Hayden Gets First Career Superbike Win at Auto Club Speedway; Herrin, Pascarella Also Victors FONTANA, CA (March 28, 2010) - It seems hard to believe, but today's AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike race saw a famous name in motorcycling...
Hayden Gets First Career Superbike Win at Auto Club Speedway; Herrin, Pascarella Also Victors
FONTANA, CA (March 28, 2010) - It seems hard to believe, but today's AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike race saw a famous name in motorcycling take his first win in the ultra competitive class. Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider, Tommy Hayden bounced back from a disappointing Saturday race in the windy conditions and came back after an overnight talk to himself to score his very first American SuperBike win at the Suzuki SuperBike Challenge weekend races at Auto Club Speedway.
Under calm and clear blue skies, the field was missing its' pole sitter as Aaron Yates suffered an unfortunate fall during Sunday morning's warm-up session. Yates, who also took pole position at the season opening SuperBike race at Daytona, was examined at the track infield care center and then transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for further examination of what was reported initially by the Jordan Suzuki team to be a right leg injury.
At the start, Saturday's race winner, Larry Pegram on his Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Ducati, took the lead with a hard charging Josh Hayes in second on his Team Graves Yamaha, followed by another fast starting John Hopkins on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki, Hayden and his Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate, Blake Young. Hayes showed his intentions early as he passed Pegram for the lead on lap two. Hopkins started to fall back as Blake Young and then, a few laps later, National Guard Suzuki rider Jake Zemke got by "Hopper" also. The first three then broke away and then Pegram showed his strength by just plain powering by Hayes on lap five while Hayden ran a patient third around the 21-turn, 2.36-mile speedway road course.
Young ran impressively as he closed on teammate Hayden but the big change happened up front when, completely unexpectedly, Larry Pegram slid down as he ran back onto the front straight banking on the end of lap nine. He was able to get back up and after a trip to the pits for an inspection, he rejoined the race and completed fifty percent of the distance giving him three valuable points.
Following Pegram's off, Hayes was leading again with a slight gap to Hayden and Young. Zemke was running a lonely fourth while behind him a fierce battle was being waged by M4 Monster Energy Roadracingworld.com Suzuki rider Chris Ulrich, young Canadian Brett McCormick on the Celtic Racing Suzuki and Ben Bostrom on the Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha. The three swapped places as fast as you could write it down and it was finally settled with Bostrom finishing sixth, McCormick seventh and Ulrich continuing his solid run of results in 2010 in eighth.
Rounding out the top ten was Taylor Knapp on his RidersDiscount.com Suzuki in ninth and David Anthony on the Aussie Dave Racing Suzuki in tenth. Meanwhile, back up front, it was a three-man race and Hayden started to inch closer to Hayes pulling off a textbook pass at the start-finish line on lap 18 and riding right around Hayes, who could do nothing but watch Hayden put years of trying to rest as he pulled away for a well judged and well deserved first AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike victory.
Blake Young made a run on Hayes but fell just short as he completed a strong one-three finish for Rockstar Makita Suzuki at the Suzuki sponsored event. Hayes took a solid second with Jake Zemke fourth. In victory lane AMA Pro Racing starter Bobby Lemming awarded Hayden with the checkered flag from the race in honor of his achievement. Hayden reflected after the race, "So many people have been asking me if this was going to be the weekend I finally won a race, and I have been asked this so many times it was starting to really get to me!"
Hayden continued, "I have felt good this year, we were close to a couple of wins at Daytona and other than yesterday when I just didn't run well in the windy conditions, I felt pretty good. Now I can just focus on racing and not worry anymore about when I'm going to win the first race."
Josh Hayes was pleased with his weekend too, "Yesterday I ran up front but I wasn't sure I belonged up there, today I felt better but I started making a few mistakes at the end, the heat made a difference today and I started feeling it while I was leading."
All in all, another great weekend for National Guard American SuperBike. A popular first time winner in Tommy Hayden and two exciting events run under very different conditions. Aside from that, everyone felt bad for Aaron Yates and the Jordan team and many people throughout the sport had him in their thoughts as they reflected on the weekends events.
