ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 3, 2012) - Josh Hayes proved simply unstoppable for a second straight day at the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader, powering away from the field to claim the checkered flag in what can only be viewed as demoralizing fashion by his would-be challengers. The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha superstar simply owned Road America over the weekend, rounding off his maximum points haul weekend with a conquering 13.906-second victory on Sunday afternoon. Hayes had nearly a second advantage after just the opening lap and then really closed out the hopes of his opponents with a string of laps in the 2:11s, including a 2:11.216, which stood more than a tenth of a second inside the lap record he established on Saturday morning.
The flawless ride confirmed a turning of the season as the Mississippian has taken a big step forward in his search for a third consecutive AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike title.
Hayes' Sunday win marked his sixth of the season, doubling his 2011 tally, and upping his career total to 23. "I don't really know too much of what to say except the same things you always hear: big thank you to an amazing crew. I have an amazing crew, I have a great motorcycle, and it allows me to just come here and focus on one thing and that's riding my best. I've had a great race weekend; I've got good starts and my bike was just great from the beginning. We haven't really changed anything chassis-wise since last weekend at Miller. Things are just clicking and rolling well."
Josh Hayes #1 leads team mate Josh Herrin #2 (hidden behind Hayes), Blake Young #79 and Ben Bostrom #23 early in the AMA Superbike Championship race on Sunday at Road America, just as they top the hill and head into the turn 6 left-hander. AMA Pro Road Racing photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Meanwhile, Blake Young once again found himself dicing with Hayes' rookie teammate, Josh Herrin, rather than his title rival. The #79 Yoshimura Suzuki hero and the up-and-coming Yamaha pilot engaged in a thrilling duel for the runner-up position, regularly trading positions and glances as they jockeyed for the spot late in the race. Young ultimately won the last-lap battle, avenging his defeat for second at Herrin's hands less than a week ago at Miller Motorsports Park. Young blasted across the stripe ahead of Herrin by a meager 0.039 seconds.
"It was pretty much the same as yesterday," Young said of another second-place result. "Riding with Josh Herrin was good. It's good to see him get up there and dice it out with me. He's coming around and riding fairly well. Obviously, I mentioned yesterday that we need to make some improvements, but they're not the type of improvements we're going to make overnight. Realistically, I was hoping for a better race today, but am I surprised? Not really." Herrin said, "I thought it went great. It was definitely more exciting than yesterday. Blake and I had a pretty good battle; we passed each other back and forth. I tried to get him but I didn't have any real reason to try to stuff it in there in the last corner on the last lap and risk losing the front or something. It was a really good race -- the R1 was going really good today. I don't know how I didn't get the drive on him to start/finish."
Jordan Suzuki's Ben Bostrom continued his recent rise in form with another strong ride. The former World Superbike hero tagged along to Young and Herrin in the race's early stages before fading to a lonely fourth. Team Hero's Danny Eslick narrowly beat his Hero EBR teammate, Geoff May on the Team Amsoil/Hero EBR 1190RS, as the two broke away from a bigger pack that also included second Yoshimura runner Chris Clark, Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram, and KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore. The two formation flew their red-and-white EBRs late in the race with reigning AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike king Eslick winning out for fifth ahead of May.
Clark held onto the fight for fifth deep into the race before running wide in Turn 5 on lap 8 of 13. He carried on to claim a respectable seventh. Kneedraggers.com/Motul/Fly's David Anthony took full advantage of a mistake on Pegram's part (Pegram ran off course) and worked past Fillmore to claim eighth. Fillmore and Pegram, meanwhile, rounded out the top ten. National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden's woes continued today, being hit by a 5-second penalty for jumping the start and then suffering from a problem that saw him finish well down the field in 13th.
Hayes' monster performance in back-to-back weekends has tilted the title fight decidedly in his favor. The champ now leads Young by 20 points (257-237).
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Martin Cardenas won the Sunday AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at Road America, turning the fastest lap of the race on his final time around to take victory against a five-rider pack. Cardenas, winning his sixth victory of the season, took the race by 1.01 seconds on his GEICO Suzuki when his strongest rival in the race, Cameron Beaubier of Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha, crashed in the last corner on the final lap. "I made a good start and I tried to push and get into a good rhythm, to see if anyone could come with me to the front," Cardenas said. "I knew the last two laps were important so when the time came, I pushed hard."
Cardenas now leads the points in the class 206 to 159 over Jason DiSalvo.
DiSalvo started poorly but made his way up to the leading group by halfway before rallying to take second place on his Latus Motors Racing Triumph. J.D. Beach earned third place, the first GoPro Daytona SportBike podium for his RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team. Tommy Hayden took fourth for Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha, just 0.1 off the podium after an overnight engine change helped his competitiveness.
Jake Zemke put the DucShop Ducati fifth again, less than a second ahead of Dane Westby (M4 Suzuki). Huntley Nash was seventh for LTD Racing, putting in a strong race at Elkhart both times out.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
Stefano Mesa of Kneedraggers.com Yamaha won a wild AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race at Road America on Sunday. Mesa took victory in a dramatic race that came down to the final run to the stripe before first-time AMA Pro winner Mesa crossed the line first.
The last lap's action spot was turn five. Mesa, Jake Lewis, who won Saturday's Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race, and reigning SuperSport champ James Rispoli all came into the corner hot. Rispoli, on the inside, lost the front and crashed. That forced Lewis--who led most of the event--wide, and Mesa took the point. "In the last lap, we all went way too deep," said Mesa "(James) crashed, and it was a bummer for him, but I got the drive out of there."
Lewis came charging back, though, passing Mesa in the chicane. Not to be outdone, Mesa returned the favor in Canada Corner and was able to hold off Lewis to the flag. "I was drafting Jake and trying to make a move like I did on Rispoli yesterday," said Mesa. "It was really close."
Corey Alexander (National Guard Fairhills Group) took third place, beating RoadRace Factory/Red Bull teammates Tomas Puerta and Hayden Gillim. Gillim gained one point on Rispoli, who remounted to finish sixth, in the West standings and now trails the New Yorker by 26 points, 181-155.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series
Road America's three long straights dashed any plans polesitter Tyler O'Hara had for making a second breakaway as he found himself caught up in a three-way drafting battle with his Bartel's Harley-Davidson teammate, Michael Barnes, and Daytona race winner Kyle Wyman on the KLR Group/Vesrah Suzuki entry. The three men traded positions repeatedly and brought three contrasting strategic approaches into the final lap. All were positioned where they thought they had the best possibility to win, but only Wyman was proven correct in his assement. The youngster slotted into the lead to minimize the damage through his weakest corner, and then took advantage of his superior speed through the track's final corners to successfully withstand an attempted drafting assault by the Bartel's duo.
"It's good to get the first win for our title sponsor, KLR Group, who came on after Daytona," Wyman said. "It was a good race. I knew it was going to be the three of us dicing it up. I figured out that I was pretty quick through the last few corners of the racetrack but very week in the Carousel. I figured if I could be out front at the end of the Carousel I'd be all right to the finish. I knew I could get a good drive out of the last corner. I led the whole last lap and it worked out to plan."
While falling short in his attempt to slingshot past Wyman by just 0.157, Barnes held off O'Hara at the flag to shuffle the championship leader back to third and further tighten the title race. O'Hara now leads with 138 to Wyman's 129 and Barnes' 123.
The 2012 AMA Pro Road Racing schedule picks back up for Round 6 following a couple weeks off at the immaculate Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL on June 22-24.
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