-- AMA SBK 2012 - New Orleans - Sunday Report
Three-time AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike king Josh Hayes closed out his epic 2012 campaign in fitting style. The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha superstar notched up one last blowout victory to put the finishing touches on the season in front of his home crowd.
Hayes tore off from pole and blitzed to his 16th win of the season, far and away the most attained in a single-season in the 30-plus year history of the championship. The Mississippian worked his advantage into double digits before easing to the last checkered flag of 2012 with a 9.194-second margin of victory.
Along with posting the record for most wins in a season, Hayes also established the new mark for most consecutive wins (ten), tied the record for most consecutive poles (eleven) and most poles in a season (ten). He also moved into a tie for second with most SuperBike titles (three), and surpassed Miguel DuHamel to grab sole possession of second-place on the all-time SuperBike wins list (33).
Hayes said of his historic season, "It was the perfect way to end an incredible year. A lot of fans and friends came out and I'm glad I was able to do a good job in front of them. I think we are showoffs and we tend to do some of our best work when people are around. It was just an awesome weekend -- I had a lot of fun."
Underlining his absolute mastery of the sport, while Hayes seemed to leave the field in his wake with relative ease, the premier class finale was otherwise a rather ragged affair, fraught with crashes, mechanical issues, and penalties among top-ten contenders.
Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Young and National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden were embroiled in a struggle for the runner-up position some six seconds behind the leader on lap 9 of 18. However, as the two dove into Turn 1 to open lap 10, Hayden's front wheel contacted Young's rear wheel as they both attempted to corral their machines under braking.
The two crashed at speed together but quickly popped up to their feet, disappointed but seemingly unharmed.
That double disaster elevated the fight for fourth between Team Hero EBR's Danny Eslick and Jordan Suzuki's Ben Bostrom into one for the runner-up position.
However, while they remained glued together on track throughout, they were separated by nearly five seconds on the scoring monitors when Eslick was hit by a penalty for crossing the white line coming onto the start/finish straight; a boundary line put into place prior to the event to modify the radius of the turn with rider safety in mind.
"I had a good fight there with Danny," Bostrom said. "Josh just left us in the dust. I was behind Danny and I saw him cross the white line. I came by the pitboard and they held up '3' and I held up '2'. They might have thought I was showing them the peace sign. I realized I could just follow him to the finish line. What else is there to do? So I just followed him around."
Eslick took the checkered flag in second but the position officially went to veteran Bostrom. The duo's lead on fourth was sufficient for Eslick to claim the final spot on the podium despite his penalty.
The Oklahoman was uncertain that he had been penalized while still on track and thought he had finished second, but wasn't overly surprised to learn the truth. "I knew I ran off," he explained. "The thing wheelied coming off the corner and I chopped the throttle, but it ran out onto (the line). It is what it is. I'm still up here with two of the best guys out there. I can't complain."
Team Amsoil/Hero EBR's Geoff May suffered a mechanical issue with his machine while running fourth, quickly following the plight of Foremost Insurance Pegram BMW's Larry Pegram.
A lap later Riders Discount K&L Supply's Taylor Knapp crashed from fifth in a race marred by heavy attrition.
The mistakes and mishaps opened the door for a tremendous result from multi-time AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike race winner Aaron Yates, who took home fourth on the EvanSteelPerformance.com BMW S1000RR in his second event back to the Series.
Fifth went to KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore to complete what has to be regarded as the fledgling SuperBike squad's most successful weekend yet.
M4 Suzuki's Chris Ulrich equaled his best SuperBike result yet with a sixth-place result, followed by Team Venezuela's Robertino Pietri.
Kneedraggers.com/Motul/Fly Racing's David Anthony, Attack Performance Kawasaki's Steve Rapp, and Anthony's teammate Jordan Burgess rounded out the top ten.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Martin Cardenas of the GEICO Suzuki squad got a measure of revenge on Cameron Beaubier (Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha) in Sunday's AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at NOLA Motorsports Park as the two class titans put on a memorable show during the final race of the 2012 season. Cardenas crashed out of Saturday's race won by Beaubier and the Yamaha pilot tied the series champion for victories this year with seven heading into today's race.
Cardenas won Sunday's nail-biter after a thrilling ending, one that saw both riders giving it all they had on the final lap. The Colombian was able to answer each of Beaubier's tries at a pass and held off his younger rival for a 0.208 second win. For Cardenas, it was his eighth victory in his championship season.
Cardenas pulled away from the field early and Beaubier managed to catch up to make it a two-man fight. Both riders had slight bobbles that set up the last-lap showdown.
