AMA

Mid-Ohio: Supersport preview

HAYDEN GOING FOR THIRD STRAIGHT MID-OHIO SUPERSPORT VICTORY Hacking looks to keep season streak going PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 1, 2006) -- It's been a tough year for Kawasaki's Roger Lee Hayden. The heir apparent to this year's Pro Honda Oils ...

HAYDEN GOING FOR THIRD STRAIGHT MID-OHIO SUPERSPORT VICTORY
Hacking looks to keep season streak going

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 1, 2006) -- It's been a tough year for Kawasaki's Roger Lee Hayden. The heir apparent to this year's Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, Hayden instead broke his leg in an early season crash. However, as the championship moves to Mid-Ohio this Sunday, Aug. 6, Hayden is nearly fully recovered and hoping to become the first rider to win three straight Mid-Ohio Supersport races.

Hayden, who was Supersport runner up to his older brother Tommy in each of the last two seasons, started the year off with back-to-back wins and the series lead. Then came his crash in the Superbike race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., on April 23. The injury caused him to miss the next round in Fontana, Calif. He then bravely came back at Road America in June, riding to a fourth-place finish. He's been improving ever since.

"My main goal now is just to win some races and close the year out strong," Hayden said after finishing second in the last round in Monterey, Calif. "I really haven't rode that much since I broke my leg so I was feeling a little bit better as the weekend went on."

While Hayden was recuperating Yamaha's Jamie Hacking went on a major winning streak of his own. Hacking, the 2003 AMA Supersport champ, is enjoying a four-race winning streak coming into Mid-Ohio. If Hacking wins Sunday it would mark the longest winning streak in a single season in the class since Miguel Duhamel's eight-race run in 1995. The British-born Hacking has built a 54-point lead over Hayden with four rounds remaining.

"I don't want to change anything I've been doing," Hacking said of his strategy for the rest of the season. "I haven't been pushing it real hard to win. My team has given me a bike that's so good that I've been able to ride well within my limits. I'm not going to push it too hard or risk it all to win at this point, but if things keep going they way they have been I think we can get a few more victories before the season is over."

Hacking could give Yamaha its first Mid-Ohio Supersport win since 1994. Danny Eslick, of the Matsushima Performance Suzuki team, leads a close three-way battle for third in the standings. Attack Kawasaki's Ben Attard and M4/EMGO Suzuki's Geoff May are also vying for that spot.

Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies is leading the AMA Superbike Championship and has found the endurance needed racing both classes to turn in some good results in Supersport as well. At Laguna Seca Spies finished third. Mid-Ohio is a homecoming of sorts for Spies. It is the track where he made his AMA pro debut in 2000.

The Pro Honda Oils Supersport presented by Shoei final this Sunday is part of Mid-Ohio's Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire. The track has recently completed major track renovations.

The Mid-Ohio Superbike races will be televised on SPEED on Tuesday, Aug. 8 starting at 3:00 p.m. eastern.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-MID-OHIO or online at www.midohio.com.

-ama-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Miguel Duhamel , Jamie Hacking , Geoff May , Roger Lee Hayden , Ben Spies , Danny Eslick