Battle Royale in Utah as Herrin Wins Fantastic AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Race 1
NEWS August 3, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
TOOELE, Utah (August 3, 2013) - The recent efforts made by AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike title contender Josh Herrin to elevate his game paid off in a huge way on Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park. The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha pilot came through in the clutch to defeat National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden and defending champion Josh Hayes in what must be considered the most thrilling premier-class contest of the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season to date.
Ultimately, the race was decided due to a blend of decisive strategic decisions and courageous maneuvers.
While the majority of the frontrunners opted to run the medium tire, pole man Hayes elected to run the harder, dual-compound rubber. When the Mississippian managed to hold the lead pace early, the expectation was that he would eventually outlast Herrin and Hayden and pull clear as tire wear and the resultant mistakes knocked them out of contention.
However, Hayes' game plan never fully materialized as he anticipated. Herrin controlled the race from first while Hayden consistently pressure the champion from behind, preventing Hayes from taking advantage of whatever edge in clear track pace he may have gained as the race wore on.
Demonstrating his recent strides, Herrin consistently maintained a strong pace at the front and successfully countered each and every attempt an increasingly desperate Hayes made to steal the position.
Hayes' task was made all the more difficult due to the fact that Herrin and Hayden both held an advantage down the long front straight and into the Turn 1 left-hander, which proved to be the only reliable passing spot on the circuit.
After Hayes tried and failed to overtake Herrin several times, Hayden maneuvered ahead and took his turn. The Kentuckian drafted past Hayes on the front straight to open lap 13 of 16 and immediately set his sights on Herrin. Like Hayes, Hayden dove past Herrin only to see Herrin reclaim the position moments later.
Hayden pressured Herrin heavily over the race's final lap but failed find a path by with Herrin storming home to his third career SuperBike victory by a scant 0.092 second margin at the checkered flag.
Hayes was relegated to the bottom step of the podium by 0.783 seconds in a race all too reminiscent of his '11 battles with Blake Young and Tommy Hayden.
While the win was the third of Herrin's SuperBike career, in a very real way it felt like his first (due to Hayes' mechanical issues at Daytona and jump-start penalty at Mid-Ohio). The victory also saw Herrin close to within two points of the championship lead with just four races remaining this season.
The triumphant Herrin said, "It feels really good. I've been putting in a lot of hard work. It's only been a month or a month-and-a-half and already paying off a bunch. Laguna and here are the first races in SuperBike where I haven't gotten tired since I started. It feels awesome.
"I've just got to thank the whole Monster Energy Graves Yamaha crew for sticking behind me, especially today making our tire choice. I feel like we made a really good choice and it paid off in the end…Also, being able to stay out front the whole time and get the points for most laps led, I think that’s the first time I've been able to do that in three or four years. And to get my first win without Josh being out feels really good. Especially to get it here at Miller because I got my first (AMA Pro Road Racing) podium here and I have a lot of good memories. I always like coming here.
"With four races to go in the season, it's huge motivation to get a win finally without anybody being out of the race. Going into the race tomorrow I'm going to be real hungry and full of confidence."
"It's a little bummer to be that close to winning," runner-up Hayden admitted. "But I felt good. I made some attempts there on the last lap. I was watching the lap before to see where I was stronger. I really thought I got the bike stopped enough in Turn 5 and I didn't want to out-brake him and overshoot it, but I got just wide enough that he was able to sneak back by me.
"I've got to really thank the team. We've struggled with top speed for a while. I think this is the first time in a while that I've drafted one of the blue bikes. All of their hard work paid off today and made the race a lot more fun. I'm going to make a few changes and try to do a little better tomorrow."
Third-place finisher Hayes said, "It was a good race -- it was a fun race. I had a good bike and rode as hard as I could. These guys had my number in a couple of areas, and I knew once we really got to racing and dicing around it was going to be tough. I rode the best that I could and they just beat me today. I have an idea for tomorrow and I think I can give myself a better shot at it. I'm going to come back and give these boys a race tomorrow."
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas finished a lonely fourth. The Colombian managed to cling onto the lead group for the opening couple of circulations but quickly faded once he lost their tow. He ultimately finished nearly 15 seconds off the win.
Jordan Suzuki's Danny Eslick was a similarly solitary fifth, running by himself pretty much throughout while a heated battle raged behind him for sixth.
Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram held on to claim that position in the end. The Ohioan narrowly edged Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony by 0.175 seconds for sixth with KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore and Team Hero EBR's Geoff May a further 0.213 and 0.335 seconds adrift in eighth and ninth position, respectively.
Fillmore's KTM-mounted teammate, Taylor Knapp, completed the top ten.
Saturday's dogfight lays the groundwork for an intriguing Sunday contest with Herrin, Hayden, and Hayes already considering their strategic approaches to tomorrow's rematch.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier beat Garrett Gerloff in a battle of Yamaha Extended Services/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha teammates, with the final margin of 0.176 separating the duo after 16 laps at Miller Motorsports Park’s first AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the weekend. RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s JD Beach and Jake Lewis of Meen Motorsports battled just behind the Yamaha teammates to make it a four-rider battle to the flag.
Gerloff lead early but Beaubier charged through the field to catch – and pass- his teammate with nine laps to go. Unlike other 2013 races in which Beaubier has been able to run away once he earned the lead, this contest saw Gerloff stick with Beaubier and even re-took the lead a few times.
On the final lap, Gerloff was unable to stuff it inside Beaubier at turn one, his favorite passing spot. Gerloff turned in the race’s fastest lap the final time around MMP but was unable to stop Beaubier from extending his winning streak to six in a row and earn his eighth win of the year.
