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2009 AMA Pro Road Racing - Infineon Photo Gallery
Race 1 started like most other American Superbike races this season, with Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Mat Mladin taking the early lead. But then the improbable happened.
AMA Pro Road Racing returns to Infineon Raceway for the Kawasaki Superbike Showdown with a full slate of action on tap, highlighted by two AMA American Superbike races and two Daytona SportBike races.
Suzuki’s Mat Mladin and Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom battled for the lead with the R1 pilot making a bold move on Mladin going into Turn 1 right in front of the grandstands on Lap 3 and that’s when things started to get interesting.
Bostrom’s teammate Josh Hayes followed suit and put a move on Mat through the treacherous Carousel and the boys in blue started to put some distance on the veteran Makita pilot for the rest of the lap.
Heading into Turn 11, Bostrom low-sided out of the lead, handing the position over to Hayes who then put his head down and checked out.
Larry Pegram then passed Tommy Hayden on Lap 7 for third. Next the Ducati 1098R rider gave chase to and passed Mladin for second.
The number 7 Mladin would next be passed by his teammate Tommy Hayden, who would then hunt down and capture Pegram in second after a five corner battle.
Aaron Yates also took advantage of Mladin's lack of pace to slip into fourth on the Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Pegram wisely spent the rest of the race managing tires and stamina to successfully hold off Yates and remain in third behind Hayes and Hayden.
Taylor Knapp (44) and David Anthony (25) took sixth and seventh behind Mladin respectively.
While a battle raged behind Hayes opened up a seven second gap over Hayden with his Yamaha YZF-R1.
Hayes became the first rider in the American Superbike paddock to win the season other than Mat Mladin.
The American Superbike Race 1 podium was Mladin-free (left to right): Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) in second, Josh Hayes (Yamaha) with the win, with Larry Pegram (Ducati) taking third.
Larry Pegram, 3rd in Race 1: 'We were able to run a great race today. The torque on the Ducati made it really easy to go through corners slowly then whack the gas open for a good corner exit. If I can fault anything it would be the track being really greasy and I was sliding the front tire all over the place. We haven’t had a chance to practice in this kind of heat yet so I also came away with few ideas for our setup in tomorrow’s race.'
Josh Hayes earned his first AMA Superbike victory at Infineon Raceway. In doing so he gave the new crossplane crankshaft YZF-R1 its first-ever American Superbike win.
The victory also vaulted the popular Yamaha racer from sixth to third in the standings with five out of 12 events completed in this year’s championship.
What do you do when a streak is broken? Start a new one. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin shook off his Race 1 fifth-place result by returning to race-winning form in Race 2 at Infineon.
Mladin parlayed pole position into a 0.734-second lead by the end of Lap 1 and never looked back in the wire-to-wire win.
Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom grabbed second place on Lap 1 and never relinquished it, despite Hayden’s constant pressure. Hayden hounded Bostrom the entire race but could never quite track him down and finished third.
Pegram used a great launch to jump into fifth from tenth on the first lap. Unfortunately, he could never improve on that position as he diced it out with Hayes, Suzuki’s Geoff May, with Hayes winning out to join the lead pursuit pack.
Taylor Knapp/MDK Racing’s Taylor Knapp, Fly-racing’s David Anthony and Corona Extra Honda’s Neil Hodgson diced it out most of the race for the last three spots on the top ten.
Knapp held off the Suzuki and Honda rider to slip into seventh behind May.
American Superbike Race 2 podium (left to right): Tommmy Hayden with third, Mat Mladin taking the win, followed by Yamaha's Ben Bostrom in second.
Mladin, winner of Race 2: 'It was a tough one today. I had nothing left out there at the end of the race. I just went as hard as I could on my Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 and kept going and going and going. Towards the end, I just tried to keep it clean and that's that.'
Thwarted in race one, Bostrom had unfinished business to address in Sunday’s second Superbike race, but Mladin once again stole the win. Bostrom now lies fourth in Superbike points, just behind teammate Hayes.
