AMA Pro Racing
In this iReport, Austin DeHaven gives you the inside scoop from the AMA SuperSport season finale at Barber Motorsports Park.
Hello again everyone, it’s Austin DeHaven checking in from the AMA Supersport class.
Last month (Sept. 24-26) was the season finale at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Being the last race of the 2010 AMA season, the competition was tough and there was a good turnout. Riders from all over the country were coming to compete and national titles were to be determined in every class.
That AMA weekend was the one that counted, the one that determined the year’s champions, and in my class the title of SuperSport National Champion was up for grabs. Whoever had the most total points from both the Saturday and Sunday races would take the title and this is what we were after.
On Friday we had first practice and qualifying 1 which were both held later in the day. Both sessions went okay, qualifying in the top10. Saturday morning, we had a second qualifying session in which your fastest times from both the first and second qualifying sessions would determine your starting position for both races.
The morning was much cooler than Friday’s qualifying session, which made the track temp and grip levels lower and with the multiple setup changes we made from the previous day, I had to make up about a second to break into the top 3.
By the end of the session I dropped about eight tenths of a second, putting me in 5th position on the grid on the good side of the track.
Saturday afternoon held the first race with spectators filling the track ready to watch from the sidelines in the great Alabama weather. The race was decent and I worked my way into 4th position toward the end of the race and held it to the finish.
Because of my 4th place finish I was in contention for the championship now. I had to beat the three riders in front to give me the championship title, which seemed pretty straightforward until day two came.
Sunday would determine the rider that would take the national championship. The day brought many challenges, including flash floods and torrential downpours throughout the day. Even though it wasn’t ideal weather it made anything possible throughout the race.
As the race started, the pouring rain made it hard to see each other as we got off the line. All the riders were cutting in and out trying to get the holeshot into the first turn. After we got through the first lap, I was running somewhere in mid pack determined to move up to the front.
On lap two of the race, one of the championship contenders crashed out of the leading pack, later followed by another who crashed mid race, leaving me with just one other person to beat for the championship title. I pushed hard and made my way past him and up into second place.
I started putting down consistent laps, trying to keep my gap back to the other contender who was running in 3rd place a few seconds behind me. By the end of the race, he had lowered the gap to half a second.
With only one lap to go, I stayed to the inside and tried to be as wide as I could, hoping he wouldn’t make a move on the last lap. When we came around the last turn I got on the gas hard enough to just break the rear loose, which gave me a great drive to the line, taking not only the 2nd place finish but the 2010 AMA Young Guns Supersport National Championship.
With all the nerves from the weekend, everything seemed to disappear as I pulled into the winner’s circle, with everyone congratulating me and all the fans cheering us on as we walked onto the podium. With how everyone else had rode and performed not only this weekend but the entire season, I was happy and felt I accomplished what I had set out to achieve.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and all the sponsors that have been behind me this season. I am looking forward to coming back next season even stronger and defending that cool new #1 plate!
Austin DeHaven #56
2010 AMA Supersport National Champion