Pat Clark Motorsport’s Ben Bostrom narrowly won the 23-lap American Superbike motorcycle race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca over Grave Motorsport’s Josh Hayes and the Rockstar Makita Suzuki piloted by Tommy Hayden.
At the start of the race it was Bostrom out in front, followed by Monster Suzuki’s Jake Holden, Hayes, Hayden, and Ducati’s Larry Pegram. Meanwhile, MotorcycleUSA’s own Steve Atlas was in 19th position aboard our 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 built by Yoshimura.
On Lap 2 Bostrom made a huge bobble as he entered the Corkscrew. His bike started to back it in and he over corrected with his body sending him off-roading like Valentino Rossi during his epic MotoGP race battle with Casey Stoner in ’08. He kept it upright and immediately rejoined the race but narrowly avoided getting hit by Holden’s bike. The next lap Holden’s teammate, Chris Ulrich crashed on the brakes as he entered Turn 5. He was uninjured.
Back up front, Holden had a big slide as he came on the front straight-away which allowed Hayes to pull up alongside him and eventually make the pass as the two went side-by-side into the high-speed, fourth gear pinned Turn 1. Meanwhile, Bostrom had gathered himself and was in third just over a second behind the leader.
The running order was now Hayes, Holden, Bostrom and Hayden, with Pegram and Jordan Suzuki’s Jake Zemke locked in a vicious battle for fifth position. Hayes slowly began working his magic opening up a gap over Holden, however, Bostrom was rapidly closing.
Soon Bostrom made the move past Holden and set off for Hayes. By this time Hayden had also closed in on Holden and was looking for a way past. Meanwhile, Atlas was circulating in 20th position and locked in a battle with Brian Parriott and Skip Salenius, however he was still lapping 5 seconds off the race leader’s pace.
(Above) Larry Pegram and Jake Zemke battled for much of the American Superbike race at Laguna Seca. (Below) The start of the AMA Superbike race at Laguna Seca.
Hayes was still out in front on Lap 10 with a 2 second and growing gap over Bostrom. He nearly highsided entering the Corkscrew but through a strategic motocross-style body position maneuver managed to maintain control and kept the bike charging forward. However the mistake allowed Bostrom to make up some ground . Holden finally succumbed to the pressure being put on him by Hayden and ran wide in the final corner letting him past.
“I haven’t been real comfortable on the bike so it’s been a little bit of a struggle,” said Hayden. “I was hoping to get a bit of a warm-up this morning to make a few changes. (This morning’s warm-up was cancelled due to fog.) So we had to make a gamble on set-up today. The bike wasn’t too bad but I never felt really comfortable this weekend. We’ve got to think about some things. The front of the bike had really bad chatter and the front was pushing. I just couldn’t carry the speed I needed to around the corner which is really important here.”
A few laps later Bostrom had closed the gap on the leader and was quickly reaching striking distance. Bostrom made his move and passed Hayes for the lead but was unable to open much of a gap. Further back a battle was brewing between Chris Peris, and a recently unretired Eric Bostrom, Geoff May, and Brett McCormick. Futher back our Atlas still circulated in 20th position but lost touch with the guys he was battling with.
With four laps remaining the front runners had begun running through lapped traffic. Both Bostrom and Hayes got through it cleanly without incident and it didn’t affect the leader’s gap. On the final lap Hayes never got close enough to make a pass attempt.
“The race was quite honestly—it felt like mayhem. Turn 1 and Turn 2 on the start was pretty wild and sketchy but we all get through it and that’s racing. I knew Ben would be trying really hard. I knew the early laps would be important him.”
Bostrom would go on to win the race by just 0.4 second over Hayes. Meanwhile Atlas brought it home in 19th position. Not exactly the finish we were hoping for but considering that he had major surgery just a few weeks ago, all in all it wasn’t a bad result.
American Superbike Laguna Seca Results:
1. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha)
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
3. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)
4. Jake Holden (Suzuki)
5. Larry Pegram (Ducati)
6. Jake Zemke (Suzuki)
7. Eric Bostrom (Suzuki)
8. Brett McCormick (Suzuki)
9. Chris Peris (BMW)
10. Geoff May (Buell)
11. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)
12. Jeremy Toye (BMW)
13. Rickey Corey (Yamaha)
14. Jason Pridmore (Suzuki)
15. Hawk Mazzotta (Yamaha)
2010 American Superbike Championship Points:
1. Josh Hayes, 311
2. Tommy Hayden, 302
3. Jake Zemke, 260
4. Larry Pegram, 225
5. Ben Bostrom, 223
6. Blake Young, 197
7. Chris Ulrich, 150
8. Taylor Knapp, 141
9. Brett McCormick, 112
10. Jake Holden, 93