JOSH HAYES DOMINATES AT ROAD AMERICA
Boca Raton resident, Stefano Mesa, made his presence known at Road America. The 16 year-old became a first-time AMA Pro race winner following a dash to the finish line (photo courtesy: AMA Media)
Two-time champion Josh Hayes proved simply unstoppable for a second straight day at the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader, powering away from the field to claim the checkered flag in what can only be viewed as demoralizing fashion by his would-be challengers.
The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha superstar simply owned Road America over the weekend, rounding off his maximum points haul weekend with a conquering 13.906-second victory on Sunday afternoon.
The flawless ride confirmed a turning of the season as the Mississippian has taken a big step forward in his search for a third consecutive AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike title. Hayes' Sunday win marked his sixth of the season, doubling his 2011 tally, and upping his career total to 23.
"I don't really know too much of what to say except the same things you always hear: big thank you to an amazing crew. I have an amazing crew, I have a great motorcycle, and it allows me to just come here and focus on one thing and that's riding my best.
"I've had a great race weekend; I've got good starts and my bike was just great from the beginning. We haven't really changed anything chassis-wise since last weekend at Miller. Things are just clicking and rolling well."
Meanwhile, Blake Young once again found himself dicing with Hayes' rookie teammate, Josh Herrin, rather than his title rival. Jordan Suzuki's Ben Bostrom continued his recent rise in form with another strong ride. The former World Superbike hero tagged along to Young and Josh Herrin in the race's early stages before fading to a lonely fourth.
Hayes' monster performance in back-to-back weekends has tilted the title fight decidedly in his favor. The champ now leads Young by 20 points (257-237).
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Martin Cardenas won the Sunday AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at Road America, turning the fastest lap of the race on his final time around to take victory against a five-rider pack. Cardenas, winning his sixth victory of the season, took the race by 1.01 seconds on his GEICO Suzuki when his strongest rival in the race, Cameron Beaubier of Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha, crashed in the last corner on the final lap.
“I made a good start and I tried to push and get into a good rhythm, to see if anyone could come with me to the front,” Cardenas said. “I knew the last two laps were important so when the time came, I pushed hard.”
Cardenas now leads the points in the class 206 to 159 over Jason DiSalvo.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
Stefano Mesa of Kneedraggers.com Yamaha won a wild AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race at Road America on Sunday. Mesa took victory in a dramatic race that came down to the final run to the stripe before first-time AMA Pro winner Mesa crossed the line first.
The last lap’s action spot was turn five. Mesa, Jake Lewis, who won Saturday’s Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race, and reigning SuperSport champ James Rispoli all came into the corner hot. Rispoli, on the inside, lost the front and crashed. That forced Lewis--who led most of the event--wide, and Mesa took the point.
“In the last lap, we all went way too deep,” said Mesa “(James) crashed, and it was a bummer for him, but I got the drive out of there.”
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series
Road America's three long straights dashed any plans polesitter Tyler O'Hara had for making a second breakaway as he found himself caught up in a three-way drafting battle with his Bartel's Harley-Davidson teammate, Michael Barnes, and Daytona race winner Kyle Wyman on the KLR Group/Vesrah Suzuki entry.
The three men traded positions repeatedly and brought three contrasting strategic approaches into the final lap. All were positioned where they thought they had the best possibility to win, but only Wyman was proven correct in his assessment.
"It's good to get the first win for our title sponsor, KLR Group, who came on after Daytona," Wyman said. "It was a good race. I knew it was going to be the three of us dicing it up. I figured out that I was pretty quick through the last few corners of the racetrack but very week in the Carousel. I figured if I could be out front at the end of the Carousel I'd be all right to the finish. I knew I could get a good drive out of the last corner. I led the whole last lap and it worked out to plan."
While falling short in his attempt to slingshot past Wyman by just 0.157, Barnes held off O'Hara at the flag to shuffle the championship leader back to third and further tighten the title race. O'Hara now leads with 138 to Wyman's 129 and Barnes' 123.
The 2012 AMA Pro Road Racing schedule picks back up for Round 6 following a couple weeks off at the immaculate Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL on June 22-24. 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/.