Double Vision: Hayes Tops Hayden in another Close AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Shootout in Birmingham
NEWS June 23, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (June 23, 2013) - Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes once again had his hands full at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, and once again, he came through like a champion.
The reigning AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike king was pushed to the brink by National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden in a virtual repeat of Saturday's tense final-lap showdown to conclude the Triumph SuperBike Classic presented by America's First Federal Credit Union in epic fashion.
The race took shape in the early stages as a four-rider shootout with Hayes' teammate, Josh Herrin, powering into the lead at the start. Herrin hounded Hayes from second over the race's opening five laps after Hayes made an opening-lap pass while Hayden and Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas stalked just behind the Yamaha duo.
Herrin sliced up the inside of Hayes entering 'Charlotte's Web' on lap 6 and led the next two laps, bunching the pack back up after it threatened to break apart. Hayes retook the lead on lap 8 and Herrin made a crucial mistake a pair of laps later. That allowed Hayden to snatch second and close in on Hayes' rear wheel, where he would remain for the remainder of the race.
The Kentuckian was within striking distance on the contest's final lap, but that last circulation played out just as it had the day before, with the experienced triple champion never making a mistake or allowing his hungry rival an opportunity to find a way through into the lead.
Hayes launched off the final corner and beat Hayden to the stripe by a scant 0.221-second margin following 21-nailbiting laps.
A relieved Hayes said, "That was a really hard race. I was driving as hard as I could and trying to push it until everyone's tires were junk at the end so hopefully nobody could make any moves. I was trying to pick my lines smart so I didn't make any mistakes. It got pretty greasy and I had my share of mistakes still but fortunately I did it in spots where it wasn't easy to get by. Fortunately, it was enough. Rog rode an incredible weekend and Josh was riding really well at the beginning… It's a big testament to my team and a lot of hard work. Fortunately we have a lot of years of development in that machine and we can get to a good place pretty quickly. I really enjoyed the race -- it's fun having a close race and pushing hard all the way to the end. The last lap, for me, was as harrowing for me as lap 2. It was really fun, I really enjoyed it, and I'm really looking forward to going to Mid-Ohio."
"My start wasn't as good as yesterday," Hayden joked, referring to his Saturday jumpstart. "So I had to come from a little further back. You know, I just sat behind Josh the whole race but never got close enough to pass him. Sometimes he got a small gap but the last couple laps I was right on his back tire just trying to find a place to make a pass. I was starting to slide around a little bit and so was he. Every time I tried to get a good run on him the last two laps I could never get that little bit more I needed to take a shot at it."
Herrin regrouped and successfully defended third from Colombian Cardenas, eventually escaping to secure the final spot on the podium some ten seconds behind the race for the win.
"It was good at the beginning -- as you can see, I still need to work on how fast I go once I get the lead," Herrin admitted. "I was trying my hardest. The middle of the race is what I need to work on. Both days I was decent in the beginning, seem to fall off in the middle, and then regroup at the end and seem to hold the gap to first. So at least I know I can ride good on the tires at the end of the race. Now I just need to go home and work on my fitness a little bit more… I can't wait until Mid-Ohio. Mid-Ohio is going to be the middle of the season and it's time to turn things around and prove that I can run up front the whole race."
Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram chased down Jordan Suzuki's Danny Eslick throughout the race, finally making his move to steal away fifth position on the final lap.
Meanwhile, KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore came out on top of a race-long, five-rider scrap for seventh. He edged Team Hero EBR's Geoff May, KTM teammate Taylor Knapp, Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony, and Team AMSOIL/Hero EBR's Aaron Yates for the spot.
Hayes' second consecutive perfect points haul weekend has thrust him right back into the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike title fight. The Mississippian moved into second with his fourth win in six races and trails Cardenas by just ten points. He is now in position to take control of the championship lead at the next GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing event at Mid-Ohio with another weekend sweep.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier took win number four of the 2013 season for Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha at Barber Motorsports Park in Sunday’s AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race. The points leader won the race by 6.326 seconds, topping RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Jake Gagne and JD Beach at the 2.38-mile circuit.
Beaubier had the pace to impress all weekend and, in both races, he made a charge in the final laps to separate himself from Gagne. Beaubier now leads the points by 28 after five races.
“Today, I was a lot more consistent,” said Beaubier, who also made a tire change to the medium Dunlop tire choice for Sunday. “I knew Jake was fast all weekend. I was looking up at the tower to see who was in second. Halfway through, I tried to put down some 1:27s and was able to get a bit of a gap.”
Gagne crashed in the morning warm-up, injuring both feet, but Jake rallied to turn in a valiant effort to push Beaubier until the final laps when his rival pulled away.
“I got off to a good start behind Cameron,” said Gagne. “About halfway through the race, he took off. I was feeling some pain, so I wanted to manage to gap behind me.”
