Young Reflects on 2011 AMA Superbike

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2011 Suzuki Superbike Blog

The 2011 AMA Superbike Championship brought about some of the tightest racing the series’ history, especially at the concluding round at New Jersey Motorsports Park (Sept. 2-4).

During that race weekend, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young was the only rider able to challenge Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes for the title. But when the double-header wrapped up, it was Hayes who took the AMA SBK Championship by a mere five points.

In Saturday’s 23-lap race that weekend at NJMP, Young battled with teammate Tommy Hayden for the final podium spot, but wound up relinquishing that position to Hayden and ended up in fifth.

At race 2 on Sunday, however, Young pulled out all the stops. He got off the line in second place on his Suzuki GSX-R1000, and was dicing with up to eight other riders all separated by mere tenths of a second. Young swapped out the lead multiple times before capturing the breathtaking victory.

But when the numbers were crunched, it was Hayes who took the title. After a few weeks off, Young offers his thoughts on the 2011 AMA Superbike Championship in his personal blog from Suzuki.

Following is what Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young had to say:

Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000) writes: “You know, Sunday kind of started off just like the last couple days – not so well. I think for me, it’s pretty difficult to sit off the motorcycle, you know, for any length of time between races. Yes, we did get to test at Daytona, but, you know, I think just for me – maybe it’s just the way I am; my riding style, the way I learn, whatever it may be – I feel like I need to be on the motorcycle a lot. I feel like it takes me a while to get rolling again.

“It was a pretty big disappointment for me coming into this weekend, to perform the way that I have yesterday and the day before. Pretty bummed, you know? I felt like my team worked hard for me all year long and that it was coming to an end pretty quick. And, you know, it was tough: It was a tough weekend for me, for sure.

“Going into the trailer and looking those guys in the eyes and just saying, boy, I really don’t know – you know, and today, I don’t think it was skill or anything, but mainly just heart, and I just wanted to show what my team was capable of and what they’ve been doing all year long, and how long at the end of the season like that.

“And I didn’t want to finish off the podium for sure and wanted to bring the win home for them because they deserve it. You know, they know how to win Championships and it’s definitely how to learn it. And, you know, I think the thing that means the most to me is they’re sticking behind me, no matter what. Obviously, you can see this weekend it wasn’t the greatest weekend we’ve ever had, and they were right there.

“So, hats off to my Rockstar Makita Yoshimura Suzuki guys. Thanks to Suzuki for providing the best bike in the world, the GSX-R1000. Thank you very much for everything. My crew, Don Sakakura, Yoshimura, Mr. Aki, American Suzuki – Thank you to Arai, thank you to Dainese leathers, and a big thank you to Dainese for coming through in this last round, I got to wear – as I have on now – the new D Air suit with the airbag.

“Thought maybe it’d give me a little jolt of confidence on the first day there to try to get the win out, but definitely – definitely was confident today, for sure, to let it all hang out and take the risks. I know I got off to a pretty rough start that first one and that red flag, I think, kind of saved me.

“And I just wasn’t really worried were Josh Hayes was I just wanted to win and I think that’s been our goal all year, to finish the races, win as many as we can, and take the ones that – you know, the seconds and the thirds – that we have to take.

“You know, I’m disappointed but I’m happy. I’m happy that I’ve had the season that I’ve had. Kind of sad that it’s over; I’d like to go at it a little bit more. I just feel like this was a pretty short season. So, you know, I’ll come back next year. I think I’m gonna try hard. I gotta go back and try harder. I mean, I didn’t get it done this year. I didn’t train hard enough and I didn’t race hard enough. So, you’ll see me back next year a little bit stronger.

“Last year was my first year of sitting on the couch. Now I know what it’s like to go through an off-season, preparing for the next season with a bad result. It’s not fun at all. Winning that last one last year – it really motivated me and I think this one is just as important, if not more. Like I said, I’m going to work harder. I obviously didn’t work hard enough this year and, you know, Josh is a great competitor.

“I know he’s been around for a while now and he knows what it takes to win, so hopefully I can ride this one out of his hands next year. You know, I’m just excited? To be here and to start at Daytona – if you’d told me I’d have been here, I would have said, ‘yeah, right.’ But at Daytona, I just wanted to finish all the races. I wanted to put forth a good effort. I felt like that’s what my team deserved; for me to go out there and ride the last two Superbike seasons like I have; show the speed, get up front and be immature; throw the thing on the ground trying to win was something you do in Daytona SportBike.

“But Superbike’s a different game and I’ve learned. I’ve got some of the greatest competitors that will teach me and I’ve learned what it takes. I came up a little bit short this year but I’ll make sure I’m a little bit better next year. See you at the races!”