AMA Superbike: 2010 Fontana results

Tommy Hayden earns first Superbike win

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 29, 2010
Tommy Hayden won his first career AMA Superbike race while Larry Pegram also found victory on a windy Auto Club Speedway track, March 27-28.

Three weeks after the season opener at Daytona, AMA Pro Racing was back in action in Fontana, Calif. Race fans had to wait a little longer however, as strong gusting winds delayed Saturday’s racing by nearly two hours.

The first American Superbike race began with Jordan Suzuki’s Jake Zemke taking the lead, followed by his teammate, pole sitter Aaron Yates. Pegram ran in third for Foremost Ducati, followed by M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s John Hopkins. A few laps later, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young and Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes joined the lead group as Hopkins began to drop back.

By lap 15, the lead pack of Zemke, Yates, Pegram and Hayes had separated itself from the rest. By the end, it was Pegram winning by 0.094 seconds ahead of Zemke, with Yates edging Hayes for third. All four riders were separated by less than three-quarters of a second.

“To win against these teams with all the hard work everyone on our team puts in makes me so proud, I work as hard as I can on the track and my guys work every bit as hard as I do,” says Pegram. “I manage the team and my wife puts up with me but when we win I even get a little emotional because it means so much to all of us.”

Larry Pegram eked out a win in wind-delayed Race One.

The wind had settled down for Sunday’s Race Two but the calmer weather was betrayed by a hard crash in the warm-up session. Yates, the pole sitter and a podium finisher in Race One fell and was struck by another rider, suffering a broken right leg.

When the race started it was Pegram who took the early lead, followed by Hayes, Hopkins, Hayden and Young. Hayes moved in front on lap two while Hopkins began to lose ground, first to Young and later to Zemke.

Pegram regained the lead on lap five and held onto it for a few laps before suddenly falling near the end of lap nine. Pegram was able to rejoin the race but finished well back in 18th. The crash left Hayes with the lead with Hayden behind him and Young quickly closing in.

The three frontrunners sprinted toward the finish and it was Hayden coming out on top, Hayes in second and Young third.

“So many people have been asking me if this was going to be the weekend I finally won a race, and I have been asked this so many times it was starting to really get to me!" says Hayden. “I have felt good this year, we were close to a couple of wins at Daytona and other than yesterday when I just didn’t run well in the windy conditions, I felt pretty good. Now I can just focus on racing and not worry anymore about when I’m going to win the first race.”

The 2010 AMA Pro Racing Championship continues April 16-18 at Road Atlanta.