Five Card Stud: Hayes Takes Points Lead with Fifth Straight AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Win

NEWS July 13, 2013


Five Card Stud: Hayes Takes Points Lead with Fifth Straight AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Win

Photo by Brian J. Nelson

LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 13, 2013) - Escape artist Josh Hayes pulled off another disappearing act in Saturday's AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike contest to thrill the crowd at the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire.

The characteristics of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course often result in tight match-ups, creating something of an expectation of a close dogfight for victory today. Instead, Hayes leveraged his relentless and consistent pace to shake a pack of rivals by half-distance. And once clear, it was smooth sailing once again for the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha ace who scooped up his fifth-consecutive race premier-class victory.

Career win number 38 marked the completion of Hayes' season-long goal to dig out of his deep Daytona hole. Combined with a third-place result on the part of Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas, Hayes' triumph saw him claim a single-point advantage in the developing championship picture just five races removed from his double disaster to open the 2013 season.

"I'm still really surprised at how quickly it happened," Hayes admitted, who erased the deficit on the strength of five maximum points outings. "I didn't count very much for races wins in the series paying off as well as they do. When you're in a points lead, you don't notice points accumulating in quite the same way, I don't think. The fact that I've caught up as quickly as I have has been a big surprise, especially considering none of these guys have been on the ground in a race. I kind of thought I was going to have to have a couple of zero-point weekends from them to get me back into this. Martin has only had one fourth-place finish, and the rest of the time he's been on the podium. I'm quite surprised I've gotten back so quickly."

While Hayes ultimately broke the pursuit of his challengers, the contest saw its fair share of jockeying over its opening half. Hayes' Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, slammed up in the inside to lead on the race's first circulation. While Hayes fought his way by before they hit the stripe for the first time, Herrin hung tough and actually re-passed the champ on lap 4 of 21.

Cardenas worked past National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden on the second lap and then closed down on the Yamaha duo as a four-man group at the front took shape -- with Jordan Suzuki's Danny Eslick just clinging on in fifth.

Hayes dove past Herrin on lap 6 on the brakes at the end of the back straight and then applied the pressure from the front. Herrin made a couple minor mistakes in his attempt to stay in contention, which also slowed up Colombian Cardenas, who struggled to find a way through into second. A few laps later, Hayes had eked open what would prove to be an unassailable gap while Cardenas and Herrin settled in for a battle to decide second over the remainder of the race.

Cardenas sliced ahead of Herrin entering Turn 1 to open lap 13 and would remain in that position until the final lap. At that point, Cardenas was forced onto the grass momentarily while attempting to negotiate a lapper through a narrow opening that surprisingly evaporated, which provided Herrin with a free pass to storm ahead and claim the runner-up spot.

Herrin said, "I got a good start and got up there. It was a good race. I'm proud I was able to get up there and lead a couple laps. As soon as (Hayes) got back out front, I tried my hardest to keep up, but I just wasn't able to. Martin came up and got by me. I was comfortable running his pace so I figured I'd watch his lines and try and outsmart him in the end, but he got up with the lapper in the end. But that's racing. That's how it goes, and I'll take the points and come back tomorrow and hopefully having something more for these guys."

The last-lap off-track excursion proved especially costly for Cardenas. Had Martin been able to fend off Herrin and lock down second, he would have held onto the championship lead, at least for one more day.

Cardenas said, "Tough race today. Actually, I'm happy with the result. Yesterday, it wasn't looking very good. I wasn't very comfortable, and I crashed in the first practice. Things weren't looking very good and this has been a tough track for me -- I'm not saying I'm bad here, but there's always something missing. Me and my team worked pretty hard to be able to be comfortable today and we had a good pace in the race.

"Unfortunately, on the last lap, I got caught up with a lapper, and I lost second position. But it's okay -- it can happen to anybody. We'll try tomorrow to be a little bit better."

Hayden, meanwhile, suffered through a disastrous outing. Showing the ability to run the lead pace early, he started a slow fade, which compounded into a rapid decline, as the Kentuckian struggled with his equipment.

After fighting for victory at Mid-Ohio last season, and twice last time out at Barber Motorsports Park, Hayden ultimately plummeted to eighth position, finishing more than 45 seconds behind race-winner Hayes. The National Guard Jordan Suzuki pilot could yet prove a contender this weekend, with an overnight opportunity to correct what went wrong in today's race.

Eslick was the primary beneficiary of Hayden's misfortune, driving past en route to a lonely fourth.

Team Hero EBR's Geoff May came out on top of a three-way fight for fifth, which also included teammate Aaron Yates on Team AMSOIL/Hero EBR 1190RS and KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore.

Home track favorite Larry Pegram finished ninth on the Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 while Cory West (Motosport.com/EBR II) completed the Saturday top ten.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Cameron Beaubier won again on Saturday in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Beaubier and Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha have won five of six races in the 2013 season, once again topping Jake Gagne and RoadRace Factory Red Bull Yamaha. Gagne’s teammate JD Beach was third on the day.

Beaubier started poorly and had to charge forward from sixth, but by lap four he’d passed Gagne for the lead. Gagne shadowed him closely until three laps to go. Beaubier then set his quick lap of the race to earn a gap, then the win by 4.469 seconds.

