News 10 Jul 2011

Young scores AMA Pro Superbike victory on Saturday at Mid-Ohio

Suzuki's Blake Young won from Yamaha's Josh Hayes and teammate Tommy Hayden.

Suzuki's Blake Young won from Yamaha's Josh Hayes and teammate Tommy Hayden.

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young took victory on Saturday in the opening AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Championship race at Mid-Ohio.

Young endured a race-long battle with runner-up Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha), and the lead pair were hunted throughout the race by the field’s strongest would-be challengers, including third-place finisher Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) and National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden.

“Today is the fifth anniversary of my dad’s passing,” said Young. “And that put a little bit extra on me today. This place is pretty special to me – I won my 2005 Horizon Award here with him, and I really wanted to get the win today and dedicate it to him.

“Hats off to Josh, he rode really, really good. When I was back in fourth place, I thought, ‘Is this one of those days when we ride aggressive to the front, or do we let him go?’ But I came into this race just really wanting to win it for my dad’s fifth anniversary, and that’s what we did.”

The win didn’t come easily for Young as he crossed the finish just 0.177 seconds ahead of Hayes, and the closing laps saw frequent lead changes as Hayes attacked for P1 again and again.

“I rode a little rough in the beginning,” said Hayes. “And made a lot of mistakes. The restart was probably the best start I’ve gotten all year, but I don’t know if I’ve ever had a front end move around that much in a race, and I just didn’t have the confidence to stick it in there.

“So that’s what we had today, and I think tomorrow we’ll try to sort out a solution for the front end to be a little big stronger. [Blake and my] strengths are different, and right now he seems to have the trump card. So we’ll keep working to come up with something we can beat him with.”

M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas led the chase group across the line in fifth, followed by Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram.

Chris Fillmore piloted the KTM/HMC Racing RC8R to an impressive seventh-place finish in the OEM’s factory AMA Pro SuperBike debut, besting San Diego BMW’s Steve Rapp after a race-long battle.

Australian David Anthony (ADR Fly Racing) and JD Beach (Cycle World/Attack Performance Kawasaki) rounded out the top 10.

Anthony’s countryman and teammate Jordan Burgess finished 15th in his first appearance at Mid-Ohio, while Chris Trounson crashed out according to reports in the U.S.

Young’s race one victory moves him into the overall AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Championship lead for the first time, just three points ahead of Hayes.

The AMA Pro Daytona SportBike class saw a brand-new winner as M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby staged a brilliant, aggressive ride that took him from ninth to first through some of the toughest riders in the series.

Westby won ahead of Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin, while Danny Eslick was third on his GEICO Powersports/RMR Suzuki.

The overall AMA Pro Daytona SportBike points chase continues to tighten, with Herrin and Eslick now tied in points.