Tommy Hayden brought home a podium finish in the second of two AMA Superbike races in the series double-header weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on Sunday afternoon (Round 8 – AMA Superbike Series, Race 2). Although Hayden had struggled in Saturday’s race and finished sixth, on Sunday the Kentucky native put all the proverbial pieces together and captured a third-place finish on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000. This result marks Hayden’s seventh visit to the AMA Superbike podium this year and he is currently second overall in the championship points standings.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Blake Young was right there with Hayden all the way and finished in fourth place. Superbike rookie Young got a good start and battled with his teammate before settling into fourth place in the 21-lap race. Finally, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin struggled a bit with set-up this weekend and finished in seventh position. Despite this result, the six-time AMA Superbike Champion still leads the overall championship points standings by more than100 points with just three rounds left in the season.
Tommy Hayden Speaks…
"I was trying to get as close as I could to the guys in front of me, but this place is tricky to pass. There’s only a couple of places where you can really get by. One is off the back straightaway and both these guys are really strong there. They were definitely making the race a little tougher for me. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 was pretty good, though, and we made a few small changes so it was a little bit better than yesterday… I’m feeling good – the whole weekend has been strong, I’ve been on pace and was definitely disappointed yesterday. I felt we were way better than that and it feels good to bounce back a little bit. I’ve come close to winning a few times this year but I just can’t seem to make that next step. So we’ll keep working on that and hopefully we’ll get there."
Blake Young Speaks…
"I had a good start today on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000. We weren’t leading but we were definitely there and I ran in third for a few laps. Then some guys came by and they were setting a really good pace compared to yesterday. All our laps today were more consistent, a lot better and a lot faster. We made some improvements on the bike that really helped us and that we’ll be able to benefit from at the next race."
Mat Mladin Speaks…
"It’s no secret that we’ve struggled a bit this weekend. We have some issues that need to be sorted out. We’ve been working on it, but so far we haven’t come up with anything that allows me to feel comfortable enough on the bike to really push it. But we’ll keep trying and hopefully come back stronger for the next race."
AMA Superbike Top 10 Finishers
1. Josh Hayes, Yamaha
2. Ben Bostrom, Yamaha
3. Tommy Hayden, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
4. Blake Young, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
5. Larry Pegram, Ducati
6. Michael Laverty, Suzuki
7. Mat Mladin, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
8. Geoff May, National Guard Jordan Suzuki
9. Neil Hodgson, Honda
10. Taylor Knapp, Buell
AMA Superbike Points Standings
1. Mat Mladin, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
2. Tommy Hayden, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
3. Ben Bostrom, Yamaha
4. Josh Hayes, Yamaha
5. Larry Pegram, Ducati
6. Blake Young, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing
7. Geoff May, National Guard Jordan Suzuki
8. Aaron Yates, Jordan Suzuki
9. Taylor Knapp, Buell
10. David Anthony, Suzuki
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race next at Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kansas, the weekend of July 31 – August 2, 2009.