Cycle News

Cycle News 2019 Issue 39 October 1

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 120 of 129

CN III ARCHIVES BY LARRY LAWRENCE I n the future when journalists and racing historians look back on the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Cham- pionship, they very well may point to the August round at Sonoma Race- way as the turning point. That week- end Yoshimura Suzuki's Toni Elias took a giant step towards winning his second MotoAmerica EBC Brakes Superbike title, the Spaniard finishing second to Yamaha's Garrett Gerloff while his main championship rival Cameron Beaubier crashed out of the race on lap two. Elias' second-place finish combined with Beaubier's non- finish gave Elias what seemed at the time as an insurmountable 59-point lead in the series championship with seven rounds remaining. But then Elias returned the favor the next day by crashing out. Beaubi- er won the race going away and was suddenly back in contention, Elias' series lead was nearly cut in half. From that point on Beaubier went on a streak of strong results, winning three of the final six rounds and finish- ing second in the other three. Elias, on the other hand, seemed to lose the feel for his bike. When the setup was right, Elias was able to win, as he did at Pittsburgh in race two, but in that same span, Elias finished off the podium three times in the final six races. Fans hoped there would be a straight-up battle between the top two riders for the championship, but the P120 AN EARLY TAKE ON MOTOAMERICA'S 2019 PLACE IN HISTORY the series this season. That's a relatively high number in recent years. The last time there were more winners in a single season was 2010 when six riders took victories. With seven wins, Toni Elias led the way for the most wins in 2019, ahead of Beaubi- er's six. Garrett Gerloff had four, Josh Herrin two, and JD Beach one. Both Gerloff and Beach were first-time Superbike winners in 2019. They were the 57th and 58th riders to win a MotoAmeri- ca/AMA Superbike race. With their wins, Beaubier and Elias both climbed into the upper echelon on the all-time wins cate- gory. Beaubier moved to third all- time list now owning impressive 38-career Superbike victories. Elias was the fastest to the 20- win mark in the history of the se- ries, and he continues to rocket up the charts. He's now tied with Miguel Duhamel for fourth on Barber finale proved anticlimac- tic. Beaubier won both races. Elias struggled and could only watch helplessly as Beaubier passed him and motored away to his fourth MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike Championship. The championship for Beau- bier moved him into rarified air in terms of the history of MotoAmer- ica Superbike. He'd been tied with Reg Pridmore, Fred Merkel, Doug Chandler and Ben Spies with three titles apiece, now he joins his former teammate Josh Hayes with four championships, tying him in second for the most championships in the 44-year history of the series. Australian Mat Mladin, with his seven cham- pionships, leads the way, but it's now at least conceivable that Beaubier could one day surpass the record that once was thought to be untouchable. There were five winners in MotoAmerica showed signs of growth in the 2019 championship, let's hope it continues.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Cycle News 2019 Issue 39 October 1