Suzuki’s Blake Young won a difficult fight with Josh Hayes in Race 2 and is now just two points behind in the series.
Suzuki’s Blake Young overcame a tough battle with Monster Yamaha’s Josh Hayes for the victory in the final American SuperBike race at Barber. Young’s teammate, Tommy Hayden, was on course to win the event, but his engine caught fire and forced him to retire early. The podium was rounded out by M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, who was just over three seconds shy of the two front-runners at the finish line.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden secured a great start off the line to lead Hayes, Young, Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden and Race 1 winner, Cardenas. Roger Hayden made an early mistake, dropping back to seventh while Young began applying pressure on Hayes for second. By Lap 4 Young had flown by Hayes and was sticking it to his teammate for the lead as the top-five began opening up a gap on the rest of the field.
Disaster struck for Tommy Hayden as his bike caught fire while he was still in the lead. Forced to pull off, Young took over the lead as Hayden had to retire. Shortly after Roger Hayden suffered his second mistake as he went wide through a turn and fell back to sixth. Meanwhile, Young and Hayes were trading spots for the lead with Cardenas, San Diego BMW’s Steve Rapp, Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom and BMW rider Larry Pegram all following. The top-three riders at this point were separated by just a bike length as Roger Hayden moved back into fourth following his mistake. But soon afterward Roger Hayden’s day would also end early after he lost it coming into Turn 1.
Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden (#22) was leading the race until his engine burst into flames and he had to retire early.
After going back and forth with Young, Hayes finally secured the lead and began running away with it on Lap 15. With five laps to go the front pack began to run into lappers, and Young reclaimed the lead as Cardenas started falling off the pace of the front-runners. With the white flag out and several bike lengths on Hayes, Young continued to push through toward the checkers, claiming victory by 0.765 seconds ahead of Hayes.
“I knew he’d be there,” said Hayes. “He always is. Blake [Young] knew the areas where I was fast, and I really thought maybe the end would come my way a little bit because it seemed like he was having to use his bike more defensively than me. But at the end, I think we were both in hot water: pretty hot, pretty tired, and the bikes were getting extremely hot. I made the best run I could at him, but he rode a smart race, and he beat me.”
Following his victory at Barber on Saturday, Cardenas grabbed another strong finish in third, with Rapp 4.8 seconds behind in fourth. Bostrom followed up his second-place finish in Race 1 with fifth-place result in Race 2.
“Today conditions were very extreme, very hot,” Cardenas said. “I think today’s race was even tougher than yesterday’s because we were sliding even a bit more than yesterday, so it was very difficult to maintain the pace. Roger and Tommy and Josh and Blake were running very fast and gaining some time over me in Turn 2 every lap, so I had to push very hard each lap to close the gap.”
Hayes now maintains just a two-point lead over Young in the series. Following his engine troubles in Race 2, Tommy Hayden lost points on Cardenas, who is now 27 points behind in fourth.
American SuperBike Barber Race 2 Results:
1. Blake Young (Suzuki)
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
3. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
4. Steve Rapp (BMW)
5. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)
6. Larry Pegram (BMW)
7. Geoff May (Buell)
Josh Hayes (#1) missed the win by less than a second in Race 2 and only has a two-point lead over Young in the series.
8. Chris Clark (Yamaha)
9. Chris Peris (BMW)
10. JD Beach (Kawasaki)
11. Chris Trounson (BMW)
12. Trent Gibson (Suzuki)
13. Danny Kelsey (Honda)
14. Reese Wacker (Suzuki)
15. Jordan Burgess (Suzuki)
2011 American SuperBike Championship Points:
1. Josh Hayes, 235
2. Blake Young, 233
3. Tommy Hayden, 182
4. Martin Cardenas, 155
5. Ben Bostrom, 130
6. Larry Pegram, 125
7. Roger Hayden, 106
8. Chris Clark, 103
9. Steve Rapp, 95
10. Geoff May, 82