AMA Pro Racing Mid-Ohio Preview 2013

July 9, 2013

By Byron Wilson

AMA Pro Racing returns for Round 4 of the 2013 series at Mid-Ohio where Josh Hayes will fight to claim the National Guard SuperBike points lead and Cameron Beaubier will push to further distance himself from the Daytona SportBike field. In SuperSport, East Division riders get one more chance to gather points before the season finale in New Jersey and in Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series racing Steve Rapp will look to make it three-in-a-row.

AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike

Monster Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes is poised to make a return to the top of the championship points tally at Mid-Ohio, entering the round just 10 points behind current leader, Martin Cardenas of Yoshimura Suzuki. Hayes’ disastrous first outing at Daytona left him near the bottom of the overall pack, but subsequent sweeps at Road America and Barber have put him in second-place and he’s back to the dominating form that will prove difficult for others on the grid to beat.

Cardenas and Hayes’ teammate, Josh Herrin, are the only other riders to have race wins to their credit through the first three rounds of competition, but both came after Hayes pulled out of the races at in Florida. They’ve each earned podium finishes since then and have challenged the Mississippi native for the lead position, but neither rider has been able to get the best of Hayes yet when his equipment is functioning at 100%.

Herrin has been on the podium at Mid-Ohio in the past, taking third-place there in SuperBike Race 2 in 2012. In a recent interview with MotoUSA , Herrin also revealed that he’s confident he’ll be able to beat Hayes once his intensified training regimen starts to show results.

National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden is another rider who will keep Hayes honest at Mid-Ohio, especially if he’s able to maintain the pace he found in the previous round at Barber. Hayden went 2-2 in Alabama, finishing just two-tenths of a second behind Hayes in both contests. The Suzuki ace even led briefly during the final lap of Race 2 at Barber, but couldn’t keep the advantage intact to the checkers.

One point behind Hayden in fifth overall is Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram. The Yamaha rider has been a consistent presence within the top-six through the first three rounds of racing and has been a more potent podium threat since switching from the BMW he rode in 2012. The Ohio native will have the added benefit of riding in front of his home crowd, which may give him that extra push to tousle with the lead pack.

Hayden’s teammate, Danny Eslick, is sixth in the standings and finished all but one race (Race 1 at Barber) in sixth position or better. HMC KTM’s Chris Fillmore, who debuted the RC8R in AMA Pro competition at Mid-Ohio in 2011, is seventh in points and has been a top-10 contender all year. His performances have improved with every subsequent round since Daytona and if the trend continues, look for Fillmore to battle for a top-five result in Lexington.

Both SuperBike races will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network, with Race 1 at 3:00 ET on Saturday July 13 and Race 2 at 3:00 ET on Sunday July 14. Check your local listings and don’t miss any of the action!

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Fans of Yamaha Extended Services’ Cameron Beaubier will be excited to see if the rising star can add two more race wins to his already stacked record this year at Mid-Ohio. The Yamaha ace won the Daytona 200, went 1-2 at Road America and swept Barber. He enjoys a 28 point lead over second-placed rider, Jake Gagne of RoadRace Factory, and has won at the Ohio track before, taking the Race 2 victory in 2012.

Gagne has been the most consistent threat to Beaubier’s reign at the top, finishing second-place in three of five races this year and winning Race 2 at Road America ahead of the Y.E.S. rider. Gagne’s teammate, JD Beach, is a fair clip behind Beaubier in points, sitting 60 adrift entering the round at Mid-Ohio, but has been in the top-five or better through the first three rounds. Beabuier’s teammate, Garrett Gerloff, also has what it takes to contend for a top-three result considering his battle with Beach in Race 2 at Barber, where he finished off the podium by a slight two-tenths of a second.

National Guard/Celtic Racing’s James Rispoli has been a regular top-10 presence through the opening rounds of his rookie SportBike year, notching a string of seventh-place results through the first four races of 2013. He grabbed sixth in Race 2 at Barber and will be fighting for an improved showing at Mid-Ohio. Rispoli has also been tapped to compete as a wild-card rider in Moto2 during the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in August, where he’ll race the Tech 3 Mistral 610.

Meen Motorsports’ Jake Lewis is also in the midst of his first SportBike season and has put himself into sixth overall, earning a variety of results ranging from 27th at Daytona to third in Race 2 at Road America. Once Lewis finds a consistent pace aboard his new mount, expect him to challenge for a spot on the rostrum.

GEICO Motorcycle’s Dane Westby is one point adrift of Lewis in seventh, despite missing the first round of racing in Florida due to injury. He’s been inside the top-10 in every race he’s contested this year and was stronger at Barber than at Road America. Westby was the other rider, besides Beaubier, to win at Mid-Ohio in Daytona SportBike in 2012 and his sights undoubtedly set on a podium finish there once again this year.

Castrol Triumph’s Elena Myers will make her return to action at Mid-Ohio following her crash in qualifying at Barber which saw her suffer a broken collarbone. She underwent surgery and has been rehabilitating the injury and is ready to get back on track.

“I’m very happy to be healthy again in time for Mid-Ohio,” said Myers. “The crash at Barber was just a freak thing that I’m confident won’t happen again. I know exactly what I did wrong and I’ve fixed the issue. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and competing this weekend.” SuperSport

Mid-Ohio marks the final race for SuperSport East action before an extended break before the finale in New Jersey.’s Stefano Mesa leads the series but is in peril of losing the advantage unless he can finish better than National Guard’s Corey Alexander. The Suzuki rider is a mere two points behind Mesa entering the round in Ohio, thanks to his sweep at Road America and Mesa’s two eighth-place finishes at Barber.

Team 95’s Hayden Gillim sits third in the championship tally, 35 points adrift of Mesa. Gillim had his best weekend to-date this season at Barber, posting a 4-2 result. He was one of the strongest riders at Mid-Ohio in 2012, earning the Race 1 win there and finishing second in Race 2. CTR Racing’s Miles Thornton trails Gilllim in fourth followed by Harv’s Harley-Davidson’s Travis Wyman in fifth.

Riders outside the East division took valuable points-earning positions from those in the series at Barber, and it will likely be the case again at Mid-Ohio. SuperSport West leader, Tomas Puerta of RoadRace Factory, took the podium in Race 2 at Barber in third-place and second in Race 1. Meen Motorsports’ Wyatt Farris is another who placed well within the top-10 at Barber from the West division. The Barber SuperSport wunderkind, Joe Roberts riding for California Superbike School, isn’t listed on the entry list at Mid-Ohio, which is a boon to regular competitors considering his absolute domination of the previous round where, in his first ever AMA Pro Race, Roberts came through as the fastest rider in practice, qualifying and in both SuperSport races.

Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series

Spyke’s Harley-Davidson’s Michael Barnes holds the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series points lead, despite not yet winning a race. Suburban Harley-Davidson’s Steve Rapp and Eco-Fuel Saver’s Tyler O’Hara have earned wins, with Rapp sweeping the previous two rounds, each by a healthy margin over the field. Rapp is currently second overall, one point behind Barnes and O’Hara is third, 17 off the leader. Harv’s Harley-Davidson’s Travis Wyman sits fourth in the standings followed by Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson’s Benjamin Carlson in fifth.