2012 Mid-Ohio AMA Superbike | Preview

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AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike

Headlining the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire, which marks the 30th consecutive year of AMA Pro Racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Course, the Wiseco SuperBike 100 Doubleheader will feature twin 50-mile sprint races by the stars of the AMA Pro National SuperBike division.

AMA Pro Road Racing’s premier division will take to the track for race finals on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Of the 42 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike finals contested on the 2.4-mile natural road course in Lexington, Ohio since 1983, 21 different riders have stood atop the podium on five different marques: Suzuki, Yamaha, Ducati, Honda and Kawasaki.

The win list is topped by seven-time Series Champion Mat Mladin, whose 10 victories account for half of Suzuki’s 20 wins at the track. Two-time defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champ Josh Hayes has booked three wins, placing him in a tie for second with Aaron Yates and Doug Chandler in the Mid-Ohio record books.

The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha ace took his three in succession aboard the Yamaha YZF-R1, taking the checkers in both 2009 races and Race 1 in 2010, before being outdone by the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000-mounted duo of Tommy Hayden (2010 Race 2, 2011 Race 2) and Blake Young (2011 Race 1).

Hayes has been on a determined march this season, posting eight wins and taking home all but one bonus point since the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The Mississippian leads Young by 37 points heading into this weekend’s doubleheader, 320-283. Suzuki’s leading rider has had success of his own in 2012, taking home the remaining three wins and lone bonus point and finishing on the podium every race, but he’s recently been challenged by a second Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike star Josh Herrin (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) joined teammate Hayes in the National Guard SuperBike ranks after three solid seasons on the smaller displacement Yamaha YZF-R6. With half a season under his belt, the 2010 Daytona SportBike Mid-Ohio Race 1 winner has been giving Young a handful recently, posting two second-place results and at times challenging Hayes for the lead.

Another freshman SuperBike effort with a string of early successes can be found in the EBR 1190RS. In just its first year of competition, the American-made motorcycle has allowed podium finishes by both veteran National Guard SuperBike rider Geoff May (Team Amsoil/Hero EBR) and four-time GoPro Daytona SportBike Mid-Ohio winner Danny Eslick (Team Hero EBR).

Hometown hero Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance Pegram BMW) has fielded a consistent effort in 2012 highlighted by a fourth-place showing. Hailing from Hebron, Ohio, Pegram returns to his home track for a second season aboard the BMW S1000RR sitting sixth place in the point standings, splitting the Jordan Motorsports riders of Roger Hayden (National Guard Jordan Suzuki) and Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki).

Hayden and Bostrom are classified in fifth and seventh positions, respectively, based on hit-or-miss results in 2012. Both the Hayden and Bostrom families have a history of success at Mid-Ohio, Roger’s older brothers Tommy and Nicky Hayden and Ben’s older brother Eric Bostrom each have two National Guard SuperBike wins on their resumes, but the younger siblings are still knocking at the door.

Young’s Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Chris Clark, Eslick and Kawasaki ZX-10R-mounted Steve Rapp (Attack Performance/ Motorcycle Superstore M1 PowerSports) round out the top 10 in the National Guard SuperBike standings.

The Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire will take place this weekend, July 13-15. The AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike class will take to the track for the first practice session of the weekend on Friday, July 13 at noon and will be featured in 21-lap sprint races on Saturday, July 14 at 3:15 p.m. local time and Sunday, July 15 at 3:30 p.m. local time.

AMA Pro Road Racing’s National Guard SuperBike and GoPro Daytona SportBike divisions will be featured on SPEED in a set of back-to-back, same-day delayed broadcasts, scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. EDT/8 p.m. PDT on Saturday and Sunday nights.

AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Point Standings (After Round 6): 1. Josh Hayes (Gulfport, MS) – 320; 2. Blake Young (Waunakee, WI) – 283; 3. Josh Herrin (Glendale, CA) – 197; 4. Geoff May (Gainesville, GA) – 159; 5. Roger Hayden (Owensboro, KY) – 158; 6. Larry Pegram (Hebron, OH) – 151; 7. Ben Bostrom (Malibu, CA) – 126; 8. Chris Clark (Las Vegas, NV) – 124; 9. Danny Eslick (Broken Arrow, OK) – 121; 10. Steve Rapp (Hawthorne, CA) – 115.