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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (June 24, 2012) - Two-time defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike king Josh Hayes hit the quarter-century mark on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park, registering the 25th victory of his SuperBike career. The Mississippian'sAMA Pro Road Racing double win at the Triumph SuperBike Classic presented by America's First Federal Credit Union also marked his eighth triumph of the season and his fifth in succession. While much was made of the learning opportunity Hayes' Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, enjoyed on Saturday by racing on the SuperBike champ's rear wheel, Hayes was made all the wiser by that experience as well. Unwilling to give Herrin a chance to cling on again, Hayes raced exceptionally hard early and quickly eliminated any hope Herrin or any other rival might have entertained about sticking with him today.
Hayes ultimately took the checkered flag with a 4.988-second margin of victory. "I got a decent start and slotted in right behind Josh," Hayes said. "I eased up inside of him in Turn 4 and got in there. At that point I just tried to get back into a rhythm. Things were going pretty good -- at one point I opened up a second on Josh and was kind of holding it there for a couple laps. When I saw that he took it back, I said, 'okay, don't deviate from your game plan,' because I was doing a good pace and not making mistakes. I wanted to keep up a good steady pace and see what happened and then I came around and saw a three-second gap. There you go. It's so hot and so slippery -- there was the mistake I was waiting to see if it would happen. I maintained my gap and stayed clear and had a good smooth race."
Josh Hayes #1 takes the inside line on team mate Josh Herrin #2, with Ben Bostrom #23, Geoff May #99, Roger Lee Hayden #54 and the rest of the field in pursuit early in race 2 at the Barber Motorsports Park round of the AMA Superbike Championship today. Hayes went on to win over Young and Herrin and took his 8th series win of the season and 25th of his career. AMA Pro Road Racing photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Despite Hayes' determination to shake free at the start and make an early escape, Herrin gave it his best effort to reel his teammate back in... and paid the price. Attempting to make up an early one-second deficit, the National Guard SuperBike freshman ran off track in Turn 4 on the race's fifth lap and was instantly dropped back to ninth. That's the same position Yoshimura Racing Suzuki's Blake Young had held on the race's opening lap, suffering from a poor start and almost falling outside the top ten. The Wisconsin rider sliced his way up the field, however, and was in position to take control of second when Herrin made his error. Herrin made a similar charge and by lap 11 was right on Young's rear wheel. The Suzuki and Yamaha men waged a closely-matched duel from there to the flag. Herrin reclaimed second on lap 19 but handed it back the next lap again after running wide in Turn 4. He mounted another charge and made a stab for second on the final lap, again in turn 4, but was unable to hold his line and Young dipped right back through and held on to ultimately claim the runner-up position.
Young said, "Well, the start was a little bit of a struggle and I found myself quite a ways back in the pack. I just thought, 'wow, I really messed up and made a lot of work for myself that I really didn't want to have to deal with today. That's how it goes. You have a plan before the start but it never goes according to plan -- ever. I wasn't expecting that but I put my head down and felt better on my GSX-R1000 today." Herrin admitted, "It was a crazy race. I just made way too many mistakes in the race today and lost too many positions due to it. That's the first time I've had any close moments on the 1000 all year, but luckily I was able to recover from it and come back from way back. That felt really good and I have a lot of motivation."
Team Amsoil/Hero EBR's Geoff May continued his mid-season run of impressive performances, working his way past Michael Jordan Motorsports teammates Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki) and Roger Hayden (National Guard Jordan Suzuki) on successive laps and then breaking away to claim a clear fourth. Hayden stormed past Bostrom on lap 19 of 21 to steal the final position in the top five.
Attack Performance's Steve Rapp ran with the freight train of heavy hitters early before fading back to a lonely seventh. Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram took his BMW S1000RR to eighth while Kneedraggers.com/Motul/Fly Racing's David Anthony and M4 Suzuki's Chris Ulrich completed the top ten.
Hayes now leads the points 320 to 283 over Young.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier pulled the perfect weekend in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike at Barber Motorsports Park, winning pole, both races and both lap leader points for Y.E.S/Graves/Yamaha in Alabama. Beaubier cleared off in the last couple of laps to win over Dane Westby (M4 Suzuki) by 2.163 seconds in a repeat of the top two finishers from Saturday. After a post-Daytona injury sidelined him, Beaubier has returned to competition with a vengeance. The Californian has been a factor in recent GoPro Daytona SportBike races but took his first pole and wins this weekend. Westby made a bid with four laps to go, but Beaubier was able to rally and consolidate the lead.
