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Lagua Seca Supersport preview

Hacking and Hayden looking to join Laguna Seca's exclusive triple-winner club in AMA Supersport. PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 3, 2003) - Jamie Hacking and Tommy Hayden are hoping to join an exclusive club of riders who have won three AMA Supersport...

Hacking and Hayden looking to join Laguna Seca's exclusive triple-winner club in AMA Supersport.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 3, 2003) - Jamie Hacking and Tommy Hayden are hoping to join an exclusive club of riders who have won three AMA Supersport races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Based on recent performances at Laguna, Hacking and Hayden are the heavy favorites coming into round nine of the 11 race Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, which will be held on Friday, July 11 as part of the Honda Superbike Classic, a combined AMA and World Superbike weekend.

The Hacking/Hayden duo has won four of the last five Supersport races at Laguna Seca. Hacking leads the series on his factory Yamaha R6 while teammate Damon Buckmaster is second in the standings, 15 points back. Hayden is a somewhat distant third in the standings, but is by no means out of the championship picture. A victory at Laguna Seca on Friday for Hayden would go a long way in closing the gap on Hacking and Buckmaster.

While Yamaha riders are one and two in the championship, all of the manufacturers have had their moments in the sun. Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha and even Suzuki -- the one manufacturer that did not make major updates to its 2003 Supersport machine -- have all earned victories this season. The Supersport class perennially produces some of most competitive racing and the 2003 season is no different.

Hacking is optimistic about the upcoming Laguna Seca race and is hoping to give Yamaha its first Supersport win at the circuit since he won on a Yamaha R6 in 2000.

"There are a bunch of riders who have proven they can win this year," said Hacking, who has finished on the Laguna Supersport podium four of the last five races there. "I've always done pretty well at Laguna and it would be nice to open up my series lead with another win there. As a racer you never feel you have a big enough lead in the standings until you get the checkered flag in the final race."

Buckmaster has ridden well at Laguna Seca. In 1999 he earned a podium finish in the Supersport event in addition to winning the Formula Xtreme race there in 2001. The Aussie is looking for his first career Supersport victory.

Miguel Duhamel won three AMA Supersport races at Laguna Seca during the 1990s. The cagey veteran continues to be a threat in Supersport and is coming off a victory in the last round in Brainerd, Minn. While Hacking and Hayden are hoping to join Duhamel and Mike Smith as the only three-time Supersport winners at Laguna, Duhamel is aiming to become the first four-time winner of the race. Honda has won more Laguna Seca AMA Supersport races than any other manufacturer, but if Duhamel can win, it will mark the first victory for the maker at the circuit since 1997.

Suzuki will pin its hopes primarily on Ben Spies. The former AMA Horizon Award winner surprised everyone by taking victory in the Supersport final at Road Atlanta in May on a Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R600.

The Laguna Seca round of the series will be taped and shown on Speed Channel at 3 p.m., Sunday, July 14. For additional information, contact (800) 327-SECA or visit www.laguna-seca.com.

-ama-

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Series AMA
Drivers Miguel Duhamel , Tommy Hayden , Jamie Hacking , Damon Buckmaster , Ben Spies , Mike Smit