2014 New Jersey AMA SuperBike Recap | Hayes Earns 4th Title

2014 New Jersey AMA SuperBike Recap | Hayes Earns 4th Title

2014 New Jersey AMA SuperBike Recap & Results

The 2014 AMA SuperBike Championship title hunt came down to the final round this past weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

And though he won the opening race under extremely wet conditions, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes was penalized for passing under a cautionary yellow flag.

This dropped him back to second behind Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Roger Lee Hayden, but it didn’t matter; Hayes secured enough points to clinch his fourth AMA SuperBike title ahead of race 2.

The 39-year-old Hayes is now tied with Mat Mladin for four Superbike titles. Hayes has won all four championships on Yamaha YZF-R1 machinery.

Hayes also wrapped up the weekend with the race-two win Sunday.

Following are the official reports from AMA Pro Racing:

2014 New Jersey Motorsports Park AMA SuperBike Race 1 Recap

Faced with treacherous wet conditions, what seemed like a relatively simple task for a rider of Hayes’ caliber – third or better to clinch the crown – became significantly more complicated.

However, rather than go the conservative route, Hayes waged an intense duel for victory with Hayden.

The slick conditions caught several riders out. Hayden’s teammate, Martin Cardenas, crashed from the lead on lap 7 of 23. Proto-Tech Spain’s Bernat Martinez challenged for first himself before the Spaniard crashed out of contention as well on lap 10.

Newly-crowned Canadian Superbike champion Jodie Christie crashed out of third on his Honda Canada/Accelerated Technologies CBR1000RR on the race’s second lap. And Hayes’ teammate and title rival, Cameron Beaubier, fell in the opening laps while running in the top five, leaving just Hayes and Hayden to decide the victor.

The two lapped their way through the field, ultimately putting every rider not on the podium a lap down as they challenged each other’s skill and bravery.

The two traded the top spot multiple times on the final laps. Hayden, who came into the race dinged up after injuring his shoulder in a testing crash, looked to hold the advantage with just a single corner to go. However, a single mistake was all Hayes needed and the Mississippian pounced. Hayes blasted past Hayden, who spun up the rear while trying to get on the power, just feet ahead of the checkered flag.

However, Hayes was later hit with a penalty for passing under yellow during their shootout, dropping him to second in the final results and elevating Hayden to first.

Hayes is just the second rider in AMA Pro SuperBike history to earn four titles, joining seven-time champ Mat Mladin in that accomplishment. Throughout the season Hayes demonstrated his superiority in multiple conditions and will be reunited with the No. 1 plate.

“I had so much fun riding today,” the champ said. “We don’t get to go splish-splashing that often. Roger was riding so good, I was throwing everything I had at him. Unfortunately he spun up on the front straight away. I was able to get the R1 hooked up and across the line. I’m really proud of my team. Four championships in six years ain’t so bad.

“I feel so lucky that I’m 39 years old and have a place that I call home. These guys are so good to me. If I’m riding motorcycles and winning races I’m a pretty happy guy. All the other things that come along with that are bonuses. I’m excited that I can be a four-time AMA SuperBike Champion and I will do everything in my power to continue that.”

Hayden was happy with the race and the show he and Hayes put on.

“It’s not really the way I’d like to win them but I do remember at that point in the race the waving yellow when he came by me in Turn 1,” Hayden said. “I rode hard enough and good enough to win so I feel good for me and team. We didn’t want to let Yamaha sweep the whole series this year so we’re excited about that. Hopefully we’ll get one without any controversy tomorrow.”

Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram was the last rider on the lead lap and that was good enough to earn him third on the day.

“I don’t think I’ve ever went that slow and got third in my life,” Pegram joked. “Once I got up to third and I was running a fairly good pace, they showed me plus-20 and my guys were telling me to slow down, but I couldn’t go any slower! That was one of the most treacherous rain races I’ve ever ridden. There just wasn’t any grip. It was a good day for us. When the rain came, I knew we could be competitive.”

Vicious Cycle Racing’s Sean Dwyer came home in fourth while Beaubier remounted and worked his way back up to fifth.

Mobibuff/Irnie Racing’s Macel Irnie finished sixth on his BMW S1000RR, followed by Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark, Team AMSOIL Hero EBR’s Cory West and GEICO Motorcycle Racing Honda’s Chris Ulrich.

TOBC Racing II’s Taylor Knapp rounded out the top ten.

2014 New Jersey Motorsports Park AMA SuperBike Race 2 Recap

The 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season enjoyed a fitting conclusion Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park as Hayes claimed the final checkered flag with the front wheel of his R1 lofted in the air.

Hayes eventually broke free following a frenetic first half to claim the seventh victory of his dominant 2014 campaign with nearly five seconds in hand.

