Tommy Hayden claimed his first victory of the American SuperBike season, taking the checkers in Fontana’s Race 2.
“It feels really good and a huge weight off my shoulders to get that out of my way (first win),” said Hayden. “I am feeling really good, especially after yesterday. I had a really disappointing day, and was pretty discouraged last night. The team made some changes, and I made some changes myself. I came out today and felt a lot better. The bike was working really good.”
Aaron Yates, a third-place podium finisher on Saturday, did not participate in the second Superbike affair. The Jordan Suzuki rider was out of commission, having broken his right leg during a nasty get-off in the morning warm-up.
Race 2 opened with Race 1’s victor, Larry Pegram, grabbing the lead ahead of Yamaha’s Hayes. M4 Monster Energy’s John Hopkins battled for third with Hayden, one second back on the leaders. In turn, Young and Daytona doubleheader winner Jake Zemke dueled over fifth 1.5 seconds back.
“Sunday’s race was a different story for me: I didn’t get the jump at the start like I did on Saturday and that made it tough starting from the second row. I just wasn’t able to hook up with the front group, so I had to settle in for fourth. My crew did an awesome job once again and we learned a lot from this weekend so we’ll come back even stronger for Road Atlanta. It’s a bummer Aaron broke his leg – it was a bizarre, unfortunate incident. I hope to see him back out here as soon as possible,” said Zemke.
Hayes soon got around the Ducati, with Hayden also challenging Pegram. Young, Hopkins, Holden and Zemke formed a pack two to three seconds off the leader.
Pegram got back to the front, however, and held firm until crashing out on Lap 9. Hayes inherited the lead, with the Yoshimura Suzuki tandem pressed forward to challenge.
Hayes held up front for much of the middle portion of the race, with Hayden and Young in tow. Two thirds into the
race, the front three all lapped within a second of each other. Zemke, meanwhile, was all along in fourth, holding a sizable gap over the fifth-place Hopkins.
Hayden jumped into the lead on Lap 18 and held on to the flag, beating Hayes at the line by 0.485. Young taking third with Zemke and Hopkins rounded out the top five, with Pat Clark Motorsports/ Ben Bostrom sixth followed by Canadian Superbike star and current Celtic Racing competitor Brett McCormick.
Zemke maintains the points lead at 106, Hayden creeping up to within 11 points thanks to his win. Hayes, Pegram and Young are log-jammed with 67 points, well behind Hayden’s 95.
American Superbike Fontana Race 2 Results:
1. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) +0.485
3. Blake Young (Suzuki) +0.641
4. Jake Zemke (Suzuki) +18.062
5. John Hopkins (Suzuki) +18.485
6. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) +23.931
7. Brett McCormick (Suzuki) +26.198
8. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) +27.71
9. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki) +46.791
10. David Anthony (Suzuki) +47.47
11. Chris Peris (BMW) +50.19
12. Shawn Higbee (Ducati) +58.63
13. Jeffrey Tigert (Honda) +01:16.8
14. Chris Clark (Yamaha) +01:23.6
15. Chris Siebenhaar (Suzuki) +1 lap
16. Eric Haugo (Suzuki) +15.01
17. Johnny Rock Page (Suzuki) +52.857
18. Larry Pegram (Ducati) +10 laps
19. Eric Pinson (BMW) +16 laps
20. Jake Holden (Honda) +17 laps
American SuperBike Points:
1. Jake Zemke – 106
2. Tommy Hayden – 95
3. Josh Hayes – 67
4. Larry Pegram – 67
5. Blake Young – 67
6. Aaron Yates – 59
7. Ben Bostrom – 52
8. Chris Ulrich – 49
9. Taylor Knapp – 45
10. Brett McCormick – 37