Josh Hayes Looks to Rebound at Road America
NEWS April 1, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 1, 2013) – This is no April fool’s joke, reigning three-time AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes is currently 48 points back after two uncharacteristic DNF’s at Daytona to begin the season. With Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate Josh Herrin and Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Martin Cardenas flip-flopping first and second place finishes in both AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike races at Daytona, Hayes certainly has his work cut out for him if he plans on defending the coveted championship in GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing’s premier class.
Hayes found himself on the wrong end of two bike malfunctions that left him watching the races from the sidelines at Daytona.
“Daytona is a unique course that allows for a large amount of horsepower,” said Hayes. “When you get up to that amount of horsepower, the clutch becomes susceptible to problems and that’s exactly what happened to me in Race 1. During Race 2, we had a solid game plan and ran a nice warm-up on Saturday morning. I got off the line great and everything was going well until we had a catastrophic engine failure that knocked us out. I don’t know too many particular details on the engine malfunction, I just know that it broke and we lost.”
Hayes will look to get back to his winning ways during next round’s action at Road America. During his impeccable run that has consisted of three AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Championships in the last three seasons, Hayes has dominated the asphalt at Road America. The Gulfport, Mississippi product has claimed victory in four of his last six races held at the legendary 4.05-mile course located in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Last year, Hayes didn’t just win at Road America; he completely shredded the competition, winning each race by over ten seconds.
“Road America has always been one of my favorite courses to race on,” said Hayes. “Last year, I felt it was the beginning of my big run. I feel very comfortable with the layout of the track and always have a big smile on my face every time I compete there.”
Hayes’s innate ability to succeed over the last few years hasn’t been all his doing, as his team, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha, has been there every step of the way for the three-time king.
“I’ve had four amazing years with Monster Energy Graves Yamaha and I have a tremendous amount of confidence in them,” said Hayes. “I know what kind of hours they put into all of this and I appreciate everything they do for me. I talk to them regularly and we’re all on the same page as far as having the same common goal in mind, which is to win championships. For the upcoming Road America event, I’m just going to focus on the things I can control, which is fitness and preparation. I plan on being a better athlete when I touch the track in Wisconsin than what I was in Daytona. Second place doesn’t mean a whole lot to me and I plan on giving it everything I’ve got every race.”
Don’t sleep on Hayes. It is evident that he is determined and truly believes he can make up the ground it’s going to take for him to claim his fourth consecutive AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike championship. However, Cardenas, Herrin and company don’t carry any sympathy for Hayes’s lackluster results at Daytona and will surely look extend their lead over the champ at Road America.
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