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Mid-Ohio Supersport preview

Hacking seeking first Mid-Ohio victory AMA Pro Honda oils U.S. Supersport Championship presented by Shoei PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 21, 2003) - AMA Supersport racing star Jamie Hacking comes to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for round nine of the ...

Hacking seeking first Mid-Ohio victory
AMA Pro Honda oils U.S. Supersport Championship presented by Shoei

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 21, 2003) - AMA Supersport racing star Jamie Hacking comes to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for round nine of the 11-race Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport Championship presented by Shoei on Sunday, July 27, looking to accomplish something he's never done at Mid-Ohio -- earn a victory at the circuit. Hacking has been racing professionally at Mid-Ohio for six years and he's led races there, including the Supersport race in 2001, but to this point he's yet to taste victory at the noted Lexington, Ohio track. Despite his lack of success at Mid-Ohio, the South Carolinian is considered the pre-race favorite to win the ultra-competitive AMA Supersport race during this week's Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop.

Hacking leads the 2003 Supersport championship by 26 points over Yamaha teammate Damon Buckmaster. A victory in the series is worth 37 points. Hacking and Buckmaster have separated themselves from the rest of the talent-laden Supersport field. Erion Honda's Alex Gobert, the youngest of the three racing Gobert brothers, is a distant third in the points chase and is leading a very tight group of riders that are in all likelihood battling for third in the series. A mere 23-points separate third-place Gobert from Jason DiSalvo, who is ranked tenth in the standings.

The fact that Hacking has never won at Mid-Ohio does not bother him. "I've grown as a rider and I have a great team behind me," said Hacking, who is tied for fourth with the legendary Doug Polen on the all-time AMA Supersport wins list. "There's been a few tracks where I've had a tough time in the past, but was able to do well at this year. Sears Point (Infineon Raceway) comes to mind. I look forward to racing at Mid-Ohio and I'm going to do my best to get a win there."

Hacking is looking for his fifth victory in the AMA Supersport Championship this season. He's coming off a victory in the last round of the series in Monterey, Calif. Hacking is one of five winners in the series this year and is the only rider who has managed to win more than one race. He's made the podium in all but two rounds. If Hacking wins Mid-Ohio it would mark the first Supersport victory for Yamaha at the track since another Jamie, Jamie James, won the race in 1994.

Hacking's rival and teammate Buckmaster, last year's Mid-Ohio Formula Xtreme winner, has turned in one of his typical consistent season's in Supersport. He's scored a top-10 finish in every round including three podium appearances, yet he's still trying to earn his first career victory in Supersport. "Bucky" is good at Mid-Ohio. He was runner-up in the Supersport race there last year to series champion Aaron Yates. One disadvantage for Buckmaster may be that he is splitting his energies between two classes. In addition to being in the Supersport title chase he's also in a heated battle for No. 1 in Formula Xtreme.

A rider who can never be counted out at Mid-Ohio is Honda's Miguel Duhamel. Duhamel has more Supersport wins at Mid-Ohio than any other rider with five victories in the race dating back to 1991. Duhamel scored a win earlier this year in Brainerd, Minn. The Canadian racing veteran is 11th in the standings coming into this race, mainly due to missing races after breaking his collarbone earlier this season.

Others to watch for Sunday include Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden. Hayden has scored podium finishes in four of the last five years of Supersport racing at Mid-Ohio. He was involved in one of the best motorcycle races ever at Mid-Ohio when his brother Nicky made a daring last-lap pass on him in the 1999 Supersport race. Suzuki's Ben Spies also may be a factor in the race. He won the prestigious AMA Horizon Award at Mid-Ohio as an amateur and is considered perhaps the leading up-and-coming rider in the series. Both Hayden and Spies have won Supersport races this year.

For additional information call 1-800-MID-OHIO or visit www.mid-ohio.com. The race will be shown live on Speed Channel at 12 p.m. EST.

For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information, regular columnists and much more, log onto www.USSuperbike.com, the official website of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship.

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Series AMA
Drivers Tommy Hayden , Aaron Yates , Damon Buckmaster , Ben Spies , Alex Gobert