2012 Barber AMA Superbike | Preview

2012 AMA Pro Racing

AMA Pro National Guard Superbike returns to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. this weekend, June 22-24, 2012, for the Triumph SuperBike Classic presented by America’s First Federal Credit Union.

For the motorcycle and motorsports enthusiast, a trip to Barber is a must. With immaculate grounds and fan-friendly viewing areas complemented by giant art sculptures that are strategically placed throughout the facility, this is one of the most interesting tracks in the country to visit.

This year will mark the 10th AMA Pro Road Racing event at the 2.38-mile natural road course. The nine-year history has seen 18 AMA SBK races and eight different winners: Blake Young, Martin Cardenas, Tommy Hayden, Mat Mladin, Ben Spies, Miguel Duhamel, Kurtis Roberts and Aaron Yates. Suzuki has claimed 16 of the 18 victories; Honda has claimed the remaining two.

With a strong showing at the last two rounds, Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) has strutted out to a 20-point advantage over closest rival Blake Young (Yoshimura Suzuki). Though the Gulfport, Miss. native has taken every available point since his uncharacteristic miscue in Race 2 at Sonoma Raceway earlier in the year, history and statistics are set against Yamaha’s leading man. Young is historically strong at Barber, earning one of his three career SuperBike poles in 2010 with a time of 1:25.554 and gathering up Race 2 wins in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Young is also the only active National Guard SuperBike rider with a win in the class here, as both Yamaha and two-time defending National Guard SuperBike Champion Hayes are still looking for a first SuperBike victory in Birmingham. Aside from Suzuki’s leading man, five other SuperBike riders have class victories here: Josh Herrin (2011 GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 2), Danny Eslick (2011 GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 1), Steve Rapp (2011 Vance & Hines XR1200 Series), Josh Hayes (2009 AMA Pro SuperSport) and Roger Hayden (2004 AMA Pro SuperSport).

In last year’s contest, Martin Cardenas (GEICO Suzuki) earned a rare breakout National Guard SuperBike victory in his freshman season in the class on Saturday while Young pulled away to a 0.765-second win over Hayes on Sunday. For 2012, Cardenas has returned to the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike division, where he is currently dominating the championship with six wins in eight starts and a 47-point lead.

Third in the National Guard SuperBike standings is Hayes’ teammate Josh Herrin (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) with 151 tallies. In his first season in the class, Herrin has displayed awesome speed and made four trips to the podium.

Behind Herrin is Roger Hayden (National Guard Jordan Suzuki) with 126 points. The Kentuckian is looking to turn his season around after a string of recent bad luck. Geoff May (Team Amsoil/Hero EBR) rounds out the top 5 on the only American-made SuperBike in the field, the EBR 1190RS. Although the Georgian is mathematically tied with Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance Pegram BMW) at 123 points, May’s top finish of third in Race 2 at Sonoma gives him the edge for fifth position in the standings.

Hayden’s Jordan Motorsports teammate Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki), May’s EBR teammate Danny Eslick (Hero Moto Corp. EBR), Young’s teammate Chris Clark (Yoshimura Racing Suzuki) and Chris Fillmore (Team HMC KTM) round out the top ten.

The Triumph SuperBike Classic presented by America’s First Federal Credit Union will take place this weekend, June 22-24. The AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike division will take to the track for the first practice session of the weekend on Friday, June 22 at noon and will be featured in 21-lap races on Saturday, June 23 at 3:15 p.m. local time and Sunday, June 24 at 3:30 p.m. local time.

SPEED will broadcast both race finals, with Race 1 scheduled to begin at midnight ET/9 p.m. PT on Sunday night, followed by Race 2 mid-day on Monday at noon ET/9 a.m. PT.

AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Point Standings (After Round 5): 1. Josh Hayes (Gulfport, MS) – 257; 2. Blake Young (Waunakee, WI) – 237; 3. Josh Herrin (Glendale, CA) – 151; 4. Roger Hayden (Owensboro, KY) – 126; 5. Geoff May (Gainesville, GA) – 123; 6. Larry Pegram (Hebron, OH) – 123; 7. Ben Bostrom (Malibu, CA) – 111; 8. Danny Eslick (Broken Arrow, OK) – 107; 9. Chris Clark (Las Vegas, NV) – 107; 10. Chris Fillmore (Oxford, MI) – 101.