As we head to the third race on the MotoAmerica calendar, Toni Elias currently leads the championship with a 13 point lead over three-time champion Cameron Beaubier. The Suzuki rider has been ultra-consistent throughout the first two rounds, which have yielded two wins and two second place finishes.
Beaubier goes into the weekend having won the first race of the season at Road Atlanta and has demonstrated superb consistency with three podium finishes in the following three races. The American is the most accomplished rider in the field and the third most successful rider ever in MotoAmerica, with 33 wins.
The Yamaha rider has been tantalisingly close to victory in the last two years at VIR, with three second place finishes and a third to his name. The Virginia Raceway is known for its tight and twisty nature, which often provides great racing, as last year demonstrated. The top two in the standings battled throughout both races, with Elias getting the win by 0.114 in race one and 0.546 in race two.
Last time out at the Circuit of the Americas, Elias and team-mate Josh Herrin shared the spoils claiming a victory each. But for Herrin, early inconsistencies have had a damaging effect on his championship challenge as he is already 41 points off the Spanish rider.
The third round of the championship will be the first of four two-day events where both the riders and teams will not get the opportunity to qualify all day on Friday. The Superbikes will take to track on Saturday ahead of two 45 minute sessions which will serve as qualifying practice sessions before the 15 minute Superpole session and race one.
This will make for an interesting dynamic, as riders and teams will have an extremely short amount of time in which to find the right setup and balance, which could lead to some surprising results.
KWR rider Kyle Wyman, who sits tenth in the standings on the new V4 Ducati Panigale, spoke to Paul Carruthers of MotoAmerica regarding the benefit this could have this weekend. “I’m looking forward to the two-day format,” Wyman stated before adding “I’ve worked really hard the last few years on my ability to get up to speed quick, and this format is going to challenge all of the riders in that way. I can’t wait to see what the Panigale V4 R is capable of at VIR and I look forward to building on our progress from the previous events.”
Live coverage begins Saturday 4th of May at 8:35am EST US time and 13:35 UK time via MotoAmerica live+ and Bein Sports USA via YouTube.