HACKING LOOKS TO MATCH AMA SUPERSPORT RECORD AT MID-OHIO PICKERINGTON, Ohio (September 25, 2006) -- Yamaha's Jamie Hacking has already clinched the 2006 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, but he still has one more goal...
HACKING LOOKS TO MATCH AMA SUPERSPORT RECORD AT MID-OHIO
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (September 25, 2006) -- Yamaha's Jamie Hacking has already clinched the 2006 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, but he still has one more goal left to pursue. If Hacking wins the series finale at Mid-Ohio this weekend, he will tie Miguel Duhamel's single-season record of eight straight wins.
Hacking's utter domination of the normally ultra-competitive Supersport class has been one of the big surprises of the 2006 season. Hacking took the win at California Speedway in April and never looked back. The British born North Carolinian has won every race since - seven straight. It easily could have been eight, but for the rained out race in Sonoma, Calif., where Hacking had earned the pole.
"It's hard to believe how well this season has gone," said Hacking, who also won the Repsol Superstock Series, becoming the first to win AMA Supersport and AMA Superstock in the same season since Doug Polen in 1988. "Yamaha has given me great motorcycles and I think I'm riding better than I ever have in my career."
Duhamel dominated the championship in the mid-1990s. In 1995 he rode his factory Honda to eight straight wins. Duhamel went on to win the first two races in 1996 to set a class record of 10-straight wins. His eight consecutive victories in one season seemed to be a record that might never be touched yet now Hacking is on the verge of at least matching it.
"Miguel is feisty and kind of temperamental about his records," Hacking joked after winning Road Atlanta. "He might get kind of mean if I do it. I'm not going to jinx myself and say I'm going to tie him. I just want to carry on and have a good race at Mid-Ohio and go into the off season healthy."
While Hacking focuses on getting through Mid-Ohio cleanly, the season-long battle for second in the championship will finally be decided.
Geoff May, of M4 EMGO Suzuki, holds second coming into Mid-Ohio. It's been a breakout year for the Georgian and he would like to hold on to second in the final standings. Danny Eslick and Ben Attard are close enough to overtake May for the runner-up position and it should be a good race between them in the finale.
May's teammate Michael Barnes is the veteran of the class and he's had a phenomenal comeback season in 2006. The only thing left for the Floridian to do to put an exclamation mark on his season would be to go out with a victory. If Barnes manages to pull off a win at Mid-Ohio it would mark the longest span between wins in the history of Supersport racing. Barnes' only other victory in the class came in 1989.
Besides Hacking, the other rider perhaps most expected to win the Mid-Ohio Supersport race is Kawasaki's Roger Lee Hayden. Hayden won at Mid-Ohio in 2004 and again last year. He spent most of the season riding with an injured leg -- broken in a fall at Barber Motorsports Park in April. But Hayden's healthy now and a win in the last race would set the tone going into the 2007 season.
The Pro Honda Supersport finale is part of Mid-Ohio's AMA Superbike Shootout. It's the first time the AMA road racing season has concluded at the picturesque circuit in Lexington, Ohio.
The Pro Honda Oils Supersport race at Mid-Ohio will be televised on SPEED will air with same-day coverage starting at 5:00 pm eastern, Oct. 1.
Tickets for the AMA Superbike Shootout are available now by calling 1-800-MID-OHIO or logging on to www.midohio.com.