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Supersport Road America preview

Hacking looking to extend points lead at Road America Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport Championship presented by Shoei PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 3, 2003) -- Yamaha's Jamie Hacking could join an elite club of riders this Sunday, June 8, in the Pro...

Hacking looking to extend points lead at Road America
Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport Championship presented by Shoei

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 3, 2003) -- Yamaha's Jamie Hacking could join an elite club of riders this Sunday, June 8, in the Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport presented by Shoei race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. Miguel Duhamel, Doug Polen and Aaron Yates are the only three riders in the history of the series to win multiple AMA Supersport races in Elkhart Lake. This weekend Hacking hopes to join that club. The 1999 Road America Supersport winner comes to Elkhart Lake with the series lead, three race wins to his credit, and is determined to earn his first AMA Championship.

There have been three winners in this year's Pro Honda Oils Supersport series, but Hacking is the only rider to have more than a single victory and as a result he's leading the series. Hacking is the leading man in blue with Yamaha's domination of the series standings. His teammates Damon Buckmaster, Aaron Gobert and Jason DiSalvo are ranked second, third and fourth respectively. The first non-Yamaha rider is Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden, who is fifth in the series standings coming into Elkhart Lake. The points chase is close at mid-season with the top six riders essentially within a race win of each other in the championship standings.

Hacking comes into this Sunday's race with the reassurance of being the most successful Supersport rider at Road America in recent years. Over the last four outings in Elkhart Lake, Hacking has earned three podium finishes including his 1999 victory, which came on a Yamaha -- the maker's last victory at the well-known track. "Elkhart Lake has been a good track for me," said 31-year-old Hacking, who is in his seventh year of AMA professional racing. "It's one of those places that the draft comes into play on the long straights, but there are enough technical parts of the track to separate the riders who really have their bike set-up well. I predict a good race with a bunch of Yamahas up front again."

Hacking is referring to the race last week at Pikes Peak where the top four Supersport finishers were riding Yamahas. The last time a single brand took the top four spots in the ultra-competitive Supersport series was in October of 1997, when Suzuki riders took the top four spots in Las Vegas.

Damon Buckmaster shared a brief lead in the championship points with Hacking, but dropped 10 points adrift after finishing fourth at Pikes Peak International Raceway last Sunday. Buckmaster is a former Formula Xtreme winner at Road America so he has the know how to win at the high-speed circuit. He was runner-up to Aaron Yates in last year's Supersport race.

Aaron Gobert continues his strong comeback from injuries that kept him out of most of the 2002 season. He comes into this race ranked a close third in the series. The middle of the three racing Gobert brothers, Aaron, will make only his second appearance in a Supersport race at Road America. The Aussie finished eighth there in 2001.

Another rider to watch at Road America is Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden. The eldest of the three racing Hayden brothers, Tommy has four-straight top-five Supersport finishes at Road America under his belt, so he obviously has the experience to be a major contender at the Wisconsin circuit.

Suzuki is riding a two-year Supersport winning streak at Road America with rider Aaron Yates. Yates is not competing in the Supersport this year, instead concentrating on Superbike where he leads that championship. Stepping ably into his shoes is young Texan Ben Spies, who won the Supersport race at Road Atlanta and is looking to take home his second victory of the season.

The all-time leading AMA Supersport rider is Miguel Duhamel. With five Road America Supersport wins dating back to 1991, Duhamel leads that category as well. It's not known if Duhamel will race Supersport at Road America. The well-liked veteran broke his collarbone in a Supersport racing accident a month ago in Sonoma, Calif., and has been concentrating his efforts in the Superbike series. If he elects to ride his factory Honda at Road America he will certainly be a top contender.

Doug Chandler is another former Supersport winner at Road America. Chandler would love to break through with a victory this Sunday. Chandlers' best finish so far this season on the No Limit Honda is sixth at Fontana, Calif., in April. He is ranked ninth coming into this race.

For ticket information call (800) 365-RACE or visit www.roadamerica.com. The Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport Championship race from Elkhart Lake will broadcast live at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, June 8.

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 Miguel Duhamel , Tommy Hayden , Jamie Hacking , Doug Chandler , Aaron Yates , Damon Buckmaster , Ben Spies , Aaron Gobert