Hayden Gets His First

Paul Carruthers | March 28, 2010

FONTANA, CA, MAR. 28 – It took nine long years of AMA Superbike racing, but Tommy Hayden finally broke through today, earning a popular first-ever Superbike National victory after stalking Josh Hayes for 17 of the 21 laps before making his move at Auto Club Speedway. From there it was four laps of high anticipation for Hayden fans as the oldest of the three racing brothers put his head down and got the job done – finally.”Man it feels really good,” Hayden said. “It’s a bit of weight off my shoulders to get that out of the way, especially after yesterday [he finished sixth, some 12 seconds off the pace]. I was pretty discouraged last night. Hats off to the team for making the changes. I made some changes myself and came out today and did a lot better. Josh [Hayes] gave me all I could handle and I think letting him set the pace I was able to conserve my tire a little bit. I made my move and tried to make it happen and it worked out. It feels really good. It’s been a long time coming for me. We got this first one out of the way and hopefully they’ll get easier. We’ll see.”At the finish Hayden was .485 of a second ahead of the Graves Motorsports Yamaha of Hayes with Hayden’s Rockstar/Makita Suzuki teammate Blake Young right on Hayes’ heels – and just .641 of a second off the winner.”Thanks for all you guys coming out this weekend,” Hayes told the fans from the podium. “I’m glad you came out. Yesterday was looking a little dodgy, but it turned out to be a good weekend of racing. It’s been a pretty hard track for me, but I rode my behind off and Tommy just did better than me today. Congratulations to Tommy for getting his first win here. It’s been a long time coming.”

Young was also better off than yesterday, moving up two spots to third.”Today I wasn’t sleeping on the start and it definitely helped,” Young said. “It felt good runing that pace; I made a little mistake and caught a faulse neutral and finally got back to them. But once I got back to them, I couldn’t really do anything with them.”A country mile behind those three came a race to the line that went to National Guard Suzuki’s Jake Zemke over M4 Monster Suzuki’s John Hopkins, with those two some 18 seconds behind the lead trio.Then came another big gap before Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom crossed the line in sixth, besting Canadian Brett McCormick on the Celtic Racing Suzuki and Hopkins’ M4 Monster teammate Chris Ulrich.Taylor Knapp and David Anthony rounded out the top 10 finishers.But the day belonged to Hayden, who actually had his first season of AMA Superbike racing in 1997 – 13 years ago. And his first win came on a spectacularly sunny Southern California day with everyone in the paddock happy to see Hayden on top. Even his peers who were beaten by him today.Yesterday’s winner, Foremost Ducati’s Larry Pegram, crashed out of the lead on the ninth lap in the last corner. At the time, Pegram led a tightly knit group of four – with Hayes, Hayden and Young in pursuit at the time.Hayden’s win came a day after his father and long time supporter Earl celebrated his birthday – and it came with his brother NIcky in attendance before he departs for his upcoming MotoGP season.Zemke continues to lead the championship, 11 points ahead of Hayden, 106-95. Pegram is third with 70 points, two more than Hayes and Young are tied for third with 67 points.

Superbike Final

1.                  Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)

2.                  Josh Hayes (Yamaha)

3.                  Blake Young (Suzuki)

4.                  Jake Zemke (Suzuki)

5.                  John Hopkins (Suzuki)

6.                  Ben Bostrom (Yamaha)

7.                  Brett McCormick (Suzuki)

8.                  Chris Ulrich (Suzuki)

9.                  Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)

10.                  David Anthony (Suzuki

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.