"It feels awesome to get my first win and then back it up the next day," said 19-year-old Beaubier. "It was weird because my first lap wasn't very good at all. I then got through a few guys and got out front and I felt pretty good out front. I didn't feel very good in second because it was super easy to get shuffled back. Out front I felt really comfortable, I tried to save my tires as much as I could, and towards the end I put my head down and pushed really hard to get away." After the race, Westby said he wished he'd waited until the final lap to make his charge but was positive about his form this weekend.
Points leader Martin Cardenas took his GEICO Suzuki to third place and expanded his points margin over second place points man Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Castrol Triumph) who finished sixth. DiSalvo now trails Cardenas by 51 and fell into a tie with Westby.
Early leader Tommy Hayden of Y.E.S/Graves/Yamaha took fourth, ahead of Bobby Fong (Meen Motorsports), rewarded with a top five result. J.D. Beach (RoadRace Factory/Red Bull), Jake Zemke (Ducshop Ducati), Benny Solis (Kneedraggers.com Yamaha) and Jake Gagne (RoadRace Factory/Red Bull) also scored in the top ten.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
James Rispoli (Orient Express Celtic Racing) got back to his winning ways in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race two at Barber Motorsports Park, holding off Jake Lewis (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) by just 0.038 in a drag race to the line. The lead group, including third place finisher Tomas Puerta and Hayden Gillim of the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team, outlasted the two red flags and 17 laps to make it a four-way fight to the finish. Rispoli, the defending Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport National champ, was able to shine in the event but the final outcome was in jeopardy until Rispoli crossed the line the very last time. As the final lap began, Rispoli led over Puerta, then Lewis and Gillim. Lewis made his way past the Colombian and set out to take Rispoli's spot, but couldn't mount a successful maneuver in the favored passing area turn four or the final turn. Lewis did, however, set up a good run to the flag and nearly passed Rispoli at the line.
"The red flags were pretty tough. Every time we went back out it seemed like the tires got a little bit greasier. Us dirt trackers were really sliding it around and I think I was sliding around a little bit more than anybody else. It was crazy. It went all the way down to the wire," said Rispoli. "In the end we played our cards smart. I broke hard in the places I needed to, I defended where I needed to, and we got back up on top of the box."
Puerta took third, over GIllim. Suzuki On Facebook SportbikeTrackGear.com pilot Elena Myers finished fifth, ahead of Dustin Dominguez (Latus Motors Racing Triumph) who was collected in the first portion of the race by Stefano Mesa (Kneedraggers.com Yamaha). As the red flag was called because Dominguez was pinned under the air fence, the Oklahoman was forced to start at the back of the grid. Mesa took seventh, ahead of Ryan Matter (Gearzy Yamaha), Eric Stump (EyeballNYC.com Yamaha), and Corey Alexander (National Guard Fairhills Group Celtic Racing), who had an issue on the last lap and lost five spots.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series
KLR Group/Vesrah Racing's Kyle Wyman came out victorious following an 11-lap dogfight with AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series title leader Tyler O'Hara to secure his third XR1200 victory of the '12 season. The two title rivals made a rapid escape from the chasing pack and then waged an intense duel for the checkered flag over the race's waning laps. Wyman slipped into first for good on the race's last lap and heavily defended his line in the contest's final few corners to narrowly hold off his Bartel's Harley-Davidson-backed opponent by a scant 0.047 seconds at the stripe.
"It was huge to have KLR Group at the race and I really wanted to get a win for them," Wyman said. "It was a great. It was a good race at the front -- a lot of dicing and battling. There were different places on the track where he was a little bit stronger and other places where I was stronger and I just tried to make the most of those and be there at the end. It all paid off for me."
Michael Barnes put the MOB Racing Harley-Davidson XR1200 on the podium in his maiden outing with the team. The result was hard earned as Barnes fronted a spirited four-man scrap for the podium ahead of David Estok (Ruthless Racing Inc.), Gerry Signorelli (Kuryakyn), and Shane Narbonne (Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson). Narbonne fell off the chase (literally) while running sixth with four laps remaining. Signorelli followed that with a crash of his own from fifth on the race's final lap. Barnes edged Estok for third by just 0.146 seconds, while Narbonne's teammate, Ben Carlson, completed the top five.
AMA Pro Road Racing will immediately pack up and head to NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, LA for a two-day official series test on June 26-27. The next round of the 2012 AMA Pro Road Racing season will be the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, OH on July 13-15.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014, firstname.lastname@example.org