Josh Hayes turned 40 last week, but apparently age hasn't slowed him down. Riding in a Texas rainstorm, the Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha rider showed he's still the master of the class as he sloshed his way to a calculated victory over teammate Cameron Beaubier at the Circuit of The Americas. Yoshimura Suzuki's Roger Hayden ended up third.
Rain moved into Austin area just prior to the start of the Supersport final and it hung around until after the two MotoAmerica debut races were completed. More of it is expected for Sunday's second race of the Superbike doubleheader, which will run at the end of a busy day of Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP racing as MotoAmerica is sharing the weekend with the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
Hayes took off from the start for the 12-lap final and opened up a gap almost four seconds early in the race. Pole sitter Beaubier chipped away at the lead and got it down to 2.5 seconds, but Hayes was able to maintain the gap and eventually stretched it back out to win by 5.279 seconds.
Josh Hayes won the MotoAmerica Superbike final at COTA on Saturday.
It was the 49th AMA Superbike win of Hayes' career and the four-time AMA Superbike Champion dedicated his victory to his friend Dane Westby, a MotoAmerica racer who lost his life a few weeks ago in a street accident.
"There are just so many things going on this weekend," Hayes said. "Just so much: new series, new machine. There is a lot of Yamaha brass here for a big weekend with MotoGP. A lot of things happening with so much of my family here, a lot like Rog (Hayden). I have a lot of friends here in Texas and I'm a bit overwhelmed. We've had some dodgy weather, we've had some good weather, we've had a little bit of everything. I feel like we've had a good sprinkle of everything. To have a successful race weekend and come out of here with a win, regardless of what happens tomorrow, it's fantastic. I'm very happy to be up here and get one in for Yamaha and the new R1. My team has done an amazing job. I was prepared, rain or shine. Mentally, I was in a really good state. I was ready to go either way very early in the weekend."
Fourth place in the Superbike race went to Bernat Martinez on a Yamaha YZF-R1 with Yoshimura Suzuki's Jake Lewis rounding out the top five in his Superbike debut.
The Superstock class ran together with the Superbikes and it was RoadRace Factory's Jake Gagne riding his Yamaha YZF-R1 to victory over the RSV4 of Aprilia HSBK Racing's Dustin Dominguez. Tyler O'Hara rode the Tyler O'Hara Racing Yamaha R1 to third place.