Toni Elias got here out swinging on the season opener of the MotoAmerica sequence at Highway Atlanta.
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Elias Shines In Highway Atlanta Opener
JD Seaside Wins A Supersport Thriller
BRASELTON, GA (April 14, 2018) – Yoshimura Suzuki’s defending MotoAmerica Motul Superbike Champion Toni Elias began the 2018 MotoAmerica season with a bang at the moment within the Suzuki Championship at Highway Atlanta, the Spaniard using to a 5.123-second victory to start his title protection.
The win comes on the heels of Elias’ 10-win 2017 season that earned him his first Superbike title. Elias received each races in final 12 months’s sequence opener at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, and he’ll attempt to emulate that quick begin tomorrow in race two at Highway Atlanta.
Elias led the Motul Superbike race from the start, was hounded from behind by Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz early on, however finally pulled away to win the 17th Superbike race of his profession on sunny day at Highway Atlanta by a tad over 5 seconds.
“My board confirmed me that Mathew (Scholtz) was solely level one to level two (of a second behind), however I didn’t know what was behind us,” Elias stated. “I turned again and noticed the group that was two seconds behind, and I assumed that was the time to proceed pushing to the top. My shock was when Mathew handed me. He was doing job. At that second, I assumed, ‘Man, this isn’t good.’ My tempo was good. It was time to push, and I used to be doing that on a regular basis, so on the finish it was good.”
Scholtz, who had a short second on the entrance when he handed Elias on the fifth lap, ended up a formidable second in his Superbike debut.
“For the primary correct race in Superbike, it was very nice to be battling up entrance with Toni (Elias), the defending champion,” Scholtz stated. “I discovered fairly just a few issues at the moment. I sort of knew from the follow classes that I might run the tempo, however I assumed round mid-race that we’d begin going somewhat slower. That didn’t occur till, possibly lap 14 or 15, which was fairly a shock. All in all, I’m very, very completely happy. I completed fairly just a few seconds behind Toni, which, being proper there till the final couple of laps was good, however being there on the finish is one thing that we have to work on. The Yamalube/Westby Racing workforce gave me an excellent bike. Congratulations to Toni.”
Third place went to a different Superbike rookie, Garrett Gerloff. Gerloff and his Monster Vitality/Yamalube/Yamaha Manufacturing facility Racing was 12.9 seconds behind Elias on the end, however some 10.5 seconds forward of fourth-placed Bobby Fong on the Quicksilver/LEXIN/Hudson Bikes Yamaha YZF-R1.
“I used to be somewhat nervous, however I assumed I had tempo at the moment,” Gerloff stated. “We’ve finished a variety of testing, so I’m comfy on the Superbike. It took a few laps to get loosened up and all the pieces. And, with Cameron (Beaubier) crashing out on the primary lap and Roger (Hayden) crashing proper after that, it sucked to see that, however it gave me somewhat little bit of respiratory room, which was good. Roger was good in some locations, and I used to be good in others, so we had been sort of clashing with one another in just a few spots. I’m glad that I received to see what (Toni Elias and Mathew Scholtz) had been doing in first and second, however that they had a reasonably good hole over me. I really feel good, although. And I assumed, ‘That is my first Superbike race, so simply handle the hole and preserve my lead over the riders behind me.’ I’m glad to get this one out of the best way. I’m prepared to maneuver on and construct from right here. I’ve received a smile on my face.”
Fifth place went to M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’ Jake Lewis, the Kentuckian chasing Fong to the end and effectively away from Kyle Wyman Racing’s Kyle Wyman. Wyman was 7.three seconds forward of Scheibe Racing’s Danny Eslick. Fly Road Racing’s David Anthony was eighth.
And what of two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier and final 12 months’s championship runner-up Roger Hayden? Beaubier crashed his Monster Vitality/Yamalube/Yamaha Manufacturing facility Racing R1 on the opening lap, remounted and completed ninth. Hayden additionally crashed early however was unable to proceed as his Yoshimura Suzuki was too broken to journey.
Real Broaster Hen Honda’s Cameron Petersen was one other first-lap crasher, the South African happening at excessive pace.
