2012 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike
Spoiler Alert: AMA SuperBike Race 1 results from Barber Motorsports Park listed below
Josh Hayes notched up the seventh triumph of his 2012 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike campaign in Saturday’s main event at Barber Motorsports Park for the Triumph SuperBike Classic presented by America’s First Federal Credit Union.
Hayes’ eventual 5.136-second margin of victory doesn’t come close to telling the full story of what was an intense, blue-on-blue battle at the front, however. His Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, provided a serious challenge, pushing the reigning champion deep into the contest before the Mississippian’s consistent effort in the Alabama heat finally broke the talented upstart.
Herrin showed patience early in the race, tailing Hayes from fractions of a second behind while showing him a wheel on multiple occasions but never attempting to make a pass. That approach allowed the works Yamaha formation to fly away from the pack early on, building up a double-digit lead over third-placed Blake Young as the race settled in.
Despite his impressive performance, Herrin finally showed signs of weakness in the brutal conditions and gave up the chase on lap 17 of 21. He dropped from two tenths to nearly two seconds back in a single lap as experience ultimately won out in the hard-fought duel.
Hayes has already equaled his best-ever single-season win tally, claiming seven wins in a single season for the third time in his SuperBike career (’09, ’10, ’12), and he still has a full half of the year’s races ahead to add to that number.
“I think (Josh) is learning way too many of my tricks,” Hayes said with a laugh. “It was a fun race; it was exactly what I expected. It was extremely hot, it was very slippery.
“I got to the point where I did a couple pretty good laps and I didn’t get away from him. I could hear him right behind me. It probably took five or six laps before I started looking at his board, and once I realized it was just the two of us, I kind of relaxed a little bit. I figured my lines are pretty hard to pass around here and I knew grip wasn’t that good. I just tried to ride smooth; I relaxed, calmed down, and got into a rhythm of ‘26.5s that were pretty comfortable and said we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes later in the race. It worked in my favor. If he’s hanging on at that pace, all it takes is one mistake and there’s a half-second gap and all of a sudden he can’t mimic exactly what I’m doing and maybe it gets a little tougher to hang on. Finally the gap opened up.
“I’m glad I was finally able to get a win here at Barber in front of my family and friends.”
Runner-up Herrin said, “It was an awesome race. I was learning every lap. Every time I ride this bike I learn more and more. It’s starting to be an amazing bike for me. At the beginning of the year, I don’t want to say I struggled, but I wasn’t where I am now. I put a lot of hard work in and my crew is trying to make this bike adapt to me. The settings were Josh’s and I ride a lot differently than Josh. He helps me out a ton but sometimes I just have to figure out what works best for me. I’m finally starting to get to the point where I can set up the bike where I like it and my crew is getting to know me better every weekend too.”
Young’s race to third didn’t come easily. He was separated from the Yamahas almost from the start when Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom crashed from third immediately in front of him while working the race’s opening lap. Then, Team Amsoil/Hero EBR’s Geoff May chased him down from around three seconds back to close to within a second in the contest’s late stages after the Yosh pilot was slowed considerably by a lapped rider. The Yoshimura Suzuki hero summoned up some late strength to just hold the Georgian off and claim the final spot on the podium.
Young said of his race, “It was pretty lonely. I ended up third place today, started sixth. I’ve obviously been struggling; I don’t think I did any quicker laps in the race than I’ve gone all weekend long. But I feel pretty good. Yoshimura is standing behind me 100%. Race weekends like this are pretty tough and I’m just trying to keep a smile on my face and keep having fun.
“I want to work hard to get back to the front. I feel that we’re just as good as the Joshes and I think we need to look at today’s race and get back up there tomorrow. I’m going to go back and look at the data but I’m pretty sure it’s going to say more throttle, less brake.”
National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden clung onto May’s rear wheel for much of the contest before the EBR man’s late surge. The Kentuckian wasn’t able to maintain the pace, however, and was forced to accept fifth.
Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram guided the #72 BMW S1000RR to seventh, while May’s Team Hero EBR teammate, Danny Eslick, outlasted Young’s teammate, Chris Clark, to finish seventh.
Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp and Kneedraggers.com/Motul/Fly’s David Anthony rounded out the day’s top ten.
2012 Barber AMA Superbike Race 1 Results:
|1.||1||Josh Hayes||Monster Energy Graves Yamaha||Yamaha R1||21 Laps||WINNER||1:25.965||0|
|2.||2||Josh Herrin||Monster Energy Graves Yamaha||Yamaha R1||5.136||5.136||1:26.021||0|
|3.||79||Blake Young||Yoshimura Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||14.983||9.847||1:26.399||0|
|4.||99||Geoff May||Team Amsoil/Hero||EBR 1190RS||15.877||0.893||1:26.965||0|
|5.||54||Roger Hayden||National Guard Jordan Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||22.049||6.172||1:26.869||0|
|6.||72||Larry Pegram||Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing||BMW S1000RR||30.980||8.930||1:27.154||0|
|7.||69||Danny Eslick||Team Hero||EBR 1190RS||34.067||3.087||1:27.441||0|
|8.||6||Chris Clark||Yoshimura Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||39.556||5.488||1:27.464||0|
|9.||15||Steve Rapp||Attack Performance||Kawasaki ZX-10||42.407||2.851||1:27.881||0|
|10.||25||David Anthony||Kneedraggers.com/ Motul/Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||51.883||9.475||1:27.910||0|
|11.||3||Robertino Pietri||Team Venezuela||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:11.888||20.005||1:29.048||0|
|12.||33||Jordan Burgess||Kneedraggers.com/ Motul/Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:17.462||5.573||1:29.543||0|
|13.||78||Reese Wacker||Wacker Racing LLC||Suzuki GSX-R1000||20 Laps||1 Lap||1:29.780||0|
|14.||20||Sean Dwyer||Vicious Cycle Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||25.428||25.428||1:30.798||0|
|15.||511||Tim J. Bemisderfer||Vesrah Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||44.522||19.094||1:30.140||0|
|16.||17||Trent Gibson||Seven Sports||Suzuki GSX-R1000||18 Laps||2 Laps||1:29.448||0|
|17.||86||Jason Farrell||Farrell Performance/Southeast Sales Kawasaki||Kawasaki ZX-10||8 Laps||10 Laps||1:29.280||0|
|18.||18||Chris Ulrich||M4 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||6 Laps||2 Laps||1:29.143||0|
|19.||23||Ben Bostrom||Jordan Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||0 Laps||6 Laps||-no times-||0|
|20.||12||Stefan Nebel||KTM/HMC Racing||KTM RC8R||DNF||DNF||-no times-||0|
|21.||11||Chris Fillmore||KTM/HMC Racing||KTM RC8R||DNS||DNS||-no times-||0|