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|10-18-2015, 10:00 AM||#1|
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MotoAmerica's Night Of Champions
MotoAmerica honored its five champions, their teams and its* Superbike Rookie of the Year in a gala Night of Champions event at the Chapin Theater inside the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, on Friday night.
The champions in all five classes - Cameron Beaubier (Superbike), Jake Gagne (Superstock 1000), JD Beach (Supersport), Joe Roberts (Bazzaz Superstock 600) and Gage McCallister (KTM RC Cup) - were honored, along with the second- and third-place finishers, the champion's team and* Superbike Rookie of the Year, Jake Lewis.
(From left to right) KRAVE partners Wayne Rainey, Terry Kargas, Chuck Aksland and Richard Varner were on hand to present the awards at the Night of Champions.
The awards were presented by MotoAmerica partners Richard Varner, Terry Kargas, Chuck Aksland and president and three-time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey.
"It's amazing that it's been a year and here we are at the awards banquet," Rainey said in closing out the show. "For myself and Richard and Terry and Chuck, we've been battling all year to get this thing to go, but seeing you guys out there doing your job and racing hard makes it all worth it. One thing I can say to all the champions tonight is to enjoy it while you can because all these guys racing against you... well now you've got the target so they are going to be after you. And the off-season is very short and next season is coming quick. I'd also like to thank Larry Little and Mike Webster from AIMExpo for giving us this facility tonight, and Dunlop, Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda for sponsoring our awards show. Congratulations to everyone and thank you for having some patience with MotoAmerica during some rough times there. We'll see you again next year."
Cameron Beaubier - 2015 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion: "This season has been amazing," Beaubier said. "It's been tough, it's been stressful at times but it's definitely going to be a season that I look back on and I'm super proud. It's never easy going into a title fight with a four-time champ. He's (Hayes) been calling me, even after the season, to tell me how many more races he won than me this year. It's been so fun. My family couldn't make ittonight, which is a bummer but I owe them everything. It's so cool everything they've done for me. I want to thank my team, Yamaha. They've given me the best opportunity ever to race a motorcycle for a living. It's been so fun and I can't wait until next year."
JD Beach - 2015 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion: "It's an amazing feeling to be able to win the first MotoAmerica Championship," JD Beach said. "They worked really hard to put on a series. For me it's really cool because few years back I got Wayne's (Rainey's) book and it really touched me a lot because of how he grew up racing dirt track. He worked really hard to to get to the world stage and I'm working really hard to follow in those footsteps. I've had an amazing team and a great group of guys behind me. I think if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have won this year. It's definitely all luck. When I'm racing against guys like Josh Herrin and Garrett (Gerloff) and Bobby (Fong) and all them out there, they are so fast and we didn't get there off of skill. I've had a lot of luck this year and I've been on a great bike. The Yamaha R6 worked amazing this year and I just have to thank the team for keeping me around after last year. Hopefully, we can keep some luck going into 2016."
Jake Gagne - 2015 MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Champion: "Hat's off to MotoAmerica again for their inaugural year here. It really couldn't have gone off any better," Jake Gagne said. "Hats off to everybody in the room for being a part of this circus and everybody is just having a great time this year and we're looking forward to the future. Thanks to all my guys. Nobody works harder and I'm just glad to be part of the crew."
MotoAmerica Superbike Rookie of the Year Jake Lewis gets his trophy from Wayne Rainey.
Jake Lewis - 2015 MotoAmerica Superbike Rookie of the Year: "It's a huge honor to have a man like Wayne Rainey, a legend, give me this Superbike Rookie of the Year award," Jake Lewis said. "Back in 1982 when he won it, I wasn't even thought of. It's a big honor for me and I'd love to hang that number-one plate and guitar that Cameron (Beaubier) is about to get in my new house, but there's always next year. I had an up-and-down year - a few good weekends and a few not-so-good weekends. But I never gave up and I had a lot to learn and gained a lot of experience from racing with guys like Josh (Hayes), Cameron and Roger (Hayden). It's never easy and hopefully next year we're supposed to have a new bike to take the fight to Yamaha. Suzuki wants to get back to its winning ways and I have a great team of Yoshimura Suzuki and my guys are going to be working hard next year to hopefully be in the fight for the championship. I especially want to thank Roger (Hayden). He took a big leap of faith in letting me move into his home last year and some mornings I was in bed at 9, 10 o'clock and he'd say, 'C'mon man let's go cycling,' and I say, 'let me sleep.' Him and Earl (Hayden) pushed me really hard and it's good for me. I've got a lot of learning left to do, but I'm happy where I am with my career and I hope to keep progressing."
Josh Hayes - 2nd in 2015 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship: "A huge thank you to Yamaha and the whole Yamaha family," Hayes said. "When I thought racing was coming to a close at one point, I got a call for Keith McCarty and I never would have thought that seven years later I would have four championships, three seconds and a lot of Superbike race wins. I feel like I have a home, a family and to be 40 years old and to be racing motorcycles and loving every minute of it. Big thank you to the guys in my team who put a lot of belief in me. New Jersey (the season finale) was a tough weekend - a weekend that I didn't know if I could win a race. But the crew I had at the track let me know that they believed I could win and they got me through a tough time, a tough weekend, and to win some races. A big thank you to MotoAmerica. Thank you for giving us a playground where we could go out and do incredible things like take a beautiful machine like that and take it out and ride it to what I believe is the absolute limit. It's something that we love to do and put on a great show for everybody and I hope you guys enjoyed it. And congratulations to the champ. He had all the right things in his bag of tricks and he did the right things at the right time. It's never easy to get your kick and I truly hope he sticks around next year so I want to try and take it back away from him."
Roger Hayden - 3rd in 2015 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship: "First off I want to thank the man above for keeping me safe all year," Roger Hayden said. "I want to say hats off to Yamaha, Cameron and Josh for what they did all year. They pretty much kicked our butts. I'm looking forward to next year and hopefully I'll have a new bike. I have a great team and I can't thank Yoshimura Suzuki enough. After Atlanta, where I had a bad weekend, I was pretty far down and they all got behind me and told me 'you're our guy.' I want to thank MotoAmerica for saving road racing and everybody at MotoAmerica, not just the people who write the checks, but the people at registration, tech... who work the front lines and have to deal with us all weekend, especially when things aren't going right. So thank you and I'm looking forward to next year."
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