A second place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was enough to give Josh Herrin his first SuperBike crown. A second place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was enough to give Josh Herrin his first SuperBike crown. Photo courtesy AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

Hayes wins but Herrin takes title

Written by  on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 07:14

MONTEREY, Calif. - Sunday's AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was the 2013 campaign summed up into a single race. Three-time series champion Josh Hayes demonstrated his superiority in terms of outright pace en route to scoring his eighth victory of the season in a blowout, but it still wasn't enough to overcome the consistent excellence of his 23-year-old Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate Josh Herrin.

Just as he has all year long, Herrin maximized the opportunities he was given and did exactly what he had to in order to secure his first-career GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing title. While the outgoing champ raced off into the sunset and took the checkered flag by a margin of 13.434 seconds, second-year National Guard SuperBike ace Herrin registered a calculated ride to a clear runner-up result, clinching the '13 premier-class crown in the process.

Herrin took the title with a final tally of 345 points to Hayes' 330.

The new champ said, "I think the best word to describe my season is 'consistency.' We were real consistent all year. At the beginning of the year I wasn't even thinking about the championship. We got lucky at Daytona, but I figured Josh would come back, and he did. We got lucky at a lot of races, but at the same time we were smart and rode real consistent and it paid off in the end. Overall, it went great.

"This has been a lifelong dream of mine, and it's finally come true. I can't even explain the emotions right now. Coming around that last lap, I just filled up with tears. I could barely see where I was going. I've never felt that kind of emotion before. It's crazy the emotions you feel when you achieve something you've been waiting to do your whole life."

On the occasions in which Hayes was able to avoid trouble -- whether mechanical issues, jump start penalties, or his crash from the lead in Utah -- he proved unstoppable. That was the case again this weekend, as he scooped up all available points and earned his 41st career SuperBike victory. However, the damage was already done, and he was unable to prevent his young teammate from usurping his throne.

After the race, Hayes said, "It was a great weekend. This is two good Laguna Secas this year for me. I've had a great season and I'm proud of the things I've accomplished. My statistics are good. I was able to get eight pole positions -- I think I've gotten all poles except two in three years, which is a pretty amazing run. It's fun to be fast. And I had a good run of races this year. It's just when I get it wrong, I really get it wrong apparently.

"I really think the story today is Josh [Herrin] winning his #1 plate. He did what he needed to do and when the pressure was on, he stepped up."

The race for the remaining spot on the podium was drama-laden. Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas -- who carried slim title hopes into this race, as well, pressured Hayes early in the contest but the pace proved too much. The Colombian's season ended in sparks when he crashed from second while working the race's second lap.

With Cardenas out of the picture -- and the Michael Jordan Motorsports duo of Roger Hayden and Danny Eslick concentrating on FIM Superbike World Championship duties this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca -- KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore and Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram each eyed a prime opportunity to earn a top-three finish.

The two runners raced in close proximity the entire distance and traded the position multiple times on the final lap. Up-and-comer Fillmore got the upper hand and looked set to claim the first-ever SuperBike podium finish for himself and his KTM.

However, disaster struck at the last possible moment, as Fillmore's machine ran low on fuel and lost power exiting the race's final corner with the checkered flag in sight. That allowed Pegram to storm by and steal away third -- his first podium since his twin thirds in the '13 season opener at the Daytona International Speedway.

"I knew (Fillmore) was going to try to make a move at the end," Pegram explained. "He came into the last corner (on the penultimate lap) and put a block pass on me. It's funny, everyone thinks the KTM is so much slower than the Yamaha -- and it is on the top end - but his bike was really good out of that corner. He could get it stopped and still pull me because mine was wheelie-ing so much.

“I passed him going into two, but I got a little wide and he came under me. I passed him into five and we went side-by-side. When I passed him in five, it pushed us both wide and I got stuff all over my tires when I went wide. I got really sideways going into six and I kind of lost him a little bit. I was going to try to catch him in the last corner, but luckily I wasn't as close as I probably should have been. I was trying to square him up and something happened to his bike. I almost hit him -- so it's probably lucky I was about a bike-length back."   

