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MotoAmerica 2018 Round 1 - Road Atlanta

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Various Press Releases from this past Weekend's MotoAmerica Opening Round at Road Atlanta - 4-16-18

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Yamaha bLU cRU Riders Conquer Rain at Road Atlanta

Supersport Podium Sweep Among Sunday’s Successes

Braselton, Ga.April 16, 2018After a sunny Saturday filled with podium finishes by Yamaha’s bLU cRU road racers at the opening round of the 2018 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship at Road Atlanta, a storm front moved in during the night and heavy rain became a major factor in Sunday’s competition. Yamaha riders and teams quickly adapted and showed their strength, though, overcoming the challenging wet conditions throughout the day to reach the podium in the Superbike and Supersport races.

Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing Superbike Team

After a crash at the start of Saturday’s race and a ninth-place finish, two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier kept his focus on important series points and rode smart in Sunday’s shortened 18-lap Superbike Race 2. As the green flag waved, he got off to a great second-place start and swapped podium positions through the first six laps. By lap seven, Beaubier had situated himself within striking distance of the lead and he soon moved his #6 R1 into the first-place position for eight solid laps until a hard-charging Toni Elias swept by going into lap 17. Beaubier kept his head down and crossed the finish line in a hard-fought second place.

Meanwhile, Garrett Gerloff’s hopes of beating Saturdays’ third-place finish in Race 1 were lost when he crashed shortly after the start of Race 2 on Sunday. Uninjured with his #31 R1 still in rideable condition, Gerloff managed to salvage ninth-place, adding valuable points to his title chase as a Superbike rookie.

Cameron Beaubier - #6 YZF-R1

“Road Atlanta was tough on us this year. I had three crashes throughout the weekend including Race 1. I went into Race 2 without a ton confidence but ended up feeling OK through the race. I am happy to finish the weekend salvaging some points and plan to hit the ‘refresh’ button for the next race at COTA!”

Garrett Gerloff - #31 YZF-R1

"It was a great learning weekend for me! I felt confident and really good on the bike all weekend. My team and I are working really well together. I had some first race nerves going into Race 1 but stayed loose and was able to get on the box in my very first Superbike race! Race 2 in the rain was a wild ride. I felt great on the first few laps, but misjudged the levels of rear grip I had and high-sided in turn 10. The Yamaha R1 is a such a durable bike, though, and I was able to pick the bike up and finish in 9th place. All in all, I’m content with my first weekend on the big bike and ready to build from here for the rest of the season. Let’s go to Austin!”

Tom Halverson - Team Manager

“Cameron had a good performance in the rain to lead the race and finish second in Superbike Race 2. It was a tough weekend for Cameron, but we leave here with him third in points in the championship and confident that he has what it takes to win. Garrett had an unfortunate crash in his first race in the rain on the Superbike, but like Cameron in Race 1, he was able to rejoin the race and gain valuable points for the Championship. Hats off to the team for working through a tough weekend with a great attitude and getting both riders on the podium. We are looking forward to racing for the win at the MotoGP event this weekend at Circuit of the Americas!”

Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha Supersport Team

Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha’s JD Beach emerged from the opening round with a positive all-around performance to kick off the 2018 Supersport Championship. Beach qualified on pole, claimed victory in Race 1 on Saturday, and then followed up with a second-place performance in Race 2 on Sunday.

Beach continued his streak of great starts when the green flag waved for extremely wet Supersport Race 2 on Sunday, and the #95 R6 maintained the lead for the first four laps. On lap four, Rickdiculous Racing’s Hayden Gillim made a strong pass on his R6, and the duo rode all the way to the checkers in the 1-2 positions.

JD Beach - #95 YZF-R6

“Round 1 for MotoAmerica could have only been one spot better for me. We almost pulled off the perfect weekend! I qualified on pole and snagged the win in Race 1 but I brought it home safe in Race 2 and got second. It was a crazy race today in the rain and very stressful. It would have been awesome to get the win but we came away with some great points and feeling strong for VIR.”

Chuck Graves - Team Owner

“Overall, I think JD Beach and the R6 had a really good weekend. Qualifying on the pole, winning the first race, trading first and second place with Hayden Gillim – I think it was really success for Yamaha and for Graves Motorsports. It looks like there is a lot of parity in the Supersport class, so we should expect to see some really exciting racing moving forward there.”

