-- AMA SBK 2013 - Miller Motorsports Park
Saturday's AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike thriller at Miller Motorsports Park was backed up by an even more shocking contest on Sunday -- one that further raises the stakes heading into the final three SuperBike races of the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season.
After failing to match the pace of the lead trio on Saturday, Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas thrust himself right back into the championship fight with a well-timed victory that came at the end of a full-tilt battle with National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden.
Following yesterday's rare defeat, defending triple champion Josh Hayes was motivated to break the challenge of his rivals early and rip open an immediate (and necessary) gap in order to take his revenge in Sunday's rematch. However, the Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha rider was perhaps a little too anxious to do so, crashing out of the lead while working lap 3 of 16.
Hayden, who was slowly closing in on Hayes after the Yamaha pilot had led him by more than a second following the completion of the race's opening lap, inherited the lead at that point.
Herrin, meanwhile, was unable to repeat his Saturday heroics. The Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha SuperBike sophomore discovered an issue with his YZF-R1 on the sighting lap and found himself in the frustrating position of having to nurse his machine for the entire race distance in order to salvage as many points as possible for his title hopes.
With the Yamaha runners out of contention for the win, Cardenas stepped up and tracked down Hayden. The luckless Kentuckian encountered an issue with his machine, as well, which slowed his pace in the race's later stages.
Cardenas and Hayden traded the lead several times late, with the Colombian ultimately holding the advantage despite some incredible overtaking attempts by Hayden.
The Michael Jordan Motorsports rider put his hand up with just two corners to go, signaling a problem. Cardenas powered on to the win while Hayden managed to just coast across the line ahead of third-placed Herrin, who had trailed him by more than six seconds. That narrow escape could prove to have massive title implications down the line as the championship race has taken on a most intriguing shape with the season quickly approaching its conclusion.
Race-winner Cardenas said, "It was a pretty hard race. At the beginning, these guys were a little bit faster up to the point when Josh crashed. Roger was pretty fast, and I was just trying my best to keep with him. I started to gain a little on him and when I got on his rear wheel, I stayed there for a couple laps and was thinking about doing a pass right at the end. It was a pretty tough race -- I did my best, every lap as hard as I could. I passed Roger and he passed me back. He went a little deep, and I went back to his inside. I pushed that last lap because I knew he would try to pass me back, and I ended up winning. I'm very happy for me and the whole Yoshimura team."
Runner-up Hayden was bitterly disappointed following another near-miss. "I'm not real sure what happened. It started with about six laps to go. It just started getting slower and slower out of the flat corners and really started backing in bad under the brakes. You know, the last lap, when I got on the throttle nothing was really happening. I don't know what was happening -- if it dropped a cylinder or was tying up or what. But, with about four laps to go, I really didn't think I was going to finish.
"Obviously, I'm about as disappointed as you can get. I felt like I had the pace to win today."
"Today was a lot different," Herrin said, "I was just struggling to keep the bike off the ground. I don't know what it was; we didn't really change anything from yesterday. But I came in off the sighting lap and told the guys there was something up with the front tire because it was moving all over the place. We thought about getting on the backup bike...But we figured I would do better nursing a front tire than starting from the back of the field. So that's basically what we did -- just trying to do as well as we could and make the best out of it."
Despite his problems, Herrin's third-place finish allowed him to reclaim the points lead at 264, while the resurgent Cardenas is well within striking distance at 255.
After his front-end washout, Hayes picked his R1 back up and soldiered on to score three vital points with an 18th-place result, upping his tally to 248. Despite his Utah disappointment, Hayes' 16-point deficit means that he remains in control of his own destiny, but with little room for error. He can guarantee himself a 20-point swing in the standings if he is able to collect maximum points at both the penultimate round at New Jersey Motorsports Park and the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca finale.
