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Road America: Supersport preview

Hayden Hoping to Start First Winning Streak in AMA Supersport; Defending Road America winner is Series Leader PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 28, 2004) -- Tommy Hayden hopes to become the first rider in this year's Pro Honda Oils Supersport ...

Hayden Hoping to Start First Winning Streak in AMA Supersport; Defending Road America winner is Series Leader

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 28, 2004) -- Tommy Hayden hopes to become the first rider in this year's Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei to get a winning streak started. The 25-year-old Kawasaki rider leads the championship coming into Road America and is the defending winner of the race. Hayden took the last round at Pikes Peak International Raceway and will try to win back-to-back races, something no one has been able to accomplish so far in the highly competitive Supersport class. Next Sunday's race is part of Road America's Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader weekend, June 4-6 in the resort town of Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Hayden sports a 14-point lead over his brother and Kawasaki teammate Roger Lee Hayden as the AMA Supersport Championship moves into the second half of the 11-race season. Last year it was Tommy beating his younger brother at Road America to win his first race on the scenic four-mile road course. This year the eldest Hayden is looking to not only extend his series lead, but he could move into a tie with Jamie Hacking and Doug Polen for fourth on the all-time AMA Supersport wins list. Hayden comes into Road America with the knowledge that he's never finished outside the top five in the race in the last five years.

"It feels good the way the season's gone so far," said Hayden, who has twice been runner-up in AMA Supersport. "I'm optimistic, but I've been too close too many times to get very excited at this point in the season. Road America is one of my favorite tracks and I've done well over the years there. I won last year, but that was in the rain so I don't know if that counts. Your bike has to have a lot of power there and my team has our Kawasaki running really well so it should be a good weekend."

Roger Lee Hayden recently earned his first AMA road race victory with his Supersport win at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. He's going to try to keep his older brother from putting daylight between them in the series standings and a victory this weekend could draw him virtually even with Tommy in the series standings.

Yamaha won the AMA Supersport title last year. The company has all three of its factory riders, Aaron Gobert, Jamie Hacking and Jason DiSalvo, plus Prieto Racing Yamaha's Michael Barnes inside the top 10. That's four riders in the top 10, more than any other manufacturer at this point in the season. Hacking, the No. 1 plate holder in the class, is looking forward to Road America. The Carolinian is a former Supersport winner at Road America and will be looking to earn his first victory in the series this year.

Suzuki's top Supersport riders coming into Road America are Ben Spies, Steve Rapp and Aaron Yates. Yoshimura Suzuki teammates Spies and Yates are on the comeback trail after either missing or not scoring in early rounds of the series. Yates cracked the top 10 in the standings with an eighth-place result at Pikes Peak last week. A two-time Road America Supersport winner, Yates may not be in the championship picture just yet, but he'll be anxious to close out the second half of the season on a high note.

The Road America Supersport race will receive same-day coverage on SPEED Channel on Sunday, June 6, starting at 3 p.m. Eastern. For additional information on the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader weekend call (800) 365-RACE or visit the track's website at www.roadamerica.com.

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Series AMA
Drivers Steve Rapp , Tommy Hayden , Jamie Hacking , Aaron Yates , Roger Lee Hayden , Aaron Gobert , Michael Barnes