Josh Hayes saw off a challenge from Martin Cardenas to get his 2013 season back on track. Josh Hayes saw off a challenge from Martin Cardenas to get his 2013 season back on track. Photo courtesy AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

Hayes takes first win of 2013

Written by  on Sunday, 02 June 2013 14:11

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Entering the first race of the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America on Saturday, reigning AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike triple champion Josh Hayes sounded a bit less than his usual supremely confident self. The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha superstar admitted that he was a bit rusty, still growing comfortable with his tires, and generally struggling. Meanwhile, the emerging challenge of Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas hinted that the substantial crowd in attendance may be treated to a competitive battle for Saturday's win.

Instead, Hayes stepped up and delivered yet another of his trademark breakaway victories. The convincing triumph was the 34th of the Mississippian's illustrious premier-class career. Perhaps more importantly, it was the first of his 2013 title campaign that got off to a disastrous start in March at Daytona International Speedway.

Cardenas powered into the lead at the green light aboard his #36 GSX-R1000 but Hayes muscled alongside as they set up for the entrance of turn three. The two rubbed shoulders and the Colombian was pushed a bit wide as they jockeyed for position.

Hayes took control of the race at the point; he opened up a small gap that he gradually grew while Cardenas was forced to deal with Hayes' teammate, Josh Herrin.

Cardenas eventually won out in that scrap for second but by then the damage was done. The Suzuki ace found himself a few seconds removed from Hayes, a gap from which he could never rebound. The two ultimately finished the race in first and second separated by just under four seconds.

After collecting his fourth consecutive Road America SuperBike win Hayes said, "Today's race, in the helmet, felt a lot different than I think it looked on the track. I was pretty nervous coming into the race and wasn't feeling real good. It's been a long time since we've been racing and everything was going great last time and didn't end that well. So I had a lot of nerves.

"I felt I was riding pretty good, and the guys showed me I think a little bit of a false gap, and I relaxed a little bit. I came around, and that gap shrank considerably, and I panicked a little bit. I had to change my rhythm twice and that's pretty tough -- once you back down to go back to putting in hard laps again. At that point, it was just trying to maintain or open the gap and just give myself some breathing room.

“Martin was riding pretty good behind me because I was trying pretty hard and he was maintaining a good pace. I'm sure tomorrow will be a different story; if he can get away in the first few laps with me I'm sure it's going to be a race-long battle. I'm looking forward to it -- it should be a lot of fun."

Cardenas was able to take some consolation in the fact that his runner-up result catapulted him into the early-season championship lead.

"It was a good race for me," Cardenas remarked. "Of course, I wanted to finish one step higher, but this time, it was impossible. Josh was very fast on the first few, and he gapped us, and I couldn't catch up. But I tried to keep the pressure the whole way, and I had a good rhythm, and the bike was working really good."

Herrin looked set for a lonely run to the final spot on the podium until he went off track in turn one, losing the position on lap nine of 13. The lengthy excursion plummeted Herrin from third to eighth in the process, but he regrouped and clawed his way back up to sixth by the time he took the checkered flag.

As a result of Herrin's mistake, an extended struggle between National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden and Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Yamaha's Larry Pegram was elevated to one for the podium. The Kentuckian eked open a small gap on the final lap to prevent the veteran from attempting a last-gasp drafting maneuver as they raced up the hill for the final time.

Hayden said, "In the beginning, I made a made a lot of mistakes, and these guys got a gap on me. They just slowly pulled away. I made another big mistake, and then Larry was on me. The last few laps was just holding him off. Herrin ran off the track -- it's a pretty disappointing third place, to be honest. I was so far back and didn't really ride very good, and should have got fourth today. We'll take it, but we have to do a lot better job tomorrow."

Jordan Suzuki's Danny Eslick came back from a less-than-ideal start to charge up from ninth to fifth in the end.

Team Hero's Geoff May was the final rider Herrin worked past, finishing as the top EBR 1190RS in the field with his seventh-place finish.

Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony, KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore, and Team RSRacecraft EBR's Cory West rounded out the top 10.

Cameron Beaubier may have checked out in his win in GoPro Daytona SportBike at Road America on Saturday, but there were plenty of battles throughout the field that kept the event exciting until the very end.

Beaubier, on his Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6, was shadowed closely in the opening laps by fellow young gun Jake Gagne, racing for RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha. Beaubier won by 2.693 seconds, not quite the dominating performance he showed at Daytona, but a clear victory nonetheless.

"Jake kept me honest, but my bike has been awesome all weekend," said Beaubier. The victory continued Cameron's perfect record in 2013. "It's been awesome, and I want to keep the ball rolling and stay focused."

After the early moments, Gagne was never challenged from his second position.

"Cameron took off today," said Gagne. "I made a few little mistakes, but we'll go back and try to improve on that from tomorrow."