Hayes explained his crash, stating, "I was trying hard, and I fell down, you know? The front wasn't very good and was giving me some warnings, even on the first lap. I was pushing on it, anyway. Yesterday, I didn't think the front was all that good but I had been able to push on it and keep going. All the places it had given me indications that it was bad, Tooele Turn wasn't one of them. I was going at it the same as I had. I don't know or think that I had done anything different that lap but I had one that happened fast and it got away from me."
Jordan Suzuki's Danny Eslick pushed Herrin in the middle stages of the race before accepting a fine fourth-place result.
Team Hero EBR's Geoff May rounded out the top five. He was followed by his Team AMSOIL/Hero teammate, Aaron Yates, who held off Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony for sixth by 0.517 seconds at the flag. KTM/HMC Racing's Taylor Knapp raced on track with Yates and Anthony but was credited with eighth after being assessed a five-second penalty for jumping the start.
Cardenas' Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing teammate, Chris Clark, and Motosport.com/EBR's Dustin Dominguez completed the race's top ten.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier won again at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah to sweep the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike races at the track this weekend. Beaubier had a tough time of it, winning by just 0.176 over Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha teammate Garrett Gerloff and 0.439 over RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's JD Beach.
Meen Motorsports' Jake Lewis joined the trio in a four-rider pack at the front. Beach and Gerloff both took turns at the front late, but mistakes meant they lost the lead, and Beaubier eventually won the contest to tie the record for most AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike wins in a season. Beaubier's ninth win this year equaled the mark set by Martin Cardenas in 2010.
"I can't believe how happy I am after getting the double win here," said Beaubier, the points leader. "This race was one of the best ones I have ever had, and to race with these two guys was really cool, passing back and forth. JD scared me coming into turn one. It was crazy but it was awesome."
The exciting race held its share of close shaves and brilliant saves, with Beach making a double draft to take the lead with four laps to go. Beach nearly tossed it to the sky, as did Gerloff on the last lap.
Lewis once again finished fourth, ahead of Jake Gagne on the other RoadRace Factory/Red Bull machine.
James Rispoli was the top Suzuki in the contest as his National Guard Celtic Racing bike topped the Triumphs of Jason DiSalvo on the Latus Motors Racing entry and Bobby Fong on the D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph.
GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing's Dane Westby and Team Amantini's Fernando Amantini earned their second top tens of the weekend on Sunday.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
California Superbike School Roadracingworld.com's Joe Roberts entered the race wanting to extend his perfect record since joining the AMA Pro tour at Barber. RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's Tomas Puerta was looking to clinch the West division title. The two got off to a great start before a red flag broke up a race where Roberts narrowly led Puerta with seven laps to go and it set up a great run to the finish that saw Roberts win his fifth race in a row and Puerta clinch the West.
Roberts took the checkers just 0.198 ahead of Puerta.
"It's great coming out and winning all the races. It's been really awesome coming to race in SuperSport with this California Superbike School Roadracingworld.com team. They're a bunch of great guys and really put my bike to the top, so it's great," said Roberts. "Coming down on the last lap, I got passed by Tomas and Wyatt going into Turn 1. I had two bikes ahead of me, so I was freaking out a little because I didn't know how I was going to pass them back. An opportunity came up in Turn 5, and I just went for the pass to get Wyatt. I knew if I didn't pass him there, I wasn't going to win the race. I got behind Tomas and went through Turn 7 really good and was riding around the outside and just tried to stick it into Turn 8 and make the pass and stay on the track. Then, I just tried to hold my line so Tomas couldn't pass me back."
Roberts won all five AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com races he entered in 2013.
Puerta's championship season proved to be one of speed and consistency. "It was great to lock up the first championship for the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team, and we've been trying all season to do our best," said Puerta, who locked up both the West and the Overall crown in a season that saw him finish on the podium nine times. "It was a really fun year and thanks to everyone that made it a great season."
Wyatt Farris backed up his second-place finish on Saturday with a close third, just 0.432 behind Roberts.
