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Utah Motorsports Campus Here We Come – Only 19 Points Separate Top Four In Superbike Title Chase

MotoAmerica_062016

Roger Hayden (95) and his Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Toni Elias (24) come to Utah Motorsports Campus on a hot streak, the pair having split wins in Alabama. Cameron Beaubier (1) and Josh Hayes (4) were third and fourth in both races. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

COSTA MESA, CA, JUNE 20 – Roger Hayden is riding a wave of confidence following his first career MotoAmerica Superbike win at Barber Motorsports Park, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider putting himself back into championship contention heading into round seven of the 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Superbike Championship at the newly named Utah Motorsports Campus, June 23-25.

“It’s nice seeing my hard work pay off,” Hayden said when asked about his win in race one at Barber. “I feel a little bit more relaxed now. I finally did it and I did it the right way. I led flag to flag and had somebody up my tailpipe that has won a lot of races. It wasn’t like a couple of guys crashed or it was wet or whatever. I’m relieved because it’s not, ‘When is he going to do this? He’s never going to beat the Yamahas…’ They can’t say that anymore.”

As for the upcoming round at the fast and flowing 3.048-mile Utah Motorsports Campus, Hayden thinks the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000s will be just fine.

“I like the track in Utah,” Hayden said. “I’ve always done pretty good there. The only thing we struggle with is a little bit of acceleration, but at Barber my bike seemed pretty good off the corners compared to everybody. I think we’re figuring some little things out to make things easier. We were there at Road America and it’s kinda the same type of track so I think we have a good chance again this weekend. We’ve been there every weekend. I’m only 14 points out of the championship and one point behind Josh (Hayes) so it’s a track I like and I know I need to keep the ball going. I want to win again. I want to tighten up the points and I want to be a real contender. I have a lot of confidence right now in myself, the team and everybody so I’m looking forward to it.”

The MotoAmerica Superbike Championship is reaching a boiling point with three rounds and six races to crown a champion between the four riders still in contention – defending champion Cameron Beaubier, Josh Hayes, Hayden and Toni Elias.

Beaubier and his Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha is at the top of the Fab Four, the Californian 13 points ahead of his teammate Hayes, 208-195. Hayden is just one more point behind and he’s just five points ahead of his Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Elias, the Spaniard having matched Hayden’s first and second place finishes at Barber Motorsports Park, June 10-12.

Unlike last year when Yamaha won all 18 of the races, the 2016 season has seen parity between the top two brands in the Superbike class: Yamaha has won seven races (Beaubier 6, Hayes 1) and Suzuki has won five (Elias four, Hayden one).

And that parity is even stronger in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship with four brands represented in the top four in the title chase. Meen Motorsports’ Josh Herrin leads on his Yamaha R1, Quicksilver/Latus Motors Racing’s Bobby Fong is second on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, HSBK’s Claudio Corti and his Aprilia RSV4 RF is third and Cycle World Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim sits fourth on his Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Those four also rank high in the Superbike Championship, though the order is flopped a bit with Italian Corti leading Herrin by just one point in their battle for fifth in the Superbike title chase. Then comes Fong, 10 points behind, and Gillim, who is eighth in the Superbike Championship and 26 points behind Corti.

Herrin is the rider on a hot streak, the Georgian winning the last four Superstock 1000 races and finishing fifth overall in those last four. Herrin has now won five races to Corti’s four.

Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff has won six Supersport races in 2016 and he comes into Utah Motorsports Campus with a 33-point lead in the championship. But he also comes in knowing that defending Supersport Champion JD Beach is starting to heat up, the Kentuckian sweeping both Supersport races at Barber Motorsports Park for his second and third race wins of the year.

The championship looks to be fought out between those two, with M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s Valentin Debise 62 points behind in third with his teammate Cameron Petersen fourth and 91 points adrift. The problem for Beach is that he needs help. If he won the remaining five races (the Supersport class races only once at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca) and Gerloff finished second, Beach would come up eight points short. Stay tuned.

While the Supersport Championship battle will most certainly go to the bitter end, that’s not the case in the Superstock 600 title chase. Riders Discount/Tuned Racing’s Bryce Prince holds a commanding 93-point lead over HB Racing/Meen Motorsports’ Dakota Mamola with five races left on the schedule, including the two upcoming races in Utah. There are only 125 points up for grabs at this point in the season, so the chances are strong that Prince will get the Superstock 600 Championship wrapped up early.

One thing that’s definitely not decided is the battle for second. Mamola is just two points clear of Millennium Technologies/KWR’s Travis Wyman, 124-122, with Altus Motorsports’ JC Camacho also in the fold with 114 points. You also can’t count EMR Excel Racing’s Connor Blevins or HB Racing/Meen Motorsports’ Richie Escalante out of the equation either. Those two are 22 points and 34 points out of second, respectively.

While the Superstock 600 Championship will likely be decided early, the KTM RC Cup most definitely won’t. Brandon Paasch and Anthony Mazziotto III will most certainly fight to the end in that one with Paasch currently 10 points clear of fellow New Jersey resident Mazziotto by just 10 points. Those two are 65 and 55 points clear of third-placed Ashton Yates with Jody Barry right behind Yates in their battle for third in the championship.

Both Paasch and Mazziotto have four races wins apiece with Yates and Barry each winning a race thus far in 2016.