JOSH HAYES ROLLS AT BARBER
Elena Myers, the first female to win a professional race at Daytona International Speedway, rode to a fifth-place finish at Barber Motorsports Park (photo courtesy: AMA Pro Road Racing Media)
Two-time defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike king Josh Hayes hit the quarter-century mark on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park, registering the 25th victory of his SuperBike career. The Mississippian’s AMA Pro Road Racing double win at the Triumph SuperBike Classic also marked his eighth triumph of the season and his fifth in succession.
While much was made of the learning opportunity Hayes' Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, enjoyed on Saturday by racing on the SuperBike champ's rear wheel, Hayes was made all the wiser by that experience as well.
Unwilling to give Herrin a chance to cling on again, Hayes raced exceptionally hard early and quickly eliminated any hope Herrin or any other rival might have entertained about sticking with him today.
Hayes ultimately took the checkered flag with a 4.988-second margin of victory.
"I got a decent start and slotted in right behind Josh," Hayes said. "I eased up inside of him in Turn 4 and got in there. At that point I just tried to get back into a rhythm. Things were going pretty good -- at one point I opened up a second on Josh and was kind of holding it there for a couple laps. When I saw that he took it back, I said, 'okay, don't deviate from your game plan,' because I was doing a good pace and not making mistakes. I wanted to keep up a good steady pace and see what happened and then I came around and saw a three-second gap. There you go. It's so hot and so slippery -- there was the mistake I was waiting to see if it would happen. I maintained my gap and stayed clear and had a good smooth race."
Team Amsoil/Hero EBR's Geoff May continued his mid-season run of impressive performances, working his way past Michael Jordan Motorsports teammates Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki) and Roger Hayden (National Guard Jordan Suzuki) on successive laps and then breaking away to claim a clear fourth.
Hayden stormed past Bostrom on lap 19 of 21 to steal the final position in the top five.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier pulled the perfect weekend in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike at Barber Motorsports Park, winning pole, both races and both lap leader points for Y.E.S/Graves/Yamaha in Alabama. Beaubier cleared off in the last couple of laps to win over Dane Westby (M4 Suzuki) by 2.163 seconds in a repeat of the top two finishers from Saturday.
After a post-Daytona injury sidelined him, Beaubier has returned to competition with a vengeance. The Californian has been a factor in recent GoPro Daytona SportBike races but took his first pole and wins this weekend. Westby made a bid with four laps to go, but Beaubier was able to rally and consolidate the lead.
“It feels awesome to get my first win and then back it up the next day,” said 19-year-old Beaubier. “It was weird because my first lap wasn't very good at all. I then got through a few guys and got out front and I felt pretty good out front. I didn't feel very good in second because it was super easy to get shuffled back. Out front I felt really comfortable, I tried to save my tires as much as I could, and towards the end I put my head down and pushed really hard to get away.”
After the race, Westby said he wished he’d waited until the final lap to make his charge but was positive about his form this weekend.
Points leader Martin Cardenas took his GEICO Suzuki to third place and expanded his points margin over second place points man Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Castrol Triumph) who finished sixth. DiSalvo now trails Cardenas by 51 and fell into a tie with Westby. Early leader Tommy Hayden of Y.E.S/Graves/Yamaha took fourth, ahead of Bobby Fong (Meen Motorsports), rewarded with a top five result.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
James Rispoli (Orient Express Celtic Racing) got back to his winning ways in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 2 at Barber Motorsports Park, holding off Jake Lewis (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) by just 0.038 in a drag race to the line. The lead group, including third place finisher Tomas Puerta and Hayden Gillim of the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team, outlasted the two red flags and 17 laps to make it a four-way fight to the finish.
Rispoli, the defending Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport National champ, was able to shine in the event but the final outcome was in jeopardy until Rispoli crossed the line the very last time. As the final lap began, Rispoli led over Puerta, then Lewis and Gillim. Lewis made his way past the Colombian and set out to take Rispoli’s spot, but couldn’t mount a successful maneuver in the favored passing area Turn 4 or the final turn. Lewis did, however, set up a good run to the flag and nearly passed Rispoli at the line.
“The red flags were pretty tough. Every time we went back out it seemed like the tires got a little bit greasier. Us dirt trackers were really sliding it around and I think I was sliding around a little bit more than anybody else. It was crazy. It went all the way down to the wire,” said Rispoli. “In the end we played our cards smart. I broke hard in the places I needed to, I defended where I needed to, and we got back up on top of the box.”
Puerta took third, over GIllim. Suzuki On Facebook SportbikeTrackGear.com pilot Elena Myers finished fifth, ahead of Dustin Dominguez (Latus Motors Racing Triumph) who was collected in the first portion of the race by Stefano Mesa (Kneedraggers.com Yamaha). As the red flag was called because Dominguez was pinned under the air fence, the Oklahoman was forced to start at the back of the grid. Mesa took seventh, ahead of Ryan Matter (Gearzy Yamaha), Eric Stump (EyeballNYC.com Yamaha), and Corey Alexander (National Guard Fairhills Group Celtic Racing), who had an issue on the last lap and lost five spots.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series
KLR Group/Vesrah Racing's Kyle Wyman came out victorious following an 11-lap dogfight with AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series title leader Tyler O'Hara to secure his third XR1200 victory of the '12 season. The two title rivals made a rapid escape from the chasing pack and then waged an intense duel for the checkered flag over the race's waning laps.
Wyman slipped into first for good on the race's last lap and heavily defended his line in the contest's final few corners to narrowly hold off his Bartel's Harley-Davidson-backed opponent by a scant 0.047 seconds at the stripe.
"It was huge to have KLR Group at the race and I really wanted to get a win for them," Wyman said. "It was a great. It was a good race at the front -- a lot of dicing and battling. There were different places on the track where he was a little bit stronger and other places where I was stronger and I just tried to make the most of those and be there at the end. It all paid off for me."
AMA Pro Road Racing will immediately pack up and head to NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, LA for a two-day official series test on June 26-27. The next round of the 2012 AMA Pro Road Racing season will be the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, OH on July 13-15. For tickets and information about the Big Kahuna Miami, scheduled for September 21 - 23, 2012 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, visit http://www.m1powersports.com/big-kahuna-miami/.