Erick Sanchez (EYK) turned in the fastest lap of the race at 1:56.582 and earned his best result of the year with fourth place. He topped Mid-Ohio podium finisher Miles Thornton (CTR Racing) and CJ Weaver (BP Racing), along with West title hopeful Jeffrey Tigert (Baby Appleseed CM Motorsports) who finished seventh. Ryan Matter (Gearzy) earned eighth while newcomers Royce McLean (Yamaha/Dunlop/Arai) and Andrew DiBrino (Drew Paints) also earned top-ten finishes from the 36-rider field.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series
Aerostar Global/Suburban Harley-Davison's Steve Rapp has firmly established himself as the rider to beat heading into this season's $60,000 XR Showdown, as he racked up his fourth successive AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson race win today at Miller Motorsports Park.
The Californian controlled the race from the start but was pressed throughout by '12 MMP dominator Tyler O'Hara on the Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade XR1200. Rapp capitalized on an O'Hara mistake to eke out a small margin with a couple laps remaining and managed that gap en route to the checkered flag.
O'Hara finished a strong second, taking the stripe 0.857 seconds behind Rapp but more than ten seconds ahead of defending class champion, Michael Barnes, who completed the podium on the Spyke's Harley-Davidson machine.
While form and momentum will work in Rapp's favor when the field arrives at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP to kick off the four-race XR Showdown, he won't have his hard-earned points lead to rely on. The top ten riders following today's race will be reset at 1000 points, setting the stage for a thrilling battle to determine this year's AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson champion.
Rapp said, "It feels great. I wasn't even sure if I was going to make this race, and thanks to all the guys at Suburban Harley-Davidson and Aerostar Global, I'm here and they gave me an awesome bike... It's just a great feeling; no matter what you run on, it's always fun winning. I'm having a great time, and there's a lot less pressure and stress than I used to have. It's fun coming to the races again."
With a number of riders desperate to earn a qualifying position in today's critical race, fireworks were expected and fireworks there were.
Happy Trails M/C Connection's Hayden Schultz and Fernet Insurance's Eric Stump entered the weekend ranked 15th and 17th but qualified fourth and fifth and therefore had a realistic shot of fighting their way in with a strong Sunday performance. Unfortunately, Schultz crashed while running up front on the opening lap and Stump crashed on the race's final lap after working his way up to fourth, eliminating any hopes they had of claiming a spot in the XR Showdown.
In the end, only Thrashed Bike Racing David Estok came from outside the top ten to qualify for the XR Showdown, and at the expense of ChiliPepper Racing's Ricky Parker.
The ten qualifiers are Rapp, O'Hara, Barnes, Harv's Harley-Davidson's Travis Wyman, Suburban Harley-Davidson's Ben Carlson, Mob Racing's Shane Narbonne, H&S Distributors' Nicholas Hansen, Estok, Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade's Josh Chisum, and Longevity Racing's Barrett Long.
The AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series will kick off the $60,000 XR Showdown with a doubleheader event at the Red Bull Indianapolis on August 16-18. The full GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing series will then travel to New Jersey Motorsports Park for The New Jersey Lottery Devil's Showdown on September 13-15 for the penultimate round of the 2013 season.
-- Saturday Report
The recent efforts made by AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike title contender Josh Herrin to elevate his game paid off in a huge way on Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park. The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha pilot came through in the clutch to defeat National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden and defending champion Josh Hayes in what must be considered the most thrilling premier-class contest of the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season to date.
Ultimately, the race was decided due to a blend of decisive strategic decisions and courageous maneuvers.
While the majority of the frontrunners opted to run the medium tire, pole man Hayes elected to run the harder, dual-compound rubber. When the Mississippian managed to hold the lead pace early, the expectation was that he would eventually outlast Herrin and Hayden and pull clear as tire wear and the resultant mistakes knocked them out of contention.
However, Hayes' game plan never fully materialized as he anticipated. Herrin controlled the race from first while Hayden consistently pressure the champion from behind, preventing Hayes from taking advantage of whatever edge in clear track pace he may have gained as the race wore on.
