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Pikes Peak: Supersport preview

Hayden's breakthrough victory could mark trouble for competition Brother act 1-2 in Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 19, 2004) -- If you're born a Hayden you're born to race and win. Oldest...

Hayden's breakthrough victory could mark trouble for competition
Brother act 1-2 in Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 19, 2004) -- If you're born a Hayden you're born to race and win. Oldest and middle brothers Tommy and Nicky Hayden have numerous wins to their credit, but until last Sunday youngest brother Roger Lee was the odd man out. After five years of being one of the top up-and-coming riders in AMA professional racing, Roger finally broke through to win his first National in the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., last Sunday. This weekend the young Kawasaki ace will be riding the momentum of his win as the series moves to Pikes Peak International Raceway on May 22 and 23 for the AMA Superbike Weekend presented by Honda Motorcycles and 2nd Annual "Gravity Check" Extreme Games.

With the confidence he gained with his first victory Hayden may be a tough rider to deal with in the coming rounds. Especially considering the twisty, 1.3-mile Pikes Peak circuit, which should be a good circuit for Hayden who excels at the more technical tracks.

"It definitely feels good," Hayden said after winning in Alabama. "When you try to do something for five years and to finally get it done. I've been beaten so many times by (just) that close. When I got that checkered flag -- I don't know -- it felt like a ton of bricks was lifted off my shoulders."

The win moved Hayden to within five points of his oldest brother and Kawasaki teammate Tommy Hayden as the series moves to the mid-season. While not happy about losing such a close race last weekend in Birmingham, Tommy found at least some consolation in who nipped him at the line.

"Obviously I want to win, but if I'm going to get beat, I guess Rog is probably the only one I can actually accept without being too mad," said Tommy, the 2002 Pikes Peak Supersport winner. "Also being my teammate -- Kawasaki 1-2 -- that's even better."

The Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship is living up to its reputation for consistently being the most competitive series in AMA road racing. It's been four different winners in four rounds leading up to Sunday's race. The top six riders are within a single win of leading the series standings.

Defending champion Jamie Hacking led a Yamaha clean sweep of the Pikes Peak Supersport race last year. Hacking is a close third in the series standings, but surprisingly the British-born rider is still looking for his first win this season. By this time last year Hacking already had already tallied two wins. He'll be looking to become the fifth different winner this season and earn his third Pikes Supersport victory.

Yamaha's Aaron Gobert and Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies round out the top five in the Supersport standings. Both have been improving in the series as the season progresses. Aussie Gobert is coming off his first podium finish in the series last weekend. Spies started from nothing after he failed to finish in the season opener at Daytona. Since that time however, the speedy Texan has rallied into championship contention.

The Pikes Peak Pro Honda Oils Supersport race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern. For additional information on the AMA Superbike Weekend presented by Honda Motorcycles and 2nd Annual "Gravity Check" Extreme Games call toll free at (888) 306-7223 or visit www.ppir.com.

For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information, regular columnists and much more, log onto www.USSuperbike.com, the official website of the AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship.

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 Chevrolet Motocross Championship, the AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship, the AMA Progressive Insurance 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 Nicky Hayden , Tommy Hayden , Jamie Hacking , Ben Spies , Aaron Gobert