Additional Yamaha bLU cRU Rider Notes

Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz rode his YZF-R1 to an eventful third-place finish on Sunday after he was forced off the track to avoid a crashing rider in turn one. Scholtz worked his way through the pack to finish on the podium for the second-straight day, placing him second in the championship points standings at the close of the weekend.

Josh Herrin’s Attack Performance/Herrin Compound/Yamaha R1 Superbike and spares never made it to Road Atlanta due to major mechanical issues leaving the team transporter on the side of the road in Louisiana. Not to be left out, Josh and his team prepped his 2016 YZF-R1S street bike for competition, which he rode to a very impressive 10th place finish in Superbike Race 1 on Saturday. In rainy Superbike Race 2 on Sunday, Josh rode to an incredible fourth place finish and captured valuable championship points.

With the Rickdiculous Racing R6 of Hayden Gillim on the top of the podium, and the Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha R6 of JD Beach in second, Yates Racing’s Ashton Yates made it a podium sweep for the Yamaha bLU cRU when he clinched third place in Sunday’s Supersport Race 2 on his R6.

The challenge continued for Yamaha bLU cRU riders in the new Junior Cup class, where the right limiting balance between motorcycles of different engine sizes and configurations still needs attention from MotoAmerica. Chuck Graves and bLU cRU Rider Coach Josh Hayes provided guidance to the Graves/Yamaha YZF-R3 Support Program riders and teams in the wet conditions, and education was the focus of the day despite frustration with the lack of a level playing field.

“It was a little bit disappointing to see that the organizers hadn’t done their homework in balancing the two brands of motorcycles that have more powerful engines right out of the gate,” noted Chuck Graves when asked about the situation. “Instead, they chose to wait until after the weekend was finished to consider creating parity in the class. We understand that it is important to have those balancing features when there’s such differences, and had hoped they had done their homework before the race.”

Chuck also reflected on the positive attributes of the weekend, stating, “the Graves/Yamaha R3 riders soldiered on in the Junior Cup race, and all-in-all, we feel they improved their skillsets and capabilities with their teams. We had some really productive meetings, and it’s really exciting for the Graves Yamaha crew and me to work with so many new, young, up-and-coming talented riders and their friends and families. I expect that we’ll see some of these riders winning races on the R3 later on this year.”

2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Standings (After Race 2)

Pos. Rider Points

1 Tony Elias – Suzuki 50

2 Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha 36

3 Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha 27

4 Garrett Gerloff – Yamaha 23

2018 MotoAmerica Supersport Standings (After Race 2)

Pos. Rider Points

1 Hayden Gillim – Yamaha 45

2 JD Beach – Yamaha 45

3 Cory West – Suzuki 24

For more Yamaha racing news, results, photos, and videos, visit http://www.YamahaMotorsports.com/Racing

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Yamaha bLU cRU Riders Successful at Road Atlanta

Podium Finishes Throughout Saturday’s Season Opener

Braselton, Ga.April 15, 2018Saturday kicked off day one of racing at Road Atlanta for the 2018 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship, and Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing team rider Garrett Gerloff came out swinging with a remarkable third-place performance in his Superbike debut on the #31 YZF-R1.

Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha’s JD Beach was also ready for battle, producing a winning performance in the Supersport class, while Yamaha bLU cRU riders Mathew Scholtz and Hayden Gillim joined their factory teammates on the podium with hard-fought second-place finishes in their respective classes.

Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing

On Friday, the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing Team worked to fine-tune the chassis set-up and electronics program on the R1 Superbikes ridden by Beaubier and Gerloff, which gave both riders a solid platform to begin the race weekend.

The arduous work paid off, with Beaubier landing a first-row starting position, and Gerloff a second-row position, at the end of Saturday’s Superpole qualifier.

When the green flag waved for the Superbike race later in the day, Beaubier was off to a great start when he tucked the front-end of his #6 R1 in turn 10 and went down on the first lap. The Northern California native picked up his bike and fought hard to finish out the race in ninth-place, claiming valuable points toward the championship chase.

Meanwhile, Gerloff found his pace on the #31 R1, and executed a calm and collected performance to finish third in his Superbike debut.