Demonstrating his recent strides, Herrin consistently maintained a strong pace at the front and successfully countered each and every attempt an increasingly desperate Hayes made to steal the position.
Hayes' task was made all the more difficult due to the fact that Herrin and Hayden both held an advantage down the long front straight and into the Turn 1 left-hander, which proved to be the only reliable passing spot on the circuit.
After Hayes tried and failed to overtake Herrin several times, Hayden maneuvered ahead and took his turn. The Kentuckian drafted past Hayes on the front straight to open lap 13 of 16 and immediately set his sights on Herrin. Like Hayes, Hayden dove past Herrin only to see Herrin reclaim the position moments later.
Hayden pressured Herrin heavily over the race's final lap but failed find a path by with Herrin storming home to his third career SuperBike victory by a scant 0.092 second margin at the checkered flag.
Hayes was relegated to the bottom step of the podium by 0.783 seconds in a race all too reminiscent of his '11 battles with Blake Young and Tommy Hayden.
While the win was the third of Herrin's SuperBike career, in a very real way it felt like his first (due to Hayes' mechanical issues at Daytona and jump-start penalty at Mid-Ohio). The victory also saw Herrin close to within two points of the championship lead with just four races remaining this season.
The triumphant Herrin said, "It feels really good. I've been putting in a lot of hard work. It's only been a month or a month-and-a-half and already paying off a bunch. Laguna and here are the first races in SuperBike where I haven't gotten tired since I started. It feels awesome.
"I've just got to thank the whole Monster Energy Graves Yamaha crew for sticking behind me, especially today making our tire choice. I feel like we made a really good choice and it paid off in the end...Also, being able to stay out front the whole time and get the points for most laps led, I think that's the first time I've been able to do that in three or four years. And to get my first win without Josh being out feels really good. Especially to get it here at Miller because I got my first (AMA Pro Road Racing) podium here and I have a lot of good memories. I always like coming here.
"With four races to go in the season, it's huge motivation to get a win finally without anybody being out of the race. Going into the race tomorrow I'm going to be real hungry and full of confidence."
"It's a little bummer to be that close to winning," runner-up Hayden admitted. "But I felt good. I made some attempts there on the last lap. I was watching the lap before to see where I was stronger. I really thought I got the bike stopped enough in Turn 5 and I didn't want to out-brake him and overshoot it, but I got just wide enough that he was able to sneak back by me.
"I've got to really thank the team. We've struggled with top speed for a while. I think this is the first time in a while that I've drafted one of the blue bikes. All of their hard work paid off today and made the race a lot more fun. I'm going to make a few changes and try to do a little better tomorrow."
Third-place finisher Hayes said, "It was a good race -- it was a fun race. I had a good bike and rode as hard as I could. These guys had my number in a couple of areas, and I knew once we really got to racing and dicing around it was going to be tough. I rode the best that I could and they just beat me today. I have an idea for tomorrow and I think I can give myself a better shot at it. I'm going to come back and give these boys a race tomorrow."
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas finished a lonely fourth. The Colombian managed to cling onto the lead group for the opening couple of circulations but quickly faded once he lost their tow. He ultimately finished nearly 15 seconds off the win.
Jordan Suzuki's Danny Eslick was a similarly solitary fifth, running by himself pretty much throughout while a heated battle raged behind him for sixth.
Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram held on to claim that position in the end. The Ohioan narrowly edged Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony by 0.175 seconds for sixth with KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore and Team Hero EBR's Geoff May a further 0.213 and 0.335 seconds adrift in eighth and ninth position, respectively.
Fillmore's KTM-mounted teammate, Taylor Knapp, completed the top ten.
