Pegram Wins Race One in Topeka

NEWS August 1, 2009

Pegram Wins Race One in Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (August 1, 2009) - Larry Pegram (No. 72 Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing Ducati 1098R) dominated the AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited race in the Tornado Nationals presented by at Heartland Park Topeka.  Today's racing action can be seen in a same-day delay telecast at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT) on SPEED.
After winning his first pole since 1996 in Friday's Superpole qualifying, Pegram took the lead at the race start and was never seriously challenged in the American Superbike race.  He crossed the finish line 2.184 seconds ahead of Ben Bostrom (No. 2 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1) and Blake Young (No. 79 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000) finished third.
"For me, it's just validation," said Pegram, who also won earlier this season at Road America.  "Here we beat everybody again, and I proved to myself I can win at this level because I had lost a lot of confidence over the years riding bikes that weren't capable of winning.  You start to wonder if it might be you, but I always knew at the bottom of my heart that I could win races, especially if I got on a great motorcycle like this Ducati 1098R."
Bostrom stayed in front of the tight group of riders that also included Young, his teammate Tommy Hayden (No.  22 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000) and Aaron Yates (No. 23 Brand Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000) that battled in the top five throughout the race.
"It's a great track, and there are passing spots here believe it or not," said Bostrom, who finished second for the second consecutive race and third time this year.  "The bike was fantastic, and the R1 did a good job.  The rider just kind of sat on it and rode, and I was hoping to obviously race for the win.  I did think I could catch Larry.  Blake and I had a bit of a battle going, and Larry jumped out there and put in really, really fantastic laps.  We can't let him do that for the next one, and tomorrow's a new day.  We will just start again tomorrow. I am pretty much over second place already."
Young was in the thick of the battle for the final podium spot throughout the race and was under heavy pressure from Hayden and Yates in the closing laps.
"We just ran out of time a little bit," said Young.  "I wish we would have got more time on the bike.  I think we missed the set up a little bit, but today was a really good race.  We jumped in behind Ben, learned what he was doing and made some improvements.  I switched up my riding style a little bit and tried to help the bike out as much as I could.  I am happy with the way the race went.  We learned a lot today on our setup and what to do for tomorrow.  So I am going to chalk this one up and go after it twice as hard tomorrow."
Hayden finished fourth and Yates completed the top five.
Sunday's American Superbike final will close the Tornado Nationals weekend at 4 p.m. local time.

More from a press release issued by Pegram Racing:


TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug 1, 2009) - Foremost Insurance Pegram Ducati's Larry Pegram dominated the Saturday Kansas race and won his second AMA Pro American Superbike event of the year with a 2.184-second victory at Heartland Park Topeka. Mounted on a Ducati 1098R, "The Worm" motored off from his rivals, edging out to a lead of over four seconds in the opening laps to put his stamp on the event.

"For me, it's validation. At Road America, we beat maybe the best guy out there in a straight-up fight. To do it again and win here in Kansas, it proves to me we can win and it certainly feels great to do it. I always knew at the bottom of my heart I could win races if I could get on a bike capable and this Ducati 1098R certainly is capable. It's been a great machine since the day we picked them up at the dealership and began building them into race bikes. To win here at a track where there's more than just a fast straight is good, too. The entire team is really happy with this win."

As the laps counted down, Pegram chose to run a more measured pace with such a large lead and took the flag in front of Ben Bostrom.

"I saw 'four seconds' on my board and I thought it was good," said Pegram. "We had a big enough gap where I could be fairly careful with lapped traffic. I think we would have been able to run a stronger pace if needed and we might tomorrow but it's great to get another win today."

For more information on Team Foremost Pegram Racing please visit To learn more about Ducati's line of racing inspired motorcycles; and the 1098R that Larry piloted to victory please visit

More from a press release issued by Rockstar Makita Suzuki:

Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Young Podiums in Saturday's Superbike Race at Topeka
Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Hayden finishes a close fourth
Round 9 - AMA Superbike Series, Race 1
Topeka, Kansas
Heartland Park Topeka
July 31 - August 2, 2009

Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Blake Young celebrated his fourth AMA Superbike podium finish of the season after capturing third place in Saturday afternoon's race at the series' return to Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kansas. This was the series' return to the Kansas track after an almost 20-year absence and Young made the most of the first race of the double-header weekend. The rookie Superbike rider got a good start on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 and ran in second place for several laps before settling into third. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Tommy Hayden followed his teammate home in a very close fourth place. The Kentucky rider got off the line in eighth place and charged hard on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 and moved up into fourth. He proceeded to battle with his teammate for the final podium spot for the last several laps of the 20-lap race. In the end, though, it was Young in third and Hayden in fourth. Finally, Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Mat Mladin opted to sit out the Kansas race. In spite of this, the six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mladin still leads the overall championship points standings in the premier class.

Blake Young:
"I think we just ran out of time this weekend. We didn't take advantage of the practice sessions on Thursday and I think we missed the set-up a little bit today. But I think today was a really good day because we got in behind second place and learned what he was doing, made some improvements and I switched up my riding style a bit. Overall I'm happy with the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 and how the race went. I learned a lot about our set-up and what we want to try and do tomorrow. So I'll chalk this one up to that, and try to go after it tomorrow."

Tommy Hayden:
"I felt pretty good throughout the whole race, I just got a terrible start. Back three-deep, but I tried to pick my way through - slowly. This track isn't the best place to pass but I was able to slowly work my way through. Every time I got ahead of a guy, I was able to close up on the next one. So my speed was good on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 today, like it has been in the last several races, but I'm just frustrated with the results. So we'll see tomorrow if we can get a better start and I think we'll see that the end result will be a lot better."

Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race again tomorrow in the second of two Superbike races at Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kansas.

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Vance and Hines