Ducati Wins! Foremost Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram won Sunday’s American Superbike Race 2 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Today’s win would be Pegram’s second career win and his first in over a decade.
“It was definitely a great race. I wasn’t expecting to lead like that. I was real comfortable. When Mat got in front of me he didn’t really get me anywhere. I don’t want to wait 10 years for another one though,” laughed Pegram.
At the beginning of the 13-lap race it was Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin who was first into Turn 1. Behind were Pegram, National Guard Suzuki’s Geoff May and the other Rockstar Suzuki of Blake Young. Right away it was apparent that Pegram’s Ducati motorcycle had a serious power advantage when he motored past Mladin on the first straightaway taking the lead going into the downhill Turn 5 on the first lap.
But Pegram wasn’t able to open up much of a gap as Mladin would routinely run his Suzuki up the inside of Pegram’s Ducati taking back the lead. Pegram would immediately counter on the next straightaway blowing by Mladin’s Suzuki. The two riders continued to swap back in fourth in this fashion for much of the race.
Further back, Yamaha’s Josh Hayes attempted to make a similar inside pass maneuver over Race 1’s second place finisher Mike Laverty but he would make contact with him sending both of them crashing into the gravel outside of Canada Corner. Hayes day was over but Laverty would remount and go on to finish the race albeit in last place.
As the laps wound down, Pegram passed Mladin for the final time and right away opened up a small gap. Drama would unfold on the final lap however when Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates would wedge his GSX-R1000 in front of Young’s. Yates slammed on the brakes and as he prepared to turn his motorcycle Young ran out of room causing him to crash.
“We had a pretty decent race,” Yates said. “But I couldn’t get past Blake. I was making a lot of ground though Turns 5, 6 and 7 and I had to look under the inside of him to get past. On the final lap I looked again and I just slipped up under him and had to park it. But I had to ride hard to get us up here on the podium. I got up way up the inside I had to get on the brakes to get it turned and drive off the corner.”
Young would remount and go on to scavenge an eighth place finish. Back up front Pegram managed to stay out in front through the last right-hand corner and motored off to the checkered flag.
American Superbike Race 2 Results:
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young ran in third place for much of the race until Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates cleaned him out on the last lap.
1. Larry Pegram, Ducati 1098R
2. Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R1000
3. Aaron Yates, Suzuki GSX-R1000
4. Geoff May, Suzuki GSX-R1000
5. Ben Bostrom, Yamaha YZF-R1
6. Neil Hodgson, Honda CBR1000RR
7. Tommy Hayden, Suzuki GSX-R1000
8. Blake Young, Suzuki GSX-R1000
9. Jake Holden, Suzuki GSX-R1000
10. David Anthony, Suzuki GSX-R1000
11. Shane Narbonne, Suzuki GSX-R1000
12. Aaron Gobert, Honda CBR1000RR
13. Ryan Elleby, Suzuki GSX-R1000
14. Chris Ulrich, Suzuki GSX-R1000
15. Shawn Higbee, Buell 1125R
American Superbike Road America Race 2 Rider Quotes
Mat Mladin – Suzuki -2nd
“Obviously, it was back-and-forth. In the end, we couldn’t get it done. We rode hard and that’s all we could do today.”
Aaron Yates – Suzuki – 3rd
“It’s really good to be back here on the podium. I got a bad start and just put my head down and rode hard for the rest of the race. I got up behind Blake but just couldn’t get by him, as he’s so fast down the straights. On the last lap I just threw it in there in the chicane and kind of parked it in front of him. I don’t think he was expecting it and I guess he went down. It was great to put my Jordan Suzuki on the box, though, and a big thanks to my crew for getting the bike setup for today’s race.”
Geoff May – Suzuki – 4th
“We didn’t nail the setup as well as we should have today. We never did a long run on the bike during the practice sessions and that really hurt us today as the laps mounted. The bike had a ton of grip early, but once everything warmed up, I just lost grip in the rear. The bike was sliding everywhere and I had to back off and just bring the National Guard Jordan Suzuki #54 home with some good points.”