2012 New Orleans AMA SuperBike | NOLA Preview
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike
Josh Hayes (No. 1 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha R1) wrapped up the championship in Miami, so the third-time Champ returns to his home region as a conquering hero in New Orleans for the Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans presented by Dunlop Tire and LeoVince.
Hayes, from Gulfport, Miss., has dominated the 2012 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season but saw his consecutive race win streak broken in Race 1 at Homestead-Miami Speedway last month. He responded by winning his 14th race of the year on Sunday. It has been a record-breaking season for Hayes, who has now claimed 30 National Guard SuperBike wins since 2009.
With the championship decided, Hayes can go for broke in New Orleans without concerns for managing a points lead. Yamaha’s leading man was also fastest at the NOLA test, laying down a time of 1:39.282.
Blake Young (No. 79 Yoshimua Suzuki GSX-R1000) has won three races this year and finished on the podium numerous times and has nearly 100 points on the third place man in the championship, but the Wisconsin native is disappointed not to have beaten Hayes more this season after winning more races than his rival in 2011. Young will have two more chances to top Hayes this year in New Orleans and will no doubt be pushing very hard; he was second quickest at the NOLA test.
Josh Herrin’s races in New Orleans are in doubt after the young rider injured himself in a training accident over the weekend. Herrin (No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha R1) hurt his shoulder and could miss the races, although there is no doubt he will want to ride to secure third place points for the year in his rookie SuperBike season.
Roger Hayden (No. 54 National Guard Suzuki GSXR-1000) won in Miami for National Guard Jordan Suzuki, marking a significant triumph for a rider who has been trying for years to break onto the SuperBike winner’s list. Hayden’s Saturday win was the first for the Michael Jordan Motorsports team in 2012. The former AMA Pro champ will no doubt be looking to capitalize on his momentum in Louisiana. The Kentuckian joined Hayes and Young as the only riders able to break the 1:40 barrier at the test here earlier this year.
One rider looking to put the bookend on a solid season is Team Amsoil/Hero’s Geoff May. Riding the trick American-made EBR, May (No.99 Amsoil/Hero EBR 1190RS) is fifth in points and led in tough conditions in Miami. The Georgia-native earned a podium finish in Sonoma and will no doubt be looking to repeat that feat in New Orleans. A new father, May has confirmed that he will return to the EBR squad next season.
It has been a season of ups and downs for Ben Bostrom. Bostrom (No. 23 Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000) has ridden hard this year, but the results haven’t always gone his way. He’s earned the podium at each of the last two events, however, and the former series champ has shown signs of breaking through.
Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram is just two points behind Bostrom in the standings. Pegram will no doubt be trying to take the spot from his longtime rival in New Orleans. Pegram (No. 72 Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing BMW S1000RR) is the top BMW-mounted rider in the series and has scored points in every contest this year.
Danny Eslick scored second place in the Saturday race at Homestead, providing EBR 1190RS’s best finish yet in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike. The EBR team has three podiums this season, with the Oklahoman — and two-time AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike champ — Eslick (No. 69 Team Hero EBR1190RS) earning two of them on the American-made SuperBike.
Another rider with momentum is Steve Rapp of the Attack Performance team. Rapp charged through the field in Sunday’s difficult conditions at Homestead-Miami Speedway to earn second place. It was a high point in a season that has seen Rapp (No.15 Attack Performance Kawasaki ZX10) race in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike as well as compete as a wild card in the American MotoGP rounds on a machine built by Attack Performance.
Chris Clark has put in a solid season in his first year with his team. Clark (No. 6 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000) has seen his lap times improve as the young rider continues to learn the ropes on the large bore machines. He was ill at the last two races, missing both Homestead finals due to a lung infection he developed while battling bronchitis in New Jersey. Clark hopes to compete in Louisiana.
The Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans presented by Dunlop Tire and LeoVince will take place this weekend, October 5-7, 2012. The AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike class will take to the track for their first practice session on Friday, October 5 at 11 a.m. and will be featured in a set of 18-lap sprint races on Saturday, October 6 at 3:15 p.m. and Sunday, October 6 at 3:30 p.m. local time.
New Orleans AMA SuperBike on TV
GEICO Motorcycle 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 broadcasts, scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on Sunday, October 7, and midnight ET/p.m. PT late Sunday night.
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Point Standings (After Round 10): 1. Josh Hayes (Gulfport, MS) – 517; 2. Blake Young (Waunakee, WI) – 401; 3. Josh Herrin (Glendale, CA) – 307; 4. Roger Hayden (Owensboro, KY) – 293; 5. Geoff May (Gainesville, GA) – 259; 6. Ben Bostrom (Malibu, CA) – 240; 7. Larry Pegram (Hebron, OH) – 238; 8. Danny Eslick (Broken Arrow, OK) – 212; 9. Steve Rapp (Hawthorne, CA) – 191 10. Chris Clark (Las Vegas, NV) – 167.