MotoAmerica returned VIRginia International Raceway again this year as professional motorcycle racing continues to rebound in the United States. The 2.25 mile North Course at VIR was the site of the 2017 Superbike Championship of Virginia.
Set within the lush countryside of Alton, VA, VIR is one of the premier road courses in the country.
Adding to the excitement and anticipation entering the weekend was the verbal back and forth between Spaniard Toni Elias and defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier. In the post-race press conference at Road Atlanta, the 2 riders had a difference of opinions on Elias’ aggressive style and on track professionalism. Elias was the Motul Superbike points leader coming into the weekend with 3 wins already under his belt.
Mother Nature provided an additional challenge on Friday as practice and qualifying sessions took place under wet, soupy conditions.
Roger Hayden captured his first Superbike win at VIRginia International Raceway on Saturday. Toni Elias crashed out on lap 1, and the veteran Yoshimura Suzuki rider would battle Josh Herrin for the lead shortly thereafter. He then held off two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier to win the opening-round race of the Championship of Virginia.
In race 2 on Sunday, Josh Hayes, who also suffered a crash the day before, took his first Motul Superbike race win of the 2017 MotoAmerica season.
Both Supersport races featured battles between Monster Energy/Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha teammates JD Beach and Garrett Gerloff. They finished 1-2 each day, with each rider capturing the top spot on the podium. First Beach, then Gerloff. Victory circle turned into party central, with the young riders showering their loyal following of fans with celebratory champagne.
Neither rain, nor cool temperatures, or even the celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday would prevent fans from turning out for the double header race weekend. Aside from some of the most exciting racing in recent memory, fans were able to experience stunt shows, demo rides and autograph signings.
all photos by Kevin C Cox, CORE360 Sports