AMA Racing: Yamaha Leads Title Fights

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Mid-Ohio Superbike

Yamaha racers had a perfect day at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, July 17, finishing 1-2 in the AMA Superbike race, winning the Daytona SportBike race and sweeping all three podium positions in SuperSport.

As they have done twice before this season, Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes and Pat Clark Motorsports’ Ben Bostrom rode their YZF-R1s to first and second in the opening round of the weekend’s two Superbike races, while Graves’ Josh Herrin won the Daytona SportBike race aboard his YZF-R6.

And in SuperSport, R6-mounted J.D. Beach and Cameron Beaubier went 1-2 on Saturday, with Yamaha improving on that to finish 1-2-3-4 on Sunday under the command of Beach, Beaubier, Tomas Puerta and Huntley Nash, respectively. Y

Yamahas now lead all three championships, with Hayes ahead in Superbike, Herrin ahead in Daytona SportBike, and Beach leading SuperSport.

Despite a scary crash in Superbike qualifying that resulted in an injured thumb, the tenacious Bostrom qualified third behind Hayes and rival Tommy Hayden.

He and Hayes attacked hard in Saturday’s Superbike race, leading each of the 21 laps to nearly a photo finish, with Bostrom just 0.219 sec. behind Hayes at the flag.

The pair went on to finish Sunday’s race with Hayes second and Bostrom in fourth, his thumb too traumatized for him to go any faster.

“Ben is a talented rider and he can dig deep, that’s for sure,” praised Yamaha road race team manager Tom Halverson. “As for the championship, it’s going to be a fight for Josh Hayes for the rest of the year. He’s strong and happy with the bike, and is completely ready for it. He is riding like a champion right now.”

Josh Herrin had to work hard for his Daytona SportBike win on Saturday, spurring his R6 to the front on the final lap.

But it still wasn’t over, as Herrin had to defend against rivals Bobby Fong and Martin Cardenas, ultimately winning by just 0.045 sec. Graves teammate Tommy Aquino was fifth aboard another R6.

At the conclusion of Saturday’s race Herrin had a comfortable 30-point advantage over Danny Eslick in the championship. But things can turn quickly in racing, and that’s exactly what happened on the last lap of Sunday’s race two.

While running second, the back end snaked wide on Herrin under braking, bike and rider parted company, and the R6 cart-wheeled spectacularly.

But Herrin ran to the still-rideable R6, now minus a windscreen and handlebar, and finished the race-and thus managed to leave Ohio with the points lead.

“Josh has really developed into a mature racer,” Halverson added. “He hasn’t made a mistake in quite a while, and it was great to see him recover from this one and get back on track.”

2010 AMA Superbike Points – 7/18/10
1) Josh Hayes – Yamaha – 285
2) Tommy Hayden – Suzuki – 281
3) Jake Zemke – Honda- 245
4) Larry Pegram – Ducati – 209
5) Blake Young – Suzuki – 197

2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Points – 7/18/10
1) Josh Herrin – Yamaha – 249
2) Danny Eslick – RMR Suzuki – 247
3) Martin Cardenas – M4 Suzuki – 222
4) Steve Rapp – Ducati 848 – 190
5) Cory West – 164