Motorcycle Racing News Yamaha: 1st AMA Superbike Title Since '91

Yamaha: 1st AMA Superbike Title Since ’91

AMA Pro Racing

Aboard his Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R1, Josh Hayes claimed his first career AMA Superbike championship at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. on Sunday, Sept. 26. The championship is also the first for Yamaha in America’s premier road-racing class since Thomas Stevens took the crown in 1991.

Meanwhile Team Graves YZF-R6 mounted Josh Herrin finished third in the AMA Daytona SportBike championship, while Austin Dehaven won the AMA SuperSport title on his R6.

The Superbike title chase came right down to the final weekend of the season, with Hayes ahead in points but rival Tommy Hayden still able to take the championship if Hayes faltered.

Thus, Hayes’ mission for the weekend was the same as it has been all year long – race to win, but this time with extra care. In the first race on Saturday afternoon, Hayes led the most laps and ultimately finished a secure second as his rival, Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden, claimed the victory.

The result set up a situation on Sunday where Hayes would win the title with an eighth-place or better finish, even if Hayden won.

Severe weather soaked the area on Sunday morning, and by race time a quarter of the circuit was still damp. Nonetheless Hayes settled into a great ride with the lead pack until Brett McCormick crashed, pushing Hayes off track and dropping him several seconds behind the group. From here though, Hayes rode to an easy seventh-place finish and a very sweet championship.

Josh Hayes says: “A huge thank you to Yamaha for bringing me onboard for my first Superbike ride. I am glad I was able to race well and bring home the R1’s first AMA Superbike championship.”

Tom Halverson (Yamaha road racing team manager) says: “This is probably the best team we’ve ever had, and the effort that everyone has made to win the championship is just incredible. From the machinists to the secretaries back at Yamaha, thank you. The race crew has really been amazing this year too. Josh has been a great rider, and it’s easy to stand behind him because he puts in so much effort.”

2010 AMA Superbike Points

1. Josh Hayes – Yamaha 466

2. Tommy Hayden – Suzuki 452

3. Jake Zemke – Suzuki 332

4. Larry Pegram – Ducati 297

5. Ben Bostrom – Yamaha 295

2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Points

1. Martin Cardenas – Suzuki 405

2. Danny Eslick – Suzuki 397

3. Josh Herrin – Yamaha 377

4. Steve Rapp – Ducati 281

5. Dane Westby – Yamaha 248

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited First Look: Updates, Specs, Photos

The 2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited arrives with two new paint choices, plus a couple of updates in the dash area. There’s a new LED...

MP Magic 37.5 Tech Merino Wool Socks Review (All-Season Footwear)

I’m very picky when it comes to motorcycle socks. For dirt bikes, it’s easy. I always wear Fly Racing Knee Brace socks, as they...

2021 Triumph Tiger 850 Sport Review (13 Fast Facts)

Marketing is a funny thing. Usually, manufacturers exaggerate the displacement in model names—even if only by a little bit. However, in the case of...

2021 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special First Look (5 Fast Facts)

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special changes this year focus on new colors and finishes. However, there are some other updates worth discussing. The...

2021 DOT Certified Helmet Performance Testing Update

We provide some deep insight into the latest 2021 DOT Certified Motorcycle Helmet performance testing, from failure rate to suggestions for regulators.

2021 Benelli TRK502 Review (15 Fast Facts for Sport-Touring)

Last month we tested the 2021 Benelli TRK502X adventure motorcycle and came away impressed. At first glance, the standard TRK502 doesn’t seem that much...