Hayes Blitzes VIR

Henny Ray Abrams | August 15, 2009

Yamaha’s Josh Hayes ran away with Saturday’s American Superbike race at Virginia International Raceway, winning his fourth race of the season by the largest margin of the year.From his second pole position, Hayes bolted to the lead and quickly began throwing down lap times that no one could approach. Halfway into the 23-lap race the lead was 7.411 secs. and it ballooned over 11 before he backed off to win by 10.062.”We worked really hard, we had a really good motorcycle, it was the right bike to be on, we made the right tire choice and we were able to put together good laps from the beginning and I feel real fortunate to be here,” Hayes said.”The R1, that crossplane crankshaft, gives you really good feel for corner exit and when the tire’s spinning, and so I think that helped us out from like turn one and several other parts of the race track.”Like I said, I’m fortunate to be up here. This feels a lot like Infineon,” where he won his first race by 6.315 secs. “I’m sure that both of these guys are going to up their games tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow I don’t fall behind and I’m able to keep putting the race to ‘em, so that would be really fun for me.”Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin finished second, which wasn’t enough to clinch his seventh Superbike crown. Mladin needed to clear today with a 94 point cushion and he came up two short. Teammate Tommy Hayden passed the third member of the team, Blake Young, on the final lap, to move the gap to 92 with three races remaining. Mladin has to finish Sunday’s race with a 63 point cushion to clinch the title.Hayden and Young had been part of the battle for third, before tailing off at the end. Ahead of them were Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom and Aaron Yates, the veterans battling corner after corner and right to the line. It appeared Bostrom had an edge after they ran into traffic two laps from the end, but Yates made a run at the flag, only to come up short by .065 secs.Then came Hayden and Young, with a nine second wait before Jake Holden crossed the line in seventh on his Honda CBR1000RR.Latus Racing’s Taylor Knapp rode his Suzuki to eighth, just over a second in front of Celtic Racing’s Michael Laverty.Higgins Powersports’ Jeff Wood (Suz) beat Corona Extra Honda’s Neil Hodgson to the line for 11th.Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram was running in fifth until he ran off the track and dropped to 12th, where he’d finish.National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Geoff May was running in third on the fourth lap when he lost the front end and crashed out.


1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)

2. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)

3. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha)

4. Aaron Yates (Suzuki)

5. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)

6. Blake Young (Suzuki)

7. Jake Holden (Honda)

8. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)

9. Michael Laverty (Suzuki)

10. Jeff Wood (Suzuki)

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.