Jodi Christie (Honda # 20) holds off Chris Ulrich (Honda # 18), Larry Pegram (Buell, hidden) and Chris Clarke (Suzuki # 6). Christie and Ulrich had the only two Hondas in the feature race. Jodi Christie (Honda # 20) holds off Chris Ulrich (Honda # 18), Larry Pegram (Buell, hidden) and Chris Clarke (Suzuki # 6). Christie and Ulrich had the only two Hondas in the feature race. Photo by Colin Fraser

Christie fights to strong sixth in AMA final

Written by  on Monday, 15 September 2014 06:49

MILLVILLE, NJ - Newly crowned Mopar Canadian National Superbike Champion Jodi Christie had a strong outing at the final round of the 2014 AMA Pro American National road racing Championship, the Kawasaki Devil’s Showdown, at New Jersey Motorsport Park on Sunday. Aboard his regular Accelerated Technologies built and sponsored Honda CBR1000RR, Christie battled with a large pack of top Americans to wind up an aggressive sixth at the end of the 23-lap feature.

Bouncing back from a fall in Saturday’s wet penultimate SBK National race while running third, Christie started sixth but gave up several positions in the early going. As his race progressed, Christie moved up to the front of a busy mob of riders, eventually out-dueling the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Chris Clarke to score sixth on the final lap.

“It was a bit of a struggle out there,” said a jubilant Christie as he was congratulated by several top AMA teams. “I had new gloves, and I developed a blister on my right hand, and I lost my right knee slider early in the race.

“When Chris Ulrich got by me on his Honda, I knew I had to pass him back as soon as possible. Our set-up wasn’t there, we didn’t get much dry practice, and I was skating around on the corner entry. But I really wanted a finish, I wanted to redeem myself.”  

British Columbia’s Marcel Irnie had a slow start on his BMW S1000RR, but also moved through the pack to out-dice his rivals, netting a good 13th. Irnie was in his third career American Superbike event, while Christie’s debut in the feature class was actually Saturday.

Winner on the day was Josh Hayes, who made up for the frustration of Saturday’s Superbike event to walk away with the final race of this era of Superbike competition. Hayes won on the road Saturday but was penalized for passing under a caution flag, ending up second behind the Suzuki of Roger Lee Hayden.  Even so, he won the AMA’s top championship for the fourth time in his career.

Hayes was challenged early by his Monster Energy-Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 team-mate Cameron Beaubier. However Beaubier fell mid-race when he lost the front end, and Hayes was clear for the win.

“It was a really cool race, but I was struggling near the end, trying hard to maintain my pace, and I thought I was losing ground,” explained Hayes post-race, saying that he figured that he had abused his Dunlop slick in the early going. “I ran off track in turn 1, I wasn’t paying enough attention, and Martin [Cardenas] was coming.

“I decided I wanted to go down swinging, and I kept charging. I was gutted for Cameron when he slipped off, I wanted a Yamaha one-two, and then I struggled to maintain my pace and get it home for my team.” 

After running off track early, Hayden got into a wild battle for second with his Yoshimura Suzuki team-mate Martin Cardenas. Hayden, riding with an injured shoulder, made a pass work on the last lap to take second, Cardenas third.

Spanish ace Bernat Martinez ran with the leaders early on his Yamaha, then struggled to hold onto fourth on the last lap, challenged by the Suzuki of David Anthony. Martinez got the spot, ending a strong debut season in the U.S. Top privateer Anthony was fifth.

Next up was Christie followed by Clarke, the Buell twin of hard charging, long time pack leader Larry Pegram, Chris Ulrich on a Honda and Taylor Knapp’s Suzuki in 10th.

Jake Gagne confirmed his title in Daytona SportBike, clearing off for the win aboard his Red Bull Yamaha. Garrett Gerloff was 2.5 seconds back for second, out-duelling Dane Westby, both on Yamahas.

British Team WD-40 rider Ben Young of Thornbury, ON, returned from the U.K. to work his way up to a very respectable 13th overall in Daytona SportBike.

In the Vance and Hines Harley-Davidson Racing Series class for XR1200 machines, Kyle Wyman won the race from outgoing champ Steve Rapp and Tyler O’Hara, but Danny Eslick limped through the 12-lap race to earn sixth, good enough to clinch the crown. Eslick crashed in the Sunday morning warm-up, and his crew struggled to get the twin repaired in time for the final. 

B.C.-based, American series regular Darren James diced with Eslick and Davie Estok, netting eighth in what is expected to be his final race in the U.S. James has announced his retirement, but is considering an offer to compete “on the roads” in Ireland next spring.

