2012 AMA Superbike
Spoiler Alert: 2012 AMA Superbike results from race two at Road Atlanta listed below
Reigning AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes responded to rival Blake Young’s shocking Saturday victory with a Road Atlanta triumph of his own to conclude the Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta presented by Dunlop Tire and LeoVince Sunday.
While Young’s wins are almost always taken in dramatic fashion (and none more so than yesterday’s), Hayes’ more often come in the form of domination.
The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha star imposed his will on the field on Sunday early, breaking the Yoshimura Racing Suzuki pilot’s pursuit with a string of blisteringly quick laps while still in the race’s developing stages.
Hayes pushed his No. 1 Yamaha YZF-R1 around the 2.55-mile circuit with a string of laps faster than his pole time, including a 1:24.922, which stood as nearly a half-second better than his qualifying best.
Hayes worked his advantage up at a clip around a half-second per lap during the stretch, ultimately pushing his margin of victory to 5.214 seconds in the one-sided affair.
After scoring Yamaha’s first-ever AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike victory at Road Atlanta, the weekend’s “Big Kahuna” responded to the win.
Josh Hayes (Monster Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike) says: “I’m excited about it. This has always been a pretty good track for me and I’ve always had pretty good speed here. I’m glad to be able to put one together this afternoon and put some good strong laps down.
“Yesterday’s race was the first time we came in and did a good debrief and tried to make some improvements. This morning I rode the bike and thought it was the right direction to go. We decided to stick with it for the race and we were able to put down some good laps.
“It’s not how I expected the race to go — I expected a race a lot like yesterday. It’s a lot easier on my ticker to be able to get away a little bit and ride by myself.”
Young was pulled free of the remainder of the group in his early chase of Hayes and rode a lonely race from there. He did his best to stay in touch with his title rival and was rewarded with a second-placed points haul in the end.
The result was a relatively welcome one considering Young’s Sunday chances came under threat when he felt something wrong with his racebike on the warm-up lap.
Blake Young (Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R 1000 Superbike) says: “I was a little bit sore when I woke up this morning, but I got warmed up and stretched out and felt pretty good by the time I got on the bike this morning.
“I was ready for the race but we had a little bit of drama with the bike when I rolled out. I had to come in and get the other bike and was just happy they let me grid up in the second spot this time instead of putting me on the back row.
“I found it a little difficult to settle in and it just took a minute for Josh to click off some quick laps and get his gap. There wasn’t much I could really do with it then.”
A spirited battle raged behind to decide the final podium position. Hayes’ Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, held down third pretty much throughout the 20-lap content, but never with any significant breathing space as he felt the constant pressure of National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden.
Hayden made an attempt on the brakes entering Turn 10 at the end of the back straight on the penultimate lap, but Herrin held strong and solidified third as he came out on top of a side-by-side swing through the chicane.
Josh Herrin (Monster Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike) says: “I didn’t see Roger until the second-to-last lap in Turn 10. That gave me a little boost for the last lap because I knew he was right there. It was a really good race – I had fun just keeping Josh and Blake in my sights for the first seven laps or so. That felt good. I’ll go home and work on my strength – I just need to be a little stronger to throw these bikes around.”
Another showdown decided fifth. A big pack of riders aboard varied machinery contested the spot with Larry Pegram narrowly laying claim to it aboard the Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing BMW S1000RR. The National Guard SuperBike vet finished fractions of a second ahead of RidersDiscount.com/Vesrah Suzuki’s Taylor Knapp, KTM/HMC’s Chris Fillmore, and Attack Performance Kawasaki’s Steve Rapp.
Team Hero EBR’s Danny Eslick fell off that tussle late to accept ninth with Young’s Yoshimura Racing teammate, Chris Clark, completing the top ten.
Team Amsoil/Hero EBR’s Geoff May was running a solid fifth early before being forced to pit with a mechanical issue. The home track hero returned to climb his way back up to 13th in the end. Meanwhile, Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom was an early DNF, crashing out on the race’s second lap.
Hayes’ second victory of the season has catapulted him back in front of Young in the 2012 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike title fight, 116-110.
2012 AMA Superbike: Road Atlanta Race Two Results:
|1.||1||Josh Hayes||Monster Energy Graves Yamaha||Yamaha R1||20 Laps||WINNER||1:24.922||0|
|2.||79||Blake Young||Yoshimura Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||5.214||5.214||1:25.348||0|
|3.||2||Josh Herrin||Monster Energy Graves Yamaha||Yamaha R1||11.627||6.413||1:25.621||0|
|4.||54||Roger Hayden||National Guard Jordan Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||11.841||0.214||1:25.427||0|
|5.||72||Larry Pegram||Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing||BMW S1000RR||30.604||18.762||1:26.472||0|
|6.||44||Taylor Knapp||Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki Team||Suzuki GSX-R1000||30.747||0.143||1:26.549||0|
|7.||11||Chris Fillmore||KTM/HMC Racing||KTM RC8R||30.833||0.086||1:26.448||0|
|8.||15||Steve Rapp||Attack Performance||Kawasaki ZX-10||31.548||0.715||1:26.600||0|
|9.||69||Danny Eslick||Team Hero||EBR 1190RS||35.410||3.862||1:26.724||0|
|10.||6||Chris Clark||Yoshimura Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||45.342||9.931||1:26.652||0|
|11.||3||Robertino Pietri||Team Venezuela||Suzuki GSX-R1000||49.718||4.375||1:27.339||0|
|12.||18||Chris Ulrich||M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||54.991||5.272||1:27.612||0|
|13.||99||Geoff May||Team Amsoil/Hero||EBR 1190RS||19 Laps||1 Lap||1:26.331||0|
|14.||269||Johnny Rock Page||Kneedraggers.com/ Motul/Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||22.482||22.482||1:31.247||0|
|15.||33||Jordan Burgess||Kneedraggers.com/ Motul/Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||24.379||1.896||1:31.344||0|
|16.||78||Reese Wacker||Wacker Racing LLC||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:01.155||36.775||1:29.218||0|
|17.||25||David Anthony||Kneedraggers.com/ Motul/Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||13 Laps||6 Laps||1:27.001||0|
|18.||59||Jake Holden||EvanSteelPerformance.com BMW||BMW S1000RR||4 Laps||9 Laps||1:27.050||0|
|19.||23||Ben Bostrom||Jordan Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1 Lap||3 Laps||2:12.045||0|
|20.||19||Shawn Higbee||Higbee-Racing||EBR 1190RS||DNS||DNS||-no times-||0|