Beach was third, topping a group of challengers aiming for the final spot on the podium. Garrett Gerloff (Y.E.S/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha) jumped the start and was penalized five seconds for doing so. That meant his third on the track was actually fourth in the final results.
Dane Westby (GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing) was fifth after a protracted battle with upstart James Rispoli on the National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki. Westby nudged away at the end.
Alabama’s Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Triumph) ran up front early but faded to eighth by the time he completed the 21st lap.
M4 SportBikeTrackGear.com’s Benny Solis charged up to ninth on his Honda.
Former Daytona 200 winner Joey Pascarella earned a top ten on his Riders Discount Racing Triumph.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
Joe Roberts capped off his domination on the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport weekend in Birmingham with a victory in Sunday’s race. The California Superbike School RoadracingWorld.com pilot led every session on his way to the double win in his first-ever AMA Pro race weekend. Roberts beat Team 95’s Hayden Gillim by 3.690 seconds, with RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Tomas Puerta third, just 0.004 behind Gillim after a race-long battle for second.
Roberts got away third, with a start better than Saturday’s. Roberts took a couple of laps to pass Puerta and then GIllim, but the 16-year-old was able to pull away to complete the rare sweep in a weekend that saw 41 riders take part in the weekend’s races.
“It was great to be P1 every session,” said Roberts. “My expectation was to run top five. It was a dream come true. The race was very difficult,” said Roberts. “I got an okay start, better than yesterday. I made the pass around the outside of Hayden and I put my head down.”
Gillim and Puerta’s battle came down to the final run to the flag. “I knew Tomas was behind me the entire time, and I was hoping my tires would be good at the end,” said Gillim. “I was able to get it turned and get the drive down to the flag. It was really cool. It was a drag race.”
Wyatt Farris earned fourth on the Meen Motorsports Yamaha, topping Miles Thornton. Thornton (CTR Racing) had his hands full with Nick McFadden early before the rookie crashed out of the 17-lap contest, then faced a tight group consisting of Elkhart Lake double winner Corey Alexander on the National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki GSX-R600, Gearzy’s Ryan Matter, and Daytona winner Stefano Mesa (Motosport.com RSRacectaft). The group finished less than a second behind Thornton.
Travis Wyman (Harv’s H-D) finished ninth, ahead of Kaleb De Keyrel on the CWS Bleakly-Hayes Yamaha in his first top-ten result in AMA Pro competition.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series
Airline pilot Steve Rapp flew to his second consecutive AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series victory with another brilliant, abbreviated weekend performance.
Just as he did at Road America, Rapp missed some early-weekend track time but the veteran runner showed no ill-effects as a result. The Suburban Harley-Davidson star again qualified on the front row and then raced his way into the lead early in the race, ultimately breaking free en route to the checkered flag.
Rapp faced a determined challenge from Spyke's Harley-Davidson's Michael Barnes during the race's opening half. He finally broke the pursuit of the defending class champ on lap 7 and ultimately worked up a 5.454-second margin of victory.
Rapp said, "The guys from Suburban Harley-Davidson -- from the first time I rode the bike, there's just something about it. The way we have it set up and the special things they've done for me as a rider, like handlebars and the seat and stuff like that, it just feels so good I feel like I can ride it a lot harder.
"I started the season with really nothing going on and Joe from Suburban Harley called me and said if I wanted to come out for Daytona we'd at least get one race in. I said 'that'd be great' and it's just kept getting better. If we can get the whole season in, that'd be great. It's been an unexpected welcome, for sure."
Barnes came home with a clear runner-up finish, another five seconds separating him from the battle that raged for the final spot on the podium.
That position went to Eco-Fuel Saver/Scrubblade's Tyler O'Hara, who aced Rapp's Suburban Harley-Davidson teammate, Ben Carlson, on the final lap of the 11-lap race.
Harv's Harley-Davidson's Travis Wyman came home a lonely fifth after running with the lead pack in the race's early stages.
Positions 6-14 finished the race in a relatively tight pack, headed by Mob Racing's Shane Narbonne. Longevity Racing's Barrett Long, H&S Distributors Nicholas Hansen, ChiliPepperRacing.com's Ricky Parker, and Racing For A Wish's Adam Raffe rounded out the contest's top ten.
The 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season will resume on July 12-14 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for the Buckeye Superbike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire.
This season's GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing action is being broadcast on CBS Sports Network as part of the CBS Sports Spectacular. Fans can find CBS Sports Network on their TV by using the channel finder at http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder.
In addition to the live broadcasts on CBS Sports Network, AMA Pro Live will be live streaming multiple channels of behind-the-scenes video of the weekend's activities alongside Live Timing & Scoring. AMA Pro Live puts fans in the director's chair, allowing them to choose from a variety of viewpoints including track cameras, paddock cameras and a press conference channel at http://www.amaprolive.com.