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Road America: Supersport preview

HAYDEN CAN SET NEW RECORD AT ROAD AMERICA SUPERSPORT RACE PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 30, 2005) -- There have been some great names who have won the AMA Supersport race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., over the years, but this weekend, June...

HAYDEN CAN SET NEW RECORD AT ROAD AMERICA SUPERSPORT RACE

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 30, 2005) -- There have been some great names who have won the AMA Supersport race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., over the years, but this weekend, June 2-5 at the AMA Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, Tommy Hayden has an opportunity to set himself apart. If the defending series champ wins he will become the first rider to earn three Supersport race wins in a row at the storied circuit.

Hayden, 26, of Owensboro, Ky., rides his Kawasaki ZX-6RR into Road America holding a slim eight-point lead over rival Yamaha's Jamie Hacking in the series standings. Hayden comes into Elkhart Lake with the confidence that a two-time winner of the event naturally has.

"I enjoy racing at Road America," said the oldest of the three racing Hayden brothers. "It's such a big track that there's a lot to learn there and it seems like I figure out something new every year."

Hayden realizes he's in a dogfight with Hacking over this year's championship.

"It's going to be tough to hold Jamie off," Hayden explained. "We're halfway through the season now and he's been solid and consistent all year. I think it's going to come down to who can keep from making a mistake. If you make one error in this series it can drop you out of the picture for the championship."

Hayden could become the second all-time winner in AMA Supersport with a victory this weekend.

Hacking has matched Hayden with two wins so far this season and finished on the podium in all five races. The British-born rider earned his very first AMA Supersport win at Road America and is hoping to get back atop the podium this Sunday.

"Our bike handles really well," Hacking said of his factory Yamaha R6. "At Road America it will be a question of horsepower more than handling. Hopefully I'll be able to get in Tommy's draft and we can get away from the field and have our own little race. That's probably wishful thinking with the talent in the Supersport field. I'm just going to hope to have a good qualifying run and pick up points anyway I can."

If Hacking finds a way to win at Road America it would mark the first win for Yamaha in the race since Hacking's 1999 victory.

After finishing 21st at Daytona with equipment problems, Roger Lee Hayden has sprinted all the way back to third in the standings. He's coming off a victory at the last round in Colorado and feels confident going into the second half of the season.

"We really needed that win at Pikes Peak," said the youngest Hayden bother. "I came into the season injured from a bicycling training accident, but my team and Kawasaki stuck by me and things are really starting to go my way. My brother has a pretty good lead in the championship, but I'm just going to keep trying to win races and see what happens."

Ben Spies on his Yoshimura Suzuki is fourth in the standings. The speedy Texan is still looking for his first win this season.

There is a great "race within a race" for the top non-factory rider in the series. Currently Australian Ben Attard is leading the way ranked seventh on the Attack Kawasaki team, but he is closely followed in the points by Topline Printing Yamaha's Chris Peris, Geoff May of the M4 EMGO Suzuki squad, Kneedraggers.com Yamaha's Robert Jensen and flat tracker Danny Eslick on the MPTracing.com Suzuki. Only 15 points separate those five riders as the series enters the second half.

Attard has been steadily getting better with each round and scored a season best fifth at Pikes Peak. His Attack Kawasaki has the kind of power that could put him in a real position to win at Road America. If he does he would be the first privateer rider to win the race since Todd Harrington did it on a Kawasaki in 1996.

The Road America Supersport race will be televised live Sunday, June 5 on SPEED Channel beginning at 2 p.m. EST.

For ticket information on the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader call 1-800-365-RACE or visit www.roadamerica.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 Tommy Hayden , Geoff May , Roger Lee Hayden , Ben Spies , Chris Peris , Ben Attard , Robert Jensen , Danny Eslick