It’s Not The Heat, It’s The…Yamaha U.S. Road Racing Teams Who Stifle The Competition On Friday At Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead, FL September 21, 2012 – The first day was a good one for the Yamaha U.S. Road Racing Teams as the Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha and Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha riders got things started at the 12-turn, 2.21-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway in GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing competition.
In AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, Cameron Beaubier was in a class of his own in Friday’s first qualifying session as he earned the provisional pole position by more than a second over his closest competitor. That’s a remarkable feat, considering how tight and twisty the infield road course is at Homestead-Miami.
Commenting on his provisional-pole-winning day, Cameron said, “From the get-go, in practice, my R6 felt awesome. I just felt really good in both sessions. I was pretty sore for the first week after my New Jersey crash, but I’m good to go now, and I’m ready to race.”
In AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, two-time reigning series champion Josh Hayes led the late-morning practice session aboard his #1 Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R1, which was a better gauge of how things might progress through the weekend. That’s because the afternoon’s provisional qualifying session was fraught with rain and wet track conditions that were not conducive to the fast lap times to which Josh is accustomed. Despite the less-than ideal conditions, Josh still qualified in third position, with final qualifying set for tomorrow morning.
“We only got five laps in the dry, and then it started raining,” Josh said. “We talked to the AMA, and we weren’t sure about riding in the wet, but I couldn’t really evaluate the situation without actually riding on the wet track. So, I went back out in the rain and did three or four laps. The track still had a lot of grip in the wet, but the concrete patches were sketchy, and there were a lot of puddles. The wet grass in the runoff areas is a big concern because you slide forever on wet grass, and the walls are right there. I told the AMA that we really can’t race safely in the rain, so I’m hoping tomorrow and Sunday are dry. We want to put on a good show for the fans, and I hope Mother Nature lets us.”
Josh’s teammate, Josh Herrin, who rides the #2 Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha R1, cut short his qualifying effort and chose not to go out on the wet track. “I’m hoping the weather is a little better for tomorrow morning’s final qualifying, and we can focus on working ourselves a lot further up in the field.” Right now, Josh sits in ninth place on the grid.
In AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com SuperSport, Garrett Gerloff spent most of the first day acclimating to a track that he’s never set a tire on before. Garrett was ninth-fastest in the early-afternoon first-practice session, and he followed that up by being tenth-fastest in provisional qualifying. The 17-year-old rider will be looking to move up as he gets more lap time on the new-for-him track in tomorrow morning’s final qualifying.
SuperSport Race 1 will go green at 1:00 PM on Saturday, Daytona SportBike Race 1 will start at 2:00 PM, and SuperBike Race 1 is scheduled for 3:15 PM. All times are Eastern.
If you can’t make it to the track, be sure to watch all the action from Homestead-Miami Speedway on Speed TV. For the exact days and times of the telecasts, check your local listings, or go to www.SpeedTV.com for more information.
It’s Home, Sweet, Homestead For Cameron Beaubier As He Wins Saturday Daytona SportBike Race In Miami
Homestead, FL September 22, 2012 – Starting from the pole, Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha star Cameron Beaubier won Saturday’s AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Race One at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and he stretched out a comfortable lead by the time he took the checkered flag after 23 circulations of the technical 2.21-mile infield road course.
The victory was the sixth out of the past eight races for Cameron, who has been on the podium in 11 out of the 14 races he’s started this season.
After his decisive win, Cameron said, “At the beginning of the race, I felt really comfortable, so I put my head down and concentrated on pulling a gap. I went with the soft tire, and that helped in the beginning, but I really had to conserve towards the end. It all worked out, though, and I’m happy to get the win for my team, and for Yamaha.”
In Saturday’s AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com SuperSport Race One, Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff finished 8th aboard his #96 YZF-R6, which was two spots closer to the front than his Friday provisional qualifying position in 10th. It was a tough race for Garrett, in his first time ever at the tight and twisty Homestead track, and he suffered from a lack of dry track time due to the morning’s qualifying session being wet.
SuperSport Race Two will go green on Sunday at 1:15 PM, and Daytona SportBike Race Two will start at 2:15 PM. All times are Eastern.
Homestead Is Not Where The Heart Is For Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha
Homestead, FL September 22, 2012 – On the cusp of winning his third AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike championship, fate dealt Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha rider Josh Hayes a cruel blow in Saturday’s Race One at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
On lap 3 of the 23-lap race, Josh suffered an ultra-rare lowside and crashed out. He was able to remount his #1 Yamaha YZF-R1 and rejoin the race, albeit in 20th place. From there, he worked on moving up as many positions as he could before the checkered flag, and he crossed the finish line in 12th. It was Josh’s first race loss since way back in April, and his remarkable streak of consecutive SuperBike wins ends at 10.
