Photography by Andrea Wilson
Yamaha Extended Service Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier got an uncharacteristically bad start in Saturday’s Daytona SportBike final at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but it didn’t matter. The series leader calmly worked his way through the field, took over the lead on lap six, held off a good bid by Jake Gagne and then opened up a gap, running under the class lap record in the closing laps to win by 4.469 seconds over Gagne.
JD Beach came home third giving RoadRace Factory Yamaha two podium finishers.
The race started with James Rispoli rocketing to the front on his National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki, but it wouldn’t hold long. Gagne moved up and took over the lead and appeared to be in a good position to win, especially considering Beaubier had gotten a poor start and ran sixth early on.
Beaubier proved the adage that Mid-Ohio is a hard track to pass on is not always the case. He steadily worked his way through the field and by lap five emerged in second. A lap later he outbraked Gagne going into turn six and completed his amazing charge by taking over the lead. Gagne hung tough and even briefly took back the lead three laps later, but on the closing two laps Beaubier seemed to find another gear and ran a jaw-dropping 1:27.726 on lap 20 of 21 to pull clear.
Beach was right on the tail of the leaders much of the race, but by the checkered flag was about three seconds back from Gagne. Jake Lewis held off Garrett Gerloff for fourth. Dane Westby was five seconds back from Gerloff in sixth and early leader Rispoli went backwards during the race to finish seventh.
“I got a pretty bad start,” said Beaubier, who scored his fifth win of the season and extended his series lead. “My jump wasn’t too bad, but I wasn’t very aggressive in the first corner and Dane passed me on the corner going onto the back straight and I got shuffled back to fifth or sixth or something like that. And then I slowly started making my way through and me and Jake had a good battle until the end when I pushed it on the last couple of laps.”
Beaubier had a 28 point lead coming into Saturday’s race, but with the win pushed it to 35 points over Gagne. Beach is third.
Daytona SportBike results from Mid-Ohio – Saturday, July 13, 2013
1 6 Cameron Beaubier Roseville, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 21 Laps
2 32 Jake Gagne San Diego, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 +04.469
3 95 JD Beach Philpot, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 +07.689
4 85 Jake Lewis Princeton, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 +14.827
5 8 Garrett Gerloff Spring, TX Yamaha YZF-R6 +15.272
6 5 Dane Westby Tulsa, OK Honda CBR600RR +20.210
7 43 James Rispoli Londonderry, NH Suzuki GSX-R600 +32.878
8 3 Benny Solis North Hollywood, CA Honda CBR600RR +50.274
9 7 Fernando Amantini Caracas, Venezuela Yamaha YZF-R6 +1:12.911
10 72 Eric Stump Berlin, NJ Yamaha YZF-R6 +1:14.779