Hayes and Bostrom win WERA endurance race
Professional road racers Josh Hayes and Ben Bostrom teamed up with Sam Gaige and team M3 Racing at the WERA Cycle Jam at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), winning the Heavyweight Superstock class in the 4-Hour WERA National Endurance Series race on a Yamaha YZF R-1, outfitted with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa DOT race tires.
Gaige, of Rochester, New York, said, "Mark Rozema, Melissa Paris’ mechanic set this whole thing in motion and I thought that Melissa and Josh were going to share the riding with me. Everyone but me knew that Ben was showing up to ride but I had no idea until I came in from practice and he was standing in our paddock area. Ben came over to me and said ‘Hi, Sam. Do you mind if I ride with you guys?’ They had set me up; it was pretty funny.
"It was a great experience. My R-1 isn’t at all like the ones they race but that didn’t matter to them. We did this just for fun and it’s the first time I’ve done a WERA National Endurance race. It was all a last-minute deal. So we didn’t have any expectations beyond just having a good time. It was amazing watching those guys ride. Josh is really hard on the brakes and we wore through a set of pads during the race because of that. Ben has a completely different style. But we only used one Pirelli SC3-compound front tire for the entire race, and three rears."
M3 Racing is managed by Sam Gaige and Mike Cerone, whose son Michael III is the basis for the team’s name. The team’s owner is Mike’s mother, known simply as Moms. Gaige said, "She’s the best. And personally I also need to thank my lovely wife, my 12-week-old baby, and our two Chihuahuas."
The endurance race at VIR was held on Friday, in 90-degree heat and 90% humidity. Hayes started for the team, Bostrom rode second with Gaige taking the third stint, and Hayes climbed back on the bike to ride out the clock to the finish line. Doing the crew choirs for M3 Racing were Jeff, Bret, Ryan, Rob, and Blake, plus team photographer Jeff Kovack. The Pirelli race tires were handled by regional race vendor Rick Koger, though M3 racing is regularly supported by Rich Cronrath.