mechanics to resolve issues.

(Above) Kevin Olmedo (14). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Liqui Moly Junior Cup: The Laguna Seca Junior Cup race was arguably the most exciting of the season. Kevin Olmedo is an amazing rider and he gets stronger every round. During Qualifying, Olmedo repeatedly put his Altus Factory Racing Development Ninja 400 at the top of the timing charts, and ultimately, he ended up second fastest, starting in the middle of the first row. In a race-long battle for second, Olmedo was constantly swapping places back and forth. On the final lap, he made an aggressive move into the final corner. On exit, he ran wide onto the paint, lost the rear, saved it and still barely missed out on second position in the drag race to the line. “We are really proud of Kevin and our bike. We have worked very hard to develop our Ninja 400. That bike is all Altus Factory - from parts we have developed and sell. We do all the motor, chassis and suspension work in-house at Altus,” said George Nassaney.

(Above) Miles Thornton (72). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Stock 1000: The Laguna round was another frustrating weekend for Miles Thornton. “We thought we squashed the throttle issue at our test day after the Road America round, but it came back this weekend,” said Altus Crew Chief, Eric Gray. In spite of the issue, Thornton qualified 7th and finished 8th in the race on his GSX-R 1000. “We have a few possible solutions. We are going to take the bike to CMRA, make the changes and do some testing. We need to solve this once and for all,” added Gray.

(Above) Jaret Nassaney (59). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Supersport 600: Every round, Lucas Silva gets more comfortable on the GSX-R 600, and it shows. He came into the Laguna Seca round excited. He likes the track and felt the team had a good plan. “We started with a completely new setup on Friday and it was good. And then we just kept improving every session,” said Silva. After qualifying 11th, Silva got a great launch on his GSX-R 600 and jumped up into the top 10 battle. After dicing for a few laps before things settled down, Silva finished a solid 9th place.

Despite struggling to find a good setup, Jaret Nassaney qualified a solid 16th. After some suspension changes and an amazing start, Nassaney finished the sole Supersport race of the weekend in a season-best 11th place. “Nothing left now but to break into that top 10,” said Jaret.

The entire team will be traveling to Cresson, Texas in a few weeks for testing at the CMRA event. “We have some setup and mechanical fixes to test and all of our riders get stronger with every minute they spend in the saddle. Altus is committed to continued improvement. It will be great to have all of the team together at an event where we have more track time and opportunities to try things and make adjustments,” said George Nassaney.

(Above) Lucas Silva (23). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

More, from a press release issued by Team Hammer:


(Above) Bobby Fong (50). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's Bobby Fong concluded the combined WorldSBK/MotoAmerica Superbike weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in spectacular fashion with a wire-to-wire victory in a one-sided MotoAmerica Supersport race.

Fong sprinted into the lead from the start and never looked back. The Californian shot to an immediate gap on the opening lap as he hustled his GSX-R600 racebike around the undulating circuit and then proceeded to apply the pressure on his pursuers from the front with his sheer pace.

Fong's nearest rival crashed out while in pursuit, clearing the way for a blowout victory. Fong worked up a four-second advantage before easing his way to a 1.603-second margin of victory at the flag.

The win was Fong's fourth of the season and gave him an 18-point lead in the MotoAmerica Supersport championship standings.

The victory also marked the team's 75th AMA Pro and MotoAmerica race win.

Fong said, "Honestly, I had one of the best bikes out there -- again -- thanks to my M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team. It's good to get the win for Suzuki, I know they wanted it here at Laguna Seca, one of their home races.

"We've got the championship lead now, so we've just got to keep the ball rolling as we move on to my home round at Sonoma Raceway in a month's time."

Teenager Sean Dylan Kelly continued to impress in his rookie season of racing in MotoAmerica. The second M4 ECSTAR Suzuki Supersport pilot left the grid in seventh at the start of the 19-lap race, and gradually worked his way into fourth position.

Meanwhile in Superbike, Jake Lewis followed up his Saturday top-five with an eighth-place ride in Sunday's race aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Lewis got away in his qualifying position of seventh and held that spot over the race's opening half before solidifying eighth in what was ultimately a relatively uneventful ride.

The 2019 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship will resume in just under a month as the series arrives at Sonoma Raceway on August 10-11.

About Team Hammer

The 2019 season marks Team Hammer's 39th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 75 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 218 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 135 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles, and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running "Methanol Monster" GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won four F-USA Championships