Josh Hayes Collects Victory and Precious Points in New Jersey National Guard SuperBike Race 1
NEWS September 3, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
MILLVILLE, NJ (September 3, 2011) – Twenty-three intense laps around New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway didn’t decide the hotly contested 2011 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Championship, but they did hand points-leader and reigning champ Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) a distinct advantage heading into tomorrow’s contest. Though hounded by Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom throughout the race, the so-called “Mississippi Madman” put together a highly methodical string of laps that delivered him to a comfortable victory and an eleven-point overall lead.
“I’ve been a little inconsistent on starts this year,” said Hayes, who entered the round with a five-point deficit, “and today was definitely one of my better ones. I had a pretty good feel for how to approach Turn 1, so it worked out good for me. The whole time, I didn’t know if it was just Ben behind me or Ben and five more guys, so I wasn’t going to lose any time to anyone. I just tried to keep my nerve and ride smooth.”
Bostrom kept the pressure on Hayes so consistent that Hayes admitted to temporarily losing focus and beginning to make mistakes halfway through the contest. “It wasn’t so much of a fight,” said Bostrom, who got the holeshot off the line. “Josh made a great pass on first lap and set an incredible pace, and he was fighting for points, so there was no need to fight with him. “
Hayes’ championship rival, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young, was significantly less pleased with his Saturday after coming out on the downside of a three-way battle with teammate Tommy Hayden and National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden. Anyone who suspected that Suzuki “team orders” might be in effect this weekend got a lesson in alternatives from Tommy Hayden, who showed zero inclination to give his teammate an inch.
“I felt like I had a pretty good jump [off the start],” said Hayden, “but these other two got an even better jump, so from there it was kind of a long race. By the time I got to third they already had about five seconds on me. Maybe I had the speed to run with ’em, but I for sure didn’t have the pace to track them down from there. [Roger and Blake] kept me honest the whole way … besides that, the race went fairly smooth. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get a better start and put up a better fight.”
Behind Young, Steve Rapp (Cycle World Attack Performance Kawasaki), Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing), Martin Cardenas (M4 Suzuki), Chris Clark (Y.E.S./Pat Clark/Graves Yamaha), and new Canadian Superbike champion Brett McCormick rounded out the top ten.
Today’s AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike race airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on SPEED. For New Jersey Motorsports Park tickets and information, visit www.njmp.com. To learn more and to be a part of the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship, visit www.amaproracing.com and join us on facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing and twitter.com/AMAProSBK.
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