Round three of the 2013 AMA Pro Roadracing season, from Barber Motorsports Park, is in the books. For some, it was business as usual, and for others, it was a weekend of ‘firsts’.
Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier started Saturday’s Daytona Sportbike race 1 from pole position. Having split wins with fellow Yamaha rider, Jake Gagne, at Road America, Beaubier was keen to get back to the top step of the podium and stamp his authority on the championship. As the lights went out, Triumph’s Jason DiSalvo got the holeshot and lead field as the boys (and girl) piled intoturn 1, followed by Gagne, Beaubier, and James Rispoli. DiSalvo held the lead for most of the opening lap before running wide and allowing Gagne (and eventually Beaubier) to get past. With Gagne out front, Beaubier piled on the pressure before finally outbraking Gagne, into turn 4, and taking the lead. Gagne hung with Beaubier for a few laps, but eventually dropped back to finish in a safe second place. DiSalvo kept the shiney side up, and brought his Triumph home in third position. Beaubier took his third win of the season, and increased his lead in the championship points in the process. Game. Set. Match.
In the AMA Pro Superbike class, Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha rider, Josh Hayes, took pole position aboard his R1. Roger Hayden, Martin Cardenas, and Josh Herrin rounded out the front row. At the start of Saturday’s Superbike race 1, Hayes and Hayden were each gifted 5 second penalties, courtesy of the AMA, for jump starts. This didn’t seem to phase the two riders, or affect their on-track positons as they managed to open a gap of over 8 seconds over third place finisher, Martin Cardenas. Hayes took his third win of the season just ahead of a hard-charging Roger Hayden. Hayden kept Hayes honest all through the race, but didn’t quite have anything in reserve to overhaul Hayes for the win. After race 1, Yoshimura’s Martin Cardenas still held the championship points lead, but by a steadily shrinking margin. Bring on race 2!
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
Daytona Sportbike race 2…once again, it’s lights-out, but it’s a different Yamaha out front. This time it’s Garrett Gerloff, followed by Jason DiSalvo and Race 1 winner, Cameron Beaubier. For the first few laps, DiSalvo and Gerloff scrapped for the lead, which allowed Beaubier to close in, take advantage of a few mistakes by the frontmen, and eventually take over at the front. Jake Gagne recovered from a not-so-great start to eventually slot in behind Beaubier, in second. Gagne looked like he could challenge for the lead, but not before Beaubier dropped the hammer, and cruised home for his second win of the weekend. Gagne finished 6 seconds back in second, while J.D. Beach brought his Yamaha (and his excellent hair) home in third. Beaubiers pair of wins extended his championship lead to 28 points over Jake Gagne. Apart from his ‘Daytona-to-forget’, Josh Hayes has won every superbike race, this season, and looks to continue his run. The Superbike boys grid up for race 2…no jump starts this time, as Yamaha’s Josh (Josh 2.0) Herrin hits the front into turn 1, followed by Josh Hayes and Roger Hayden. Herrin’s time at the front lasted about half a lap before Hayes took over. Herrin stuck to the back of Hayes for quite a few laps before making a small mistake, which allowed Hayden into the number 2 spot. As in race 1, Hayden was the only rider able to match Hayes’ pace, but didn’t quite have enough in reserve to take over at the front. Despite Hayden’s effort, Hayes went on to take his second win of the weekend, and fourth in succession. Hayes’ string of wins brought him to second in the championship, and just 10 points behind current championship leader Martin Cardenas. Game on!
So, it was pretty much business as usual, this weekend, for Yamaha riders Josh Hayes and Cameron Beaubier. The game changer came in the AMA Supersport class in the form of one Mr. Joe Roberts. Roberts is a Red Bull Rookies Cup regular, but this weekend marked his debut in AMA Roadracing. Having turned 16 (the minimum age to run in AMA Pro Roadracing) just a week ago, Roberts would be riding a California SuperBike School/Roadracing World-sponsored Honda CBR600RR in the supersport class. Roberts wasted no time in making his presence known, as he set the fastest times in all practice sessions, took pole position, and won both Supersport races by quite a margin. Due to his current Red Bull Rookies Cup obligations, the only other AMA rounds he will run, this season, will be at Laguna Seca (in conjunction with the MotoGP weekend) and at Miller Motorsports Park. Take note…this kid is on the scene!
That wraps it up for now. Next time out, The AMA paddock heads to Mid-Ohio Sports Car course, July 12-14. Look for live coverage on the CBS Sports Network.
Thanks for reading;
Tom Halverson Pit Pass Moto Roadracing Contributor