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Utah: Supersport preview

HACKING RULES THE ROOST IN AMA SUPERSPORT PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 13, 2006) -- Yamaha's Jamie Hacking, of Denver, N.C., brings a two-race winning streak to Sunday's Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei at Miller Motorsports...

HACKING RULES THE ROOST IN AMA SUPERSPORT

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 13, 2006) -- Yamaha's Jamie Hacking, of Denver, N.C., brings a two-race winning streak to Sunday's Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.

Hacking's victory earlier this month in Elkhart Lake, Wis., pushed his lead to 32 points over Team M4 EMGO Suzuki's Geoff May. That makes his lead in the series this year much more comfortable than the 10-point advantage he held over Damon Buckmaster at this same point in the season in 2003, the year Hacking won his first AMA Supersport championship.

Hacking credits his crew for giving him a motorcycle that is fast from the first lap of practice.

"My Yamaha R6 has been fast right out of the truck," Hacking said. "We don't really have to work on the bike really that much, and just makes for nice smooth races. We've been getting good clean starts and that's allowed me to settle into my own pace."

The only thing that worries Hacking coming into Utah is the eagerness of his competitors to make a name for themselves by finishing in front of him.

"Right now I've been pretty much in control," he continued. "The rest of the riders have nothing to lose at this point. The starts are the time when I have my guard up. That's when things are most likely to happen."

While Hacking has made Supersport his domain this season, the Team M4 EMGO Suzuki pair of Geoff May and Michael Barnes are the best of the rest of the field at mid-season. May scored a runner-up finish to Hacking at Road America, while Barnes has earned consecutive podium finishes.

May is second in the standings and is staying focused on being steadier in the second half of the season.

"I've been up and down in Supersport," May said. "I've been good enough to be second in the standings, but I'm still not happy with my consistency. That's what I want to concentrate on for the rest of the season, staying up there on the podium in every race."

Barnes, the veteran of the series, is in the middle of a strong rally after suffering a crash in the opener at Daytona that resulted in knee surgery.

"I'm really happy with the way things have been going since my return," Barnes said. "Sometimes it seems like we've been chasing the best settings for the bike during race weekends, but when the green flag drops I've had a great bike under me and that's all I can ask."

Matsushima Performance Suzuki's Danny Eslick has been outstanding at times in the series this season. At Road America the Oklahoman actually made a pass on Hacking early in the race. He's hoping to find that kind of speed for an entire race at Miller.

Pre-season favorite Roger Lee Hayden looks to be improving in spite of riding with a broken leg suffered in a Superbike crash in Alabama in April. At 42 points down in the standings with six rounds remaining Hayden's hope of catching Hacking are remote, but the hard-riding Kentuckian is not the kind of rider to give up. He's counting on another strong second half of the season -- as he had in 2005 when he won four of the last six races -- to give him a shot at chasing down the series leader.

The Pro Honda Supersport race is part of the Honda Summit of Speed. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Visit the website www.millermotorsportspark.com for additional information.

-ama

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Series AMA
Drivers Jamie Hacking , Geoff May , Damon Buckmaster , Roger Lee Hayden , Michael Barnes , Danny Eslick