AMA

Laguna Seca: Support series' preview

Hayden hoping to join Duhamel and Smith as three-time Laguna Seca Pro Honda Oils Supersport winners. PICKERINGTON, Ohio-- On May 2, 1999, Tommy Hayden turned in one of the most impressive victories in the history of the Pro Honda Oils Supersport...

Hayden hoping to join Duhamel and Smith as three-time Laguna Seca Pro Honda Oils Supersport winners.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio-- On May 2, 1999, Tommy Hayden turned in one of the most impressive victories in the history of the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship. That day on a rainy Laguna Seca Raceway (now called Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca) Hayden decimated the rest of the field winning the Supersport final by 17 seconds-- one of the largest margins of victory in ever in the 16 years of AMA Supersport racing. The eldest of the three racing Hayden brothers returns to Monterey, Calif., this Friday, July 12, attempting to join Miguel Duhamel and Mike Smith as three-time winners of the AMA Supersport race at Laguna Seca.

Hayden comes into this race, which is round eight of the 10-race AMA U.S. Supersport Championship, ranked second behind Blimpie Yoshimura Suzuki rider Aaron Yates. He's been playing catch up in the championship since getting caught up in a multi-bike accident in the opening round at Daytona Beach, Fla., in March.

"The accident at Daytona really put us in a tough situation as far as the championship is concerned," said Hayden, who rides for Kawasaki. "Now all I can do is go out there and give it my all and hope for the best. Another win at Laguna would be great. I've done well there in the past and it would be nice to get a third victory there."

Whoever wins the Supersport race this week will have pulled off a major accomplishment. Suzuki teammates Yates and Jamie Hacking have both won the race before and will line up for Friday's event, as will Hayden. Also expected to race is Duhamel. It will be a special appearance in the series by the five-time AMA Supersport champ. Duhamel is hoping to be the first four-time winner of the race.

Also on Friday at Laguna Seca will be a round of the Buell Pro Thunder Series. Australian Kirk McCarthy is trying to become the first rider to clean sweep the series. He's won all of the series races coming into this Friday's contest riding an AMS Ducati. Hal's Performance Buell rider Mike Ciccotto is the only rider with a chance to catch McCarthy in the championship. Ciccotto has finished on the podium at every round, but has yet to find a way to finish in front McCarthy.

The Lockhart Phillips Formula Xtreme final will be held Saturday. The series is a tossup this year between the top three riders. Jason Pridmore, of Attack Suzuki, holds a slim three-point lead over Bruce Transportation Honda's Jake Zemke. Graves Yamaha's Damon Buckmaster is still very much in the hunt; ranked third just eight points out of first. Buckmaster is the defending race winner.

On Sunday the Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock and MBNA 250 Grand Prix finals will be held in between the two legs of the World Superbike Series.

Defending Superstock champ Jimmy Moore and Lee Acree are locked in a great duel for that championship. Moore, who rides for Corona Extra Suzuki, is looking for his first win at Laguna Seca. Tommy Hayden is third in the series riding a Kawasaki ZX6R against the field of 750cc machines. Last year's winner Chris Ulrich, of Valvoline EMGO Suzuki, has suffered a tough season so far, but defending his Superstock win a Laguna Seca would go a long way in easing some of his disappointment.

Chuck Sorensen, 29, of Sunnyvale, Calif., comes into Laguna Seca leading the MBNA 250 Grand Prix Series. Sorensen has tasted victory at many of the circuits on the tour, but Laguna Seca isn't one of them. He will have to overcome the resurgent Rich Oliver, who has lost part of a finger and toes in separate accidents this year, but has twice come back to race competitively. Oliver won the last round in Brainerd, Minn., and is a five-time AMA 250GP winner at Laguna.

Live coverage of the AMA Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport final begins at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Speed Channel, with a repeat on Sunday, July 14 at 4 p.m. Eastern. Speed Channel's coverage of the Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series from Monterey will air Tuesday, July 23 at 8 p.m. and again at 1 a.m. (July 24) Eastern.

For additional ticket information contact Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at (800) 327-SECA or visit www.laguna-seca.com.

For immediate post-race results, points, and live transponder scoring from each race in the championship, log on to amaproracing.com's Superbike Mediacenter, the official home of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship.

-ama-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Miguel Duhamel , Tommy Hayden , Jamie Hacking , Lee Acree , Aaron Yates , Damon Buckmaster , Jake Zemke , Chris Ulrich , Mike Smit