Hacking To Stay in World Superbike

Henny Ray Abrams | June 5, 2009

Jamie Hacking earned two more rides with the Kawasaki World Superbike team after giving them their best results during an up and down weekend at  last weekend’s World Superbike race  at Miller Motorsports Park.The Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki rider will continue to replace Makoto Tamada, the underperforming Japanese rider who was injured at Monza. Originally it was thought the most severe of his injuries was a broken wrist, but Tamada has two broken fingers each of which is being held together by wires.In his debut with the team, Hacking put the ZX10R in the final Superpole session for the first time this year, with regular rider Broc Parkes doing the same. In the first race, Hacking was a strong fourth before a red flag stopped the race. Rear grip problems prevented him from running the same pace in the second part of the race and he finished seventh. Still, that was the best the team had seen all season by three spots.The second race was more difficult, with Hacking running off track twice, including after a collision with Team Pedercini’s Luca Scassa (Kaw). But he never gave up and soldiered on to finish 19th.Now he has two weeks to prepare for the following round of the championship at Misano Adriatico in Italy, followed by the British round at Donington Park in the British East Midlands. Hacking was born in the UK and has strong ties to the country. The following week he’ll jet back to the U.S. for the Daytona SportBike race in support of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.Asked at Miller if he was interested in continuing with the team, Hacking said, “Hell yeah, I want to do it,” adding, “If they said run the whole series, I’d say, ‘Where do I sign?'”Hacking got a boost from his close friend, Yamaha’s Ben Spies. Spies took every opportunity to tout Hacking’s abilities at Miller Motorsports Park. Following his double win, Spies said, that “everybody’s seen this weekend that he’s got pace. The bike is…it’s not the best bike out there. Everybody knows it. I think it can be better than where it is now and he showed them that and he deserves to be over here. And that’s what I’ve said. I’ve brought his name up many a times and he’s a hard rider and a lot of people, they kind of raise their eyebrows, oh the age, here and there, but the thing is he didn’t start racing until he was in his late 20’s. So he’s still not, he’s not an old racer. He just started later. The guy still rides hard.”Everybody, all these guys know this track except for a couple guys and he hasn’t ridden a superbike for half a season, never on Pirelli tires and a different crew, so I wouldn’t say he had an advantage at all coming here on this weekend. I think he did pretty good.”

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.