"For sure I wanted to beat Cameron," said Cardenas. "Lately, he was winning a lot. I was prepared to give everything. If it worked out? Fine. If not? The ground was also okay. I gave everything I had."
"Going into the last lap, I was pushing as hard as I could," said Beaubier.
Tommy Aquino (Kneedragers.com Yamaha) beat Dane Westby (M4 Suzuki) to the line after that duo traded paint on the final lap.
J.D. Beach (RoadRace Factory/Red Bull) finished fifth after a podium on Saturday. He topped Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Triumph) by less than half a second. Tommy Hayden, still recovering from an injury sustained at New Jersey in the fall, was next. Michael Beck of Team Beck Racing recovered from a crash on Saturday to finish eighth.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha's Garrett Gerloff won the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race at NOLA Motorsports Park on Sunday, topping Saturday's winner Hayden Gillim of the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team and overall championship winner James Rispoli of Celtic Racing/ Orient Express Racing.
Gerloff took the lead early and was never challenged, winning by 11.725 seconds. The young standout, who began the year in GoPro Daytona SportBike before being injured, ran away from the field in a dominating performance in the 15-lap race. It was reminiscent of Gerloff's first Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport win in New Jersey last year.
"Everything went really well and I got a good start for once," said Gerloff. "I was just trying to get into my rhythm and pull a gap."
Tomas Puerta finished fourth for RoadRace Factory/Red Bull.
In the SuperSport East championship, Dustin Dominguez finished fourth but unfortunately his effort wasn't enough to win the divisional title. Jake Lewis of the Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki team finished 11th and managed to hold on to the title by a margin of 11 points, 256 to 245, respectively.
"I knew where I had to finish," said Lewis. "I kept an eye on Dustin, then I laid back a little bit and brought the championship home."
Travis Wyman (Harv's H-D) was sixth, just ahead of Miles Thornton (Eyeball NYC) and Ryan Kerr (Best Book 1 Kawasaki) and Suzuki SportBike TrackGear.com's Elena Myers.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series
A season's worth of bar-to-bar AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series racing and dramatic race finishes in no way prepared the fans for the unbelievable conclusion to the XR Showdown that was to unfold at NOLA Motorsports Park.
KLR Group/Spyke's/Vesrah's Michael Barnes and Bartel's Harley-Davidson's Tyler O'Hara entered the season finale separated by a meager two points, effectively making it a winner-take-all contest.
The two quickly broke free of the pack and fought furiously for the position until the race was stopped at mid-distance due to a red flag. The field was re-gridded for a five-lap fight to decide the XR Showdown and the $25,000 prize awarded to the champion.
Again, Barnes and O'Hara moved into the lead and tussled for first position as the laps wound down. O'Hara took the white flag with the advantage but Barnes overtook him entering Turn 1.
O'Hara attempted a counterattack, but ran wide, allowing the veteran ace to immediately reclaim the position.
To find a way through and with the championship on the line, O'Hara slotted up the inside as the two raced onto the start/finish straight for the final time this season, side-by-side with the checkered flag in sight. O'Hara shocked Barnes (and everybody else) by reaching over and tugging Barnes' right arm, pulling himself ahead as they powered to the stripe.
Barnes shook his head in vehement disagreement while O'Hara celebrated an apparent XR1200 Series championship victory. However, O'Hara's maneuver was quickly deemed illegal and Barnes was credited with both the victory and his first-career individual AMA Pro national championship following more than two decades of trying.
There was further drama in the pack as Teterboro Rams' Shane Narbonne and Rossiter's Harley-Davidson's Michael Corbino clashed multiple times on the final lap. Corbino came out the worse, crashing and bringing out the red flag.
The checkered red left Barnes the race winner and 2012 AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series champion, NJMP winner Narbonne second, and Suburban Harley-Davidson's Benny Carlson third. O'Hara meanwhile, was dropped to 11th -- the final man in his lap group -- meaning Carlson's podium was good enough to overtake O'Hara in the Showdown order and claim the $10,000 prize awarded the series' runner-up.
A reflective Barnes said, "There was a lot of pressure going into this last one, and I felt I had a little edge throughout all the sessions this weekend on Tyler. But you can never count that guy out, especially on the last lap, last turn. He made a little mistake and went into Turn 3 wide (on the last lap) and I had a good five or six bike-length gap that he slowly reeled in. He didn't get me in 13 so I pretty much thought I had it right there. But I saw him come up the inside and I matched him coming off the last corner. He grabbed my arm and did the old dirt track pass maneuver on me.
