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Pikes Peak: Supersport preview

HAYDEN ON THE CUSP OF HISTORIC AMA SUPERSPORT MARK PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 18, 2005) -- For nearly 10 years Mike Smith held the distinction of being the second winningest rider in AMA Supersport history. Since 1996 Smith's name, with 13-career...

HAYDEN ON THE CUSP OF HISTORIC AMA SUPERSPORT MARK

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 18, 2005) -- For nearly 10 years Mike Smith held the distinction of being the second winningest rider in AMA Supersport history. Since 1996 Smith's name, with 13-career wins in the class was just one line down from Miguel Duhamel's likely unbeatable record of now 41 Supersport wins. This weekend, May 21-22, in the Pikes Peak International Raceway round of the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, a new name may occupy that spot under Duhamel. Tommy Hayden, who tied Smith with his 13th-career win last week at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., could become the second all-time wins leader in the series with a victory at PPIR.

"Pikes Peak is a fun track," said Hayden. "It's a physical track where you never really get to rest. If you have your bike set up well it takes a lot less effort to deal with the track. Even though it's pretty tight there are a couple of good places to pass and since there are so many laps you usually have to deal with lapped traffic. It's different than any other track we go to. Jamie (Hacking) goes good there too, so it should be a good race."

With his victory last week on his factory Kawasaki, Hayden moved into sole possession of the series points lead over his Yamaha rival Jamie Hacking. Already the championship is looking more and more like a two-man battle. Hayden trying to defend his first AMA championship won last year, and Hacking hoping to win back the title, his first also, that he earned in 2003.

Both Hayden and Hacking have each won the Pikes Peak Supersport race twice. If either wins Sunday they will become the first three-time winner of the race.

Yamaha's Jason DiSalvo, coming off a second-place finish last week in Sonoma, sits alone in third in the standings. He's hoping a second half rally in the series will move him into contention for the 2005 title.

Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies is fourth in the standings holding the point on a slew of riders within 13 points of one another going all the way back to Chris Peris in 10th. Suzuki is having a tough year in Supersport this season. Spies and M4 EMGO Suzuki rider Geoff May (ranked eighth) are the only Suzuki riders in the top 10. But Spies can never be counted out. He can win races on sheer talent something he did in the class last year.

Suzuki last won the Pikes Peak Supersport race with Larry Pegram in 1998. Roger Lee Hayden continues to work his way up in the standings. After his factory Kawasaki had mechanical problems at Daytona and left him in 21st in the series, the youngest Hayden brother has moved all the way up to fifth in the standings.

Attack Kawasaki's Ben Attard is another rider making a surge. A pair of seventh-place finishes in the most recent rounds have moved the Aussie into seventh in the standings.

Honda has no direct factory effort in Supersport this year, instead giving backing to Justin Filice, the teenage son of Motorcycle Hall of Fame racer Jimmy Filice. A former flat track racer, Filice is hoping to move up from his 18th ranking with a strong performance at Pikes Peak. Honda last won the race in 1997 with Miguel Duhamel.

The race will be televised on SPEED Channel Sunday, May 22 starting at 4:00 pm Eastern.

All tickets for the Pikes Peak AMA Superbike Weekend presented by Honda are general admission seating. Junior tickets are available for persons 6-15 years of age. Senior tickets are available for persons 60 years of age or older. The track also features a weekend package includes practice/qualifying day ticket, raceday ticket and infield/garage pass each day. For additional ticket information call (888) 306-7223 or visit www.ppir.com.

About AMA Pro Racing

AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the THQ AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship, the AMA Superbike Championship, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.

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Series AMA
Drivers Larry Pegram , Miguel Duhamel , Tommy Hayden , Geoff May , Roger Lee Hayden , Ben Spies , Chris Peris , Ben Attard , Justin Filice , Mike Smit