Roger Hayden – 3-3
Toni Elias – 13 – 2
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Toni Elias and Roger Hayden both finished on the podium in Sunday’s MotoAmerica Superbike Race 2 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, part of the combined World Superbike/ MotoAmerica weekend.
Defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Elias made a string of comebacks after running off the racing line numerous times during the race. But Elias’ years of experience shone through as was able to overcome the problems and charge forward on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 from way back late in the race to finish a strong second – something that appeared nearly impossible earlier in the contest.
Elias leaves Monterey ranked second in the championship, 29 points behind leader Cameron Beaubier (203-174).
Hayden came home in third to round-out the podium in Sunday’s race. It marked a weekend of consistency with Hayden enjoying his best weekend of the season, after also standing on the rostrum taking third in Saturday’s Race 1. As a result, Hayden jumped from 11th to eighth in the championship standings at the halfway point of the season.
Sunday’s race was a tremendous turnaround for Elias, who suffered two crashes in Saturday’s race, yet still managed to finish in the points, twice picking up his bike and crossing the line in 13th.
“It was a great feeling to come back and finish second today,” said Elias. “After the crashes of yesterday and then finding neutrals many times today, to be able to finish second feels like a victory. We will be testing before the next race and we will work hard to come back in this championship.”
For Hayden, positive momentum continues to build after a rough start to 2018. He rarely put a wheel wrong the entire race weekend and earned his third consecutive podium result.
“This was the best race for me so far this year,” Hayden explained. “I feel like we are getting better every time I get on the bike. We still have a big mountain to climb to get back in the championship, but for sure we are heading in the right direction.”
It was a picture-perfect weekend in the scenic Monterey Bay area with sunny skies and warm temperatures. A weekend total of 64,425 fans attended the race, the biggest crowd for the event since returning to the World Superbike calendar in 2013.
Yoshimura Suzuki and the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship now look ahead to the kick-off of the second half of the season in next month’s round, the Championship of Utah at the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah on July 20-22nd.