"I just started flipping out in my head because I knew it was wrong. I felt that with him coming on the inside, I had the drive on the outside with the higher line, carrying more speed. I'm sorry that he decided to do that because it affected him gravely in this race.
"But aside from that, I'm just so stoked that I won this championship and this race. I can't say enough for Kyle Wyman in giving me this opportunity and this bike -- something equal to his... I'm proud to be on this team and I'm glad to have the support from everybody. I can't say thanks enough to everybody that helped me get here. It's been a long, long fight to get a singles championship. I'm pretty proud of it."
-- Saturday Report - Josh Hayes and Yamaha Win First-Ever AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Race in New Orleans
Three-time AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike champion Josh Hayes gave his home fans a one-race summary of the sort of domination he's delivered throughout his entire 2012 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing campaign on Saturday at NOLA Motorsports Park.
The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha ace marched away right from the start. He gapped the field by over a second on the opening lap and built his lead from there to claim the first race of the weekend's SuperBike doubleheader at the Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans presented by Dunlop Tire and LeoVince.
The Mississippian collected the 15th victory of his unprecedented season with more than ten seconds in hand today, demonstrating his superiority even after securing the 2012 crown a round early.
The win is the 32nd of Hayes' premier-class career, tying him with AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike legend Miguel DuHamel for second on the all-time list.
"I had a great race -- the most drama I had was I did a little 'poppa-wheelie' on the start," Hayes said. "It took me a second to get it down and get going... The first lap everything went pretty clean. I didn't really protect any areas on the racetrack; I just put in a good clean lap. There have been a couple sections of the track that I've owned through the weekend so I just tried to hit my marks on those areas of the racetrack and got myself a gap pretty early.
"I didn't have a single slip or slide out there. I was pretty comfortable and having a lot of fun. I had so many people come out here this weekend; I just wanted to do well for them. I'm glad I was able to win the race."
Once again, Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Young overcame a second-row start to prove he's still the next best thing to Hayes on the circuit. The Suzuki pilot got a terrific launch off the line, storming into second. From there he waged a battle deep into the contest with Jordan Suzuki's Ben Bostrom as they quickly broke free of a multi-rider melee for fourth.
Late in the contest, Young had second position firmly under control when Bostrom suffered an apparent mechanical issue. The Californian dropped well off the pace and down to 15th in the final finishing order.
"I got a pretty good start from the second row," Young said. "I've had to learn to start from the second row because I can't seem to get it together in qualifying to get up on the front row. I got off to a fairly good start. The only thing I would have liked to do better is go faster on the first couple of laps. I'm pretty happy. It was a good race. I'm happy to get second for Yoshimura Suzuki; the guys are working good for me as always. Tomorrow I think we can apply a few things we learned today with the motorcycle and I learned a few things as a rider. Hopefully we can put that all together and race with Josh a little bit and make it exciting for the fans."
Bostrom's Michael Jordan Motorsports teammate, Roger Hayden, assumed third from Bostrom. It was a hard climb for the Kentuckian, who dropped outside the top ten on the opening lap and systematically worked his way forward as the race progressed.
Late in the race, Hayden was officially more than five seconds ahead of fourth, and yet at the same time, in an on-track fight with Team Venezuela's Robertino Pietri and KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore. Both Pietri and Fillmore were penalized five seconds for having crossed the white line next to the wall on the outside of the track's final corner, potentially spoiling breakthrough rides for both men.
However, Fillmore (fourth) and Pietri (fifth) ultimately still finished in the same position in the final results as they did on track, having pulled well clear of Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing BMW's Larry Pegram in sixth.
Third-place finisher Hayden said, "It was kind of an exciting race for me. I got a bad start and kind of got pinched off and lost a few spots. I tried to make it all back up in Turn 4 and ran off the track. I think after the first lap I was 12th or 13th. I made up a few spots and then I passed Dave Anthony and he got into the back of me and off the track I went again. I went back to 12th. I just picked guys off slowly and didn't try to force anything. Third place is a bit of a gift -- I don't know what happened to Ben's bike. Not the best race, but we got third and we're third in points, which is my best season finish so far. Tomorrow we'll try to make the bike a little better, get a better start, and try to not let these guys get away at the beginning."
Seventh went to Riders Discount K&L Supply's Taylor Knapp, ahead of Attack Performance's Steve Rapp, who earlier ran in fourth.