Be sure to check your local listings for SPEED's coverage of this weekend's AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike races from Auto Club Speedway. Next on the schedule for AMA Pro Road Racing is Road Atlanta, scheduled to be held April 16-18. Herrin Prevails in Daytona SportBike Duel with Eslick at Auto Club Speedway
Once again, AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL provided one amazing afternoon of action-packed racing on the final day of the Suzuki SuperBike Challenge at Auto Club Speedway.
The talented group of riders showcased just how close and competitive the class is, with the field being led off the line again by Danny Eslick and his No. 1 GEICO Powersports Suzuki under sunny skies and calm condition. Saturday race winner Martin Cardenas on his No. 36 M4 Monster Energy Suzuki, Josh Herrin aboard his No. 8 Team Graves Yamaha, Dane Westby riding his No. 2 Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha all were back up front, but today there were new names to add to the hustling pack at the front. Steve Rapp riding a fast No. 15 Team Latus Motors Racing Ducati and Bobby Fong with his No. 30 DNA Energy Drink CNR Motorsports Ducati were in the mix. Herrin's No. 6 Team Graves Yamaha teammate, Tommy Aquino and Cory West also were part of the seven- to eight-bike freight train at the front of the field, West was riding his No. 57 Vesrah Suzuki once again.
Eslick led a fighting pack of riders that ran inches apart as they all scrapped for any open real estate on the busy but testing 21-turn, 2.36-mile Auto Club Speedway infield road course. Herrin, Aquino, Rapp, Cardenas, West and Clinton Seller on the No. 4 Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha battled behind the leaders and it was Cardenas who once again fought his way up to the front. He rose as high as third and it looked like a three way battle for the win until a slight gap opened up between the battling Eslick and Herrin.
Lap after lap, Herrin would just get Eslick at the start-finish line, only to have the order swap as the duo dove into turn one. At one point early on, the first seven were covered by around 1.9 seconds as the race ebbed and flowed. As Aquino dropped back, Rapp continued his good form and had a pretty good tussle with Cardenas, who looked like he was going to pull off another win today as he began to work his way back up to the front.
Rapp then fell back at one point but didn't take long to inch his way back to the front group to make it four riders with a real shot at victory. They were all going to have to beat an inspired Eslick, who rode his Suzuki like every lap was a qualifier. Herrin was giving no quarter as well as he continued to try Eslick on every time they both ran up onto the front banking of the speedway section.
The first big change came when the unfortunate Martin Cardenas fell as he entered the front banking on lap 13, allowing Rapp to get up to third. Cardenas rejoined to finish tenth. Meanwhile, there was another battle going on between Aquino, West and Fong. They also swapped positions lap after lap with the rapidly improving Fong taking fifth ahead of Aquino and West. West's Vesrah Suzuki teammate Chris Fillmore took eighth ahead of Seller, who finished about eight seconds in front of the disappointed Cardenas.
Back up front it was down to Eslick, Herrin and Rapp. Going into the last lap, Eslick had his motorcycle every way but straight as he did everything to hold off Herrin, but it wasn't to be and as Eslick led back onto the front straight banking on the final lap, Herrin calmly pulled out of the slipstream and passed him at the line to take the second win of the young season.
Herrin commented after the win, "I think I was trying to lead the most laps of the race without actually leading, I was talking to (SPEED TV announcer) Greg White last night and I guess I'm a better race finisher and I just seem to save myself a little for the end. This win is nice, usually I have a lot of friends here and I never run well so it's nice."
Eslick paid tribute to Herrin, "Every lap out there was like a qualifying lap, I was riding as hard as I could. It was great racing with Josh."
Rapp was also pleased with his finish, "We are a small team and the guys work really hard so this is great for Team Latus Racing.
