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Laguna Seca: Supersport preview

HAYDEN LOOKS TO JOIN ELITE LIST OF THREE-TIME LAGUNA SECA SUPERSPORT WINNERS Yates holding off DiSalvo in Repsol Lubricants Superstock PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 5, 2005) -- Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden comes to round seven of the Pro Honda Oils ...

HAYDEN LOOKS TO JOIN ELITE LIST OF THREE-TIME LAGUNA SECA SUPERSPORT WINNERS

Yates holding off DiSalvo in Repsol Lubricants Superstock

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 5, 2005) -- Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden comes to round seven of the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei seeking to join Mike Smith, Miguel Duhamel and Jamie Hacking in becoming the fourth rider to win three AMA Supersport races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Supersport race is part of the combined Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and AMA Superbike Championship weekend that runs July 8-10.

Hayden has opened a commanding 46-point lead over Jamie Hacking in the 2005 series and appears well on his way to defending his title. He could become the first rider to win back-to-back AMA Supersport Championships in nearly a decade.

Hayden and Hacking's season-long Supersport battle took a hit when Hacking was injured in a bicycling accident in May and was forced to miss the Road America round. He is a question mark for Laguna Seca having undergone surgery on his elbows less than a month ago.

For Hayden, the season has gone better than planned. He's scored three wins in six rounds and has finished second in the races he didn't win.

"Kawasaki has given me a great bike this year," he said of the factory ZX-6RR. "I'm happy with where I am in the championship. We still have four races and a lot can happen. I'm not going to change anything just because I have a big lead. I still want to win races and Laguna has been a pretty good track for me in the past. I'm looking forward to racing on the track with all the new improvements. For sure it would be nice to get my third Supersport win there."

The other winner in the series this season is Hayden's younger brother and Kawasaki teammate Roger Lee Hayden. The youngest Hayden brother is the defending winner at Laguna Seca. A slew of podium finishes has moved Hayden from 21st after Daytona to third in the standings.

It will mark a reunion of the Hayden brothers at Laguna. All three brothers will be racing on the same track on the same weekend for the first time since 2002. Middle brother Nicky will make his return to America racing for Repsol Honda in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Ben Spies, of Yoshimura Suzuki, is heading up a tight group just outside the top three who are jockeying for position. Behind Spies are riders Jason DiSalvo and Aaron Gobert of Yamaha, Geoff May of M4 EMGO Suzuki and Yamaha Canada's Chris Peris.

In the Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series Aaron Yates, of Yoshimura Suzuki, holds a slim six-point edge over Graves Yamaha's Jason DiSalvo coming into Laguna Seca. Yates is coming off a win in Wisconsin in the last round. He is hoping to score his first AMA title in three years and DiSalvo is shooting for his first championship.

"It's good to be in the hunt for another championship," said Yates, who won the Superstock title (then called 750 Supersport) in 1996. "Superstock has a lot of competition and I'm looking forward to the challenge of trying to stay in front of these guys to the end of the season."

Tommy Hayden, the defending Laguna Superstock winner, is third in the standings and still has an outside chance at winning two championships in a single season.

The AMA Superstock Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be televised nationally on SPEED Channel, Sunday, July 10 beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern, while the Supersport race will broadcast on Tuesday, July 12 at 1 p.m. Eastern. For additional information on the combined Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix/AMA Superbike weekend contact (800) 327-SECA or visit the website www.laguna-seca.com.

-ama-

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Series AMA
Drivers Miguel Duhamel , Tommy Hayden , Jamie Hacking , Geoff May , Aaron Yates , Roger Lee Hayden , Ben Spies , Aaron Gobert , Chris Peris , Mike Smit