Tommy Hayden: 2004 AMA Supersport Champion PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 12, 2004) -- Tommy Hayden broke through to win his first AMA road racing title by taking home the 2004 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship Presented by...
Tommy Hayden: 2004 AMA Supersport Champion
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 12, 2004) -- Tommy Hayden broke through to win his first AMA road racing title by taking home the 2004 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship Presented by Shoei with a conservative sixth-place finish aboard his Kawasaki ZX-6R Sunday at Virginia International Raceway.
Hayden held an 11-point lead in the series over younger brother Roger Lee coming into the VIR finale. The championship boiled down to those two and Tommy simply tucked in behind Roger and kept him in sight for the entire race.
Tommy acknowledged winning the Supersport title is a special accomplishment for him. "I've been second and third in the championship so many times that it's a relief more than anything to finally win a championship," he said. "Having to wait these extra three weeks added to the feeling of relief. You can play things in your head as many times as you want, but until you get out there [on the track] you never know what it's going to be like."
This is Hayden's tenth year in AMA road racing. He's finished runner-up in a series four times, including once to his brother Nicky in the hard-fought 1999 Supersport campaign. Hayden's championship marks only the second time in AMA road racing history that brothers have won championships. With Tommy's title he and Nicky share that distinction with Ben and Eric Bostrom.
Hayden explained that the pressure building up to this race may have gotten to him. "I crashed here in practice and I don't think I've crashed in two years."
Future plans for Hayden are uncertain at the moment, but he affirmed his satisfaction with Kawasaki and his desire to return to AMA Superbike racing. "They know that's what I want to do and we're working on it."
Hayden also expressed faith that his youngest brother Roger Lee will soon follow in his and Nicky's footsteps to become the third Hayden brother to win an AMA title next year. "If Roger keeps riding like he did in the second half of this season he'll get a championship real soon."
Kawasaki shares in the glory with Hayden by winning its third AMA Supersport championship and an impressive one-two finish in the series. Eric Bostrom won the AMA Supersport title on a Kawasaki in 2001 as did Miguel Duhamel in 1993.
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.