Rea, Beaubier – Thrilling Day 1 of MOTUL FIM SBK GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round & MotoAmerica Championship
Superpole, Race 1 in store for action-packed Saturday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
A day of on-track thrills and lively paddock and marketplace experiences kicked off the three-day MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Motorcycle road racing at the iconic 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit continues to add pages to it’s rich history with reigning three-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea from Northern Ireland putting on a dominant opening day performance that was tempered with a spill on his Kawasaki in the third practice session. He had already completed the damage to his competition, however, with the quickest lap of the session for the third consecutive practice and an overall best lap time of 1’23.104.
The grid of 20 international riders representing 13 countries also featured a strong performance from Ducati rider Marco Melandri from Italy who remained within a wisp of Rea’s torrid pace. American riders Jake Gagne, Josh Herrin, and P.J. Jacobsen are in respective positions of 14, 15, and 18.
MotoAmerica provided great action in all four categories. Fans kept eyes on Herrin, who was riding the same Attack Performance/2 Wheel Legal Yamaha in both MotoAmerica’s Motul Superbike class and in his World Superbike debut, changing only spec rear tires and number plates. Herrin battled for the top position in Motul Superbike with Roseville, California, native Cameron Beaubier. Beaubier ultimately grabbed the top spot on the Monster Energy/Yamalube Yamaha with a best lap time of 1:24.231.
French Suzuki rider Valentin Debise tops the list in Supersport. Kris Turner recorded the quickest lap in Twins Cup aboard his Suzuki. Kawasaki rider Chris Turner is the best of the young riders thus far in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup.
Off the track, the hub of activity for all things motorcycle racing was the Paddock Showcase stage. Longtime fans got a real treat with a Legends Chat that featured four-time 500cc World Champion Eddie Lawson, three-time 500cc World Champion and MotoAmerica president Wayne Rainey, and AMA Grand National Champion and 1988 AMA Superbike Champion Bubba Shobert. The three good friends and amazingly talented riders shared tales to an adoring crowd.
A lively and energetic marketplace across the bridge from the paddock kept race fans and motorcycle enthusiasts engaged with music, activity, and deals from the many vendors. The all-new Family Fun Zone provided activities for children throughout the day.
Great racing is in store tomorrow with World Superbike contesting Superpole at 11 a.m. and Race 1 at 2 p.m. MotoAmerica Motul Superbike is on-track for Superpole at noon and Race 1 at 3:15 p.m. An intriguing collection of vintage AMA Superbikes and notable riders will follow the remaining MotoAmerica categories with exhibition laps at 4:45 to 5 p.m. The day will conclude with a Fan Walk from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. where anybody can enter the track at Turn 5 and stroll across the famous asphalt and be the envy of their social circles by posting images from the Corkscrew.
Saturday tickets are available at the gate for $90 while two-day tickets cost only $10 more (Sunday one-day tickets are $80). VIP hospitality upgrades and preferential parking are still available. Children 15 and under are admitted FREE with a paying adult. Go HERE for more information.