Photo: Josh Hayes/Superbikeshootout.com
Perhaps due to the limited number of American championship races this year (only five), a second superbike series, called Superbike Shootout, was arranged in the south-western U.S., the dates falling in the huge gap between the AMA’s Daytona and Road America rounds (March 15 and June 1).
Sponsored by GEICO insurance, Arai Helmets, and Yamaha U.S., the series was at least partly inspired and organized by former racer and current Roadracing World magazine/website owner and editor John Ulrich.
The three events included races at Fontana, CA, Sonoma, CA, and the final at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Yamaha and GEICO pronounced themselves delighted with the participation after the final this past weekend.
The overall winner was Yamaha’s Josh Hayes, who collected the final victory and the series title when his team-mate Cameron Beaubier crashed while leading the final race. Multi-time AMA national superbike champ Hayes said, “I feel really bad for him [Beaubier]. This was his championship to win, and I’m sorry that it ended like that for him. But I was happy that I was able to pick up the pieces for the team and get this victory and championship for our entire Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha crew.”
Marcel Irnie of Kelowna, B.C., an occasional Canadian Superbike competitor, ran the full series, collecting his best result of the series, fourth, on his MobiBuff/Irnie Racing BMW S1000RR to collect eighth overall. Irnie also won five UtahSBA support class races during the weekend, including the premier King of the Mountain GTO race.Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas won the first race at Fontana, finishing fourth in the series, while Beaubier collected the second win with Hayes and Cardenas behind him.