AMA Superbike: Laguna Seca Review
Sunday’s AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike race at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix was won by a rider who loves everything about Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and he has the record here to prove it.
Ben Bostrom and his Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha team culminated a very special weekend by winning from the pole position to capture his third career AMA Pro SuperBike victory. Bostrom also won here last year in Daytona SportBike and also a World SuperBike race here in 1999.
Finishing second was points leader Josh Hayes aboard his Team Graves Yamaha. Hayes led the race early and fought all the way until the checkered flag on what was on paper a fine weekend. Hayes was disappointed with himself but he admitted that this was a difficult track for him and he paid tribute to his Team Graves Yamaha team for their hard work in giving him a bike he could win with.
Third place went to Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden. Hayden maintained second in the points standings despite having a weekend where he felt he didn’t get the best from himself and his machine. Once again, his mental toughness was on display as he took a solid points haul when his situation wasn’t at its best.
Ben Bostrom almost gave the game away early on in the race when he came into the famous Corkscrew turns at the top of the circuit and had a big moment under braking and had to run off the track and rejoin, albeit very carefully! Streaking by was a very strong starting Jake Holden on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki as he took full advantage of the moment to lead until Hayes got by a fine riding Holden in a hold-your-breath pass on the front straight.
Hayes and Holden were side-by-side coming out of the last corner and held station right next to each other until Hayes was able to squeak by to take the lead that he would hold for the next 12 laps. It took Bostrom a little while but he eventually got by Holden for second and set sail after Hayes.
Bostrom closed up on Hayes and the two rode in synchronized fashion for a number of laps until Bostrom got by Hayes in turn five on lap 15. Hayes didn’t let up whatsoever but Bostrom was in sync on a track he loves and he captured his third career AMA Pro SuperBike win in fine fashion.
Ben wasn’t the only Bostrom that had a great day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, his brother Eric, riding the new Cycle World Attack Performance Yoshimura Suzuki put in a stellar performance in only his second appearance this year. Starting sixth, he fell back to 16th at the start and then began a sterling comeback ride to seventh at the flag.
He battled his way back into contention with the likes of Geoff May on his Buell, a strong running Chris Peris on the Team Iron Horse BMW and Brett McCormick who rewarded the hard work of his Jordan Suzuki team with eighth place after a couple of off-track excursions in yesterday’s qualifying sessions.
Foremost Insurance Ducati’s Larry Pegram also ran well today, continuing his solid year. He and Jake Zemke aboard his National Guard Jordan Suzuki had their own battle but Pegram was able to pull away from Jake to finish fifth with Zemke in sixth well ahead of the aforementioned Eric Bostrom in seventh.
But it was Ben Bostrom’s day. He said yesterday that if he didn’t lead right away he would go and get the win and he did just that. Josh Hayes and Tommy Hayden stayed in lock step in the championship chase by finishing together, therefore not allowing the other to break away on points.
Ben Bostrom says: “Every time I ride into this track, it reminds me of home, I love the fog and when I can ride up here and see the blue sky start to break through, it makes me happy and a happy rider rides well.”
Josh Hayes says: “I wanted to win here, this has always been a very, very difficult racetrack for me. I don’t have a single excuse, I had a great motorcycle but I was very inconsistent this week but I am happy with second. Now we are going to two tracks that are really good for me that I had great weekends last year so I want to hurry up and get there and let’s get back to business.”
Next up for AMA Pro Road Racing will be August 13-15 at Virginia International Raceway.
2010 AMA Superbike Results, Laguna Seca
1. Ben Bostrom,
2. Josh Hayes +0.440
3. Tommy Hayden +7.331
4. Jake Holden +10.170
5. Larry Pegram +18.033
6. Jake Zemke +22.257
7. Eric Bostrom +35.516
8. Brett McCormick +40.806
9. Chris Peris +41.817
10. Geoff May +42.126
AMA Superbike Points Standings(after 13 of 19 races):
1. Josh Hayes, 311
2. Tommy Hayden, 302
3. Zemke, 260
4. Pegram, 225
5. Ben Bostrom, 223
6. Blake Young, 197
7. Chris Ulrich, 150
8. Taylor Knapp, 141
9. Brett McCormick, 112
10. Jake Holden, 93