In the Rising Star SuperSport class, Dustin Dominguez took the win for Houston Superbikes with a Yamaha YZF-R6, out-dicing new champ Hayden Gillim on his TOBC Racing Suzuki GX-R600.

After a lousy day in slippery conditions Saturday, Mitch Card had a good ride in Supersport, the Canuck rookie Pro working all the way through from the back of the grid to net 16th on his Trackside Cuts Honda CB600RR. Starting right at the back after a troubled debut in the U.S., an enthusiastic Stacey Nesbitt worked her way up to 36th in the 50 plus bike field with the OCT Racing/FTR Honda CBR600RR.   

“I finished! It was good,” started Nesbitt after her U.S. debut. “I was confused by the blue flags, the process is different here, you have to get out of the way. I missed a shift into turn 1, lost a little time, but I learned a lot and it was a very positive experience.”

SuperBike Race Results

  1. 1              4              Josh Hayes          Monster Energy Graves Yamaha               Yamaha R1          23 Laps
  2. 2              95           Roger Hayden   Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing               Suzuki GSX-R1000            4.824
  3. 3              36           Martin Cardenas              Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing               Suzuki GSX-R1000            4.863
  4. 4              76           Bernat Martinez               Proto-Tech Spain             Yamaha R1          36.663
  5. 5              25           David Anthony  ADR Motorsports, Sic, Motul Fly Racin    Suzuki GSX-R1000            36.683
  6. 6              20           Jodi Christie        Honda Canada/Accelerated Technologies Team                Honda CBR1000RR           43.064
  7. 7              6              Chris Clark           Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing               Suzuki GSX-R1000            43.230
  8. 8              72           Larry Pegram     Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing        EBR 1190RS         43.256
  9. 9              18           Chris Ulrich         GEICO Motorcycle Racing             Honda CBR1000RR           47.490
  10. 10           44           Taylor Knapp      TOBC Racing II   Suzuki GSX-R1000            50.888
  11. 11           13           Cory West           Team AMSOIL Hero        EBR 1190RS         51.593
  12. 12           16           Frankie Babuska               Babuska Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000            53.060
  13. 13           174         Marcel Irnie        Mobibuff/Irnie Racing/World's Best Motorcycles              BMW S1000RR   1:18.131
  14. 14           66           Scott Harwell     TOBC Racing       Suzuki GSX-R1000            1:18.211
  15. 15           186         Tony Leong         Push Racing        Suzuki GSX-R1000            1:18.892
  16. 16           10           Sean Dwyer        Vicious Cycle Racing        Suzuki GSX-R1000            1:19.304
  17. 17           269         Johnny Rock Page            United America All Nations          Suzuki GSX-R1000            22 Laps
  18. 18           7              Jake Holden       TPL Squadra Corse           Ducati 1199         11 Laps
  19. 19           2              Cameron Beaubier          Monster Energy Graves Yamaha               Yamaha R1          10 Laps
  20. 20           11           Chris Fillmore     KTM/HMC Racing             KTM RC8R           7 Laps
  21. 21           166         Jon Couch           TOBC Racing       Suzuki GSX-R1000            56.842

Race Time: 31:51.019
Margin of Victory: 4.824
Best Race Lap: Josh Hayes (1:21.437)

SuperBike Final Point Standings

  1. 1              Josh Hayes          285
  2. 2              Roger Hayden   231
  3. 3              Cameron Beaubier          206
  4. 4              Chris Clark           176
  5. 5              David Anthony  175
  6. 6              Martin Cardenas              147
  7. 7              Cory West           124
  8. 8              Chris Fillmore     119
  9. 9              Larry Pegram     105
  10. 10           Bernat Martinez               98
  11. 11           Chris Ulrich         95
  12. 12           Taylor Knapp      71
  13. 13           Frankie Babuska               70
  14. 14           Johnny Rock Page            65
  15. 15           Trent Gibson      55
  16. 16           Sean Dwyer        53
  17. 17           Diego Pierluigi   28
  18. 18           Reese Wacker   27
  19. 19           Marcel Irnie        23
  20. 20           Jason Farrell       20
  21. 21           Stefano Mesa    20
  22. 22           Francois Dumas                19
  23. 23           Huntley Nash     17
  24. 24           Mathew Orange               17
  25. 25           Jodi Christie        15
  26. 26           Jake Holden       12
  27. 27           Sebastiao Ferreira           11
  28. 28           Kevin Pinkstaff  10
  29. 29           Scott Harwell     7
  30. 30           Jacquel Gonzalez             7
  31. 31           Tony Leong         6
  32. 32           Barrett Long       2

--By Frank Wood and Colin Fraser

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John Hopkins

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