Hayes Takes Opening SuperBike Win in Sonoma
Yamaha’s Josh Hayes continued his mastery of Infineon Raceway on Saturday, taking the victory in the 22-lap feature for AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike at the West Coast Moto Jam.
It was Hayes’ third consecutive win on the 12-turn, 2.32-mile road course, and his fourth in five races in Sonoma. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) took second, with Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) third in the AMA Pro Road Racing event.
Hayes hopes to make it a sweep of the doubleheader weekend on Sunday.
“That was hard work,” Hayes said. “Tommy rode a fantastic race but what can I say, this has been three years in a row to win a (SuperBike) race here and that’s fantastic. I said when I got here that we’ve set the bar pretty high, but I’m really glad we’re maintaining. We’ll come back tomorrow and hopefully make them wait another year before someone else wins.”
Hayden, starting from the second position, took the lead at the start of the race, but it would be short-lived. Hayes, the pole-sitter, regained the top spot on lap 2 with an inside pass in Turn 9. It was a lead he would never relinquish en route to his 15th career SuperBike victory and his sixth overall win in Sonoma.
“I knew it was going to come down to the end but he held on and unfortunately I used my tires too much to try and make up time in different spots,” Hayden said. “Overall, I feel good about the race; I’ve come a long way at this track.”
Pole-sitter Jason DiSalvo (Ducati) took advantage of an early-race mishap by Jake Holden (Ducati) to take the victory in the 22-lap feature for Daytona SportBike. Holden went off course at Turn 4 on lap 5, enabling DiSalvo to build a sizable cushion. DiSalvo led wire-to-wire to post his first-ever feature win at Infineon Raceway. Holden held on for second while Danny Eslick (Suzuki), who won in 2010 in Sonoma, was third.
“Jake (Holden) made a mistake and I was able to put it on cruise control and ride around a bit. But the next thing you know the gap to second was shrinking,” DiSalvo said. “Jake was pushing hard. I just put my head down to hold the gap. I’m glad to reward the team with a win at Infineon.”
Benny Solis (Honda) took the checkers in the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport 18-lap feature on Saturday, with Tomas Puerta second (Yamaha) and David Gaviria third (Yamaha). It was Solis’ first-career AMA Pro Road Race win and the first for Honda since June 6, 2009. Solis took the win by nearly nine seconds.
“This is my first season and I’m on the only Honda and that motivated me,” Solis sad. “To take this win was pretty special for me.”
In other racing action, Chris Fillmore took the win in the Vance & Hines X1200 Series 11-lap feature, while Steve Atlas (Formula GP, Brammo) and Kenyon Kluge (Formula 75, Volt) claimed victories in the TTXGP North American Championship main event. This marked the second consecutive event in Sonoma for the zero carbon, electric motorcycle series