A dejected Fillmore pushed his RC8R across the line, ultimately being credited with seventh position.

In the race's early stages, second Yosh pilot Chris Clark led a tight pack that trailed the Pegram/Fillmore battle and included Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony, Team AMSOIL/Hero's Aaron Yates, second works KTM rider Taylor Knapp, and Motosport.com/EBR II's Cory West.

Clark joined teammate Cardenas on the sidelines with a fall of his own, while Anthony eventually faded from the group. West worked his way forward, finally arriving in fifth -- which was elevated to fourth at the line as a result of Fillmore's misfortune. Yates followed him home in fifth.

Knapp was the final man to overtake Fillmore, dropping his teammate to seventh when he took the checkered flag in sixth.

Anthony added one final top-10 result to his season by taking eighth while Seven Sports' Trent Gibson and Zlock Racing 2's Kevin Pinkstaff rounded out the finale top 10.

Cameron Beaubier won his 12th AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race on Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, beating Jake Lewis by 0.642 of a second. Despite crashing on Saturday and riding sore on Sunday, Beaubier won his 10th race in a row to cap off his record-breaking year. JD Beach took third, defending a move from Garrett Gerloff on the last lap to earn a hotly-contested podium position.

For Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha pilot Beaubier, the race proved to be a considerable challenge. He spent the early laps mired outside the top five as Meen Motorsports' Lewis, Beach on the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull squad, and Latus Motors Racing's Jason DiSalvo led the final AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the year. Gerloff also pushed near the front as a seven-rider pack began the 20-lap race.

Despite a sore knee, Beaubier managed to slice up the charts, and the Californian harried 19-year old Lewis before making his move exiting turn two after Lewis ran ever-so-slightly wide on lap 18.

"This morning, I was pretty stiff in warm-up and didn't know what to expect," said class champion Beaubier. "In the race, I decided to take it a little bit easy in the beginning. My knee was hurting pretty good but, as the race went on, it loosened up some, and I was able to start putting down some fast laps. Jake (Lewis) was going really fast. I put my head down and was able to get a win. Thanks to the Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha crew after I gave them some extra work this weekend."

Beach's defense of third over Gerloff meant the Texan wasn't able to move up in the championship. RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's Jake Gagne retained second in the standings over Gerloff despite the late season charge from the #8 pilot. Gagne, racing with a broken collarbone, earned 11th in a painful display of fortitude.

Aerostar Global/Suburban Harley-Davison's Steve Rapp finished off the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Series in appropriately dominant fashion, securing his first-career GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing title with a blowout victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday.

Rapp earned the $25,000 prize that's awarded for winning the XR Showdown by taking his sixth win of the season in convincing fashion. The veteran AMA Pro star, who entered Saturday's finale with a healthy 23-point advantage after taking pole earlier in the day, ripped open a 1.233-second advantage on the race's opening lap and he only piled it on from there. He never put a wheel wrong despite the immense pressure of racing towards his first AMA Pro title.

Rapp gradually widened the gap to over seven seconds before cruising on the race's final two laps to a margin of victory just under six seconds.

Once again, there was significant drama behind the all-conquering Rapp in the struggle to determine second.

Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade's Tyler O'Hara's 'A' bike suffered an engine problem on the warm-up lap. The race was momentarily delayed as a result, allowing O'Hara to hitch a ride back down to the grid and jump on his back-up bike. However, he was forced to start from the back of the field rather than the spot he earned on the front row.

Undaunted, O'Hara slashed up to eighth on the race's first lap and continued his charge through the field from there, finally arriving in second with a three-man overtaking maneuver entering the Corkscrew on lap four of 11.

After that, he fended off the repeated advances of Rapp's Suburban teammate, Ben Carlson, and young Hayden Schultz (Kyle Wyman Racing), who raced in a tight pack that also included Spyke's Harley-Davidson's 2012 champ Michael Barnes and Folsom Harley-Davidson's Gage McAllister.

