DUBLIN, Ohio (July 25, 2002) - With just two weekends left in the AMA Pro Road Racing season, every point matters. Hosting two Superbike races and a Supersport, Superstock, 250 Grand Prix and Formula Extreme race, the Honda Super Cycle Weekend ...
DUBLIN, Ohio (July 25, 2002) - With just two weekends left in the AMA Pro Road Racing season, every point matters. Hosting two Superbike races and a Supersport, Superstock, 250 Grand Prix and Formula Extreme race, the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will determine the fate of a number of racers, July 26-28.
Nicky Hayden has attempted to ride his Honda away from the Superbike field in 2002 with seven wins in the first twelve races, gathering a 36 point lead over second place Eric Bostrom. The 20-year-old won one of the two Superbike races at Mid-Ohio in 2001, and also won two races in 1999 at the circuit.
"Mid-Ohio is always a fun race for me," said Hayden. "It's the closest race to home so a lot of my friends from Owensboro usually come up. It's a challenging track. You have to be at your best to do well here because of the combination of tight turns and high-speed sections. It's a real racers' track."
Despite Hayden's success, he hasn't been able to lose the entire field. Thanks to eleven top-5 finishes in 2002, including wins at Pikes Peak and Leguna Seca, Eric Bostrom has done his best to keep up the pace. The 25-year-old has improved his finish in the Superbike standings each of the previous four seasons, and a second place finish in last year's battle leaves only one place to go.
"We have a better fight with the championship and with getting every point available," said Bostrom. "We've been the fastest guy lately, but have been at a disadvantage at some of these long straightaway tracks. These last couple of tracks (Mid-Ohio and Virginia International) don't have huge straightaways, so it's playing into our hands."
Currently in third place, Miguel Duhamel cannot be counted out at Mid-Ohio. A veteran of twelve AMA road racing seasons, the Lasalle, Quebec native has won two previous Superbike races at Mid-Ohio, along with five 600 SuperSport races.
Many of the support series championships could be affected by the Mid-Ohio race as well. In Superstock, Jimmy Moore is attempting to defend both his series and Mid-Ohio crowns after his 2001 points championship. Lee Acree, who led the series early in the year, will finish the season at his home track of Virginia International Raceway, adding to Moore's pressure.
Eight 250 Grand Prix class racers are still mathematically alive, but all roads to the championship lead through two-time 250 Grand Prix champion Chuck Sorensam. Sorensam has captured four wins this year and won at Mid-Ohio in 1999. Sixth place Richard Oliver has won three of the last four races (and finished second in the fourth race) but may not be able to overcome early season mishaps.
If Aaron Yates races as strongly this weekend as he has so far in 2002, one championship will be clinched at this weekend's event. Yates was unable to race at Mid-Ohio in 2001 due to injury, but captured both Superbike wins in 2000 as well as a win in 1998. Including his 1996 Superstock win at the track and the fact that the 28-year-old needs just to finish in the top-10 to clinch the championship, things look good for Aaron Yates.
Just nine points separate the top three places in Formula Extreme with two races remaining. Jason Zemke has just one win (July 14 at Laguna Seca), but finishing on the podium in all but one race this season has vaulted the 26-year-old to the top of the points list. Jason Pridmore, who has won twice this season and has three career wins at Mid-Ohio, and Damon Buckmaster, who has won three times this season, are just eight and nine points behind, respectively.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is located approximately halfway between Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio off of Interstate 71. Commonly referred to as the "Most Competitive in the U.S.", Mid-Ohio hosts six events throughout the summer. For event information or tickets, call 1-800-MID-OHIO or visit us on the web at www.midohio.com