MotoAmerica, Thunderhill test: Beaubier is still the leader

The Yamaha factory team champion remains the favorite for the title. Right now, Elias with Suzuki is the only rival who could be a bother.


A raceway called Thunderhill can logically only be full of ups and downs like a rollercoaster. The Thunderhill Raceway Park in Northern California is where several big riders in the MotoAmerica series went through two days of pre-season tests, which were useful in performing adjustments on their official bikes. Cameron Beaubier and Garrett Gerloff with the Monster team’s R1 Ms, Elias and Herrin with their Suzuki Yoshimuras, and Supersport champion JD Beach with his Yamaha were all on the track. Just to clear up any doubt and warn his opponents, Cameron Beaubier - straight from the number 1 position, the umpteenth one for him - dominated the sessions, bringing his Yamaha factory to a limit of 1:45.2, unmatched by the competition. It was the Californian’s best lap ever in Thunderhill. “I had already realized in the previous tests that I had an excellent starting point to work from,” Cameron revealed , “and this is where I confirmed my previous feeling. I wasn’t well on Wednesday, and I was a bit frustrated, but I continued to ride ok. Thursday, I was in good shape, and it was nice to rediscover my R1.” His opponents definitely now know that they’ll have to fight for the title with the three-time US champion who’s at the top of the list. Beaubier continued: “not having many new things to test, I dedicated my time to race stints. Everything went well. I’m happy, and I hope I can improve the performance of the Yamaha engine.” Who will worry Beaubier? It could once again be Toni Elias, the final winner in 2017. “The test went well,” said the Spaniard, with a gap of three tenths from his direct rival . “We have the same material as last year, with several new details. Despite being happy with the work performed, it’s not what we’re looking for. The motivation for the tests is not like the tension felt during race weekends. It’s a personal thing, but that’s normal. When only a few days are left from the beginning of the season, my incentives will be very high, and I will give it my all. For now, what we need to understand is which tires to use and which our opponents will use, and still continue to work.” Garrett Gerloff’s times were in the order of 1:45.7, and Josh Herrin and JD Beach were just a bit slower. The Texan, the Georgian, and the 600 champion are aware that Beaubier and Elias will still be the two candidates for the number 1 position for 2019.


Translated by Leila Myftija

Related articles