Check your local listings for SPEED's coverage of this weekend's Suzuki SuperBike Challenge at Auto Club Speedway. After a wild, windy and exciting weekend of racing in California, the AMA Pro Road Racing Series heads to Road Atlanta, April 16-18 for the next round of the 2010 season. Pascarella Proves his Worth with Second Win in Race One at Auto Club Speedway Joey Pascarella took home every possible point from AMA Pro SuperSport competition at Auto Club Speedway during the Suzuki SuperBike Challenge, claiming pole position, leading every lap around the 21-turn, 2.36-mile speedway road course and winning both races under sunny California skies.
AMA Pro SuperSport is a class for the rising stars of the future are able to develop their skills under the halo of the big AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike and Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL weekends. One rider showing that he is someone to watch for now and the future is double-weekend winner Pascarella and his LTD Racing Yamaha team, putting on another display of skill and speed today as he won his second SuperSport race of the weekend, and third of the season, in dominant fashion.
After the winds of Saturday that delayed proceedings, Sunday was a picture perfect day for racing. Making a return to the field was Elena Myers and her Richie Morris Racing Roadracingworld.com Suzuki, feeling fine after her unfortunate coming together with Huntley Nash moments after the start of Saturday's race. This time, the field got away clean and everyone made it down to turn one. It was after that when things again got interesting when Myers had a close call with Nash and was actually touched by Scott Gilbert who was enjoying a superb weekend after his second place finish yesterday on his Team Graves Yamaha.
After the near miss, Nash on his LTD Racing Yamaha took up the chase of the quickly disappearing Pascarella with Gilbert in fourth, followed by a very fast starting Tyler O'Hara, a local Top Gun entry on his GP Bike parts Yamaha, Michael Corbino, another Top Gun entry riding the Aussie Dave Racing Yamaha and Eric Stump on his Rapidimage.com Honda.
As Pascarella again checked out to another time zone, all eyes were on Gilbert as he got by Elena and set off after Nash to rejoin their battle of Saturday. Myers and O'Hara waged their own battle until the later stages of the race when Myers pulled away to finish a record-setting fourth place, the highest yet for a female rider in AMA Pro Road Racing competition. Meanwhile, Nash and Gilbert were having a sensational race, Nash getting sideways under braking lap after lap and Gilbert doing everything he could to get by.
It was a contrast of styles and experience, as Nash hadn't seen the track until this weekend while Gilbert has many laps at Auto Club Speedway and even suffered a season ending injury here in 2008. Making his comeback in a big way, Gilbert got by Nash out of the horseshoe only to have Nash get right back by at the next right-hand turn under hard braking.
Gilbert passed Nash on more than one occasion but Nash got him back every time. On lap 14, the race had to be red flagged due to an unfortunate fall by Top Gun Lucas Oil Suzuki rider Chris Sromalla who, up to that point, had been having a pretty nice weekend. Sromalla was able to get safely out of harm's way but, due to his motorcycle being on the race line in the fast turn one banking chicane area, it was decided in the interests of safety to red flag the race. With over eighty percent of the event completed, the race was declared officially complete.
Pascarella, who was still in some discomfort from his mountain bike fall earlier in the week commented, "I just didn't feel that great today. I felt comfortable this morning but for some reason I didn't feel all that good in the race, I was making lots of mistakes."
Nash was very happy after the race, "I said yesterday that I didn't have many laps here and today I felt that a lot better, I was riding smoother and I really had a good time today. The bike was sliding a lot, I bet it looked good on TV."
Gilbert also had fun, "The track was slicker today. It was not how I like it but it was fine, I just kept trying, I would pass Huntley but he was really good under braking and he got me back."
Behind O'Hara was Top Gun Charles Strong riding his Envia Yamaha in sixth, Eric Stump in seventh, Michael Corbino eighth, Robert Tinagero on his G&B CyclePro Yamaha in ninth and Chris Sromalla in tenth as he was classified after his fall.
AMA Pro SuperSport heads to Road Atlanta for the next exciting round of this class for up and comers and if Joey Pascarella's form is any indication, he is clearly already on his way up!
-source: ama pro racing