Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha rider Cameron Beaubier claimed his fifth MotoAmerica Superbike title with third and second-place finishes at Sunday’s doubleheader at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teammate and title rival Jake Gagne took solid points finishes in both races, crossing the line fourth in race two and recovering from a crash in race three to finish seventh.
Mixed fortunes in race one at The Brickyard on Saturday saw Gagne take second and Beaubier crash out, but Sunday was a new day. They lined up for race two in their qualifying positions of sixth and fourth, respectively. At lights out, Gagne got the better launch and advanced to fifth on the first lap. Beaubier on the other hand struggled in the opening stages of the race and lost a position, but quickly settled into a rhythm and held steady in sixth.
Gagne kept moving forward and worked his way up to fourth. He began to break away with the leaders, dicing with the rider behind before finding more pace and fighting up to third by the seventh lap. After finding a groove with his R1, Beaubier began his charge on lap 11, easing past fifth place and within reach of the podium. Ahead of him, Gagne had been setting a series of quick times as both Yamaha riders closed the leaders down. It became a four-rider battle in the closing stages making for a thrilling final lap. Champion-elect Beaubier made his move on the final lap into the first turn and managed to hold him off to secure his first podium of the weekend, scoring vital points over his teammate in fourth.
Anticipation rose heading into race three with Beaubier in reach to clinch the 2020 championship, only needing to leave The Brickyard 75 points clear of his teammate whilst sitting at 86. After the start he lost a place to the rapid-starting Gagne, the duo holding fourth and fifth, respectively, as they finished the opening lap. Before they could progress, the action was stopped for the third time this weekend with a red flag after the race leader crashed on lap two.
With the track conditions good to go, the race resumed. Beaubier dropped to sixth at the restart with Gagne moving up into third on the first lap and quickly muscling his way into second. Behind him, the defending champ was making his way forward. On lap six, he made his move into a podium position and a title-winning shot, chasing down Gagne ahead. With only four laps to go, a small mistake by Gagne caused him to go down, but he quickly re-joined the action to finish seventh.
Beaubier controlled his pace and saw off a late challenge from third place to cross the line second and score his fifth MotoAmerica Superbike Championship. In a dominant season which saw him take 13 wins, two podiums, and 361 points, Beaubier has set the standard all year with a sublime season. With 75 points still available from the final round at Laguna Seca, the 2020 Superbike champ also has a chance to surpass the record of the most points scored in a MotoAmerica season, currently held by Josh Hayes with 410.
The MotoAmerica series concludes at the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on October 23-25, with another triple-header and a final chance for podium glory for the Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha squad.
Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“It wasn’t the weekend we expected, but the mission was accomplished. This was Cameron’s fifth championship and our first Superbike championship with Yamaha. It was mostly a seamless season; everything just fell into place perfectly. We now have to work hard to make sure that Jake solidifies the second place in the championship at Laguna Seca. I can say for sure that Cameron, Jake, and the entire team are looking forward to the season finale at Laguna. It has always been a great track for them and Yamaha.”
Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“It doesn’t seem real that we have racked up five superbike championships. It was such a tough weekend crashing three times and having a couple of issues, but with how great of a year we were having, we were due for a challenging one! I’m so happy going forward to Laguna and to be able to just enjoy the weekend with my team. It’s definitely my favorite year I’ve had racing a motorcycle.”
Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“I didn’t get off the line too great in the first race, but I started getting into a rhythm after a few laps. There were some parts of the track I was struggling with quite a bit with the front end, so I made a few mistakes and ended up fourth. In the second race, the crew made some great changes to the bike and I was feeling much better. Once I got into second I put my head down to try and inch my way forward to the leader. I really wanted to fight for that win. Unfortunately, I asked a little much of the front tire and low sided in Turn 10. I’m glad the bike was okay and we could remount to get some points for the Monster Energy Attack Yamaha team. Hats off to Cam for an incredible year and another Superbike championship for Yamaha!”