O'Hara held on for second at the flag (and overtook Harv's Harley Davidson's Travis Wyman as the XR Showdown runner-up), with Carlson and Schultz close behind in third and fourth, respectively.

Ruthless Racing Inc.'s Darren James finished ninth.

SuperBike Race Results

1

1

Josh Hayes

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha

Yamaha R1

23 Laps

WINNER

1:24.335

31

2

2

Josh Herrin

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha

Yamaha R1

13.434

13.434

1:25.140

25

3

72

Larry Pegram

Pegram Racing

Yamaha R1

21.073

7.639

1:25.972

21

4

13

Cory West

Motosport.com/EBR II

EBR 1190RS

30.267

9.194

1:26.321

18

5

20

Aaron Yates

Team AMSOIL/Hero

EBR 1190RS

33.353

3.086

1:26.381

16

6

44

Taylor Knapp

KTM/HMC Racing

KTM RC8R

36.618

3.265

1:26.429

15

7

11

Chris Fillmore

KTM/HMC Racing

KTM RC8R

55.546

18.928

1:25.817

14

8

25

David Anthony

Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

56.763

1.217

1:26.421

13

9

17

Trent Gibson

Seven Sports

Suzuki GSX-R1000

22 Laps

1 Lap

1:29.009

12

10

121

Kevin Pinkstaff

Zlock Racing 2

Kawasaki ZX-10

0.001

0.001

1:29.660

11

11

95

Mathew Orange

Orange Construction Racing

BMW S1000RR

0.834

0.833

1:29.644

10

12

269

Johnny Rock Page

ADR Motorsports

Suzuki GSX-R1000

35.020

34.185

1:30.280

9

13

6

Chris Clark

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

8 Laps

14 Laps

1:26.372

0

14

18

Chris Ulrich

M4 Broaster Chicken Racing

Honda CBR1000RR

3 Laps

5 Laps

1:27.833

0

15

36

Martin Cardenas

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

1 Lap

2 Laps

1:25.865

0

16

99

Geoff May

Team Hero

EBR 1190RS

DNF

DNF

-no times-

0

Race Time: 32:56.782
Margin of Victory: 13.434
Best Race Lap: Josh Hayes (1:24.335)

Final SuperBike Point Standings

1

Josh Herrin

345

1*

2

6

3

4

3

2

1*

2

1*

3

1*

2

2

4

2

Josh Hayes

330

17#

15*

1*#

1*

1*#

1*

1*#

2

1*#

3#

18

4#

1*

1*#

8

3

Martin Cardenas

297

2

1

2

2

3

4

3

3

3

4

1

3

3

15

2

4

Roger Hayden

228

18

4

3

4

2

2

8

8

20

2

2*

2

4

0

5

Danny Eslick

213

4

5

5

5

8

6

4

4

4

5

4

6

5

0

6

Larry Pegram

190

3

3

4

6

6

5

9

18

8

6

20

12

8

3

0

7

Chris Fillmore

183

10

8

9

8

5

7

7

7

5

8

19

5

6

7

0

8

Aaron Yates

162

11

19

12

9

10

11

6

6

7

12

6

7

11

5

0

9

Geoff May

161

7

16

7

22

7

8

5

5

6

9

5

9

7

16

0

10

David Anthony

159

8

14

8

7

9

10

18

9

10

7

7

10

10

8

0

11

Taylor Knapp

123

9

17

18

19

13

9

12

10

18

10

8

8

9

6

0

12

Cory West

117

18

10

10

11

13

10

11

9

22

17

11

12

4

0

13

Chris Clark

113

5

6

11

14

15

20

14

17

11

11

9

14

13

13

0

14

Chris Ulrich

96

14

9

13

12

12

12

11

13

12

21

21

13

14

14

0

15

Robertino Pietri

49

6

7

19

13

11

0

--From AMA Pro Racing

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