Kneedraggers.com/Motul/Fly Racing's David Anthony came home in ninth, while EvanSteelPerformance.com BMW's Aaron Yates rounded out the top ten as the SuperBike star continues to find his for in his return to action.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
It was a true showdown in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike. GEICO Suzuki's Martin Cardenas clinched the title in Miami, but many times during the 2012 season he had to watch Cameron Beuabier, who had no title aspirations after an earlier injury, win races for Y.E.S /Graves/Yamaha. With the championship decided, both riders could go for it in New Orleans.
Beaubier came out on top as Cardenas crashed out in the waning laps while the duo fought for position at the front. It was the seventh win of the year for Beaubier, which ties him with Cardenas for the most victories on the season in GoPro Daytona SportBike.
Cardenas rode off into the lead twice, as the race was stopped by a red flag caused by an ugly crash that happened on lap three when Meen Motorsports' Bobby Fong hit the rear of polesitter Jake Gagne's RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha in turn one. After the race was restarted, Cardenas once again pulled away, only to have Beaubier charge through the pack and catch up with the Colombian. Cardenas had several near-crashes before relinquishing the point to Beaubier. The two-time Daytona SportBike Champion had just slipped back into the lead before crashing out of the final series of turns with two to go.
"I was trying to make my way up towards the front," said Beaubier. "I put my head down and managed to catch up to Cardenas. He made a mistake and crashed. It's not the way I wanted to win but my team gave me a great bike."
Dane Westby finished second for M4 Suzuki, maintaining second place in the series points. He beat J.D. Beach on the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha and Tommy Aquino on the Kneedraggers.com Yamaha, who tangled in the final corners.
Jake Zemke earned a top five on the DucShop Ducati. Jason DiSalvo was sixth on his Latus Motors Racing-branded Triumph. David Gaviria earned seventh on his Kneedraggers.com Yamaha.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
Celtic Racing/Orient Express Racing's James Rispoli did exactly what he needed to on Saturday to not only lock up the 2012 AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport West Division Championship but the overall SuperSport National Championship as well. Rispoli rode a measured race, consistently battling in podium contention before ultimately being credited in fourth in the red-flagged concluded contest.
The West Region and overall National Championships are in addition to Rispoli's triumphant 2011 season in which he claimed the East Region and overall National Championships.
"It feels great," Rispoli said. "To win the second one... it was just as hard as the first. These boys kept me honest... Hats off to everybody in the SuperSport class. I'm really happy with how the whole season has gone and how the whole team has gelled. I hope it's the right move and a good step for the future."
Saturday's race was won in lopsided fashion by RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's Hayden Gillim. Gillim was in devastating form, slicing into the lead and opening up a 1.5-second advantage at the end of the first lap. That lead was well over three seconds just one lap later and quickly into the double digits, where Gillim maintained the gap until the race was called complete.
"It's been good all weekend," Gillim said, after earlier securing the pole position. "The bike has been fantastic and the whole team has been meshing really well together. The race was amazing. I got off to a pretty good start, worked my way up to the lead, and just managed the pace from there."
While Rispoli's title victories stole the headlines, the East Region battle took a major turn as well. Castrol Triumph's Dustin Dominguez worked his way into second in the race but was tracked down by title rival Jake Lewis on the Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki. Lewis overtook him on the front straight and moments later Dominguez crashed out of the race entering Turn 1, resulting in the red flag that ended the contest.
Additionally, East Region contender Stefano Mesa crashed on the race's original opening lap, which also brought out a red flag and led to a complete restart. As a result, Lewis has surpassed Dominguez in the standings and now holds a commanding East Region lead, boasting a 17-point advantage heading into Sunday's season finale.
"Bummer for (Dominguez), but I'm happy to be leading the championship for the whole team," Lewis said. "We just need to finish strong tomorrow and hopefully I'll get my first AMA Pro championship."
Gillim's teammate, Tomas Puerta, finished third, handing the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull squad their first-ever double podium result.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series
Jake Holden (M.O.B. Racing) won provisional pole for the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race on Saturday. The veteran and former AMA Pro race winner was able to top the charts with a lap of 1:51.038 at the 2.75-mile, 16-turn circuit.
The three main title contenders in the XR Showdown, Michael Barnes (KLR Group), Tyler O'Hara (Bartel's H-D), and Benny Carlson (Suburban H-D) all qualified on the provisional front row, following Holden. Barnes currently leads O'Hara by two points, with Carlson a further six points behind O'Hara. After tomorrow's 15-lap race, one of those three will likely be crowned the 2012 AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 champ.
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