2012 AMA Superbike Results
Spoiler Alert: 2012 AMA Superbike results from race one at Road Atlanta listed below
One of the more improbable and remarkable victories occurred in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike history on Saturday at Road Atlanta in the opening half of the Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta presented by Dunlop Tire and LeoVince.
The opening 13 laps of the battle went exactly to script; title rivals Josh Hayes on the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 and Blake Young aboard the Yoshimura Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 made a rapid escape from the field and once again settled in for what seemed likely to be a race-long showdown to the checkered flag.
Young sat in Hayes’ tow for much of the race’s first half before making his move on lap 10 of 20. The two then engaged in repeated duels entering Turn 10a and heading down the hill to Turn 12 with the lap leader point still up for grabs.
Young was able to enter 10a on either the inside or outside with success, but Hayes proved capable of countering by swinging back under to out-accelerate Young heading down the hill in order to reclaim the advantage.
The two did precisely that on lap 13 but disaster struck during the lap-14 encore. The leaders came together heading down the hill as Hayes overtook Young; the Wisconsin native was slammed down to the pavement as their bikes got hung up together with Young’s front wheel in the air. Blake’s year-plus streak without a crash was ended in an instant, along with his title hopes – or so it seemed.
A red flag was immediately thrown as the Suzuki star rolled around in obvious pain. However, Young gritted it out, refused medical attention, and limped back to his fallen machine and rode it back into the pitlane to prepare for the restart. At the same time Hayes stopped and waited to check on his rival’s condition.
Forced to regrid at the very back of the field, Young somehow sliced his way up to fourth by the completion of the opening lap of the restart. The fall didn’t temper Young’s aggressiveness in the least — if anything, he was only more determined. He quickly ripped past National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden and Hayes’ teammate (and two-time holeshot winner), Josh Herrin, to glue himself right back on his nemesis’ rear wheel.
Young and Hayes resumed their earlier heavyweight tilt, trading inside and outside overtakings to the final lap. The Suzuki pilot made a slingshot maneuver into the lead on the backstraight and then heavily defended through the chicane and down the hill.
Hayes made a last-gasp attempt up the inside of the race’s final corner, but Young squared him up and leapt back past as they accelerated to the stripe, winning by 0.293-seconds at the checkered flag.
After winning the first Big Kahuna race of ’12, Young joked, “I could have used that surf board when I surfed down the pavement.”
Blake Young (Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R 1000) says: “I wasn’t too happy about starting on the back row. But I guess that’s the rule. It was a good race for us today — I got a spectacular race. I tried to settle in but I found myself trying to get a breath and it was pretty tough. I was taking a lot of short breaths — I don’t know if it was a result of the crash or because of the adrenaline.
“Once I got to the back of Josh, it seemed like he had a pace that I didn’t think I could keep up with but maybe try to do something toward the end there and get a wheel in and mount a pass. I would have been happy to come away with second today.
“Josh came up in the inside on the last lap. He came up there pretty fast and I knew it was going to be tough to get slowed down there and I just squared him up and took it back.”
In a show of sportsmanship, Hayes bowed to the victorious Young on his victory lap.
Josh Hayes (Monster Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike) says: “All-in-all, for me it was a pretty good day. I’m not even that upset about losing the race. More than anything I was really upset when me and Blake tangled up and I realized he wasn’t there. It scared me pretty bad.
“For him to be able to get his stuff together and get back out there and race the way he did… bravo. Man, I think it’s a great story. It was a hero ride and it’s great for our sport. Big congrats to him.”
Herrin and Hayden did an admirable job to stick with the leading duo in the post-red flag sprint. Rookie Herrin ultimately scored the first SuperBike podium of his career, finishing less than a second behind the win.
Josh Herrin (Monster Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike) says: “At the first start I just didn’t have the pace to race with Josh and Blake — they were riding really good. When the red flag came out, it gave me a second chance and I decided to take advantage of it. I felt really good going back out and just gave it everything I had. I didn’t give up at all. I was hoping for (the win). It didn’t come but I got on the podium, which was my main goal for the weekend.”
Hayden came home in fourth while Team Amsoil/Hero EBR’s Geoff May picked up an impressive top-five at his home circuit.
Chris Fillmore (KTM/HMC) finished in sixth, with Steve Rapp (Attack Performance Kawasaki), Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki), Chris Clark (Yoshimura Racing Suzuki) and Danny Eslick (Team Hero EBR) rounding out the top ten.
2012 AMA Superbike: Road Atlanta Race 1 Results:
|1.||79||Blake Young||Yoshimura Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||20 Laps||WINNER||1:25.364||30|
|2.||1||Josh Hayes||Monster Energy Graves Yamaha||Yamaha R1||0.293||0.293||1:25.463||27|
|3.||2||Josh Herrin||Monster Energy Graves Yamaha||Yamaha R1||0.807||0.514||1:25.868||21|
|4.||54||Roger Hayden||National Guard Jordan Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||2.437||1.629||1:25.940||18|
|5.||99||Geoff May||Team Amsoil/Hero||EBR 1190RS||8.073||5.635||1:26.613||16|
|6.||11||Chris Fillmore||KTM/HMC Racing||KTM RC8R||8.255||0.181||1:26.518||15|
|7.||15||Steve Rapp||Attack Performance||Kawasaki ZX-10||8.341||0.085||1:26.633||14|
|8.||23||Ben Bostrom||Jordan Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||8.596||0.255||1:26.841||13|
|9.||6||Chris Clark||Yoshimura Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||11.022||2.425||1:26.899||12|
|10.||69||Danny Eslick||Team Hero||EBR 1190RS||13.141||2.118||1:26.859||11|
|11.||44||Taylor Knapp||Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki Team||Suzuki GSX-R1000||13.244||0.103||1:26.605||10|
|12.||72||Larry Pegram||Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing||BMW S1000RR||20.577||7.333||1:26.513||9|
|13.||3||Robertino Pietri||Team Venezuela||Suzuki GSX-R1000||22.689||2.112||1:27.097||8|
|14.||59||Jake Holden||EvanSteelPerformance.com BMW||BMW S1000RR||32.259||9.569||1:27.231||7|
|15.||25||David Anthony||Kneedraggers.com/ Motul/Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||18 Laps||2 Laps||1:26.834||6|
|16.||269||Johnny Rock Page||Kneedraggers.com/ Motul/Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||3:21.249||3:21.249||1:32.088||5|
|17.||78||Reese Wacker||Wacker Racing LLC||Suzuki GSX-R1000||14 Laps||4 Laps||1:29.507||4|
|18.||18||Chris Ulrich||M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||8 Laps||6 Laps||1:27.982||0|
|19.||33||Jordan Burgess||Kneedraggers.com/ Motul/Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||DNF||DNF||-no times-||0|
|20.||19||Shawn Higbee||Higbee-Racing||EBR 1190RS||DNS||DNS||-no times-||0|