HAYES GOING FOR THREE STRAIGHT AMA FORMULA XTREME WINS Ex-teammates battle in AMA Superstock PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 15, 2007) -- Josh Hayes has a two-race winning streak coming into Saturday's Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series...
HAYES GOING FOR THREE STRAIGHT AMA FORMULA XTREME WINS
Ex-teammates battle in AMA Superstock
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 15, 2007) -- Josh Hayes has a two-race winning streak coming into Saturday's Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series presented by HMR. The Erion Honda rider from Gulfport, Miss., is hoping to make it three straight at the famous Northern California circuit in round four of the 10 race series.
Hayes is the defending Formula Xtreme Champion and he's bounced back after bike problems at Daytona to win last month at both of the Birmingham, Ala., and Fontana, Calif., rounds. Those victories have moved Hayes into the series lead, 10 points ahead of Bay Area native Steve Rapp, of Attack Kawasaki. Rapp won the series opener, the Daytona 200, in March.
Hayes gives much of the credit to his early season success to his Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR.
"The bike I rode to the championship last year was great and this year's bike is everything that one was and more," said Hayes, who won the last round in Fontana by over six seconds. "I hope I can build leads like that at some of the other races this year, but I don't expect to. I'm sure the other guys in this class are going to step up to the challenge. There's a lot of talent in this field. Infineon is the one track where I didn't earn a podium finish last year. We had a very successful test there and my confidence is building after these two wins, so I'm looking forward to the race."
Hayes' teammate Aaron Gobert continues to climb rapidly up in the series standings. After scoring no points at Daytona, Gobert has scored consecutive runner-up finishes and has climbed to fourth in the championship. The determined Australian will be looking to continue his rise in the standings at Infineon.
Daytona winner Rapp is looking forward to returning to his home track and turning the momentum in his favor this weekend.
"Hopefully Infineon will be the turning point for me," Rapp said. "I'm 10 points behind Josh (Hayes) in the championship, so hopefully I can start earning some points there. It is my home track. I started racing there, and I feel comfortable there."
One other rider to watch for in Saturday's race will be Ducati's Larry Pegram. Pegram scored his first podium finish of the season at Fontana and the Ducati 749R Formula Xtreme bikes seems to be getting better each weekend.
There will be a new Infineon Formula Xtreme winner this year since no former winners are in the field.
In the AMA Superstock Series presented by Dynojet the story is a battle of former teammates. Ben Spies and Aaron Yates were together on the Yoshimura Suzuki squad for the last few years, but Yates was released by the team and picked up by Jordan Suzuki. Yates has given the team owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan its best results to date. He took the series lead with a victory at Barber Motorsports Park in April, but Spies stormed back to win in Fontana at the end of April and took back the series lead. Only nine points separate the former teammates coming into Infineon Raceway.
Spies is seeking his first Infineon Superstock win, while Yates has won the race twice -- in 1996 and 2005.
Yates' Jordan teammate Jake Holden was runner up to Spies in the last round and cracked the top 10 in the series standings. The Eatonville, Wash., rider will be looking to continue to move up in the rankings on Sunday.
Bay Area native Ben Bostrom is hanging tough in the series on his Graves Motorsports Yamaha. One of the few non-Suzuki riders in the series, Bostrom enters this Sunday's race third in the standings. He is looking for his first win of the year. History could be on Bostrom's side - Yamaha riders have taken two out of the last three Infineon Superstock races.
The Infineon Raceway rounds of Formula Xtreme and Superstock will broadcast on SPEED on Tuesday, May 22 at 12:00 pm Eastern.
The Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme presented by HMR and AMA Superstock Series presented by Dynojet races are part of the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown presented by Supercuts, which runs May 18-20. Tickets for the event are still available. Visit www.InfineonRaceway.com for addition information.