SuperBike photo finish highlights seven-races-in-one-day extravaganza At Mid-Ohio
NEWS July 20, 2014
Brian J Nelson Photo
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 20, 2014) - The Buckeye SuperBike weekend doubled up the action on Sunday after inclement weather spoiled the fun at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course the day before. All seven AMA Pro Road Racing contests were successfully run on a Sunday that saw Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammates Cameron Beaubier and Josh Hayes share top honors in the premier AMA Pro SuperBike class.
AMA Pro SuperBike Race 1
Hayes took the holeshot from pole (the grid was based on points) but Beaubier drove past his teammate on the back straight on lap 6 of 16. Once in control, Beaubier withstood the intense pressure and last-lap assault the three-time champion subjected him to in a concerted attempt to steal away the victory.
The Mississippian blanketed his 21-year-old rival throughout the second half of their intra-team duel, yet the resurgent Beaubier proved unflappable. Hayes made a bid on the final lap, striking momentarily only to have the rookie immediately snatch back the position and ultimately hold on for a thrilling 0.293-second victory at the checkered flag.
"It feels great to be able to beat Josh after a really good battle,” said Beaubier. “I know he probably has the championship in the back of his head, but I was pushing hard. ... I had the intention to push the last three laps but I made a few mistakes and ran wide here and there. I knew I wasn't going to break him, obviously, so I was just trying to ride protectively. I was braking a little harder going into the corners, (trying to) not use the whole track, and go up the inside of a lot of corners. He did sneak up on me and caught me by surprise. I saw him run a little wide so I stayed out a little wide and cut pretty hard on the inside. It was a good clean race and it was hard."
Hayes was happy with his safe second-place finish.
"It was a good race. I wanted to win it if the opportunity presented itself but I can't be silly either,” said Hayes. “I don't like thinking about championships, but you know … I was trying to be careful, but if he gave me a chance, take it. I took one shot at him on the last lap and I think if it had been anybody else, it would have been a little bit closer of a pass. I wanted to make sure I got all the way through to make sure we got through the corner clean and I overshot it enough that he was able to zip past through."
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing teammates Roger Hayden and Martin Cardenas were interested spectators early in the contest, clinging on to the battle for the lead in the race's opening stages before gradually losing touch. Colombian Cardenas was the first to lose the chase, fading back around lap 8, while Kentuckian Hayden dropped out of contention a couple laps later.
"I hung on for a while but I started to make some mistakes," Hayden admitted. "I was having trouble getting my bike into the corner and was missing my apex in a couple spots. A little over half way they started pulling away and I didn't want to crash and lose my data for the next race so I kind of put it on cruise control so we could make the bike a little better for the second race. That race was really our first real practice being here on the new bike."
The two held their positions, however, with Hayden rounding out the podium in third.
KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore took a lonely fifth, while third Yoshimura pilot Chris Clark chased down ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony for sixth, with Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram just behind in eight.
GEICO Motorcycle Honda's Chris Ulrich and Babuska Racing's Frankie Babuska completed the opening race's top ten.
AMA Pro SuperBike Race 2
After being edged by his young teammate earlier in the day, Hayes got his revenge in what proved to be an ever tighter rematch.
Again starting from pole (this time due to posting the fastest lap in Race 1), Hayes ran in front with Beaubier close in formation as they quickly broke free from the pack. The lighter Beaubier finally made his move on lap 13 of 16, again powering past at the end of the back straight, in an attempt to duplicate his earlier victory.
However, this time around Hayes made that aggressive last-lap pass that he overshot in the first race stick. Seemingly in strong shape to maintain first from there to the flag, Hayes got off line through the Carousel. That miscue allowed Beaubier to get the drive and rip up alongside him as they sprinted to the stripe.
Too close to call without a review, the photo finish ultimately showed that Hayes held on by mere inches to claim the win.
The narrow triumph was Hayes' eleventh AMA Pro Road Racing victory at Mid-Ohio, making him the winningest rider in the event's long history, one up on the legendary Mat Mladin.
"I was thinking about passing him earlier in the race and just kind of mix up my rhythm instead of waiting for some kind of desperate move on the last lap,” said Hayes after Race 2. “While I was thinking about these things, we came up and I saw the white flag. I was completely taken by surprise with the white flag. I hadn't been watching the lap board and had no idea it was last lap of the race. We were going through Turn 1 and I got a good run and I thought, 'What am I going to do?' I knew what he was expecting. I still felt very confident in there so when I was close enough to have a go, I did and got it stopped. From that point forward, it was probably the ugliest half lap of riding I've ever done in my life.
"I was pretty sloppy in the Carousel but I thought I had it because there are really no passing opportunities. I was just trying to get back to the inside and I ended up losing the front and really botching the last two corners. I never upshifted, I just held second and hit the rev limiter at the line. When I glanced over to my left I actually thought Cameron had got me, but it was so hard to tell right at the line. I was pretty relieved to get to the podium and find out I had won the race. I wanted to win it really bad and I had a lot of fun racing with Cam."
Beaubier said he enjoyed the race as well.
"Josh made a hard, clean pass on me,” said Beaubier. “After that I was just looking for any way I could to get around him. He was braking pretty deep trying to not give it away. I tried to set him up coming off the last corner and I didn't know who won.
"Regardless who won today, it was a great race. It's kind of crazy not knowing who won until we came into pit lane."
Hayden finished third for a second time on the day. He actually made inroads on the leaders for a couple laps after losing touch early, but a compound mistake dropped him well and truly out of contention on lap 7. The Kentuckian carried on to claim a lonely third, further enabled by Cardenas' early-race crash in the braking zone at the end of the back straight.
