THREE-WAY TITLE CONTEST IN AMA SUPERSPORT COMING INTO LAGUNA PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 17, 2007) -- The Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei is traditionally one of the closest competitions in all of AMA racing. This...
THREE-WAY TITLE CONTEST IN AMA SUPERSPORT COMING INTO LAGUNA
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 17, 2007) -- The Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei is traditionally one of the closest competitions in all of AMA racing. This season's championship chase has only added to the series' 20-year legacy. When the Supersport riders roll into Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday, July 21, fans will witness a fierce three-way battle for the 2007 title. The race is part of the jam-packed Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend July 20-22 in Monterey, Calif.
Erion Honda's Josh Hayes, of Gulfport, Miss., leads the Supersport Championship coming into Saturday's event, round seven of 11. Hayes has watched his once solid series lead dwindle to just nine points over rival Roger Hayden, the Owensboro, Ky., of Monster Energy Kawasaki.
Hayes scored a season low seventh at the most recent round at Miller Motorsports Park due to an overheating problem with his bike. He'll be looking to rebound with a good performance at Laguna Seca. His previous best result in the race was eighth in 2001. He figures to improve on that this weekend.
Another major concern to Hayes is the mid-season charge being made by Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jamie Hacking. Hacking, the defending series champ of Denver, N.C., has worked his way back into position to win a third Pro Honda Oils Supersport title after a spectacular crash at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, in April.
Not only is Hacking the hottest Supersport rider coming into Laguna Seca, he's also the all-time Laguna Supersport wins leader, having earned a record fourth victory at the scenic circuit last year.
"Our goal is to win this championship again," said Hacking, who won the most recent round in Tooele, Utah. "I've never given up and have clawed my way back into this thing. I'm really looking forward to going back to Laguna Seca. Obviously I've had a great history there and if I can get another win we'll be right where we need to be going into the homestretch."
Roger Hayden has a ton of incentive for doing well at Laguna. He has aspirations of joining his brother Nicky on the MotoGP circuit and a win in front of the team bosses this weekend could do nothing but improve his image among the world championship teams. The youngest of the three racing Hayden brothers is also a two-time runner up in AMA Supersport and he'd love to finally earn a national championship after eight years in the pro ranks. Hayden will be pulling double duty at Laguna, riding a MotoGP bike for Kawasaki as well.
Steve Rapp is a native of Northern California and he would love to turn in a good ride at Laguna Seca aboard the Attack Kawasaki. Rapp is ranked fourth in the series and already has scored a podium finish this year. Other riders who have been strong in recent rounds include M4 EMGO Suzuki riders Geoff May and Martin Cardenas and Erion Honda's Aaron Gobert. Any one of those riders is a threat to win at Laguna. Both Hayes and Gobert are looking to give Honda its first Laguna Supersport victory in ten years.
Yoshimura Suzuki's Tommy Hayden is another former Laguna Seca Supersport winner. A third career victory at the track this weekend could turn the season around for the eldest Hayden brother. He's ranked fifth coming into the race with his best result a third in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
The Laguna Seca round of The Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei will air on SPEED, Sunday July 22 at 6:00 pm Eastern.
Tickets for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend are available by calling 1-800-327-SECA (7322) or visiting www.laguna-seca.com.