At 40-years old, Mississippi’s Josh Hayes is showing he still got it. And got it good.
The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 pilot dominated the first-ever race in MotoAmerica, North America’s new road-racing series spearheaded by three-time 500cc Champion Wayne Rainey.
Hayes started the 12-lap race at the 3.426-mile circuit from pole, and was able to open up a four-second lead in the opening laps. His teammate Cameron Beaubier battled his way up front, eventually getting within three seconds of the four-time AMA SuperBike Champion.
But Hayes was able to once again pull away, and take the win by over 5.279 seconds ahead of Beaubier. Taking the final podium spot was Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden ended up third.
This was Hayes 49th Superbike win, and he dedicated it to the late Dane Westby, a fellow racer he passed away last month.
“There are just so many things going on this weekend,” Hayes said. “Just so much: new series, new machine. There is a lot of Yamaha brass here for a big weekend with MotoGP. A lot of things happening with so much of my family here, a lot like Rog [Hayden], Hayes says.
“I have a lot of friends here in Texas and I’m a bit overwhelmed. We’ve had some dodgy weather, we’ve had some good weather, we’ve had a little bit of everything. I feel like we’ve had a good sprinkle of everything. To have a successful race weekend and come out of here with a win, regardless of what happens tomorrow, it’s fantastic. I’m very happy to be up here and get one in for Yamaha and the new R1. My team has done an amazing job. I was prepared, rain or shine. Mentally, I was in a really good state. I was ready to go either way very early in the weekend.”
Yamaha YZF-R1 pilot Bernat Martinez earned fourth, followed by Yoshimura Suzuki’s Jake Lewis.
Running with the Superbikes were the Superstock class. RoadRace Factory YZF-R1 pilot Jake Gagne took the win ahead of Aprilia HSBK Racing RSV4 pilot Dustin Dominquez and Tyler O’Hara Racing Yamaha’s Tyler O’Hara.
“My plan was to get out there and do my own thing, let the race come to me and be there in the end,” Gagne said. “I put my head down and rode hard in the beginning to try and keep those guys [the top three Superbikes] in sight,” Gagne says.
“Josh [Hayes], Cameron [Beaubier] and Rog [Hayden] were all hauling butt. About halfway through I had some moments and I couldn’t hold on to Rog any longer. I wanted to bring this thing home and get the Yamaha R1 on the top of the Superstock podium. I’m stoked. It’s my first time on the 1000 in the wet and it was a big eye-opener, but I had fun out there and I’m glad we brought her back home.”
Rain is expected during the second MotoAmerica Superbike/Supersport race, which is slotted to follow MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas.
2015 Austin MotoAmerica Superbike Race 1 Results:
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
3. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
4. Bernat Martinez (Yamaha)
5. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
6. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki)
7. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
8. Mathew Orange (BMW)
9. Ricky Orlando (Kawasaki)
10. Aaron Hersh (Suzuki)
2015 Austin MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Race 1 Results:
1. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
2. Dustin Dominguez (Aprilia)
3. Tyler O’Hara (Yamaha)
4. Mark Heckles (Yamaha)
5. Devon McDonough (Aprilia)
6. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha)
7. Geoff May (Yamaha)
8. Barrett Long (Ducati)
9. Carlos Lescale (BMW)
10. Jeff Wrobel (Suzuki)