HACKING HOPES TO CONTINUE AMA SUPERSPORT HOT STREAK AT VIR PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 14, 2006) -- Yamaha's Jamie Hacking is in the middle of one of the best seasons in the history of the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by ...
HACKING HOPES TO CONTINUE AMA SUPERSPORT HOT STREAK AT VIR
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 14, 2006) -- Yamaha's Jamie Hacking is in the middle of one of the best seasons in the history of the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei. The North Carolinian is riding a five-race winning streak as the series moves to Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., on Sunday, Aug. 20.
Not since Miguel Duhamel's dominating performance in the series in 1995, when he won nine of 11 races, has a rider been in such command of the highly-competitive Supersport series. Hacking, 35, has won five straight coming into VIR, owns a massive 59-point lead in the standings, and gives much of the credit to his crew for his success this summer.
"My bike is working great," Hacking said after winning at Mid-Ohio. "I owe everything to my crew and everyone who has put in the long hours on that motorcycle and enabled me to do what I can do on it and that's run off in the corners and be comfortable. I'm riding 110 percent every weekend. I'm not giving anybody any slack and I'm not backing off. I'm having to work for every one of these."
As tough as he's been in the series Hacking is still seeking his first VIR Supersport victory this weekend.
Defending VIR Supersport winner Roger Lee Hayden, of Owensboro, Ky., spent much of the first half of the season coming back from a broken leg. Now Hayden is healthy, but he's found running with Hacking a tough assignment.
"He's running better everywhere on the track than I am right now," Hayden admitted after finishing second to Hacking at Mid-Ohio. "This weekend we were closer [at Mid-Ohio] than we have been, so we have to build on that and move on. My leg's not a problem on the bike, right now I just have to get better as a rider."
Hacking and Hayden are the class of the field at this point of the season, but a number of top riders are battling over third in the championship.
Team M4 EMGO Suzuki's Michael Barnes, a 37-year-old veteran from Boca Raton, Fla., showed impressive speed in the last round, leading major portions of the race. He pulled a gap on Hacking and Hayden early at Mid-Ohio, only to be caught just past the halfway mark. If Barnes manages to hold his lead and win one of these races it would mark his first Supersport victory since 1989. That would be the longest time span between wins in the history of the class.
While Barnes has been a crowd favorite all season for his sheer staying power, Danny Eslick has wowed fans with his backing-it-into-the-turns riding style aboard his Matsushima Performance Suzuki. Oklahoman Eslick is showing his flat track racing roots with his eye-catching style of braking. Besides Barnes there is not another rider in the field that hardcore fans would love to steal a victory in Supersport than Eslick.
Australian Ben Attard has been consistent all season on the Attack Kawasaki, but is still seeking his first podium. Attard is ranked fourth in the series behind Hacking, Hayden and Eslick. Geoff May, teammate to Barnes on M4 EMGO Suzuki, rounds out the top five in the series. May, who resides in Gainesville, Ga., is trying to find consistency in his Supersport rides, where he's finished as high as second and as far back as 24th.
The VIR Supersport race will be broadcast live nationally on SPEED. The show begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern this Sunday, Aug. 20.
This weekend's Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei is part of Virginia International Raceway's Big Kahuna Nationals presented by Parts Unlimited in Alton, Va., on August 18-20. For additional information call 434.822.7700 or visit the website www.virclub.com.