Garrett Gerloff - #31 YZF-R1

"I was happy and disappointed with third today. You know, I’m a racer. I don’t want to get third, I want to go for the win, but I’m glad I got the first-race jitters out of the way and to put my R1 on the podium in the first race feels great - I’ll take it! I had a really good pace with Mathew and Tony but I did the best I could, and that’s all I can ever do. I’m looking forward to whatever comes tomorrow.”

Cameron Beaubier - #6 YZF-R1

“I’m really disappointed in myself because I knew we had good pace to run up front and contend for the win. I’m frustrated because I honestly felt like I went into that corner pretty much the same as I had all weekend. I was fortunate enough to collect a couple points and finish out the race, but I’m bummed out for myself and my guys - they’re working really hard. We’re going to regroup and try to fight back tomorrow and get a good result.”

Tom Halverson - Team Manager

“We’re really proud of Garrett to have such a great race pace at his first MotoAmerica Superbike event. He kept his composure, he didn’t ride over his head, and he was riding a nice solid pace to get a podium finish in his first race and we’re super proud of that result. Cameron’s day didn’t go as we expected it to. We knew he could run up front and I think he did, too. He’s not really sure why he crashed, so that’s kind of a bummer, but you make the best out of your bad days and he got back up and finished with some points so it’s not all bad. We’re going to put it behind us and see if we can get a win tomorrow.”

Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha

In Saturday’s MotoAmerica Supersport race, JD Beach continued his solid streak at Road Atlanta by qualifying with a pole-position start and claiming a hard-fought victory over bLU cRU rider Hayden Gillim. JD was opening a comfortable lead at the start of the race when Gillim was caught in an incident with another rider and crashed. Just a few laps later, a red flag from another incident forced the riders to regroup and start again, placing Gillim back on the grid.

Beach put his head down and made good use of the Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha Team’s hard work since the Dunlop Preseason Test at Barber Motorsports Park last month, as he rode a nearly flawless race on his #95 YZF-R6 to finish ahead of Gillim.

JD Beach - #95 YZF-R6

“Coming off the test at Barber, it didn’t go as smoothly as we would have hoped but the team and crew worked so hard and they’re really dedicated, so coming into this weekend it was all fixed. It was a close race today and in the past, Road Atlanta definitely hasn’t been one of my strong tracks so to come away with a win in the first race is awesome. We don’t know what it’s going to be like tomorrow, but it’s a long year and we’re ready to continue putting in the hard work.”

Chuck Graves - Team Manager

“For JD to get the win today in race one was excellent. It’s a new crew around the bike this year, a new spec engine, and a new exhaust pipe, so that changed a lot of things. But I think the flow is going good now.”

Additional Yamaha bLU cRU Rider Notes

Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz made an impressive start to the 2018 season by riding his YZF-R1 into pole-position in the Superbike class. Scholtz followed up his positive start with a second-place finish in Race 1.

Due to major mechanical issues leaving the team transporter on the side of the road in Louisiana, Josh Herrin’s Attack Performance/Herrin Compound/Yamaha R1 Superbike and spares never made it to Road Atlanta. Determined to race, Josh and his team went to work on prepping his 2016 YZF-R1S street bike, which he rode to a very impressive 10th place finish.

Hayden Gillim put up a good fight against Beach in the Supersport class, posting a close second-place finish on his Rickdiculous Racing YZF-R6. Tuned Racing’s Braeden Ortt rounded out the top-five on his YZF-R6.

Altus Motorsports/AP MotoArts team rider Jason Madama cemented his name in the MotoAmerica record books by riding his MT-07 to a second-place finish in the first-ever Twins Cup race.

It was a challenging day for Yamaha bLU cRU riders in the new Junior Cup class, where MotoAmerica is continuing to work towards finding the right limiting balance between motorcycles of different engine sizes and configurations. Nonetheless, riders in the Graves/Yamaha YZF-R3 Support Program soldiered on, receiving technical tips from team owner Chuck Graves, and guidance from bLU cRU Rider Coach Josh Hayes.

“We’ve got some great kids who learned a bunch in the first race,” said Chuck. “They’re all very enthusiastic and it’s really exciting stuff. Everybody is having a great time, and the rewards from working with these riders are really top-notch and very satisfying.”