Saturday's dogfight lays the groundwork for an intriguing Sunday contest with Herrin, Hayden, and Hayes already considering their strategic approaches to tomorrow's rematch.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier beat Garrett Gerloff in a battle of Yamaha Extended Services/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha teammates, with the final margin of 0.176 separating the duo after 16 laps at Miller Motorsports Park's first AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the weekend. RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's JD Beach and Jake Lewis of Meen Motorsports battled just behind the Yamaha teammates to make it a four-rider battle to the flag.
Gerloff lead early but Beaubier charged through the field to catch - and pass- his teammate with nine laps to go. Unlike other 2013 races in which Beaubier has been able to run away once he earned the lead, this contest saw Gerloff stick with Beaubier and even re-took the lead a few times.
On the final lap, Gerloff was unable to stuff it inside Beaubier at turn one, his favorite passing spot. Gerloff turned in the race's fastest lap the final time around MMP but was unable to stop Beaubier from extending his winning streak to six in a row and earn his eighth win of the year.
Beaubier found it tough going early after some pre-race changes to his setup, but managed to regroup to earn one of his best wins of the year. "It was really cool racing with JD and Garrett. They made a couple passes back and forth and it was good," said Beaubier. "At the beginning of the race I was struggling really bad. My bike honestly felt like a completely different bike. It took me a long time to get back up to speed. We made some changes this morning that we thought would be good for this afternoon, but I don't know what happened, but I was struggling pretty bad out there and wasn't able to do the times we did in qualifying. It was awesome battling with these guys. I gave it everything I had the last couple of laps and I was pushing the front everywhere. It was a good race."
Beach and Lewis, who both live near the Owensboro, KY, hotbed of racing talent and often ride together in the offseason, ran an impressive pace to finish 0.716 and 1.158 behind Beaubier.
Jake Gagne was fifth on the other Roadrace Factory/Red Bull entry, his first time off the podium since Daytona as the series number two points man had front end issues in the race.
National Guard Celtic Racing's James Rispoli was sixth. Behind the fast rookie were veterans GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing's Dane Westby, D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph's Bobby Fong, and Latus Motors Racing's Jason DiSalvo.
Fernando Amantini (Team Amantini) earned a top ten when he edged out Jake Zemke (Riders Discount Racing Triumph) for the position.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
Joe Roberts won his fourth straight AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday. It was Roberts' fourth straight win to begin his career, this time taking a close fight over Wyatt Farris, who earned his best result yet with second place. West points leader Tomas Puerta took third after leading asome of the 13-lap race.
Roberts looked cool and collected despite considerable pressure from Farris and Puerta. With six laps to go, Puerta made a move into turn one and passed Roberts, but the Californian returned the favor in short order. When Farris made his bid to take the point, Roberts kept the throttle on and resisted the pass. Eventually, Roberts was able to pull away from Farris and win by 0.7995.
"The race went really well and I got an awesome holeshot," said Roberts. "It was tough the whole time. It was a hard race and I had to push for sure ... it's going to be a good race tomorrow and I know these guys will be right there with me."
Farris has been building momentum and earned his best result yet in Utah. He credited his rise this year to hard work by his team.
Puerta extended his points lead with third and now leads the West by 53 points.
Sebastiao Ferreira of BP Racing took fourth place, also earning his best result of the season. He beat Stefano Mesa (Motosport.com RSRacecraft) and Miles Thornton (CTR Racing).
Hayden Gillim (Team 95) dropped from fourth the seventh on the last lap. He finished ahead of Jeffrey Tigert (Baby Appleseed CM Motorsports), Brandon Cleland (Motosport.com RSRacecraft), and Ryan Matter (Gearzy).
AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series
The surging Steve Rapp continued his recent run of dominant form in AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series action on Saturday at Miller Motorports Park. The points leader secured the provisional pole for Sunday's final qualifying event ahead of the four-race $60,000 XR Showdown that will kick off in two weeks' time at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
The Aerostar Global/Suburban Harley-Davison runner led the way today with a best time of 2:07.027, edging ahead of defending class champ Michael Barnes on the Spyke's Harley-Davidson XR1200 (2:07.223).
A number of riders on the bubble looking to earn one of the coveted ten spots in the XR Showdown showed impressive speed on Saturday. Fernet Insurance's Eric Stump, who is ranked just 17th but still well within striking distance, was third fastest provisionally. And 15th-ranked Hayden Schultz on the Happy Trails M/C Connection Harley-Davidson earned a place on the provisional front row as well, suggesting that there's potential for the bottom half of the top ten to be upended following tomorrow's critical eight-lap contest.
-- Previously......AMA SBK 2013 - Round Five - Hayes wins Laguna AMA Superbike
Immediately following the conclusion of the MotoGP World Championship contest at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the massive crowd in attendance at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix witnessed the performance another world class rider at the peak of his powers.
Three-time AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike king Josh Hayes registered a masterful ride to conclude this weekend's GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing activities en route to his 39th career premier-class triumph.
Hayes made an aggressive start off the line and put his head down over the race's opening laps to immediately crush any hope his rivals may have had of shadowing him for the entire 23-lap race.
The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha superstar made a clean break and, after logging a host of flawless laps, ultimately assembled a 7.829-second gap at the checkered flag that brought a merciful end to the reigning champion's one-sided victory.
After solidifying his hard-earned championship advantage, Hayes said, "It's not how I expected the race would play out but I'm glad. My idea of the race was it would be more similar to Ohio where the guys would be there for half the race and then the second half I would have a little more pace than them.
"The race actually came to me better than any session all weekend. Things clicked well, the laps times came pretty easily, and I didn't make any mistakes. It was a really smooth race for me, and I'm glad that it finally kind of came around for the race; I feel like I've been working hard all weekend and in the race things came a little more naturally."
While he seemingly needed little assistance on this day, the efforts of his teammate Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, helped to ease Hayes' escape. Herrin maneuvered in front of National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden at the start, and corralled the Kentuckian behind him for several crucial laps as Hayes stretched open his early gap.
Hayden had looked to be Hayes' primary concern this weekend, outpacing him on Friday and then pushing him throughout the remainder of the lead-up to the race. However, by the time Hayden found a way past Herrin on lap 8, Hayes had already built up more than five seconds worth of padding.
While Hayden managed to cut into Hayes' lead ever so slightly once he had some clear track in front of him, the former Supersport champion's recent string of poor luck struck yet again. Hayden was forced out of the race on lap 12 with a mechanical issue, making it three consecutive races in which he flashed the outright pace to race for the win but ultimately came away with a disappointing result.
Yoshimura Suzuki's Martin Cardenas followed Hayden past Herrin but made a mistake running through the Corkscrew on lap 11, allowing Herrin back past. From that point on, Herrin held strong, successfully fending Cardenas to the stripe.
Runner-up Herrin remarked, "My plan from the beginning was to stick behind Josh from lap 1 but it didn't work out so well. I know why -- on the warm-up lap he always goes from the line like it's the start of the race and gets the pace going and gets used to it. I just wasn't ready when the flagged dropped. I got a good start but he was gone the first couple of laps.
"The battle with Rog and Martin was good. I'm not sure what happened to Roger -- bummer that he wasn't there. All the work I've been putting in... the last two laps when I decided I needed to put it down so (Cardenas) didn't pass me somewhere, I was able to do so easily. I think if we could have kept up with Josh at the beginning like we normally do, it would have been a tight race, but I just wasn't able to keep up with him."
Cardenas came home third, his eighth podium finish in nine races since joining the Yoshimura squad.
The Colombian said, "It was a very tough race. I gave everything I had on all the laps. I got a little help to get on the podium because Roger had a mechanical and he was faster than me today. But I gave everything that I had. I had not the grip I wanted on the rear and was sliding all the race. I was hoping to get second position at the end but I didn't quite have a good enough last lap and wasn't close enough to make an attack on Herrin. I had to settle for third place. A podium is a good position but it's not the result we are chasing. It's a good result, and I'm happy. We'll keep trying at Miller and the next few races and hopefully it will come."
Several battles for position from fourth through tenth materialized and evaporated as the race took shape. A big train consisting of Jordan Suzuki's Danny Eslick, KTM/HMC Racing teammates Chris Fillmore and Taylor Knapp, Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram, and Erik Buell Racing teammates, Geoff May and Aaron Yates eventually broke down into multiple two and three-rider scraps.
Knapp showed his best form of the season, slicing past Pegram and Fillmore and closing down on Eslick, before his race came to an early end with a crash on lap 16.
Eventual fifth-place finisher Fillmore too challenged Eslick before the Oklahoman stretched out a bit of distance late to lock down fourth.
Team Hero EBR's May slashed his way up from tenth to claim sixth, just holding off Team AMSOIL/Hero teammate Yates on the final lap, while Pegram faded to eighth.
The misfortune of Hayden and Knapp meant that the dogfight waged by Motosport.com/EBR II's Cory West and Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony was elevated to a top-ten tussle. West out-dueled Anthony in the end to claim ninth.
Defending champion Hayes will carry an 11-point advantage over second-ranked Herrin (223-212) into Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, UT when the series arrives on August 2-4 for Round 6 of the 2013 AMA Pro National Guard season.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier won his seventh AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the year on Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, taking the win over teammate Garrett Gerloff and RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's Jake Gagne in a red-flagged race shortened to 14 laps.
Beaubier took the win by 2.955 seconds, having led before the red flag flew as the race approached halfway. On the restart, he was able to get out in front and avoid the entertaining battle behind him to lock up yet another race. Beaubier matched his 2012 total of seven GoPro Daytona SportBike contests with the spectacular victory.
"I kind of slacked on the first start and I went back to fifth," said Beaubier of the opening laps. "I was on the outside of (Jason) DiSalvo, and he ran a little wide. I finally made my way up to the front, put my head down, and pulled a little gap and then I saw the red flag. I thought, 'Oh man, it's going to be a bummer if we have to restart.' So, I just made sure I got a really good start on the restart and just put my head down. I knew Jake and Garrett were going to be right there. I have to give it up to my whole Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha crew. They've been working so hard and giving us awesome bikes."
Gerloff returned to the podium for the first time since his second-place finish at Daytona. His race saw him dicing with Latus Motors Racing's Jason DiSalvo for second, with Gagne just behind. With three to go, Gerloff made his move into second and was able to hold it to the flag to culminate arguably his best weekend yet on the GoPro Daytona SportBike.
Gagne led much of the race before the red flag but had to scramble to finish third after a poor restart. Gagne was in the second half of the top ten but made some smart moves, culminating with a pass of DiSalvo entering the Corkscrew, to earn his seventh podium result of the year.
DiSalvo's fourth was his best result since Barber Motorsports Park. The Triumph pilot was especially aggressive in the early laps once again.
RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's JD Beach backed up his Mid-Ohio podiums with fifth at one of his least favorite circuits, so it was a favorable result for the Kentucky resident. He topped Jake Lewis of Meen Motorsports by 2.172 seconds.
Dane Westby of GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing took seventh on his Honda.
James Rispoli (National Guard/Celtic Racing), Bobby Fong (D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph), and Joey Pascarella (Riders Discount Racing Triumph) rounded out the top ten.
- AMA Superbike Championship 2013 -
RND 1 - BEAUBIER WINS DAYTONA 200
RND 2 - HAYES TAKES ROAD AMERICA
RND 3 - HAYES WINS BARBER
- AMA Superbike Championship 2012 -
RND 1 - DAYTONA
RND 2 - ATLANTA
RND 3 - INFINEON
RND 4 - MILLER
RND 5 - ROAD AMERICA
RND 6 - BARBER
RND 7 - LAGUNA SECA
RND 8 - NEW JERSEY
RND 9 - MIAMI
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