Rea and Beaubier Are Double Trouble at Thrilling Superbike Conclusion
64,425 fans witness more two-wheel history made at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Jonathan Rea and Cameron Beaubier did the double by backing up their Race 1 victories on Saturday with second wins in exciting fashion at the conclusion of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round featuring MotoAmerica Championship of Monterey.
64,425 fans over the course of the three-day event witnessed Rea continue to amend the history books. The all-time winningest rider in World Superbike history scored career win No. 62 today. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider from Northern Ireland chased Irish 2014 winner Eugene Laverty for seven laps before choosing his moment to overtake the Milwaukee Aprilia rider and pulling away from the field. Laverty ended up on the podium with a P3 finish while Welshman Chaz Davies, a three-time winner at this event, rode his Arubi.it Ducati to his second podium in as many days.
Entering this event, six riders – Chaz Davies, Tom Sykes, Ben Bostrom, Troy Corser, John Kocinski, and Anthony Gobert – were tied for the all-time mark of most World Superbike wins at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca at three apiece. Rea leapfrogged them all with his third and fourth career wins at the iconic 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit.
American rider Jake Gagne capped a memorable Race 1 with another career-best ride in the international series. One day after he California native rode the Red Bull Honda to his first top 10 finish, he did one better at P9 to a cheering home crowd.
Like Rea, Cameron Beaubier doubled up in the win column in MotoAmerica Motul Superbike. However, Beaubier had a significantly shorter commute. The Roseville, Calif., native expanded his points lead with his second double win in his past two starts. Race 2 stole the show with Beaubier and Josh Herrin battling aggressively for the top spot.
Though he didn’t leave with a victory, some may rightly consider Herrin the star of the event with an ironman performance competing in both his World Superbike debut and MotoAmerica Motul Superbike on the same Attack Performance/2 Wheel Legal Yamaha changing only competition numbers and spec rear tires. In both World Superbike starts, his team had him pit before the races ended despite likely finishes in the points to prepare for the MotoAmerica races that occurred immediately after.
Beaubier and Herrin pulled far out in front of the field while the talented riders jockeyed for the lead. Herrin took a spill in the runoff while fighting valiantly to reel Beaubier back in. The foregone conclusion of Beaubier’s victory from that point shifted the focus onto a competitive game of musical chairs at 170 mph for remaining podium spots between Toni Elias (Spain), Roger Hayden (Owensboro, Ky.), and Matthew Scholtz (South Africa). Yoshimura Suzuki teammates Elias and Hayden nabbed the final two respective spots.
The last race of the day was MotoAmerica Supersport, which ended in touching fashion. Yamaha rider JD Beach edged Frenchman Valentin Debise for the win. Afterwards, Beach stopped during the cooldown lap to honor late fellow Kentuckian Nicky Hayden. He dismounted from his bike and ran up the hillside to high-five the No. 69 billboard that was created to pay tribute to Hayden before last year’s event.
Upcoming events at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca include Red, White & Blues July 14; Monterey Pre-Reunion August 18-19; Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 23-26; Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix featuring AMERICA’S TIRE 250 Sept. 6-9; Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI Sept. 27-30; and California 8 Hours presented by Pirelli World Challenge Oct. 26-28. For tickets and information, click HERE or call 831-242-8200.