Despite the setback, Josh still holds a commanding 86-point lead in the championship standings, with tomorrow’s SuperBike Race Two yet to come tomorrow.
Meanwhile, it looked for a while like Josh’s teammate and rider of the #2 Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R1, Josh Herrin, was in third position and ready to take up the mantle for the team…until adversity struck him, as well. He ran off the track, got in the mud, and fell down. He was able to pick his R1 back up, and he managed to finish the race, but it was unfortunately back in 19th place.
Both Joshes were understandably gutted after the win, but they’re tough competitors and will certainly be back in a big way in tomorrow’s SuperBike Race Two.
That second SuperBike race of the weekend is scheduled to go green on Sunday at 3:30 PM EST.
Surf’s Up For R6 Rainmaster Cameron Beaubier Who Podiums In The Wet And Wins “Big Kahuna” At Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead, FL September 23, 2012 – Sunday’s AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Race Two at Homestead-Miami Speedway was declared wet from the start due to thundershowers in the area. In those kinds of conditions, it takes a smooth rider to negotiate the questionable grip encountered while racing in the rain.
There’s arguably no one smoother in the AMA Pro Road Racing paddock than rapidly rising Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha star Cameron Beaubier, who put his #6 Yamaha YZF-R6 on the podium for the 12th time this season. That’s a total of 12 podiums in the 12 races that Cameron has finished in the DSB class this season.
On the strength of his dominant win in Saturday’s DSB Race One, followed by his super-smooth third-place finish in the rain on Sunday, Cameron won the surfboard as the Big Kahuna at the South Florida event. It was an appropriate trophy for the rider who hails from northern California.
After the race, Cameron said, “It took me a little bit to get going in the rain, and I was a little tense, but I just concentrated on riding smooth and not making any mistakes. When I raced 125s in Europe, I had some wet races, but those tracks have quite a bit more runoff than here. Still, the experience helped me, and I’m grateful for it. I’m proud to win the Big Kahuna trophy for my team, who gave me an R6 that’s always fast in any track condition.”
In Sunday’s AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com SuperSport Race Two, Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff finished in 7th place aboard his #96 YZF-R6. His laptimes were consistent with the leaders, and he was moving towards the front, but the race was red-flagged by a rider incident.
During the race stoppage, dark clouds moved over the track, and there was lightning in the vicinity, so AMA Pro Racing called the race final after only 10 laps, which was just past the halfway point in the contest. Throughout the weekend, Garrett consistently lowered his laptimes the more he rode on the track, so he showed a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the dodgy weather conditions conspired against the 17-year-old rider at his first visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha team will be back in action the weekend after next for the final round of the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season. The event is the weekend of October 5th through 7th at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, LA. Don’t miss it!
Who’ll Stop The Reign? NO ONE, As Josh Hayes Wins His Third Consecutive SuperBike Championship
Homestead, FL September 23, 2012 – Dark skies, thunder, lightning, and rain couldn’t curtail the friendly Hurricane from winning the race and the title. Josh “Hurricane” Hayes won his third AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike championship, while also winning Sunday’s SuperBike Race Two at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
As it turned out, Josh actually won the championship before the race even started, since his closest competitor Blake Young decided to sit out the race due to the wet-but-drying track. That wasn’t going to deter Josh from trying to win the race for his Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha team and his army of fans across the country and around the world.
While some riders chose full rain tires, Josh decided to go out on the grooved intermediate Dunlops on both the front and rear, and it proved to be the right choice. After the start, Josh was able to click off faster laps than the riders ahead of him, and he caught up in short fashion, then put his #1 Yamaha YZF-R1 in its rightful place at the front. From there, Josh was able to pull a gap, which he stretched out to a lead of nearly five second by the time he took the checkered flag.
Reflecting on his 14th race win of the season and his third championship in a row, Josh said, “Today, there was a lot of talk about how to handle the wet conditions. I stuck to my plan of going out on the track so the fans could see the #1 R1 at speed. I pretty much rode around without a slip, and I started thinking that I could make it to the front on the setup we chose. I’m really glad it worked out. It’s great to get a win in the same race that I won the championship.”
Josh’s teammate and rider of the #2 Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R1, Josh Herrin, battled back from his lower finishing position in yesterday’s race and, today, he finished in a solid, drama-free fourth place.
The Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha team will be back in action during the weekend of October 5th through 7th for the final round of the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, LA. Don’t miss it!
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(Featured Image- Brian J. Nelson)