National Guard SuperBike
Monster Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes is looking to claim his fourth consecutive AMA SuperBike title, but due to some uncharacteristic results the Mississippi native sits third overall heading to New Jersey, 16 points adrift of the leader, his teammate Josh Herrin.
After his disastrous opening round at Daytona, Hayes earned five consecutive race wins and moved to the top of the championship standings. He held there through the next three races, but slipped back in the standings after a 3-18 result at Miller Motorsports Park.
That 16 point deficit will be cut significantly after the stop at New Jersey, if history is any indication. Since 2009 Hayes has won all but one of the AMA SuperBike races held in the state; Race 2 in 2011 where he placed second behind Blake Young. Regardless of what Herrin, or Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas does, should Hayes win the final three races (with the bonus points from pole position and most laps led as well) he’ll take the title. This is completely plausible considering Hayes has been on pole every round this season and has been the lap leader in seven out of 11 races this year.
Herrin will do everything he can to keep Hayes from the top-step and he now has the confidence of experience in beating the three-time champion straight up. Herrin’s wins this season, prior to his Race 1 victory at Miller that is, were made possible due to Hayes’ bad luck. In the opening contest at Daytona (Herrin’s first win of the season) Hayes had to pull out due to mechanical issues. Herrin secured his second win in Race 2 at Mid-Ohio after Hayes incurred a start-line penalty which dropped him in adjusted time to second-place at the finish. At Miller, however, Herrin shot to the front early and defended his position against Hayes’ repeated attempts to get by. He then faced heavy pressure from National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden, but was able to stay ahead of him as well. Herrin has shown substantial growth over the 2013 season and will not fall from the top-spot in the championship without a fight.
Cardenas is nine points behind Herrin in second-overall. The Colombian rider has consistency to thank for his current standing, having never finished worse than fourth all season. He notched his second win of the year the last time out in Race 2 at Miller though the caveat is, again, that Hayes wasn’t a factor due to his mid-race crash. If Hayes’ misfortune continues, the battle for the title will be heated between Cardenas and Herrin, who are nearly flush in terms of their records this year. Cardenas has finished ahead of Herrin five times while Herrin has beaten the Suzuki ace six times and each has earned nine podium finishes.
National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden has shown himself more than capable of keeping pace with the front-runners, but due to some outliers where he placed well outside the top-10 he sits fourth overall, 79 points behind the leader. Hayden earned two second-place finishes at Miller, but has been unable to put together a race-winning performance yet this season. His teammate, Danny Eslick, is three points behind Hayden in fifth overall and is still chasing his first podium finish of the season. Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram enters the penultimate round in sixth.
GoPro Daytona SportBike
Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier is the clear favorite for the 2013 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike title. He enters the round at New Jersey with an 86 point advantage over second-place rider Jake Gagne of RoadRace Factory and has won nine of 10 races this year. If Beaubier seals the deal at New Jersey, it would be his first ever AMA Pro Road Racing title.
Though he’s dominated the top-step, Beaubier has had to work for his wins. His teammate, Garrett Gerloff, Gagne and his teammate, JD Beach, have each challenged Beaubier throughout the season and in many cases have fallen short of the win by a slim margin. Gerloff is third in championship standings, 23 points behind Gagne while Beach sits fourth.
Daytona SportBike rookie, Jake Lewis of Meen Motorsports, is fifth overall and he’ll have to fight to keep ahead of sixth-placed rider James Rispoli of National Guard Suzuki, who sits just three points back.
The Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport East title will be decided at New Jersey. National Guard Suzuki’s Corey Alexander leads the division by nine points over Team 95’s Hayden Gillim. Motosport.com’s Stefano Mesa sits third overall followed by CTR Racing’s Miles Thornton in fourth.
In the West, RoadRace Factory’s Tomas Puerta sealed the division and overall titles during the round at Miller. Everyone on the grid will likely breathe a sigh of relief since California Superbike School’s Joe Roberts, who won every SuperSport race he contested this year, will not be competing in New Jersey.
Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series
At Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 2013 XR Showdown began with the top ten Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series riders reset to 1000 points apiece, leaving the battle for the title to the final four races of the year. Aerostar’s Steve Rapp continues to lead the series, though his previous four race win streak came to an end at Indy. He’ll look to reignite his mid-season fire to finish off 2013 on top and win the $60,000 XR Showdown prize.
Harv’s Harley-Davidson’s Travis Wyman is second, eight points adrift of the leader while Spyke’s Harley-Davidson’s Michael Barnes is third, an additional seven points back.