Earlier in the race, Hayes found himself battling with Yoshimura Suzuki Factor Racing teammates Roger Hayden and Martin Cardenas, along with his works Yamaha teammate, Cameron Beaubier. Meanwhile, an impressive Bernat Martinez on the Proto-Tech Spain Yamaha YZF-R1 and KTM/HMC’s Chris Fillmore watched closely in tow.

Saturday winner Hayden ran off track on lap 2 and immediately dropped to near the bottom of the top ten. Beaubier slipped past Cardenas into second that same lap but Hayes already had a two-and-a-half-second lead at that point.

However, the Mississippian’s early advantage evaporated in an instant, as he made a mistake of his own; Hayes ran off track and into the dirt in Turn 1 on lap 4 and drop to third behind the Colombian and Californian.

After quickly working back past Cardenas, Hayes found himself nearly two seconds behind his fleet rookie teammate and charged hard to make up the time.

After five laps of whittling away at the gap, Hayes dove back into the lead on lap 9 in Turn 1. A few laps later, Beaubier looked to return the favor. However, the young pilot couldn’t hold his line after storming back through into the lead and crashed out of the race.

At that point Hayes sailed off to claim his 48th career AMA Pro SuperBike victory. The win was Hayes’ ninth at New Jersey Motorsports Park, which doesn’t even count the two other occasions in which he took the checkered flag first but lost out in the final order due to a penalty.

“I was having so much fun other than that stupid off-road thing I did in Turn 1,” Hayes said. “Running down Cam was so hard but I was so enjoying myself and trying so hard. I really used up a lot of my energy trying to do that. We got up there and got to going back and forth. I was absolutely gutted to see Cam fall down. I really wanted to see a Yamaha 1-2.

“The race wasn’t as smooth as it looked, especially after halfway. I felt that I was a sinking ship. They were making little bits of time and there was really nothing I could do to stop taking on water. I had done a lot of damage to the rear tire, I think when I tried to catch Cameron, in the early part of the race and I was really struggling just to maintain. I was trying really hard to maintain what I was doing and I felt like I was losing ground. I don’t know if they were racing together, but finally with a couple laps to go it afforded me an extra second and I was able to relax a little bit and bring it home.”

Hayes reflected on the last six seasons in which he went from SuperBike dark horse to four-time champion.

“It’s pretty amazing,” he said. “I still try to take it in. I went from to underdog to overdog it seems like overnight. I’m so lucky to have found not just a team but a family. They take care of me and I try to take care of them. The motivation for things like yesterday and today are how hard they work and wanting to do my part. Leadership starts from the top down. I want them to know that every time I get on the motorcycle I’m going to give it everything I have and I feel it ensures they’ll do the same for me. It helps us lift each other when we’re both struggling at different times. In five years you can believe there’s ups and downs and hard times and good times. I think it helps us do all those things. I’ve been lucky to work with a team so long and have so much success.”

Hayden, who came into the weekend with a separated shoulder, clawed his way back up through the field to close in on Cardenas. The two went back-and-forth on the race’s final laps with Hayden ultimately getting the better of the melee to claim second. The result, combined with Beaubier’s misfortune, allowed the Suzuki rider to steal the runner-up spot in the championship as well.

“The race started off pretty well but I made a little mistake,” Hayden explained. “Josh is really good at getting away in the beginning. I tried to hang with him in the first couple laps and made a mistake and just ran off the track. But I fought all the way back up to second. I’ve got to thank all my guys for all they’ve done for me all year. We finished the year strong, which is exactly what we wanted to do, so this is for them.”

Cardenas claimed his fourth podium result of the season with his Sunday third.

“It was a difficult race because this track is very physical,” Cardenas said. “I wanted to finish a little bit higher on the podium but today this was the maximum I could get. I’m happy for the team to finish on the box, which is always good for me and for the team.”

Fillmore suffered another DNF while Martinez held off ADR Motorsports, Sic, Motul Fly’s David Anthony for fourth by a scant 0.019 seconds at the flag. That impossibly small distance was also the difference between fourth and fifth in the 2014 championship for Anthony as he lost out to today’s seventh-place finisher, Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Chris Clark by a single point in the final tally.

A five-rider pack grouped up mid-distance in the race for sixth through 10th. Sixth ultimately went to the 2014 Canadian Superbike champ, 22-year-old Jodie Christie on the Honda Canada/Accelerated Technologies CBR1000RR.

He was followed by Clark, Sunday podium man Larry Pegram on the Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing EBR 1190RS, GEICO Motorcycle Racing Honda’s Chris Ulrich, and TOBC Racing II’s Taylor Knapp.