2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Standings (After Race 1)

Pos. Rider Points

1 Tony Elias – Suzuki 25

2 Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha 20

3 Garrett Gerloff – Yamaha 16

9 Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha 7

2018 MotoAmerica Supersport Standings (After Race 1)

Pos. Rider Points

1 JD Beach – Yamaha 25

2 Hayden Gillim – Yamaha 20

3 Cory West – Suzuki 16

For more Yamaha racing news, results, photos, and videos, visit http://www.YamahaMotorsports.com/Racing

Also, check out “YamahaMotorUSA” on your favorite social media site.

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YamahabLU cRURiders Begin Their Quest for a 2018 MotoAmerica Championship

The Highly-Anticipated Season Starts Today at Road Atlanta

Cypress, CAApril 13, 2018The 2018 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship gets underway this weekend, April 13-15, in Braselton, Georgia, and the Yamaha bLU cRU road racers are eager to begin their championship quests. The 2.54-mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta course will provide the perfect proving grounds for the highly-anticipated 2018 season opener.

Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing: Beaubier and Gerloff

Cameron Beaubier and the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing Team have dialed-in the settings on the #6 YZF-R1, and the two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion is ready to reclaim the title he last held in 2016. For Beaubier, the 2017 season ended early due to a shoulder injury, but the Northern California native is fully-recovered and eager to begin racing in 2018.

“I'm really excited to finally line up and go racing!” Beaubier said. “I've felt pretty good on my YZF-R1 over the off-season tests and we’re going to take things race-by-race. I think we’re in a good spot physically and mentally, with more motivation than ever, to go try to get the plate back!”

Meanwhile, his teammate, Garrett Gerloff, is set to make his official MotoAmerica Superbike racing debut this weekend at Road Atlanta aboard his #31 Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing YZF-R1. The two-time MotoAmerica Supersport Champion made a smooth transition throughout the team’s off-season testing, and he couldn’t be happier to kick off the season with one of his favorite tracks.

"I'm really excited to start this new chapter of my racing career at a track with so many awesome memories for me,” Gerloff commented. “I love the flow of the Road Atlanta track and I really feel at home when I'm there. Hopefully the weather holds off, but rain or shine, I'm ready for great weekend of racing. See y'all there!"

Tom Halverson, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“After a long off-season and several successful tests, we are very excited to go racing at Road Atlanta for the opening round. Both Cameron and Garrett are healthy, hungry, and ready to challenge for the 2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship on their Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing YZF-R1 Superbikes.”

Superbike Superpole (Qualifying) is on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. EST, Superbike Race 1 will go green on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST and Superbike Race 2 is on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST.

Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha: JD Beach

2016 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion JD Beach is ready to put the No. 1 plate back on his Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6 and the team has worked extremely hard during the off-season to make it happen in 2018. With a high level of Supersport competition on the horizon, Beach has made it known that he’s up for the challenge.

“Man, I'm so excited for the first round of MotoAmerica this weekend!” Beach exclaimed. “I've been doing some flat track races on the Yamaha MT-07 but I'm ready to get to work and ride my Graves R6. I'm already in race-mode but I’m ready for that adrenaline rush that only road racing can give you. I think the competition this year is going to be stiff and I'm ready to do battle.”

Chuck Graves, Monster Energy/Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha Team Manager

“We gathered valuable data at the last couple of tests, and the team went to work refining the 2018 Spec R6 in preparation for the season kick-off at Road Atlanta. In addition to the R6, we made updates for the R3 in preparation for the first Junior Cup race so we’re ready to go to work at Round 1.”

Supersport Qualifying at Road Atlanta is Saturday at 10:50 a.m. EST, Supersport Race 1 is scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EST and Supersport Race 2 will go green on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. EST.

Meet the Yamaha bLU cRU Road Racers this weekend!

All of your favorite Yamaha bLU cRU road racers will be available for autographs at their Team Transporters during the Dunlop Paddock Autograph Session on Saturday from Noon to 12:45 p.m., and on Sunday during the Dunlop Hot Pit Walk & Autograph Session on pit lane from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For more Yamaha racing news, results, photos, and videos, visit http://www.YamahaMotorsports.com/Racing


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