Tenth place went to Assault Efficiency/Herrin Compound’s Josh Herrin, the 2013 Superbike Champion using his monitor bike – a Yamaha YZF-R1S – as his racebike is caught in a broken-down truck in Louisiana.
Supersport – Seaside Over Gillim
Monster Vitality/Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha’s JD Seaside began quick and completed quick to win the opening spherical of the Supersport Sequence. And, in between, he was hounded mercifully by his buddy Hayden Gillim and his Rickdiculous Racing Yamaha R6. On the end line of the red-flag interrupted race it was Seaside over Gillim by simply .223 of a second.
“Each of my begins had been actually good,” Seaside stated. “The R6 will get off the road actually fast. I don’t know if it was as a result of it was hotter at the moment, however the monitor appeared greasy, and it was somewhat bit arduous for me to get going. As soon as I noticed that Hayden (Gillim) was beginning to catch me, I needed to go, and I dropped about half a second or so (in lap instances), then I constantly ran these laps. I believe the final lap would have been that quick, too, however we had somebody in (Flip) 10A who was proper on the race line, and it wasn’t protected for me to move him. We’ve been operating into that each one weekend. There are some guys on the market who’re making it unsafe for us, and it’s a tricky state of affairs. However, all in all, I’m glad to get this win, and we’ll attempt to do the identical factor tomorrow.”
Third place went to Cory West, the racing veteran filling in admirably for the injured Valetin Debise on the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. West was some 6.5 seconds behind Seaside and simply .131 of a second forward of M4 medAge Suzuki’s Nick McFadden in his first outing within the Supersport class. McFadden received each Superstock 600 races right here a season in the past.
Tuned Racing’s Braeden Ortt rounded out the highest 5 finishers within the red-flag interrupted race. Ortt had crashed out of the primary half, taking Gillim with him. However each riders had been lucky that Michael Gilbert’s crash introduced out the pink flag that allowed them to restart with the remainder of the sphere. Gilbert suffered facial accidents in his accident, however no damaged bones.
Junior Cup – All Dumas
Alex Dumas rode his Orange Brigade/JP43 Coaching KTM to victory within the first-ever Liqui Moly Junior Cup class, the 15-year-old French Canadian besting Yates Racing’s Ashton Yates and his Kawasaki by 5.306 seconds. Ghilliman Racing’s Sean Ungvarsky rode his KTM RC390 R to 3rd place – 35.535 seconds behind his pseudo teammate.
“Each time I do the follow begin on the bike, I wasn’t that good, however surprisingly, I did a very good begin at the moment, and I’m completely happy that I received the holeshot,” Dumas stated. “I saved my head down all through the entire race, and I’m actually proud of the outcome.”
Fourth place went to Quarterley Racing/On Observe Improvement’s Jamie Astudillo, the feminine racer having by far her finest efficiency in a highway race on her new Kawasaki Ninja 400. Astudillo barely beat the primary Yamaha within the race, the MP13 Racing R3 ridden to fifth by final 12 months’s KTM RC Cup Sequence runner-up Cory Ventura.
Twins Cup – Parrish By A Whisker
Ghetto Customized’s Chris Parrish rode his Suzuki SV650 to a slender .057 of a second victory over the Yamaha FZ-07 of Altus Motorsports’ Jason Madama, the 2 preventing it out all the best way to a photograph end on the finish of the 12-lap race at Highway Atlanta.
“I used to be watching (second-place finisher Jason Madama), and I used to be making an attempt to not make errors as a result of I knew that he was coming,” Parrish stated. “I noticed Curtis (Murray) behind me for a lot of the race, after which, I noticed (Jason) on the final lap. I’ve been right here (at Highway Atlanta) earlier than (on an) underpowered (bike). We got here to this race 12 horsepower underpowered on the SV (650). The Yamaha is a rocketship, and I knew that I wanted to work arduous to remain in entrance of Jason. I’m glad I received first.”
Madama was a Yamaha sandwich between the Suzuki bread with Curtis Murray using his SV650 to 3rd place after a mistake value him the prospect to run with the highest two. Murray was four.7 seconds behind on the end.
Evansville Superbike Store’s Shane Perry and Bucketlist Racing/RBOM’s Dustin Ducote rounded out the highest 5. Each had been Suzuki SV650 mounted.