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Road Atlanta: Supersport preview

THREE-WAY DOGFIGHT FOR AMA SUPERSPORT COMING INTO ROAD ATLANTA PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 28, 2007) -- About the only sure thing in the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei is that this year's champion will likely have a...

THREE-WAY DOGFIGHT FOR AMA SUPERSPORT COMING INTO ROAD ATLANTA

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 28, 2007) -- About the only sure thing in the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei is that this year's champion will likely have a last name that begins with the letter H. Road Atlanta will host the penultimate rounds of the Supersport series this Sunday, Sept. 2.

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Roger Hayden and Jamie Hacking lead the series, with the youngest of the racing Hayden brothers holding an 11-point margin over the defending champ Hacking. A victory in the most recent round at Virginia International Raceway by Erion Honda's Josh Hayes has moved him back into contention for the title as well. Hayes is just seven points behind Hacking in third.

All this means that the Road Atlanta round will be extremely important in terms of how the championship will ultimately be decided.

Hacking comes into Road Atlanta perhaps with a slight edge. He's the defending and two-time race winner and is extremely motivated to come back and defend his Supersport championship.

"Road Atlanta has been a good track for me over the years," Hacking said. "Being second in the championship actually makes it a little easier in terms of what you've got to do. I've got to win there or at least finish in front of my teammate to have a real shot of winning this championship. We've got two races to go and it's not going to get any easier that's for sure."

Hayden feels like winning the Supersport title is something of unfinished business for him.

"I've been so close so many times," said Hayden, who has finished twice as a close runner up in the series. "I really want to win this championship for myself, but even more for my team who've done so much to put me in the position to finally get a championship. I know it's going to be a fight to the final race. The main thing I have to focus on is not making any major mistakes in these final two rounds."

It appeared that Mississippi rider Josh Hayes was out of the championship after a mishap took him out of the series lead at Laguna Seca in July. However, Hayes bounced back strong with a victory in Virginia two weeks ago and he wants to go out winning regardless of how the title chase turns out.

"Honda has given me a great bike this year, a championship bike," said Hayes, who has a series leading three race victories so far this year. "While the championship may be out of my hands now, the one thing I can do is go out and show everyone just how good this Honda is. If I can close out the year with three wins I'll go into the off-season happy knowing that the team did everything we could."

Honda last won the Road Atlanta Supersport race in 1999.

Riders such as Martin Cardenas of M4 EMGO Suzuki, Josh Herrin of Graves Yamaha and Steve Rapp of Attack Kawasaki are all major challengers for the win at Road Atlanta.

Local fans will be cheering for Geoff May, of the M4 EMGO Suzuki team. May is from Gainesville, Ga., and will be looking to score his first Supersport win at his home track. He's ranked fifth in the series and scored a season best runner-up finish at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, in June.

The Road Atlanta Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei will air live on SPEED starting at 2:00 pm Eastern.

The AMA Supersport round is part of the Rockstar Suzuki Superbike Showdown on Aug. 31 - Sept. 2. Advance tickets for the event may be purchased from the Road Atlanta web site, ticket office at 770.967.6143, or 1.800.849.RACE, weekdays between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. "Super" tickets include paddock access. Tickets may be purchased at the gate on race weekends.

Visit www.roadatlanta.com for additional information.

-credit: ama

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Series AMA
Drivers Steve Rapp , Jamie Hacking , Geoff May , Roger Lee Hayden , Josh Herrin , Martin Cardenas , Josh Hayes