Hayes Dominates Road Atlanta Sunday

Henny Ray Abrams | April 22, 2012

BRASELTON, GA, APR 22 – Sunday’s AMA Superbike race at Road Atlanta was the complete opposite of Saturday’s. While Saturday’s was filled with drama, tension, a crash and red flag, and heroic ride, Sunday’s race was clinical, educational, almost devoid of drama. And that’s how Josh Hayes likes it.

The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider sped to an uncontested victory to give Yamaha their first ever Superbike win over a 32-year span at Road Atlanta in the Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta.

Hayes passed early leader and Saturday winner Blake Young (Yoshimura Suzuki) in the Turn 10A braking zone on the third of 20 laps and was never headed.

Ending the fourth lap he had half a second, which he nearly doubled on lap five. The only question that remained was what the final margin of victory would be. The answer: 5.214 secs.

“I made my boys do a lot of work this weekend and I had to pay them back somehow,” Hayes said in reference to crashing two motorcycles on Friday.

The win also puts the Mississippi native back in command of the championship with 116 points to 110 for Young.

“It was kind of a boring race,” Young said.

The battle for third was a replica of Saturday’s race. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin slotted into third, with National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden harassing him for the duration.

Hayden was content to follow Herrin until the penultimate lap when he made an inside move into the Turn 10A left. But Herrin had the inside line for the next right and shot up over the crest still in third. For the final lap-plus Herrin kept the pace to secure his second podium in a row in front a host of friends and family.

One day after Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing BMW) was forced to pit with bent rims, before rejoining the race, he came out on top of a spirited battle for fifth. Pegram beat Taylor Knapp (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) to the line by .143 sec. with Chris Fillmore pushing the KTM/HMC Racing KTM RC8R to a shadow seventh. Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp finished on the same second in eighth.

AMA Pro Road Race Superbike Results:

1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Blake Young (Suzuki)
3. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
4. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
5. Larry Pegram (BMW)
6. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)
7. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
8. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki)
9. Danny Eslick (EBR)
10. Chris Clark (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.