For the fifth round of the season in Tooele, there will be a change: the MotoAmerica riders in the respective classes will race on the 2.2-mile configuration track, instead of the 3.4-mile outer configuration. Considering the 15 turns on the layout, it's safe to say that the track is rather demanding.
Also because it (almost) never rains in Utah in June. The immense salt desert is right around the corner from the circuit and, if you have a rocket or a souped up bike, why not take a run with the throttle wide open? And while you're there, maybe you'll have the chance to meet some of the native Navajo, as various Superbike protagonists already have.
Keeping the throttle twisted will be Elias, leader in the overall standings with Suzuki. Toni has won four times up there (or down there, depending on where you are as you read this article) and, if the Spaniard manages to do the double, he will be at six wins, surpassing the 5 held by Texan Ben Spies, all with the Yoshimura GSX-R. Among other things, Ben dominated the 2009 World Superbike round, when he finished on the top step of the podium for both races in the days of the Yamaha R1. Elbowz was then re-dubbed the "Texas Terror" - a slightly redneck, but extremely accurate nickname.
In 2018, Elias was mistaken for the main course of a barbecue. If you believe what they say about the best cookouts in the USA being from Missouri and Kansas, think again: The former Moto2 and MotoAmerica champ's bike went up in flames and not a single bolt was spared by the bonfire. I'm sure the Spaniard would have preferred a juicy ribeye accompanied by a couple of cold beers.
Despite the "desperate" moment, Toni took home the win in one of the two races. Who took the other? Cameron Beaubier, the man who is currently the Suzuki rider's main rival. The ultra-factory Yamaha R1 M ridden by the Californian could very well be the favorite on the short and twisty configuration of the Motosport Campus, and the number 1 rider's style might just guarantee some incredible results.
Herrin will certainly not be standing by idly. Toni's partner (intended as teammate, because Josh and Elias are definitely not dating!) and the number 24 rider battled in close quarters at Elkhart Lake, exchanged heated expletives and divided up both spoils and off-track excursions.
Another thing making this a heated weekend will be the hunger JD Beach and Garrett Gerloff have for the podium, not to mention Mathew Scholtz and Jake Gagne, who will be anxious to bring home results with his BMW: All eyes will also be on Kyle Wyman and his Ducati which, for many fans, is the best looking bike on the grid. To be fair, with its original red - white - black livery, the number 33 Panigale V4 R definitely turns some heads. And it is getting faster too.