Blake Young Heats Up in Birmingham Superbike

Henny Ray Abrams | June 19, 2011


 The 2011 AMA Superbike Championship is starting over.After five of nine races – the mythical 10th race likely won’t happen – only two points separate the two leaders who have the strongest chance of carrying the number one plate in 2012.Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young withstood the withering pressure of Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes to win Sunday’s race, held on a day of 96-degree heat at Barber Motorsports Park.Young inherited the lead when the engine on teammate Tommy Hayden’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 expired in smoky flames on the ninth of 21 laps. Hayden quickly pulled over and the race continued.

Young had Hayes as company from then on, with Saturday’s winner, M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, showing his dry-weather talents were nearly the equal of his wet-weather talents and hanging on in third. National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden was at the tail end of the lead bunch before crashing out in turn one starting the 14th of 21 laps.Hayes took the lead earlier on the 10th lap with a bold pass in turn10, with Young stalking him and waiting to retaliate. The pass came on the 16th lap and it would be definitive. Hayes never took another shot at Young, who was able to pull away on the final lap to win by .765 of a second. Cardenas was 3.010 seconds back in third.After nine of 16 races, that are currently on the schedule, Hayes leads Young, 235-233. Tommy Hayden is now third at 183. Cardenas strengthened his fourth place position with 152.The racing behind the leaders was mostly processional and spread out. San Diego BMW’s Steve Rapp equaled his season best finish by coming fourth. Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom was fifth with a cushion of nearly 13 seconds on Foremost Insurance’s Larry Pegram in sixth. Then came Amsoil EBR Racing’s Geoff May (Bue) in front of Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Sports’ Chris Clark. Team Iron Horse BMW-ESP’s Chris Peris was on the same second as Clark and 17 in front of 10thth place finisher JD Beach on the Cycle World/Attack Performance Kawasaki.Superbike Results:1. Blake Young (Suzuki)

2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)

3. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)

4. Steve Rapp (BMW)

5. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)

6. Larry Pegram (BMW)

7. Geoff May (Buell)

8. Chris Clark (Yamaha)

9. Chris Peris (BMW)

10. JD Beach (Kawasaki)
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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.