Hayes Completes Weekend Sweep on Day Two at Mid-Ohio
NEWS July 19, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 19, 2009) -
Hayes started from pole and swept the Honda Super Cycle Weekend at Mid-Ohio
Sports Car Course, earning his third career AMA Pro National Guard American
Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited victory in Sunday's race.
Hayes has an accomplished history at the 2.4-mile course and this weekend proved to be a continuation for the two-time Formula Xtreme champion. After claiming Superpole on Friday, Hayes held off a hard-charging pack of riders led by Aaron Yates' No. 23 Brand Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 in Saturday's American Superbike race for the win. Sunday saw a compelling performance by Hayes, as he held off teammate Ben Bostrom's No. 2 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1 to mark the first time in 15 years that a Yamaha rider has earned three wins in an American Superbike season. The last rider to complete the milestone was two-time World Superbike champion and MotoGP star Colin Edwards in 1994.
"This is what Superbike racing is supposed to be," said Hayes, who earned his first American Superbike victory at Infineon Raceway earlier this year. "One lap I had a full second gap, and the rest of the time I had these guys breathing down my neck. This is what you feel good about; when you go home you know that you put it all out there, that these guys were having a good day too and you came out on top. It doesn't matter how much you win by, it's the difference between racing and just going fast around a race track."
Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden won the hole shot on the No. 22 Suzuki to start the 21-lap sprint race, but gave up the point to Hayes in Turn 6 on the first lap. Hayes lost the lead only briefly, falling behind Bostrom in Turn 6 on Laps 8 and 11 only to retake control of the field in the next corner. Bostrom held off the remainder of the lead pack to finish .987 seconds behind Hayes.
"We had a very good bike today," said Bostrom. "It seems like when you brake on the inside, you never seem to make the corner, and Josh is real smart, very savvy. He just kind of high-lowed me back up there, so I tried to get on the gas pretty hard the second time and came pretty far out of the saddle. I thought I was going to jump on his bike. I just settled down and tried to follow him and figured I'd just make a run on him in the end. I felt like my bike was incredible."
Hayden looked to the inside of Bostrom in Turn 6 several times during the second half of the race in an attempt to take second, but was never able to get the No. 22 Suzuki into a position to complete the pass. The Kentucky native scored his seventh podium of the season on Sunday.
"I couldn't get around those guys," said Hayden. "They were pushing really hard. Towards the middle of the race I kind of felt like I needed to get by and then if I could, I thought maybe I could up the pace a little bit. The last five laps it was getting pretty difficult just to hold on. We each had our part of the race where our bikes were working a little bit better. In the end I had to follow those guys home."
Blake Young was the final rider in the lead pack, finishing in fourth place aboard the No. 79 Rockstar/Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000. Columbus, Ohio native Larry Pegram's No. 72 Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Ducati 1098R rounded out the top five after trading fifth position with Michael Laverty's No. 8 Celtic Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 four times in the final 10 laps.
Championship leader Mat Mladin finished seventh on the No. 7 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and leads Hayden by 126 points in the American Superbike championship standings.
Sunday's American Superbike race can be seen later this evening at 1 a.m. ET (10 p.m. PT). Next up for AMA Pro American Superbike is a doubleheader at the Tornado Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka on the weekend of July 31-August 2.
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