Team Suzuki Press Office – September 10.
Toni Elias – DNF-3
Roger Hayden – 4-2
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Roger Hayden and Toni Elias both earned podium finishes in Sunday’s MotoAmerica Superbike race two at New Jersey Motorsports Park, that was drenched from Tropical Storm Gordon.
Hayden ran a steady race two on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike and finished runner up, earning his best result of the season. Elias made a come-from-behind charge running fifth in the early going, before rallying to finish third. It was a strong turnaround after Saturday’s rain race that saw Hayden finishing fourth and Elias crashing while trying to move up from third.
The 2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship was clinched by Cameron Beaubier after winning Sunday’s race. Both Elias and Hayden congratulated Beaubier for his and his team’s excellent season. Going into the final round, Elias remains second in the standings, while Hayden’s solid weekend moved him up to seventh.
“For me it was a great weekend,” said Hayden, who also qualified second in Superpole. “I took fourth yesterday, but didn’t really feel that comfortable on the bike. The team made some changes overnight and today my bike was a lot better. The track was slicker and more treacherous today, but we managed to finish second. I’m pretty excited because I haven’t been on the podium in a while and it’s great, especially for my guys.
“I’m looking forward to Barber. It’s my last race and tons of people from home are coming so I can’t wait.”
For Elias, his last hope of trying to chase down Beaubier in this year’s championship came to an end, but the 2017 MotoAmerica Champion is optimistic about winning back the No. 1 plate next season.
Said Elias: “I want to congratulate Cameron for a great season. We had some great battles this year and he and his team really stepped-up their level. I gave it my best to try to keep the championship alive yesterday. I was trying to gain another position to earn back more points on Cameron when I pushed too hard and crashed. Today we came back to the podium and it was great to be up there with Roger.
“Now we will try to finish strong in the final race at Barber and then prepare to come back stronger than ever next season. I have a great team behind me and we will all be very motivated to try to win back this championship next year.”
The 2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship wraps up with the final event at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 21-23rd.