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Road America: Supersport preview

HACKING AIMING FOR SECOND ROAD AMERICA AMA SUPERSPORT VICTORY PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 30, 2006) -- It was seven years ago that Jamie Hacking last won the AMA Supersport event at Road America. The 34-year-old factory Yamaha rider from Denver,...

HACKING AIMING FOR SECOND ROAD AMERICA AMA SUPERSPORT VICTORY

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 30, 2006) -- It was seven years ago that Jamie Hacking last won the AMA Supersport event at Road America. The 34-year-old factory Yamaha rider from Denver, N.C., is hoping to find the right combination this Sunday, June 4, to win the race for a second time.

Hacking leads the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei by 25 points over Danny Eslick. Even though he enjoys the series lead Hacking believes having such a margin can make a rider complacent.

"The last thing I want to do is sit back and think I have this championship won," said Hacking, the 2003 AMA Supersport champ. "I'm going out in every race with the goal of winning. It's way too early in the season to do anything else."

The last round of the series at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., was rained out, but at Road America the bikes will race rain or shine. Hacking says the track throws a lot at a rider.

"Road America is a long track with a lot of variety," he said. "You need to have a bike with good top speed to do well there. Drafting comes into play and a lot of times the races come down to a last-lap showdown. I'm looking forward to getting back to the track. It's been awhile since I won a Supersport race there, but I feel like I have a good chance to get another one this year."

Kawasaki has won the last three Road America Supersport races with Tommy Hayden. Tommy is focusing on Superbike this season and will not defend his Supersport victory. However, little brother Roger Lee would love nothing better than to keep the race's trophy in the family. Hayden is recovering from an injury suffered in a Superbike crash at Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham, Ala., in April. He plans to race this weekend. With two wins in the series Hayden is still ranked fifth in spite of missing the California Speedway round. He hopes to be able to get back up to speed quickly. Hayden feels he still has a chance to come from behind to win the championship.

"I've got a long way to go, but it's not over," said Hayden. "If I can get healthy here and start winning some races, you never know how it might end up."

The rain out at Infineon should play to Hayden's advantage since he'll have had two more weeks of healing.

Danny Eslick is a rider who is building confidence with each race. The Matsushima Performance Suzuki rider scored his first Supersport podium result last month at California Speedway and looks primed to continue to improve his results.

"I'm happy with the progress I'm making," said Eslick, an Oklahoman and former flat track racer. "I think my goals might be shifting a little bit since we've come out so strong this season. It's still tough beating the factory riders, but we're chipping away and coming closer."

Geoff May and Ben Attard are both running inside the top five in the series standings and hope to make some noise in the series before the season's done. May, who rides for Team M4 EMGO Suzuki, is looking to improve on his sixth-place result at Road America last year. Australian Attard is hoping to ride his Attack Performance Kawasaki to his first podium finish of the season.

The sleeper in the Supersport championship is factory Yoshimura Suzuki rider Ben Spies. While he's 19th in the standings and likely out of the championship hunt, the way Spies is riding he is certainly a threat to win anytime he rides. Spies could become the first rider in 11 years to win both the Road America Superbike and Supersport races.

The race will be televised on SPEED Tuesday, June 6 at 4 p.m. Eastern.

The Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei event is part of Road America's Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader on June 1-4 in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. Tickets for the event can be purchased by calling 1.800.365.RACE or visiting www.roadamerica.com.

Camping is available and children under 12 are admitted free.

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Geoff May , Ben Spies , Ben Attard , Danny Eslick