Now celebrating its third season, the MotoAmerica road-racing championship has just finished the third of 10 rounds at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on May 12-14. Led by three-time 500cc GP world champion Wayne Rainey, MotoAmerica is the top US road-racing series, but its shared mission is preparing young riders for international competition. Among five classes, the entry point is the KTM RC Cup, which uses exclusively single-cylinder KTMs riding on Dunlop Alpha 13 race tires. A big step up are Superstock 600 and Supersport, which exclusively use 17-inch Dunlop racing slicks and, as needed, wet-weather racing tires. Atop the pyramid are Superstock 1000 and Superbike, which also race on Dunlop slicks and “wets.” Dunlop is the official tire of MotoAmerica, and all the slick tires used in the series are developed and manufactured by Dunlop in Buffalo, New York.
The premier Superbike class has been hotly contested this year. Through early May, Suzuki teammates Toni Elias and Roger Hayden were battling heavily for the series lead with Yamaha rival Cameron Beaubier. However, the VIR weekend brought huge drama as Elias was knocked down in race one by Yamaha’s Josh Herrin, giving Hayden the win. Then in Sunday’s race two, Yamaha veteran Josh Hayes claimed his 61st Superbike event. Concluding the VIR weekend, with 115 points, Elias had a 10-point lead over Beaubier, who in turn led Hayden by a single point. Exciting stuff!
With four wins and a second, after VIR Kawasaki-mounted Bobby Fong held a sizable 15-point lead in Superstock 1000, which runs concurrently with Superbike on slightly more restricted 1000cc machines. Scrapping for second in the standings were Yamaha’s Matthew Scholtz with 105 points from one win and four second-place finishes, and Suzuki’s Jake Lewis with 102 points courtesy of a win and four podiums.
In the crowded Pro Supersport class, the fight for supremacy has been between the Yamaha duo of Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach. A total of two wins, two seconds and a third by the end of the Virginia round had earned Gerloff 106 points vs. 102 points for Beach, earned via two wins, a second and two thirds. Talk about evenly matched! Third in the standings was Honda-mounted Benny Solis, Jr. with a pair of thirds his best finishes.
Rather than beginning at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas with MotoGP, Superbike and Superstock 1000, the Superstock 600 class debuted at Georgia’s Road Atlanta in late April, and just two rounds – four races – have since been completed. Suzuki racer Nick McFadden started strongly with twin wins at Road Atlanta, but managed only one podium at VIR. With 77 points, he now trails Yamaha-mounted Michael Gilbert, who has 86 points from two wins and two podiums, in the standings. In third after VIR was Yamaha-mounted Jason Aguilar with 69 points from three podiums.
KTM RC Cup
With evenly matched KTMs throttled by hungry young riders, it’s an easy bet that competition will always be tight in the RC Cup. And it is. After four races – as in Supersport 600, the young guns didn’t race at COTA – Benjamin Smith led the standings with two wins and a third for 66 points, just a point ahead of Draik Beauchamp with a win and two seconds. With 60 points, Alex Dumas was close behind with a second and a third as his best finishes.
The MotoAmerica season next takes flight at Road America in Wisconsin on June 2-4, then carries all the way through summer to the September 15-17 finale at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. Go to motoamerica.com for more info, or to access live coverage on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.