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Toni Elias takes 2nd SuperBike championship despite difficulties

TOOELE — Saturday's Motoamerica races were headlined by the two AMA SuperBike series championship races, so it seemed appropriate that both races provided the most drama.

Finishing off the racing at the Utah Motorsports Campus was perhaps the unhappiest winner you'll ever see taking the podium. Sure, Toni Elias won the second SuperBike race, but it was the first race of the day the Spainard couldn't get out of his mind.

Elias was blunt, saying he went into the second race "very angry" after incurring tire and other issues during the first race, where he finished fourth.

Elias expressed some happiness for the victory, but kept his focus on everything that went wrong during the day throughout a three-minute rant. He then paused for some self-reflection, stating bluntly, and with a wry smile, "Maybe I should just shut my mouth about that first race."

Indeed, Elias had a lot to be happy about regarding how the day ended.

Racing neck-and-neck with points leader Cameron Beaubier, Elias was able to get out ahead for the final stretch, outdistancing Beaubier and Roger Hayden, who finished second and third, respectively.

"I'm happy for the victory and for my team," Elias said, before reverting back to everything that went wrong leading up to the victory.

Finishing fourth in the second SuperBike race was Josh Hayes, who overcame being run off the track to finish a very respectable fourth. After almost taking a spill early in the 25-lap race, Hayes saw himself in 16th place before making up significant ground.

With his fourth-place finish, Hayes maintained second position in the overall season points standings (228 points), but on his heels are Elias (227) and Hayden (226.)

Leading the overall point total is Beaubier, who won the first SuperBike race, with Hayes finishing second and Hayden third.

“I had a couple of areas where I feel I was stronger than Josh, but then he had a couple of areas where he was stronger than I was,” Beaubier said. “I wanted to have a lead going into the last lap and to see what happened.”

Hayes, who won both SuperBike races at the same venue last season, was happy with his performance in the first race after qualifying for a disappointing pole position.

“It was really a turnaround for the weekend for me,” Hayes said. “It seems as if I’ve been stuck in fourth for a while, so I was really happy to go out and have a good race today.”

Other action included Ashton Yates winnin the KTM Cup race, with Anthony Mazziotto and Brandon Paasch finishing second and third, respectively.

It was JD Beach winning the Supersport championship, outdistancing points leader Garrett Gerloff, who took second, and France's Valentin Debise, who finished third.

I really enjoy this track and just wanted to get off to a good start,” Beach said. “I knew I had to do it at the beginning. … I let up a bit at the end, and maybe tried to be too nice to the guys behind me, and Garrett closed the gap a little bit, but I’m here to win races, and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.”

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney