AMA SBK 2013 – Round Three – Barber Motorsports Park – Hayes doubles Barber

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes once again had his hands full at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, and once again, he came through like a champion.

The reigning AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike king was pushed to the brink by National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden in a virtual repeat of Saturday’s tense final-lap showdown to conclude the Triumph SuperBike Classic presented by America’s First Federal Credit Union in epic fashion.

The race took shape in the early stages as a four-rider shootout with Hayes’ teammate, Josh Herrin, powering into the lead at the start. Herrin hounded Hayes from second over the race’s opening five laps after Hayes made an opening-lap pass while Hayden and Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Martin Cardenas stalked just behind the Yamaha duo.

Herrin sliced up the inside of Hayes entering ‘Charlotte’s Web’ on lap 6 and led the next two laps, bunching the pack back up after it threatened to break apart. Hayes retook the lead on lap 8 and Herrin made a crucial mistake a pair of laps later. That allowed Hayden to snatch second and close in on Hayes’ rear wheel, where he would remain for the remainder of the race.

The Kentuckian was within striking distance on the contest’s final lap, but that last circulation played out just as it had the day before, with the experienced triple champion never making a mistake or allowing his hungry rival an opportunity to find a way through into the lead.

Hayes launched off the final corner and beat Hayden to the stripe by a scant 0.221-second margin following 21-nailbiting laps.

A relieved Hayes said, “That was a really hard race. I was driving as hard as I could and trying to push it until everyone’s tires were junk at the end so hopefully nobody could make any moves. I was trying to pick my lines smart so I didn’t make any mistakes. It got pretty greasy and I had my share of mistakes still but fortunately I did it in spots where it wasn’t easy to get by. Fortunately, it was enough. Rog rode an incredible weekend and Josh was riding really well at the beginning… It’s a big testament to my team and a lot of hard work. Fortunately we have a lot of years of development in that machine and we can get to a good place pretty quickly. I really enjoyed the race — it’s fun having a close race and pushing hard all the way to the end. The last lap, for me, was as harrowing for me as lap 2. It was really fun, I really enjoyed it, and I’m really looking forward to going to Mid-Ohio.”

“My start wasn’t as good as yesterday,” Hayden joked, referring to his Saturday jumpstart. “So I had to come from a little further back. You know, I just sat behind Josh the whole race but never got close enough to pass him. Sometimes he got a small gap but the last couple laps I was right on his back tire just trying to find a place to make a pass. I was starting to slide around a little bit and so was he. Every time I tried to get a good run on him the last two laps I could never get that little bit more I needed to take a shot at it.”

Herrin regrouped and successfully defended third from Colombian Cardenas, eventually escaping to secure the final spot on the podium some ten seconds behind the race for the win.

“It was good at the beginning — as you can see, I still need to work on how fast I go once I get the lead,” Herrin admitted. “I was trying my hardest. The middle of the race is what I need to work on. Both days I was decent in the beginning, seem to fall off in the middle, and then regroup at the end and seem to hold the gap to first. So at least I know I can ride good on the tires at the end of the race. Now I just need to go home and work on my fitness a little bit more… I can’t wait until Mid-Ohio. Mid-Ohio is going to be the middle of the season and it’s time to turn things around and prove that I can run up front the whole race.”

Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram chased down Jordan Suzuki’s Danny Eslick throughout the race, finally making his move to steal away fifth position on the final lap.

Meanwhile, KTM/HMC Racing’s Chris Fillmore came out on top of a race-long, five-rider scrap for seventh. He edged Team Hero EBR’s Geoff May, KTM teammate Taylor Knapp, Motul Fly Racing’s David Anthony, and Team AMSOIL/Hero EBR’s Aaron Yates for the spot.

Hayes’ second consecutive perfect points haul weekend has thrust him right back into the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike title fight. The Mississippian moved into second with his fourth win in six races and trails Cardenas by just 10 points. He is now in position to take control of the championship lead at the next GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing event at Mid-Ohio with another weekend sweep.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Cameron Beaubier took win number four of the 2013 season for Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha at Barber Motorsports Park in Sunday’s AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race. The points leader won the race by 6.326 seconds, topping RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Jake Gagne and JD Beach at the 2.38-mile circuit.

Beaubier had the pace to impress all weekend and, in both races, he made a charge in the final laps to separate himself from Gagne. Beaubier now leads the points by 28 after five races.

“Today, I was a lot more consistent,” said Beaubier, who also made a tire change to the medium Dunlop tire choice for Sunday. “I knew Jake was fast all weekend. I was looking up at the tower to see who was in second. Halfway through, I tried to put down some 1:27s and was able to get a bit of a gap.”

Gagne crashed in the morning warm-up, injuring both feet, but Jake rallied to turn in a valiant effort to push Beaubier until the final laps when his rival pulled away.

“I got off to a good start behind Cameron,” said Gagne. “About halfway through the race, he took off. I was feeling some pain, so I wanted to manage to gap behind me.”

Beach was third, topping a group of challengers aiming for the final spot on the podium. Garrett Gerloff (Y.E.S/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha) jumped the start and was penalized five seconds for doing so. That meant his third on the track was actually fourth in the final results.

Dane Westby (GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing) was fifth after a protracted battle with upstart James Rispoli on the National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki. Westby nudged away at the end.

Alabama’s Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Triumph) ran up front early but faded to eighth by the time he completed the 21st lap.

M4’s Benny Solis charged up to ninth on his Honda.

Former Daytona 200 winner Joey Pascarella earned a top ten on his Riders Discount Racing Triumph.

AMA Pro SuperSport

Joe Roberts capped off his domination on the AMA Pro SuperSport weekend in Birmingham with a victory in Sunday’s race. The California Superbike School pilot led every session on his way to the double win in his first-ever AMA Pro race weekend. Roberts beat Team 95′s Hayden Gillim by 3.690 seconds, with RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Tomas Puerta third, just 0.004 behind Gillim after a race-long battle for second.

Roberts got away third, with a start better than Saturday’s. Roberts took a couple of laps to pass Puerta and then GIllim, but the 16-year-old was able to pull away to complete the rare sweep in a weekend that saw 41 riders take part in the weekend’s races.

“It was great to be P1 every session,” said Roberts. “My expectation was to run top five. It was a dream come true. The race was very difficult,” said Roberts. “I got an okay start, better than yesterday. I made the pass around the outside of Hayden and I put my head down.”

Gillim and Puerta’s battle came down to the final run to the flag. “I knew Tomas was behind me the entire time, and I was hoping my tires would be good at the end,” said Gillim. “I was able to get it turned and get the drive down to the flag. It was really cool. It was a drag race.”

Wyatt Farris earned fourth on the Meen Motorsports Yamaha, topping Miles Thornton. Thornton (CTR Racing) had his hands full with Nick McFadden early before the rookie crashed out of the 17-lap contest, then faced a tight group consisting of Elkhart Lake double winner Corey Alexander on the National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki GSX-R600, Gearzy’s Ryan Matter, and Daytona winner Stefano Mesa ( RSRacectaft). The group finished less than a second behind Thornton.

Travis Wyman (Harv’s H-D) finished ninth, ahead of Kaleb De Keyrel on the CWS Bleakly-Hayes Yamaha in his first top-ten result in AMA Pro competition.

AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series

Airline pilot Steve Rapp flew to his second consecutive AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series victory with another brilliant, abbreviated weekend performance.

Just as he did at Road America, Rapp missed some early-weekend track time but the veteran runner showed no ill-effects as a result. The Suburban Harley-Davidson star again qualified on the front row and then raced his way into the lead early in the race, ultimately breaking free en route to the checkered flag.

Rapp faced a determined challenge from Spyke’s Harley-Davidson’s Michael Barnes during the race’s opening half. He finally broke the pursuit of the defending class champ on lap 7 and ultimately worked up a 5.454-second margin of victory.

Rapp said, “The guys from Suburban Harley-Davidson — from the first time I rode the bike, there’s just something about it. The way we have it set up and the special things they’ve done for me as a rider, like handlebars and the seat and stuff like that, it just feels so good I feel like I can ride it a lot harder.

“I started the season with really nothing going on and Joe from Suburban Harley called me and said if I wanted to come out for Daytona we’d at least get one race in. I said ‘that’d be great’ and it’s just kept getting better. If we can get the whole season in, that’d be great. It’s been an unexpected welcome, for sure.”

Barnes came home with a clear runner-up finish, another five seconds separating him from the battle that raged for the final spot on the podium.

That position went to Eco-Fuel Saver/Scrubblade’s Tyler O’Hara, who aced Rapp’s Suburban Harley-Davidson teammate, Ben Carlson, on the final lap of the 11-lap race.

Harv’s Harley-Davidson’s Travis Wyman came home a lonely fifth after running with the lead pack in the race’s early stages.

Positions 6-14 finished the race in a relatively tight pack, headed by Mob Racing’s Shane Narbonne. Longevity Racing’s Barrett Long, H&S Distributors Nicholas Hansen,’s Ricky Parker, and Racing For A Wish’s Adam Raffe rounded out the contest’s top ten.

Next Up

The 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season will resume on July 12-14 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for the Buckeye Superbike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire.

Saturday…  -AMA SBK 2013 – Round Three – Barber Motorsports Park – Hayes wins Barber opener

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing superstar Josh Hayes continued to claw his way back into National Guard SuperBike championship contention with another standout performance today at Barber Motorsports Park. The defending triple champ claimed his third consecutive victory at the Triumph SuperBike Classic presented by America’s First Federal Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park in a wild contest on Saturday afternoon.

Hayes’ 36th-career National Guard SuperBike race win came in anything but conventional fashion as he found himself forced to simultaneously overcome one rival on the timing boards and another one on track.

The start of the race led to a wild turn of events in the contest’s opening stages, as Hayes, second qualifier Roger Hayden (National Guard Jordan Suzuki), Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram, M4 Sportbike Racing’s Chris Ulrich, and Neyra Racing’s Huntley Nash all rolled forward ahead of the race’s official start.

Hayes, who immediately let a number of his competitors by in an early attempt to avoid being penalized for his miscalculation, had to slash back past his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate Josh Herrin and points leader Martin Cardenas (Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing) on track and then set after race leader Hayden.

Hayes dove up the inside of the Michael Jordan Motorsports pilot entering Turn 5 on lap 5 and was shown in the lead as they crossed the stripe to open lap 6. However, moments later, Hayes and Hayden were dropped to third and fourth as they, Pegram, Ulrich, and Nash were all hit with a five-second penalty for anticipating the start.

Soon enough, Hayes and Hayden’s dogfight moved them back to the head of the charts as they broke free from the pack and easily eclipsed their penalties, displacing Cardenas to third and Herrin to fourth once again.

Hayden’s challenge never withered, however, as he pressured Hayes to the very end. The Kentuckian closed to just 0.172 seconds back on the final lap and made an unsuccessful attempt to glide past up the inside on the race’s final corner.

Hayes just held on by 0.245 seconds at the stripe. Aided by Hayden’s second-place run, the Mississippian picked up another eleven points in the championship rankings. He now trails Cardenas, who finished third but faded to 13.170 seconds back (18.170 on track), by 23 points.

After the race, Hayes said, “Oh man — that was a really fast race. Like my season, I kind of made it a challenge for myself from the beginning. The light was held for a long time and I saw Rog creeping and I ended up creeping too. Once I got into the lead, I was kind of waiting to see how it would turn out. I figured something was coming — I didn’t know what. When I saw the ‘+5′ on the board, I knew what was going on immediately. I said, ‘okay, let’s see what we can do,’ and just tried to put together every lap as good as I could.”

Runner-up Hayden said, “Pretty good race. It’s a little bittersweet to be that close to actually beating Josh and him getting me just by a little bit there at the end. He was just a little bit better than I was today, so for tomorrow’s we’ll try to improve some.

“The start… I don’t know what happened. The light was on forever and then I was just reading the ‘+5′ board and it didn’t come until the eighth or ninth lap. Then I saw on my board I was third, but then it finally went up to second, so I knew where the gap was behind me. And I saw Josh’s name on the board too, so I knew I was pushing that hard just to win on track and not really get the win. I’m pretty happy — the first two races haven’t started out that good. I knew we were a lot better than we showed at Daytona and Road America. Hopefully this is a turnaround for my season.”

Third-placed Cardenas admitted, “My race was a little bit tough. Physically, I think for everybody, but I thought I had a little bit better rhythm going into the race. But early on I found out that I wasn’t as fast as these two guys. I tried my best and tried to stay as close as possible, but halfway through the race I lost a lot of time. I just tried to finish in third place and get some points. We’ll think about a few things to try tomorrow and try to improve a little bit.”

Herrin claimed a lonely fourth, followed by KTM/HMC’s Chris Fillmore and the aforementioned Pegram (who was the only rider to actually lose a position in the final order due to his penalty).

Team Hero’s Geoff May finished seventh aboard his EBR 1190RS with Jordan Suzuki’s Danny Eslick charging back to eighth after dropping down to 14th following an early-race incident. Motul Fly Racing David Anthony and Team AMSOIL/Hero EBR’s Aaron Yates completed the top ten.

