AMA

Mid-Ohio: Event preview

Yates, Chandler and Duhamel vying to become first four-time AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike winner at Mid-Ohio doubleheader. PICKERINGTON, Ohio-- Suzuki's Aaron Yates and Ducati's Doug Chandler come to Lexington, Ohio, this weekend, July 26-28,...

Yates, Chandler and Duhamel vying to become first four-time AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike winner at Mid-Ohio doubleheader.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio-- Suzuki's Aaron Yates and Ducati's Doug Chandler come to Lexington, Ohio, this weekend, July 26-28, as the only three-time winners of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course doubleheader round of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship. Both AMA Superbike veterans have the chance this weekend to become the first four-time, or even five-time if things go really well, Superbike winner at Mid-Ohio. Then again, Honda's Miguel Duhamel, who has two Superbike wins at the scenic Central Ohio circuit, could sweep the doubleheader weekend and come away as the first four-timer. But while all three of these top riders hope to come away from Mid-Ohio victorious, they'll likely have to figure out a way to get around Nicky Hayden and Eric Bostrom, the two hottest riders in the series this year. AMA Superbike round 13 will be held on Saturday and Sunday will see round 14 of the 16-race series.

Hayden, 20, from Owensboro, Ky., leads the championship with seven wins on his factory Honda RC51 -- the most Superbikes wins in a single season since Fred Merkel won a record 10 of 13 Superbike rounds in 1984. With the Mid-Ohio and Virginia International Raceway doubleheaders left to go, Hayden has at least a fighting chance to break Merkel's longtime record. He could also move past Wayne Rainey for third on the all-time AMA Superbike career wins list this weekend.

"Mid-Ohio is always a fun race for me," said Hayden, the 1999 AMA Pro Athlete of the Year. "It's the closest race to home so a lot of my friends from Owensboro usually come up. It's a challenging track. You have to be at your best to do well there because of the combination of tight turns and high-speed sections. It's a real racers' track." Bostrom is second in the championship with eight podium finishes to date, including wins at Pikes Peak and Laguna Seca. If the Kawasaki ace is to have any chance of catching Hayden he will have to experience a breakthrough at Mid-Ohio. Bostrom has never won the Superbike race at the track. His best result was runner-up last year to defending series champ Mat Mladin in Saturday's race.

Yates always seems to do well at Mid-Ohio. The tall Georgian excels on twisty and technical circuits like Mid-Ohio. Yates is the only rider who has swept the Mid-Ohio doubleheader-- he accomplished that feat in 2000.

Chandler seems ripe for another win at Mid-Ohio. The veteran rider from Salinas, Calif., has three wins at the track dating back to 1989. He's finished on the podium in the last two rounds and looks to be improving on the HMC Ducati each week out. If Chandler manages to win one of the races this weekend it would mark his first victory in the series in three years.

Austin Ducati's Pascal Picotte is yet another former winner at Mid-Ohio. The Canadian's last win on the Superbike tour came at Mid-Ohio in 1996. One of the big stories in the series this year is the strong showing by privateer Superbike riders. Californian Brian Parriott is sixth in the championships on his White Tip Racing Suzuki. Parriott has earned seven top-10 finishes in the championship this year. HSA Suzuki's Brian Livengood is ranked 10th. The Georgian has also scored seven top-10 finishes in the Superbike ranks.

For additional information contact Mid-Ohio at (614) 793-4600 or visit www.midohio.com.

Tune into Speed Channel for live coverage of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship on Saturday, July 27 beginning at 2 p.m., and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 28, with repeats on Tuesday, July 30 at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.

<pre> SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship Presented by Parts Unlimited Honda Super Cycle Weekend Presented by Dunlop Tires Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - July 26-28, 2002

Thursday, July 25 Practice (in the following order): 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM 1. Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport 3. Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock 2. Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme 4. MBNA

250 Grand Prix Chevy Trucks Superbike Practice 10:40 AM - 11:40AM Lunch Break 11:40 AM - 12:40 PM Mandatory Rider Briefing for All Classes 12:00 PM Practice (same order as morning session) 12:40 PM - 2:30 PM Chevy Trucks Superbike Qualifying 2:40 PM - 3:30 PM Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock Qualifying Even #s 4:20 PM - 4:40 PM Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock Qualifying, Odd #s 4:50 PM - 5:10 PM

Saturday, July 27

Practice (in the following order): 8:00 AM - 9:40 AM 1. Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport 3. Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock 2. MBNA 250 Grand Prix 4. Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Chevy Trucks Superbike Qualifying 9:50 AM - 10:50 AM Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport Qualifying, Even #s 11:00 AM - 11:20 AM Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport Qualifying, Odd #s 11:30 AM - 11:50 AM Chevy Trucks Superbike Practice 12:40 PM - 1:00 PM Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Qualifying 1:10 PM - 1:45 PM Chevy Trucks Superbike Race 1 (100K - 26 laps) 2:00 PM MBNA 250 Grand Prix Qualifying, 20 Minute Session Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock Race (60k - 16 laps)

Sunday, July 28 Practice (in the following order): 9:00 AM - 10:50 AM 1. Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport 2. MBNA 250 Grand Prix 3. Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme 4. Chevy Trucks Superbike

FINAL EVENTS (in the following order) 12:00 PM Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport Final (60k - 16 laps) MBNA 250 Grand Prix (60k - 16 laps) Chevy Trucks Superbike Race 2 (100k - 26 laps) 2:00 PM Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme (60k - 16 laps)

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Series AMA
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Miguel Duhamel , Doug Chandler , Aaron Yates , Eric Bostrom , Pascal Picotte , Wayne Rainey , Brian Parriott , Fred Merkel