AMA Superbike: 2011 Daytona Results

Drafting played pivotal role in both races

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 14, 2011
Blake Young opened the 2011 AMA Superbike season scoring the double with a couple of close finishes at Daytona International Speedway.

Race One began with a chaotic opening lap that saw several riders including BMW riders Larry Pegram and Chris Peris as well as Cycle World Attack Kawasaki’s Eric Bostrom going down in a couple of incidents.

When the race restarted, it was reigning Superbike Champion Josh Hayes on the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha taking the early lead with Young and his Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Tommy Hayden and National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden on his tail.

Blake Young

Hayes led most of the race but was passed on the final lap by first Tommy Hayden and then Young. Young would beat Hayden to the line to win by 0.026 seconds. Hayes finished third, 0.052 seconds behind Young.

“You don’t hear them [coming], but you definitely feel it,” says Hayes, describing how the draft helped the two Suzuki riders. “In fact, I couldn’t believe how much my bodywork was moving around in the draft, probably two inches from side to side. It’s incredibly powerful when you get in there with a bunch of guys, but it’s exciting racing – that’s Daytona.”

Race Two again featured a battle between Hayes and several Suzuki riders, this time with 2010 Daytona Sportbike Champion Martin Cardenas of Team M4 as well as the two Rockstar Makita Suzuki riders and Roger Hayden and Ben Bostrom from the Jordan Suzuki camp.

Hayes once again led for most of the race until Young once again using the draft to slingshot past Hayes and into the lead.  This time however, Hayes was able to stay in front of Hayden to finish 0.071 seconds behind Young.

“I got off to a little bit of a slow start there, saw Josh put his head down, and congrats to him – he rode a really tough and smart race. More than once I thought, ‘Boy, he’s gone,’” says Young. “It was everything I could do to stay near him. I hate to kind of win that way, but it seems like it’s kind of the characteristic of the track. I would have liked to get out there and race with him a little bit more, but … like I said. He was going really, really well through the infield.”

Blake Young Josh hayes

Despite leading for most of the two races and coming away without a win, Hayes says he did everything he could have done,

“We made a change from yesterday and it was definitely an improvement, so I felt pretty confident and just did my game plant to a T. And I got away with it for what, fourteen laps?” says Hayes after the second race. “I rode the best I could, and the last lap was a good lap – I did everything right, I did exactly what I wanted and tried to do, but you get beat sometimes. But that right there, that’s a hard pill to swallow. I did everything right for so long [in this race] … To get bit there at the line was pretty tough.”