Last weekend, the MotoAmerica season was onto its second round of the year, with racing action happening at Road Atlanta. The racing has been good so far in MotoAmerica this year, so if you haven’t been watching it, you have been missing out.
If you haven’t been watching, then you have also been missing-out on the feud that is brewing between Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias and Monster Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier. Exchanging some hand signals on the track, the pair exchange some words as well in Sunday’s post-race press conference.
In short, it looks like the gloves will be coming-off in the future MotoAmerica rounds, as these two riders fight not only for the MotoAmerica Championship title, but also against each other.
For some context, the altercation at Road Atlanta started on Saturday, when a pass by Beaubier in the final corner ended up pushing Elias onto the grass.
In the second race, Elias responded by moving over onto Beaubier, again at Turn 12, and then giving the Yamaha rider a signal by touching his helmet – a gesture meant to say Elias has a long memory, and remember what Beaubier did.
That sets the stage for the video below:
“I got a decent drive up the hill coming into the last corner and Toni [Elias] looked back and was off the gas a little bit, so I just went to the outside to brake and he moved over on me, hard,” said Beaubier. “I knew it was because of yesterday’s incident in the last corner.”
“He looked back at me and shook his head. I felt like I didn’t do anything wrong so I just told him I wasn’t in the wrong there. I was wondering why he was tapping his helmet after the race finished, and he said he has memory, or something like that.”
“At the end of the day I have memory about all the crap he did last year. I still have respect for the guy, but I’m not going to respect someone that doesn’t respect us out on the racetrack, plain and simple.”
Once given his chance to talk in the press conference, Elias responded with:
“It’s very simple, yesterday I was clean also, like it has been today, but I received [two] hits and went in the grass. I could [race] harder, but I don’t need it. We can play clean, and not like this.”
“Me and Roger [Hayden] today we had a big battle, and we have been clean [with] each other. We play clean. But, if we have to play a little bit more dirty that is my strongest point, and I’m also strong in strategy.”
“If you [Beaubier] want to come here like this [aggressive], let’s do it. No problem. You are a good rider and you don’t need to do it like that. We love to play hard and want to put on a good show. That is my goal.”
MotoAmerica’s third round is at Virginia International Raceway, in two weeks’ time. We doubt the feud will have been settled by then, so expect to see some sparks at VIR.