Pikes Peak AMA Results

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
It was anything but just another normal race weekend. One of the most consistent, fastest riders we've seen in years ended his day abruptly with a firey crash. Actually, two riders on the same team crashed in the same corner, though only one would make it to the finish...

American Honda's Nicky Hayden leaves the Colorado Rockies with a 42 pointAMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship lead, despite ending the daywith a fiery crash early in the Superbike race. Hayden was unhurt, but hisHonda RC-51 was too badly damaged to continue and his winning streak offive Superbike races in a row ended in flames at Pikes Peak InternationalRaceway. Teammate Miguel DuHamel had a slightly better day, though he alsofell.

The resilient French-Canadian crashed out of fourth place in the sameslow left hand corner as Hayden, but with less damage. DuHamel picked uphis RC-51 and soldiered on to finish fifth.The race was won by Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom, Hayden's nearest championshipchallenger and the 2001 championship runner-up.

Team Suzuki's Mat Mladin was running in second place when his rear tire started coming apart on him, forcing him to back off and settle into a fourth place finish.

Another casualty was HMC Ducati's Doug Chandler who retired after his fuel pump quit pumping fuel.

Nicky Hayden, 20, of Owensboro, Kentucky, came to Colorado riding afive-race winning streak and looked to match the record of six, held byteammate DuHamel, the winningest rider in AMA Superbike history. Haydenqualified second, but didn't have a great feel in the front end around thetortuous 1.315-mile PPIR road course, a seven-turn bull ring set in themiddle of a one-mile banked oval. As the race began, Hayden gated badly andwas back in fourth, soon to move to third. With a race length of 48 laps,and 55 second lap times, Hayden was patient, up to third by the ninth lapand gaining on the leaders.

It all went wrong at the end of the back straightaway, a hairpin first-gearleft-hander with surface irregularities and concrete patches. Hayden wasinstantly down and the machine was on fire before it stopped. Cornerpersonnel arrived immediately and doused the flames, but his day was over.

Though he lost significant points in the championship, he still leads racewinner Bostrom 253 to 211 after eight of 15 rounds. DuHamel is sixth inpoints after his crash and re-start.

Having also suffered front end problems in practice, DuHamel, whocelebrated his 35th birthday just prior to the race weekend, tried adifferent set of offsets in the race. The result was less front endtraction, which resulted in his turn three spill on the 38th of 48 laps. Aquick inventory showed no damaged, and DuHamel brought the scuffedmotorcycle home in fifth.

The pair will have a chance to redeem themselves next week at Road America,a high-speed four-mile road course where Hayden earned his first twoSuperbike wins.

Nicky Hayden, DNF:
"Got a bad start again, which is bad. And just got in there and was tryingto ride hard, trying to catch up. Just kind of tipping it in. I didn't havemy knee down or anything. Just let the front get away from me. I've beenfighting the front end all weekend pushing the front a lot. No excuse, Ijust made a mistake and it's just one of those deals. It's tough aroundhere to make up time. I was just riding hard to try to catch up."

"I don't know what happened, why it caught fire. I was still sliding, tryingto get away from the bike and it was on fire. I was kind of hung under thebike and the thing was on fire and I was trying to get out from under it.I'm OK.

Superbike:1. Eric Bostrom (Kawasaki)2. Aaron Yates (Suzuki)3. Jamie Hacking (Suzuki)4. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)5. Miguel DuHamel (Honda)6. Pascal Picotte (Ducati)7. Brian Parriott (Suzuki)8. Ricky Orlando (Suzuki)9. Vincent Haskovec (Suzuki)10. Brian Livengood (Suzuki)AMA Superbike Championship Standings:1. Nicky Hayden (253)2. Eric Bostrom (211)3. Aaron Yates (204)4. Mat Mladin (181)5. Pascal Picotte (190)6. Miguel DuHamel (172)7. Jamie Hacking (160)8. Brian Livengood (159)9. Brian Parriott (151)10. (TIE) Anthony Gobert/Rich Conicelli (118)

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Brent Avis
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