With 16 of 20 races complete in the 2022 MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship and just one point separating Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne and Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Danilo Petrucci in the point standings, it begs the question: Is this the closest Superbike Championship battle in the eight-year history of MotoAmerica?
Believe it or not, the answer is no.
In the very first season of MotoAmerica’s ownership of the AMA Superbike Championship, the title chase was even closer as Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha’s Josh Hayes and Cameron Beaubier went into the final two rounds of the 2015 series tied at the top.
Yes, after 14 of 18 races, both Hayes and Beaubier were Even Steven on 286 points.
In 2015, the 13th and 14th of 18 races were held at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and when the dust settled on that weekend of racing, both Hayes and Beaubier had won a race with Hayes winning race one and finishing third in race two while Beaubier won race two after finishing second in race one.
Hayes’s win at Laguna was his eighth on the year; Beaubier’s victory was his sixth of the season up to that point.
With two of his wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Beaubier took over the points lead and, going into the season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park, he led the title chase by 18 points. Veteran Hayes did all he could and won both races while the 22-year-old Beaubier did exactly what he needed and raced to the podium in both.
Thus, the closest MotoAmerica Superbike Championship ended with the pair separated by just four points, 372-368.
“I was riding so timid. I was doing everything I could not to risk crashing or anything,” Beaubier said with his first Superbike Championship in pocket. “I was making sure I was staying off the inside curbs… I was definitely riding pretty timid.”
That was then and this is now, and Gagne and Petrucci take their fight to New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 9-11 for round nine of 10 with four races left to go in the war.