Barber Superbike: Rockstar Suzuki Report

2011 AMA Superbike

Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young had a lot to celebrate after this weekend’s AMA Pro Superbike races at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

The young rider rode smart in the rain on Saturday and picked up a podium Superbike finish, and then went all out on Sunday and carded the win. This win marks Young’s fifth AMA Pro Superbike victory of the season and moves him to within a mere two points of the overall championship points lead.

On Sunday, Young got a great start on his Yoshimura-prepped Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike and was running second behind teammate Tommy Hayden. When Hayden unexpectedly pulled out of the race, Young took over the lead and didn’t look back. He made no mistakes and took the checkered flag with style.

On Saturday, a mid-race rain shower resulted in a red flag and the mounting of rain tires. When the race was restarted, Young, who’d been running second prior to the red flag, got another good start on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike and took the lead. He battled to stay up front, and wound up as part of the Suzuki sweep of the podium finishing in a solid third place.

Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike) says: “For me, the weekend went really, really well. We got off to a slow start but then showed that our Rockstar Makita Suzuki team is really strong. In Saturday’s wet race, we got a good start and I just tried to have as much fun as I could and ended up third.

“On Sunday, I knew we had a good set-up and was looking forward to the race. I got another good start and got behind Tommy, who was setting a fast, comfortable pace, which made life a little easier for me. I ended up getting up front, and I was confident in my GSX-R and my tires and equipment to pull out the win. It was a tough weekend, but we had great results. I’m happy to win this one and happy for my team.”

Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Tommy Hayden, however, had a rough weekend at Barber. Wanting to earn as many points as possible on Saturday, Hayden rode conservatively in the wet race and finished seventh. On Sunday, the Kentucky native got a great start and was leading the race for the first nine laps when a rare mechanical mishap caused him to DNF.

Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike) says: “It was a fairly disappointing weekend. We were fast but we don’t have any results to show for it. Saturday, when it was dry, I was leading and I felt like I had a good chance to fight for the win. Then it started raining, and I didn’t feel comfortable at all.

“Today, I felt good and I led for nine laps, and I was in good shape for the race… Unfortunately, we had some kind of freak mechanical incident, this is the first time I’ve ever had a mechanical issue in a race since I joined the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team. They’re a top-notch group of guys working on my bikes, this is a very rare incident for us and I don’t expect anything like this to happen again in the future. We have a lot of races left, and now I’m just looking forward to having another chance at it at Mid-Ohio.”

The 2011 Rockstar Makita Suzuki team’s next event of the 2011 AMA Pro American Superbike Championship series is at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH, on July 8-10, 2011.

AMA Barber Superbike Results, Race 1:
1. Martin Cardenas
2. Ben Bostrom
3. Blake Young
4. Josh Hayes
5. Larry Pegram
6. Roger Hayden
7. Tommy Hayden
8. JD Beach
9. Trent Gibson
10. Jeremy Toye

AMA Barber Superbike Results, Race 2:
1. Blake Young
2. Josh Hayes
3. Martin Cardenas
4. Steve Rapp
5. Ben Bostrom
6. Larry Pegram
7. Geoff May
8. Chris Clark
9. Chris Peris
10. JD Beach

2011 AMA Superbike Class Standings:
1. Josh Hayes – 235
2. Blake Young – 233
3. Tommy Hayden – 182
4. Martin Cardenas – 155
5. Ben Bostrom – 130
6. Larry Pegram – 125
7. Roger Hayden – 106
8. Chris Clark – 103
9. Steve Rapp – 95
10. Geoff May — 82