Hayes will attempt to further close the gap on Sunday by completing his second straight perfect points haul weekend, both this season and here at Barber Motorsports Park.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Cameron Beaubier of the Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha team won his third AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the year at Barber Motorsports Park, topping rival Jake Gagne (RoadRace Factory/Red Bull) and Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Triumph).

While all three podium finishers led the race in the hectic opening laps, Beaubier consolidated the lead before halfway. Beabuier was eventually able to pull away from Gagne, who won the last time out in Wisconsin, to take a 5.185-second victory in the 21-lap race.

“We had a really good setup today,” Beaubier said after the win. “I just wanted to start out the weekend getting really comfortable on the bike. I conserved my tires a little bit in the beginning, and that helped me as the race wore on because I was able to pull a decent gap as the laps wound down.”

Gagne followed Beaubier closely for a time but was unable to mount the same style of challenge as he did in Wisconsin. The Californian chose the medium compound tire compared to the softer choice Beaubier picked and came up just a little short on Saturday. “Second place isn’t bad but we’ll work on a few issues tonight and give it another shot,” said Gagne.

DiSalvo came up big at his home race. The Triumph man had been experiencing a run of respectable finishes but hadn’t done anything spectacular in 2013 until Saturday. A day of testing after Elkhart Lake made the Triumph’s settings more balanced and allowed DiSalvo to jet off with the holeshot. He was also able to stick inside the top three the entire race, showing the improvements were substantial enough to vault DiSalvo to the podium.

Dane Westby (GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing) earned fourth after a shootout with RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s JD Beach and Y.E.S./Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff. The trio finally sorted themselves out by the final corner, with Westby earning his best result of the year after a Daytona injury that forced him to miss that event.

Beach looked to have a great shot at the position, but Gerloff’s move in turn five allowed Westby to slip past them both.

James Rispoli (National Guard/Celtic Racing) earned a lonely seventh, well clear of Bobby Fong on the D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph Daytona 675R.

Fong narrowly edged out Joey Pascarella (Riders Discount Racing Triumph) and Benny Solis (M4 and less than a second separated the trio.

AMA Pro SuperSport

Joe Roberts won his AMA Pro debut on Saturday, earning a convincing win in Saturday’s AMA Pro SuperSport Race at Barber Motorsports Park. Roberts, competing for California Superbike School/ Racing, won by 8.122 seconds over RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Tomas Puerta and Nick McFadden of TOBC Racing.

Roberts got off to a terrible start but had worked his way into the lead by the second lap. From there, he motored away in the 17-lap race. “I think I got the worst start ever,” said Roberts. “By the end of the first lap, I was up to fourth. By the time I got to the front, I decided to push as hard as I could.”

Puerta battled with Hayden Gillim (Team 95) and then came under attack from several riders but was able to earn second place. “I tried to be consistent and when I went by Hayden, I rode my own race,” said Puerta.

McFadden was in his first AMA Pro race like Roberts and took a fine third place just over a second behind Puerta.”I didn’t know what to expect for my first race,” said McFadden, who opportunistically kept moving up the ranks until he had a podium. “I was hoping for a top ten or a top five.”

Team 95′s Hayden Gillim finished fourth after qualifying on the front row and battling at the front with Puerta early before Roberts came past.

Miles Thornton had the save of the race. The CTR Racing pilot nearly highsided while chasing Puerta and somehow managed to hang on until his machine regained a more stable relationship with the laws of physics. Thornton kept rolling and finished 2.5 seconds behind Gillim.

Double Elkhart Lake winner Corey Alexander of National Guard/Celtic Racing was sixth after a Friday crash. Meen Motorsports’ Wyatt Farris topped SuperSport East points leader Stefano Mesa ( RSRacecaft) for seventh. BP Racing teammates Sebastiao Ferreira and Charles Weaver rounded out the top 10.

AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series

Reigning AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series champ Michael Barnes outpaced Road America winner Steve Rapp to claim the provisional pole for Sunday’s 11-lap contest.

Barnes clocked a 1:35.139 in qualifying while Rapp (who missed the morning’s practice after missing Saturday entirely in Wisconsin) posted a 1:35.894 to earn the second spot on the grid.

The two will be joined on the front row by Eco-Fuel Saver/Scrubblade’s Tyler O’Hara (1:36.651) and Rapp’s Suburban Harley-Davidson teammate, Ben Carlson (1:36.803).

Barnes said, “We made some changes after this morning. We knew we were quick but we also knew we had more in store and we had to be ready for Rapp again after what he did at Elkhart. We just did our homework on the bike and got it tuned a lot better than before. I just can’t thank Spike’s Harley-Davidson enough for coming on board and helping us out.”