Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier brought home his first victory in the three-round 2014 GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout in the RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike event at Sonoma Raceway. The Superbike rookie outpaced his teammate and three-time AMA Superbike champion, Josh Hayes, who finished in second. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, winner of the previous Superbike Shootout round in Fontana
, finished third.
Beaubier scored pole position in the Arai Pacific Nationals at Sonoma, but off the start got pushed back to fifth as competitors dropped into the first turn. The 2013 Daytona SportBike champion was undaunted though, and quickly began picking off riders until reaching Hayes out front. The Mississippi native proved difficult to pass, but a small mistake opened the door for Beaubier to move ahead and from there he opened a gap on the field. By the checkers Beaubier had nearly 10 seconds between himself and Hayes.
“I started on the pole, which is on the inside here at Sonoma Raceway, so I kind of got pinched off in the first turn, which shuffled me back to fifth,” explained Beaubier. “This track is very technical, and I’m glad I’ve upped my training this year because it’s helped me handle the big R1. I was able to work myself back up to Josh, who was in the lead, and it wasn’t easy to get around him. It’s great to get this win on my home track and in front of my family and friends.”
“I don’t feel like I can be unhappy with my race after the way the weekend started,” said Hayes. “I was riding smooth, putting together the best race I could. I made a little mistake, and it really cost me. I rode hard to try to catch back up to Cameron. He rode a great race. It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten beaten like that, so congrats to my teammate. He’s riding really well.”
After slotting into third-place early on, Cardenas ran a solitary race to the checkers for the final podium step. ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony finished in fourth followed by Cardenas’ teammate, Roger Hayden, in fifth. Hayden had an early mistake which took him off track and set him outside the top-15, so was left to claw his way back up the ranks for the remainder of the race. KTM/HMC’s Chris Fillmore took sixth ahead of K&L Supply/EBR rider Cory West. Fillmore was strong off the start, taking the holeshot and early lead, but through subsequent laps was unable to maintain his position at the head of the pack.
Hayden’s teammate, Chris Clark, took eighth followed by Yamaha rider Tyler O’Hara in ninth and M4 Motorcycle Road Racing’s Chris Ulrich in 10th. Ulrich began to suffer tire wear early in the race, losing rear grip throughout.
"We were marching forward," said Ulrich. "I got to eighth and was closing on seventh and sixth, and then one lap in Turn 4, all of a sudden the back comes around on decel, and I was like, 'Uh, oh.'
“Overall, I was happy with my performance in the race. We moved up, we made progress, we went faster. We got the bike finally working a lot better for me this morning and bested my qualifying time by about a second. That's always pleasant to do in the race.”
Arai Pacific Nationals RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike Results 2014
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
3. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
4. David Anthony (Suzuki)
5. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
6. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
7. Cory West (EBR)
8. Chris Clark (Suzuki)
9. Tyler O’Hara (Yamaha)
10. Chris Ulrich (Honda)
11. Matthew Orange (BMW)
12. Sebastiao Ferreira (Kawasaki)
13. Daytona Anderson (Suzuki)
14. Marcel Irnie (BMW)
15. Jeffrey Tigert (Ducati)
16. Steve Metz (Ducati)
17. Ricky Orlando (Kawasaki)
18. Joy Higa (Suzuki)
19. Lenny Hale (Suzuki)
20. Johnny Rock Page (Suzuki)