The Supersport race at Laguna Seca was a thriller with major championship implications, as Roger Hayden (above) took the points lead due to the crash of Josh Hayes.
When the race got underway, the final Saturday activity and first official race of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, it was M4 EMGO Suzuki’s Geoff May who claimed the holeshot.
May managed to lead during the opening laps, holding off Hayes and the Monster Energy Kawasaki duo of Jamie Hacking and Hayden. Also in the running was Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin.
When May made a mistake he lost positions to the front-runners and Hayes took over the lead. Meanwhile, Hacking, who has been on a hot-streak, started to fade as well. That left it a three-way battle between Hayes, Hayden, and Herrin.
As the riders approached the halfway mark, Hayden overtook Hayes, but the two made contact during the maneuver, with the Erion Honda pilot and points leader pitching into the dirt. Hayden had the lead, but not for long, as an emboldened Herrin made an overtaking maneuver of his own.
The final laps saw Herrin holding a slim advantage over Hayden, looking almost on the brink of breaking away. A few more disastrous moment punctuated the latter half of the race, including Chaz Davies blowing the motor on his Celtic Yamaha and Ryan Elleby suffering a nasty face-first high-side on his Honda.
The real action was up front, however, as Herrin refused to yield. In fact, the youngster made a sly move threw some lappers with 2 to go that made a win look probable.
But it wasn’t to be, as the 22-year-old veteran bested the 17-year-old sophomore on the final turns of the final lap. Hayden snookered Herrin in the second-to-last corner, but the Yamaha almost returned the favor on the final turn only to finish right on the Kawasaki’s back wheel.
AMA Supersport Laguna Seca Results:
1. Roger Hayden (Kawasaki)
2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
3. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki)
4. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)
5. Geoff May (Suzuki)
6. Aaron Gobert (Honda)
7. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
8. Blake Young (Suzuki)
9. Ben Attard (Kawasaki)
10. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)
11. Bobby Fong (Suzuki)
12. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)
13. Ryan Andrews (Honda)
14. Cory West (Yamaha)
15. Michael Beck (Suzuki)