Yamaha's Josh Hayes was able to reel in American Superbike champion Mat Mladin at New Jersey today, registering his third straight victory in the process.
Wearing the No. 1 plate on his Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura GSXX-R1000 today, Mat Mladin shot out to an early led and looked well on his way to adding to his 77 career American superbike victories. Mladin opened up a 0.868-second gap over Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom by the end of Lap 1 and pushed it up to 1.306-seconds at the end of Lap 4.
But Yamaha’s Josh Hayes, who passed Bostrom for second by Lap 2, methodically closed the gap, making a move on Mladin in Turn One on Lap 8 to take the lead. By the next lap, Hayes had pushed the gap to 0.360-seconds. But Mladin refused to let Hayes run away with it without a fight, and a couple of hot laps put the seven-time AMA Superbike champion right on Hayes’ tail. On Lap 12, Mladin regained the front spot, with Hayes in hot pursuit.
But on Lap 13, Mladin uncharacteristically tucked the front end on his GSX-R1000 and went off into the gravel, and Hayes never looked back in winning his third AMA Pro Superbike race in a row. Hayes took over second place in the point standings with the victory, surpassing Mladin’s Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki teammate, Tommy Hayden, by two points, with one race to go.
Hayden held on to second place after dicing it out with Jordan Suzuki's Aaron Yates and Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram for the final podium position. Hayden and Yates would play cat and mouse until Hayden made a pass stick on Lap 19. Yates would grab the final spot on the New Jersey Motorsports’ podium.
B-Boz hung around the front pack all day long and finished just off the podium in a respectable fourth.
Yamaha factory rider Ben Bostrom would be in the top-five scrum for most of the afternoon and passed Pegram on the last lap to capture fourth place. Pegram crossed the line on the Ducati in fifth.
Taylor Knapp was the top Buell finisher today, duking it out for sixth-place after waging his own battle with Suzuki’s Blake Young and privateer Cory West, who was making his debut on the Erik Buell Racing 1125R. West rode well to finish in eighth-place.
Australian Damian Cudlin also had a strong outing in his Superbike debut. Cudlin diced it out with National Guard Jordan Suzuki Geoff May and Holden Racing's Jake Holden to finish ninth, with May claiming the final podium position.
American Superbike New Jersey Motorsports Park Race 1 Results
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) +1.418
3. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) +1.613
4. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) +4.549
5. Larry Pegram (Ducati) +5.906
6. Taylor Knapp (Buell) +11.302
7. Blake Young (Suzuki) +11.671
8. Cory West (Buell) +16.290
9. David Cudlin (Suzuki) +23.307
10. Geoff May (Suzuki) +23.564
11. J. Holden (Honda)
12. C. Ulrich (Suzuki)
13. N. Hodgson (Honda)
14. S. Charlton (Suzuki)
15. S. Narbonne (Suzuki)
16. R. Corey (Yamaha)
17. M. Crozier (Suzuki)
18. S. Higbee ( Buell)
19. S. Jensen (Suzuki)
20.S. Salenius (Suzuki)
24. M. Mladin (Suzuki)