"It was a decent weekend," Hayden said. "Third place is not bad when you're battling for the win but when you're however many seconds back it's not very satisfying. I don't know… I'm having trouble keeping up off the corners and on the straights. I'm just riding so far above what I can do every lap and I just start making mistakes. We have some tests lined up and we need to make things a little better and hopefully at New Jersey make a race out of it."
Fillmore took advantage of the Colombian's mistake as well, coming home in fourth while Clark edged TOBC's Racing Suzuki's Taylor Knapp for fifth.
Anthony got off to a poor start and slashed his way up to seventh, while Ulrich and Team AMSOIL Hero EBR's Cory West took eighth and ninth, respectively. Babuska again rounded out the top ten.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 1
Motosport.com/Meen Yamaha’s Jake Lewis won the first AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike contest of the day, making a last-lap pass of Jake Gagne to win his second race in a row. Lewis shadowed RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Gagne until the white flag then made his move at the end of Mid-Ohio’s long straight. Gagne fought back, but Lewis was able to hold his line and held the lead until the flag.
“It’s huge to get two wins in a row,” said Lewis. “I was planning my strategy for the end of the race. I made a pretty good pass on the brakes and blocked from there. There are only a couple of other spots to pass from there.”
After the race, the two Jakes were tied for the series points lead.
Riders Discount Racing Triumph’s Danny Eslick won the battle for third. The Oklahoman had a good battle with Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff and Dane Westby. Westby rose up from seventh to take third on the Yamalube/Westby Racing machine by the middle stages of the race, but Eslick rallied to take the position back.
Garrett Gerloff also passed Westby to earn fourth.
Gerloff’s teammate JD Beach was sixth, having led the first lap before dropping down the order.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 2
Jason DiSalvo won the second AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at Mid-Ohio. DiSalvo topped Jake Gagne for the prize in the red-flagged race, showing great form as he earned the win by being the strongest at the end of the race.
“The team has their heart and soul in this,” said New York-born DiSalvo. “They are trying to make the best bike they can. It was great to see all the Northeasterners up here cheering me on.”
Gagne now leads the points, earning two second place results on the day. The Californian is seven points ahead of Jake Lewis, who took fourth in race two after winning the opener.
Gerloff was third after trying to hang with the leaders and aggressively moving by Lewis in a bid to hang onto the lead duo. Ultimately, he took the checkered flag almost four and a half seconds back.
Bobby Fong earned an excellent fifth place on his Latus Motors/Castrol/Triumph Racing entry, holding off another former class race winner Blake Young on the GN Gonzalez machine.
AMA Pro SuperSport Race 1
Houston Superbikes’ Dustin Dominguez won the first AMA Pro SuperSport race at Mid-Ohio. Dominguez ran away from early leader Hayden Gillim of TOBC Racing to take a 3.260–second victory.
“We’re not really worried about points. We’re here to win races and if we do, we’ll win the championship,” said Dominguez, who took second place in the points after the win. “That’s our plan. The race went pretty perfect for me.”
Gillim wasn’t able to win, but assumed the points lead with his strong second place.
Corey Alexander crashed out of third place midway through the 11-lapper on his HVMC Celtic Racing entry. Alexander, who went down in the Keyhole turn, was tied for the lead in the points before the race.
The battle for third saw Alexander’s teammate Wyatt Farris return to the podium. The Californian edged Excel Racing’s Connor Blevins by less than a tenth of a second. Texan J.C. Camacho (House of Paint Designs) took a fine fifth.
AMA Pro SuperSport Race2
Dominguez won the second AMA Pro SuperSport race at Mid-Ohio, too. The Oklahoman topped Gillim again, this time by 3.510 seconds after 11 laps. With the win, Dominguez closed to within two points of championship leader Gillim.
“I give Hayden high marks,” said Dominguez. “He pushed me really hard. I’d give him an ‘A’ for effort. … I liked doing the two races in one day. It’s a lot of riding and I love it.”
Gillim took the lead for good with Alexander’s issues in race one. Alexander’s bike was pushed off the grid just before the start of race two as well.
“It’s the first time I have been in the lead in the championship,” Gillim said. “This time I am going to New Jersey with the lead.”
Blevins earned his first AMA Pro SuperSport podium on Sunday. The 19-year old beat top series pilots Kaleb De Keyrel, Wyatt Farris and Jason Aguilar of Tuned Industries for the final spot on the podium.
Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series
Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels Harley-Davidson's Tyler O'Hara snapped his midseason dry spell and returned to the top of the podium following a hard-fought AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series contest.
"It feels really good," O'Hara said. "We've been off the box the last three races in a row. This weekend was a turning point for me. Every weekend from here on out we're battling for every point. We have three races left and I expect nothing less than to just battle every weekend."
Five riders were in contention throughout in the seesawing contest that saw Ruthless Racing's Danny Eslick go from first to fifth and back to second, and Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson's Steve Rapp work from fifth to first, only to end up fifth again in the end.
Rapp's teammate, Ben Carlson, finished behind O'Hara and Eslick in third after leading on the final lap in search of his first-ever AMA Pro Road Racing win.
KWR/Millennium Technologies' Kyle Wyman was in the mix as well, ultimately taking the flag in fourth position.
O'Hara's win tightens up the points with the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series next headed to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a doubleheader alongside the MotoGP World Championship on August 8-10. Eslick still leads with 120 points, but O'Hara has drawn closer in second at 114.
Following the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series' Indy doubleheader, the AMA Pro Road Racing season will come to its conclusion and the 2014 champions will be decided at the Kawasaki Devil's Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J., Sept. 13-14.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv is the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site also provides coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
About AMA Pro Road Racing:
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 series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.
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