Tommy Hayden: First Superbike Win
Rockstar Makita Suzuki had a great day on Sunday, the second half of the Round 2 AMA SuperBike doubleheader at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
Tommy Hayden and his No. 22 Suzuki GSX-R1000 got his first-ever SuperBike win after taking the lead with three laps to go in the 21-lap race. Tommy’s teammate Blake Young rounded out the podium with his third-place finish in the race, making for a Rockstar Makita Suzuki 1-3 on the box Sunday afternoon.
Hayden started first off the grid on Sunday after placing second in qualifying, as the pole sitter MJM Suzuki’s Aaron Yates was injured in the mornings practice and unable to start the race.
Hayden stayed near the front of the pack watching the leaders trade spots throughout the first half of the race. By the midway point, Hayden made a calculated move into second and Young followed suit moving into third. With three laps left in the race, Hayden saw his opportunity made a spectacular move into first place. He rode his GSX-R1000 to the checkered flag, the first of his SuperBike-class career.
Now in his fourth year on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki SuperBike team, Hayden was relieved to finally get that first SBK win out of the way.
"It’s really strange for me since I’ve won a lot of races and even championships in other classes, and I’m racing a lot of the same guys now in the SuperBike class," Hayden said. "It seems like it’s never the same guy who beats me, and it’s always a guy who I’ve beaten plenty of times before. Whatever the reason, I haven’t been able to put it together. It feels good to finally get that weight off my shoulders."
The first race of the doubleheader on Saturday didn’t go according to Hayden’s plan, as high winds and stiff competition found Hayden finishing sixth.
"Saturday, I was really disappointed the way the race went," Hayden said. "I feel like I raced poorly and it was a disaster for me. I had a long talk with myself and I came back Sunday and definitely redeemed myself."
Hayden is now the veteran of the team and feels he should be racking up wins for the whole organization.
"Before on the team I had Ben [Spies] and Mat [Mladin] who always won races, so it didn’t feel like too big of a deal if I didn’t win," Hayden said. "But now I feel it’s my responsibility to, no matter what, be there and represent the team who deserves, at minimum, be battling for the lead."
Hayden is currently second in overall points for the season. Click here for the Hayden interview video on the win.
Blake Young put together a great race on Sunday with his Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000. He moved into third place midway through the race and defended his position through to the checkered flag. Young also clocked the best lap time of the race with a 1:24.428, faster than any of the other racers on the track.
This was Young’s first podium finish of the 2010 season and an improvement on his fifth-place race finish on Saturday. Young’s sophomore year in the SuperBike class is now starting to heat up.
"Obviously, I would’ve liked to win, but it’s good getting on the podium," Young said. "It’s one step closer to getting a win, so it’s good to get it out of the way here in California at the Auto Club Speedway…what I wouldn’t call one of my strong tracks. It’ll be good to get out of here with some points."
Young was also very thankful to the crew who works tirelessly to put together a great race bike for him.
"The guys work really, really hard for me in the shop and on the track, and they’ve been building on a really good setup. I want to thank them for not giving up and continuing to work hard for me." Young is currently fifth in the points standings going into Atlanta for Round 3 on April 16-18.
The Suzuki GSX-R1000 filled up seven of the top-10 spots in the SuperBike class, with two of them on the podium thanks to the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team.
AMA Pro SuperBike – Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.
Sunday, March 28, 2010 – Results
1. Tommy Hayden Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000
2. Josh Hayes
3. Blake Young Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000
4. Jake Zemke National Guard Jordan Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000
5. John Hopkins M4 Monster Energy Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000
6. Ben Bostrom
7. Brett McCormick
8. Chris Ulrich M4 Monster Energy Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000
9. Taylor Knapp RidersDiscount.com Suzuki GSX-R1000
10. David Anthony Aussie Dave Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000
AMA Pro SuperBike – Overall Standings
1. Jake Zemke 106
2. Tommy Hayden 95
3. Larry Pegram 70
4. Josh Hayes 67
5. Blake Young 67
6. Aaron Yates 59
7. Ben Bostrom 52
8. Chris Ulrich 49
9. Taylor Knapp 45
10. Brett McCormick 37