Returning to action after a long wait for the season to start, Beaubier put his R1 in prime position for Race 1 with a stunning performance in Superpole earlier in the day, taking pole position by 0.4 of a second from Gagne.
Lining up 1-2 on the grid, when the lights went out the reigning champion delivered a strong launch to lead into Turn 1, followed by Gagne. As Beaubier raced into a clear track ahead and built a gap on the pack, his teammate was engaged in a thrilling fight with Bobby Fong for second. Fong pushed past towards the end of the first lap, but Gagne bit straight back into Canada Corner to retake the position.
At the front Beaubier’s lead grew, his first flying lap time of 2’11 on race tires surpassing his own pole time and laying down a serious marker for his rivals. Leading by 2.4 seconds at the start of lap four, his position at the top went unchallenged for the remaining eight laps.
Behind him, a fierce battle for second and third place was heating up between Gagne, Fong and Mathew Scholtz. Holding his rivals off well, Gagne ran slightly wide at Turn 7, dropping him to fourth. On lap 10 he forced his way back into third and hounded Scholtz in second, coming home just 0.7 of a second behind him to take the third step on the podium.
Lapping consistently in the low 2’12s for most of the race, Beaubier was faultless in his Race 1 performance and took the first checkered flag of the year 7.8 seconds ahead of second place.
After their impressive double podium on Saturday, the Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing squad head into Sunday’s Race 2 in an excellent position to consolidate their strong start to 2020.