RACE REPORT: Young Takes Revenge on Sweltering SuperBike Race at Barber Motorsports Park
NEWS June 19, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
BIRMINGHAM, AL (June 19, 2011) – After settling for third in yesterday’s rain-soaked AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike contest, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young demanded a swap from Race 1 winner Martin Cardenas (M4 Suzuki) and went right through Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes to get it. With all three riders visibly exhausted after the extremely hot race, Young – who started from the second row -- said, “I just kept thinking to myself, ‘If I’m hurting this bad and this tired, he’s gotta be hurting too, so just keep after it.’”
As sapped as the podium trio felt post-race, however, a pair of Hayden bothers – Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Tommy and National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger – undoubtedly felt worse. Tommy, who got the holeshot off the start and lead through the first third of the race, was handed sudden misfortune when his bike began spewing smoke and flames, sidelining the eldest Hayden.
Roger, who’d been running a very strong fourth before a ride through the grass relegated him to a much more distant sixth, had been making up impressive ground on the frontrunners – closing the gap from over two seconds to less than a half-second – when a crash ended his race with seven laps to go. Although the Jordan rider walked away shaking his head, however, one thing his Barber runs have made clear is that the SuperBike class could soon see a new contender for front-runner status.
Hayes and Young, meanwhile, continued to trade the lead while testing each other’s lines, often running just inches apart and swapping spots in consecutive corners. With six laps left in the race, Young took back the lead and tried desperately to shake the Yamaha rider off, and he was able to eek out just enough of a margin to keep himself safe while the pair made their final charge up the front straight.
“I knew he’d be there,” said Hayes – “he always is. Blake knew the areas where I was fast, and I really thought maybe the end would come my way a little bit because it seemed like he was having to use his bike more defensively than me. But at the end, I think we were both in hot water: pretty hot, pretty tired, and the bikes were getting extremely hot. I made the best run I could at him, but he rode a smart race, and he beat me.”
“Today conditions were very extreme, very hot,” Cardenas agreed, “and I think today’s race was even tougher than yesterday’s because we were sliding even a bit more than yesterday, so it was very difficult to maintain the pace. Roger and Tommy and Josh and Blake were running very fast and gaining some time over me in Turn 2 every lap, so I had to push very hard each lap to close the gap. But at the end I was just exhausted, and the last eight laps were very difficult for me to move on the bike because I was very tired and dehydrated. But third is a very good result, and we were closer than ever to the frontrunners, so I am very happy.
Behind Cardenas, Steve Rapp (San Diego BMW), Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki), Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing), Geoff May (Amsoil EBR Racing), Chris Clark (Y.E.S./Pat Clark/Graves Yamaha), Chris Peris (Iron Horse BMW), and JD Beach (Cycle World Attack Kawasaki) rounded out the top ten.
Today’s National Guard SuperBike and Daytona SportBike races air tonight at 9 p.m. PST/midnight EST on SPEED.
The points race has tightened considerably, with Young trailing Hayes, 233 to 235. Tommy Hayden sits third with 182 as the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship next heads to Lexington, Ohio’s Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the July 8-10 weekend, Round 6 on the series calendar. For tickets and information, visit www.midohio.com or call (419) 884-4000.
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