The fight for third between Gagne's teammate J.D. Beach and Meen Motorsports' Jake Lewis, however, went down to the line. The Kentucky residents traded the position throughout the race, but Beach was able to join his teammate on the podium.

"We raced together a lot this winter," Beach said. "I tried to show him who was boss, but it was a fun race."

A four-rider train battled for fifth. Dane Westby (GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing), who hoped to get a positive start to his campaign for the 2013 title after missing Daytona with an injury, led the group into turn one on the last lap but was shuffled to the back of the pack by the finish and earned eighth. Garrett Gerloff put his Y.E.S.-backed Yamaha into fifth, as Bobby Fong (D&D Cycles Triumph) and James Rispoli on the National Guard Celtic Racing Suzuki also made moves on Westby to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.

Saturday's AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race saw Corey Alexander earn a hard-fought victory over Stefano Mesa at the 4.05-mile circuit. Alexander (National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki) was able to distance himself from Mesa after the Colombian ran wide at turn five on the last lap, allowing Alexander to escape and win by 1.118 seconds.

Defending AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series king Michael Barnes claimed the provisional pole for Sunday's seven-lap contest.

Barnes laid down a 2.37.439 lap to outpace Suburban Harley-Davidson's Ben Carlson (2:38.307), Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade/Bartels' Tyler O'Hara, and Harv's Harley-Davidson's Travis Wyman, who complete the provisional front row.

This weekend marks the debut of GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing's television broadcasts on CBS Sports Network as part of the CBS Sports Spectacular. Sunday's coverage features back-to-back broadcasts of Race 2 for GoPro Daytona SportBike and National Guard SuperBike, starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 noon PT. Fans can find CBS Sports Network on their TV by using the channel finder at http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder.

In addition to the live broadcasts on CBS Sports Network, AMA Pro Live will be live streaming multiple channels of behind-the-scenes video of the weekend's activities alongside Live Timing & Scoring. AMA Pro Live puts fans in the director's chair, allowing them to choose from a variety of viewpoints including track cameras, paddock cameras and a press conference channel. Login at http://www.amaprolive.com to catch the action.

All weekend long, stay connected with GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing on social media at http://twitter.com/AMAProSBK and http://www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing.

SuperBike Race 1 Results

1

1

Josh Hayes

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha

Yamaha R1

13 Laps

WINNER

2:12.856

32

2

36

Martin Cardenas

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

3.984

3.984

2:13.795

25

3

54

Roger Hayden

National Guard Jordan Suzuki

Suzuki GSX-R1000

22.297

18.312

2:14.914

21

4

72

Larry Pegram

Pegram Racing

Yamaha R1

23.106

0.809

2:14.670

18

5

23

Danny Eslick

Jordan Suzuki

Suzuki GSX-R1000

31.975

8.868

2:15.240

16

6

2

Josh Herrin

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha

Yamaha R1

34.055

2.080

2:13.940

15

7

99

Geoff May

Team Hero

EBR 1190RS

34.802

0.747

2:15.975

14

8

25

David Anthony

Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

44.547

9.744

2:16.763

13

9

11

Chris Fillmore

KTM/HMC Racing

KTM RC8R

44.570

0.023

2:16.493

12

10

13

Cory West

Team RSRacecraft EBR II

EBR 1190RS

1:05.450

20.879

2:17.894

11

11

6

Chris Clark

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

1:20.420

14.970

2:18.077

10

12

20

Aaron Yates

Team AMSOIL/Hero

EBR 1190RS

1:27.692

7.272

2:17.182

9

13

18

Chris Ulrich

M4 Broaster Chicken Racing

Honda CBR1000RR

1:36.108

8.415

2:19.297

8

14

28

Ryan Kerr

Ryan Kerr Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

1:51.683

15.575

2:20.156

7

15

14

Nico Ferreira

DMS Racing

Kawasaki ZX-10

1:55.266

3.583

2:21.551

6

16

94

Michael Garner

Lightspeed

Kawasaki ZX-10

12 Laps

1 Lap

2:24.630

5

17

123

Jacquel Gonzalez

123 Motorsports, AR Motorsports Mindeporte

Kawasaki ZX-10

27.453

27.453

2:26.925

4

18

44

Taylor Knapp

KTM/HMC Racing

KTM RC8R

4 Laps

8 Laps

2:18.978

0

19

68

Dustin Dominguez

Team RSRacecraft EBR

EBR 1190RS

1.944

1.944

2:18.440

0

20

78

Reese Wacker

Pilot Travel Centers/Wacker Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

1 Lap

3 Laps

3:14.485

0

22

86

Jason Farrell

Farrell Performance/US Chrome Kawasaki

Kawasaki ZX-10

DNF

DNF

DNF

0

23

75

Huntley Nash

Neyra Racing

Kawasaki ZX-10

DNF

DNF

DNF

0

Race Time: 29:07.327
Margin of Victory: 3.984
Best Race Lap: Josh Hayes (2:12.856)

--From AMA Pro Racing

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John Hopkins

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