AMA Superbike: 2010 Road America Results
AMA Superbike: 2010 Road America results
Josh Hayes' recent winning trend in AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike competition continued Saturday at the Suzuki SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America with a gripping photo-finish victory in the first race, marking his third win in as many races and propelling him to first in the championship standings.
Hayes topped the charts throughout the weekend's practice and qualifying sessions and led the field from the pole position in the today's race, building a half second advantage on the field by the end of the first lap. It quickly became evident that Hayden wasn't going to let Hayes march away to another unchallenged win, the Kentucky native quickly reducing the gap and stalking Hayes around the 4.05-mile circuit. The leaders pulled away and were the only riders consistently turning laps below 2:14.
"Man, that was a fun race," said Hayes. "It was hard. I got out front and tried to put together some decent laps and kept seeing plus zero on the board. On lap four I took a peak over my shoulder and I wasn't sure which of these guys it was, I just saw a Yoshimura bike."
Hayden turned up the heat on lap eight, making a run out of the last corner, pulling up alongside of Hayes and taking the lead momentarily as the duo crossed the start/finish line, a move that would become a reoccurring theme for the rest of the race. Lap after lap, Hayden shadowed Hayes around the racetrack challenged the Yamaha rider in a drag race out of the last corner.
In his third and final attempt, Hayden made the pass stick and led a surging Hayes for two full laps. Hayes took a page from Hayden's playbook on the final lap of the 13-lap race, diving deep into the last corner, setting up a drag race to the finish line and edging Hayden by just .001 seconds at the stripe.
"Once I saw the white flag I decided that I had to find a spot somewhere on the racetrack," continued Hayes, whose two other wins in the 2010 season came last month in the Moto Jam Weekend at Infineon Raceway. "I rolled the dice; it could have been either of us."
Today's second place finish marks Hayden's sixth trip to the podium this season, including his first career SuperBike victory in race two at Auto Club Speedway in March.
"Once I got ahead, there was no shaking Josh," said Hayden. "I just tried to ride as hard as I could there the last couple of laps and at least make him work for it. I felt like I did some pretty decent laps but I just wasn't quite getting away. I was in a good position in the last corner but he got a really good drive off of there. I thought I had a pretty good drive but it wasn't quite enough. This is the third time this year I've been on the backend of those real tight ones like that. We'll keep working hard, keep riding hard and hopefully I can change positions with one of these guys in one of these close ones."
Third place went to Hayden's teammate Blake Young, who had a lonely race on the No. 79 Suzuki GSX-R1000 until he was passed by a charging Larry Pegram on lap 11. Young, also utilizing the last turn drag race, passed Pegram's No. 79 Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Ducati 1098R to claim the last podium spot by just .069 seconds.
"As my race unfolded, it wasn't playing out to what I thought it was going to be," said Young. "I tried to make a pretty big push there for a few laps but it didn't seem like I was doing much damage and I definitely couldn't ride the whole race like that so I just decided to sit back and run my own race. With that I apparently let Pegram get pretty close to me so I let him lead a lap because I needed to see where he was better than me. I set him up for the last turn, last lap pass coming out of [turn] fourteen and I pulled it off."
Behind Pegram was the No. 54 National Guard Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Jake Zemke, who fell to third in the SuperBike point standings. With today's victory, Hayes jumped from third to first in the points, leading Hayden 202-199.
Race Two Results
After losing by 0.001 of a second in yesterday's first race of the Suzuki SuperBike Doubleheader Weekend at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin's Road America race course, Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden went one better and posted his second career AMA Pro SuperBike victory. Under partly cloudy skies, Hayden beat yesterday's winner, Josh Hayes (Team Graves Yamaha) by the close margin of 0.178 of a second. Hayden averaged 108.9 MPH over the course of the 13 lap race. Hayes holds a one point margin over Hayden in the overall AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike points standings, 229-228.
Today's race began to look like a repeat of yesterday's event as Hayes took the lead but it was a fast starting Jake Zemke riding his National Guard Jordan Suzuki who initially took up station behind Hayes with a strong move into second at the downhill turn five corner. Hayden passed Zemke as they crested the hill into turn six and the battle at the front was set.
Behind Zemke, it was Hayden's Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Blake Young, who put on a show in front of his home state fans. But after taking third from Zemke, Young ran wide at turn one and fell back into the clutches of a group of riders that included Ben Bostrom on his Pat Clark Motorsport Yamaha, 2009 Road America race winner Larry Pegram on his Foremost Insurance Ducati, Jake Holden on the M4 Monster Energy Suzuki and Canadian Brett McCormick on the second Jordan Motorsports Suzuki. The front three pulled away and eventually just Hayes and Hayden were alone at the front.
Zemke ran by himself and was hoping for something to happen at the front but he enjoyed a strong race after damaging his primary Suzuki motorcycle on Friday. He credited his National Guard Jordan team for putting in the extra effort to not only rebuild the motorcycle but to deliver him a very competitive package which saw him regain some of his early season form.
The race really came down to Hayes and Hayden. After yesterday's chess match where each rider had a slight advantage at certain parts of the track, today it came down to who could out-maneuver the other. On lap 11 of 13, Hayes ran wide coming out of the Carousal corner and Hayden was by like a shot. Hayes was able to re-pass Hayden in turn eight the next lap and it all came down to the last corner of the last lap where knowing he had to be perfect coming up the hill, Hayes just ran a little wide and Hayden was able to draft past Hayes up the hill to the finish line for a dramatic and satisfying second win of the season.
Officially Hayes led the first 10 laps and Hayden led the last three but as is the norm around the long 4.05-mile, 14-turn Road America track, riders pass and re-pass many times a lap, making this one of the most exciting races of the season.
Pegram took a quiet fourth place ahead of Holden and Bostrom took sixth. Young finished seventh ahead of McCormick. Chris Ulrich riding his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki had a race long battle with Geoff May who was riding the Erik Buell Racing Buell and Ulrich continued his run of top ten results with ninth place. May took tenth in an exciting day and weekend of racing in the famous Kettle Moraine country of Wisconsin.
SPEED will be broadcasting same-weekend coverage of every American SuperBike race in the 2010 season, with today's race airing late tonight/early tomorrow morning at 12 a.m. midnight ET (9 p.m. PT).
As the AMA Pro Road Racing series reaches the halfway point, the next race will be July 16-18 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Mansfield, Ohio.