Hayes took first by a relatively wide margin over rival Blake Young of Yoshimura Suzuki in Race 2 at Road Atlanta.
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes redeemed his loss in Race 1 with a definitive Race 2 American SuperBike victory at Road Atlanta. Rival Blake Young of Yoshimura Suzuki came in over five seconds behind the Mississippi native for second place. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin took third. With today’s win, Hayes enjoys a six-point lead over Young in the ASB series.
“This has always been a good track for me and I’ve always had pretty good speed here,” said Hayes after the race.
After Saturday’s close match in which Hayes came in second to Young by only 0.293 seconds, the 5.214 lead clocked by the Mississippi rider at the checkers in Race 2 was unexpected. “It’s not how I expected the race to go…It’s a lot easier on my ticker to be able to get away a little bit and ride by myself.” Young enjoyed a comfortable lead over Herrin and was glad to earn the second place points after experiencing issues with his bike during a warm-up lap.
“I had to come in and get the other bike and was happy they let me grid up in the second spot this time instead of putting me in the back row,” said Young.
Herrin couldn’t match the pace of top two finishers Hayes and Young, but held off Roger Hayden to score a podium finish.
Herrin remained in contention for first through the early laps of the race, keeping close to the second-place spot but was unable to get past either of the two frontrunners. He also had to deal with intense pressure from National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden through the entire race. RH made an attempt to pass entering Turn 10 at the end of the back straight on the second-to-last lap, but the Yamaha rider defended against Hayden’s challenge, leaving the Kentucky native with his second consecutive fourth place finish.
Foremost Insurance’s Larry Pegram redeemed his 12th place showing in Race 1, taking fifth, though not without pressure from a host of other riders. Motorcycle Superstore.com / Attack Performance rider Steve Rapp, KTM’s Chris Fillmore, and Riders Discount’s Taylor Knapp were all hot on Pegram’s heels.
Race 1 fifth place finisher Geoff May of Team Amisoil/Hero struggled to be a presence in the race, dwelling in the back of the pack on his EBR 1190RS and finishing 13th. Danny Eslick of Team Hero held steady and took tenth on his American made EBR.
Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom, the eighth-place finisher in Race 1, went down early in Race 2 and was unable to return.
Overall points standing changed hands after Race 2, returning to Josh Hayes. Both he and Young have dominated since the opening rounds at Daytona and have been consistently able to create substantial gaps between the second and third positions. Barring an accident, or even if there is an accident as Young showed in Race 1, these two will undoubedtly hold top postions all season. Roger Hayden has also gathered substantial points at every stop so far, as have Pegram and Rapp. Herrin had a difficult start to the season, but since the first race at Daytona he’s been able to score third and fourth place finishes consistently. All three of these riders will make Hayden work to protect his third place position.
Young (79) couldn’t hold the lead to the checkers, but put good distance between himself and the rest of the field.
2012 SuperBike Road Atlanta Race 2 Results:
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Blake Young (Suzuki)
3. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
4. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
5. Larry Pegram (BMW)
6. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)
7. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
8. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki)
9. Danny Eslick (EBR)
10. Chris Clark (Suzuki)
11. Robertino Pietri (Suzuki)
12. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki)
13. Geoff May (EBR)
14. Johnny Rock Page (Suzuki)
15. Jordan Burgess (Suzuki)
2012 SuperBike Points:
1. Josh Hayes, 116
2. Blake Young, 110
3. Roger Hayden, 78
4. Josh Herrin, 60
5. Larry Pegram, 59
6. Steve Rapp, 58
7. Chris Clark, 49
8. Chris Fillmore, 45
9. Robertino Pietri, 42
10. Geoff May, 40