Beaubier found it tough going early after some pre-race changes to his setup, but managed to regroup to earn one of his best wins of the year. “It was really cool racing with JD and Garrett. They made a couple passes back and forth and it was good,” said Beaubier. “At the beginning of the race I was struggling really bad. My bike honestly felt like a completely different bike. It took me a long time to get back up to speed. We made some changes this morning that we thought would be good for this afternoon, but I don't know what happened, but I was struggling pretty bad out there and wasn't able to do the times we did in qualifying. It was awesome battling with these guys. I gave it everything I had the last couple of laps and I was pushing the front everywhere. It was a good race.”
Beach and Lewis, who both live near the Owensboro, KY, hotbed of racing talent and often ride together in the offseason, ran an impressive pace to finish 0.716 and 1.158 behind Beaubier.
Jake Gagne was fifth on the other Roadrace Factory/Red Bull entry, his first time off the podium since Daytona as the series number two points man had front end issues in the race.
National Guard Celtic Racing’s James Rispoli was sixth. Behind the fast rookie were veterans GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing’s Dane Westby, D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph’s Bobby Fong, and Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo.
Fernando Amantini (Team Amantini) earned a top ten when he edged out Jake Zemke (Riders Discount Racing Triumph) for the position.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
Joe Roberts won his fourth straight AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday. It was Roberts’ fourth straight win to begin his career, this time taking a close fight over Wyatt Farris, who earned his best result yet with second place. West points leader Tomas Puerta took third after leading asome of the 13-lap race.
Roberts looked cool and collected despite considerable pressure from Farris and Puerta. With six laps to go, Puerta made a move into turn one and passed Roberts, but the Californian returned the favor in short order. When Farris made his bid to take the point, Roberts kept the throttle on and resisted the pass. Eventually, Roberts was able to pull away from Farris and win by 0.7995.
“The race went really well and I got an awesome holeshot,” said Roberts. “It was tough the whole time. It was a hard race and I had to push for sure … it’s going to be a good race tomorrow and I know these guys will be right there with me.”
Farris has been building momentum and earned his best result yet in Utah. He credited his rise this year to hard work by his team.
Puerta extended his points lead with third and now leads the West by 53 points.
Sebastiao Ferreira of BP Racing took fourth place, also earning his best result of the season. He beat Stefano Mesa (Motosport.com RSRacecraft) and Miles Thornton (CTR Racing).
Hayden Gillim (Team 95) dropped from fourth the seventh on the last lap. He finished ahead of Jeffrey Tigert (Baby Appleseed CM Motorsports), Brandon Cleland (Motosport.com RSRacecraft), and Ryan Matter (Gearzy).
AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series
The surging Steve Rapp continued his recent run of dominant form in AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series action on Saturday at Miller Motorports Park. The points leader secured the provisional pole for Sunday's final qualifying event ahead of the four-race $60,000 XR Showdown that will kick off in two weeks' time at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
The Aerostar Global/Suburban Harley-Davison runner led the way today with a best time of 2:07.027, edging ahead of defending class champ Michael Barnes on the Spyke's Harley-Davidson XR1200 (2:07.223).
A number of riders on the bubble looking to earn one of the coveted ten spots in the XR Showdown showed impressive speed on Saturday. Fernet Insurance's Eric Stump, who is ranked just 17th but still well within striking distance, was third fastest provisionally. And 15th-ranked Hayden Schultz on the Happy Trails M/C Connection Harley-Davidson earned a place on the provisional front row as well, suggesting that there's potential for the bottom half of the top ten to be upended following tomorrow's critical eight-lap contest.
For tickets to this weekend's event at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, please visit http://www.millermotorsportspark.com/events/ama-pro-road-racing-race.html.
Television Broadcasts on CBS Sports Network
This weekend's GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing action from Miller Motorsports Park is airing on CBS Sports Network as part of the CBS Sports Spectacular. Sunday's coverage will include a two-hour block of LIVE coverage, beginning with GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 2 on Sunday, August 4 at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 noon PT followed by National Guard SuperBike Race 2 at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT.
For an up-to-date list of the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing broadcasts scheduled on CBS Sports Network, please visit http://www.amaproracing.com/rr/events/tvlistings.cfm?year=2013. To locate CBS Sports Network on your cable or satellite provider, please visit the Channel Finder at http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder.
Fully produced, high definition broadcasts of Sunday's races from Miller Motorsports Park will be available to audiences outside of the United States and Canada through AMA Pro Live, AMA Pro Racing's live streaming video website. At the low introductory cost of $0.99 USD per race, international fans can follow along with their favorite GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing stars this weekend by logging on at http://www.amaprolive.com/rr/.
The international pay-per-view channel will be available for the following races:
GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 2 (Sunday, July 14 at 1:00 p.m. ET)
National Guard SuperBike Race 2 (Sunday, July 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET)
Streaming Video and Social Media
In addition to the live broadcasts on CBS Sports Network and AMA Pro Live, AMA Pro Racing will be live streaming multiple channels of behind-the-scenes video of the weekend's activities alongside Live Timing & Scoring on the AMA Pro Live streaming video website. 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. Streaming coverage can be viewed at http://www.amaprolive.com.
Stay connected with GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing on social media at http://twitter.com/AMAProSBK and http://www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing.
About GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing
GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The 2013 schedule consists of nine rounds of competition on the country's finest road courses. The Series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.
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