“I got a pretty bad start... My jump wasn't too bad but I wasn't very aggressive going into the first corner,” said Beaubier. “Then Dane (Westby) passed me in the corner going onto the back straight, and I got shuffled back to like fifth or sixth or something like that. I slowly started making my way through. Jake and I had a good battle right to the end. I pushed it hard the last couple laps. I made a few mistakes today -- I pushed the front a couple times and almost highsided coming out of 1. But yeah, I really want to thank my team for giving me an awesome bike. We'll go back and try to do it again tomorrow."

Beaubier now has a 35-point lead.

Gagne once again took second place, having come back to lead another lap after Beaubier initially charged to the front. For Gagne, it was his fourth second place of the season.

JD Beach earned third again, but was much closer to the front than in some of his previous efforts that netted him a podium slot.

Jake Lewis (Meen Motorsports Racing) took fourth, ahead of Beaubier’s teammate Garrett Gerloff in a battle of young riders. Former race winner Dane Westby (GEICO Motorcycle Racing) was in the second pack early and was able to top seventh place James Rispoli (National Guard Celtic Racing). Rispoli led the opening of the race with a great start before settling in for another top-ten result.

AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport

Tomas Puerta took a convincing win in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport on Saturday. The RoadRace Factory pilot and West division leader didn’t have to worry about points but still came away with a solid victory, separating himself from a six-rider pack as the laps wound down.

Puerta got a good start and won by 3.213 seconds over Team 95’s Hayden Gillim and CTR Racing’s Miles Thornton. Puerta had his hands full with Travis Wyman (Harv’s Harley-Davidson), but the Colombian was able to run a consistent pace throughout.

“It was a tough race,” said Puerta. “17 hard laps. Every time I looked at my board, the message was ‘+0.’ They made me work hard. The last four or five laps, I was really going. I wasn’t worried about crashing, I was trying to bring the race home, and they made me work really hard.”

Gillim and Thornton diced for position behind Tomas, with Thornton losing out for second but still pleased after earning his best AMA Pro finish yet.

Wyman took a fine result but faded from the podium at the end. TOBC Racing’s Nick McFadden took another top five in his second AMA Pro event. Wyatt Farris (Jon Block Group/Meen Motorsports) topped Corey Alexander for sixth.

East points leader Stefano Mesa crashed late, allowing Alexander to assume the lead heading into tomorrow’s race.


AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series

Despite missing parts of the previous two race weekends, Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson's Steve Rapp has still ultimately turned in dominating race performances. If his rivals were worried what the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing veteran might be capable of with an entire weekend to prepare, it looks as if they were right to be nervous.

Rapp powered to provisional pole aboard his XR1200 today, stopping the clocks at 1:35.595, nearly eight tenths quicker than his nearest rival, Harv's Harley-Davidson's Travis Wyman. Points leader and defending champion Michael Barnes (Spyke's Harley-Davidson) was third on the day.

Rapp, who is still seeking his first pole position of the season, said, "I think just being here the whole weekend helps a little bit. Every time I ride the bike, I'm able to do a little more adjustment because there's not a lot of practice time. And, with me missing a lot of practice early in the year, I never had time to focus on the bike -- I was basically riding it 'as is.' We've actually been able to make two or three changes to the geometry and spring rates and things like that, where in the past I hadn't been able to do that."

TV Broadcast Schedule

This weekend's GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing action will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network as part of the CBS Sports Spectacular. Sunday's coverage will air at 2:00 p.m. ET/ 11:00 a.m. PT with GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 2 and will conclude with a LIVE broadcast of National Guard SuperBike Race 2 at 3:00 p.m. ET/ 12:00 noon PT. Fans can find CBS Sports Network on their TV by using the channel finder at http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder.

Live Streaming in North America

In addition to the live broadcasts on CBS Sports Network, AMA Pro Live will be live streaming multiple channels of behind-the-scenes video of the weekend's activities alongside Live Timing & Scoring at http://www.amaprolive.com/rr/. 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. 

Thanks to support from Gearzy, AMA Pro Live (http://www.amaprolive.com/rr/) will also include the following produced HD coverage:

  • Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 2 (Sunday, July 14 at 10:15 a.m. ET)
  • Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Race (Sunday, July 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET) 

International Live Streaming

Beginning with this weekend's event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, international viewers connecting online from outside of the United States and Canada will have the ability to live stream all of the weekend's racing activities -- including the same highly-produced HD television broadcasts showcased on CBS Sports Network -- in a new, affordable online pay-per-view (PPV) format. 

The international streaming channel will feature over seven hours of produced HD live streaming content over the course of the weekend, including:

  • Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 2 (Sunday, July 14 at 10:15 a.m. ET)
  • GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 2 (Sunday, July 14 at 1:00 p.m. ET)
  • Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Race (Sunday, July 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET)
  • National Guard SuperBike Race 2 (Sunday, July 14 at 3:00 p.m. ET)

International viewers can watch the live steaming races offered for free, or purchase access to the PPV coverage of GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing's premier divisions, by visiting http://www.ustream.tv/channel/geico-motorcycle-ama-pro-road-racing---international

Tickets

Tickets for this weekend's Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire start at just $30 and are available for purchase on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course website at http://www.midohio.com/Schedule/Buckeye-Superbike-Weekend-2013.

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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