The 2009 Daytona SportBike race stumbled out of the gate with an accident that brought out the pace car for four laps – when the race was restarted on lap six M4 Suzuki's Jason DiSalvo (40) jumped out to an early lead before crashing out in Turn 11.
That handed the reigns over to Bazzaz Yamaha’s Steve Rapp who would hold off Cardenas until Lap 12.
Running a steady race behind the leaders, Cardenas was able to out brake Rapp to take the lead for good on Lap 12.
Once past the R6 rider, Cardenas went on to win his third consecutive event, finishing 2.158 seconds ahead of the field.
Monster Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking ran off the course on Turn 1 of the restart, falling several positions. The Championship points leader showed his grit and managed to fight his way back throught the field.
Chaz Davies (No 57 Factory Aprilla Millennium Technologies Team Aprilia RSV100R) ran third most of the day but settled for fourth after being passed by Hacking.
Hacking seemed destined for a third place finish, but on the last lap was able to slip past the then second-place Rapp in the braking zone of Turn 9 to secure second place. Rapp would finish third.
Danny Eslick took fifth on the RMR Buell 1125R agead of Team Graves Yamaha rider Tommy Aquino.
Daytona SuperBike Race 1 podium (left to right): Steve Rapp (No. 15 Yamaha) in third, Martin Cardenas (No. 36 Suzuki) with the win, followed by Jamie Hacking (No. 88 Kawasaki) in second.
Cardenas: 'The heat was very tough this race for me because physically it wears you out a lot. I started seventh and had to work my way up; as soon as I got to second behind Steve (Rapp) I tried to stay a little behind him, but then I decided to pass him. I tried to put a gap on him because I know he's really strong here. I tried my best and put a gap of one second and tried to maintain that the whole race.'
Josh Herrin took the early lead in Daytona SportBike Race 2.
The Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki team had a rough day. Hacking (No. 88) crashed twice, but was able to salvage a 13th-place finish. Rider Roger Hayden was in seventh place before DQing on Lap 16.
Third-place finisher Josh Herrin (No. 8 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) led the most laps of the race after passing pole-sitter DiSalvo on the first lap heading into Turn 3 and holding off the M4 teammates for the opening 11 laps.
DiSalvo grabbed the top spot back on Lap 12 as he and Cardenas passed Herrin in Turn 7.
The final pass for the lead came in Lap 13 as Cardenas snuck past DiSalvo under hard braking in Turn 9. On the final lap, DiSalvo tried to slip by on the inside of Cardenas in Turn 11 but was unable to make the pass stick in the race to the line, finishing just .104 seconds behind the No. 36 machine.
Tommy Aquino (No. 6 Team Graves Yamaha YXF-R6) ran in fifth most of the day but passed 2008 Formula Xtreme Champion and eventual fifth-place finisher Jake Zemke (No. 1X Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR) on the final lap to finish fourth.
Bazzaz Performance's Steve Rapp followed up yesterday’s podium with a sixth-place showing today.
Daytona SportBike Race 2 podium (left to right): Jason DiSalvo (M4 Suzuki) in second, with his teammate Martin Cardenas taking the win, and Team Graves Yamaha rider Josh Herrin rounding off the podium.
Cardenas takes 203 championship points into the next round, with Jamie Hacking (No. 88 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R) slipping to second with 179 points and Danny Eslick (No. 9 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing/RMR Buell 1125R) falling to third with 168 points.
Martin Cardenas is the new Daytona SportBike points leader after sweeping two consecutive rounds.
Ricky Parker (No. 96 Graves Motorsports Yamaha) and Leandro Mercado (No. 92 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki) put on a heated battle throughout the SuperSport race on Sunday, but Mercado was unable to capture Parker's lead.
SuperSport podium (left to right): Russ Wikle (Susuki) in third, Ricky Parker (Yamaha) with the win, followed by Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki).
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