Suzuki's Blake Young (No. 79) pulled off a well-earned win at Road America over Josh Hayes and Tommy Hayden.
Wisconsin’s own Blake Young tasted champagne from the top step of the podium this afternoon after winning Saturday’s AMA Superbike Race 1 at Road America aboard his Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000. Young bested reigning champ and Monster Yamaha rider Josh Hayes and third place finisher and teammate Tommy Hayden after a race-long battle that went on for the duration of the 13-lapper.
“It’s getting old now and I’m ready for a new view,” joked Hayden in reference to following the two leaders for much of the race. “Again when they are side-by-side in every corner there is only so much track—where am I going to go? My bike was working well and I was just trying to be there and take advantage when I could. In the end I just couldn’t make it happen. Luckily tomorrow we get another shot at it. I just got to try and do a little bit better.”
As Hayden mentioned, he didn’t really have any opportunities to make a pass for second position due to the close proximity riding of Hayes and Young. It was a relatively clean race however with the two exchanging the lead a couple of times before Young finally got by him for good with only a few laps to go.
Hayes (No. 1) traded the lead multiple times with Young before being relegated to the runner-up spot.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Hayes. “I didn’t take every opportunity I had to jump in there. I tried to make him [Blake Young] work hard. At one point I got through and got a few clean laps and it thought I could push the pace faster than I did. It was hard to find the same rhythm as practice and qualifying. The start was a little dodgy. My bike was getting extremely hot. And when they finally decided to go I could feel the heat off the motorcycle. So I didn’t’ launch real hard so I didn’t burn up my clutch. I just wanted to be safe. I’ve burned up a clutch before and it’s not that much fun.”
This race kind of felt a little bit like Utah,” said Saturday’s Superbike race winner. “I keep on ending up on the better side of things at the end of the race. I know it’s not going to be like that forever. Josh was riding hard and I knew he kind of laid off me. As soon as I got out front I was riding a little bit more defensive and wasn’t’ doing the lap times I should have been doing. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race but I think the pace is going to be faster. I’m just happy to be home, happy to be at Elkhart Lake.”
M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas finished in fourth, well adrift of the lead pack. After running in fifth place for much of the race National Guard Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden ran wide in Turn 5 which allowed Larry Pegram to steal away the position. Motorcycle USA’s guest sportbike test rider encountered electrical problems with his Lee’s Cycle-prepped BMW S1000RR and finished in 19th place.
AMA Superbike Race 1 Results:
1. Blake Young (Suzuki)
Tommy Hayden (No. 22) was provided little room for passing as Young and Hayes battled up front.
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
3. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)
4. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
5. Larry Pegram (BMW)
6. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
7. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)
8. Chris Clark (Yamaha)
9. Jason Farrell (Kawasaki)
10. Geoff May (Buell)
11. J.D. Beach (Kawasaki)
12. David Anthony (Suzuki)
13. Jordan Burgess (Suzuki)
14. Brian Hall (Kawasaki)
15. Trent Gibson (Suzuki)