Young Wins, Hayes Crashes, Points Lead Changes Hands

Henny Ray Abrams | May 6, 2012

SONOMA, CA, MAY 6 – Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Young took over the championship points lead by taking advantage of a rare race crash by Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes in Sunday’s Superbike race on a sunny weekend in the wine country north of San Francisco.

A day after a dominant win, Hayes was trying to check out when he fell on the second of 22 laps in the hard braking turn left. Young quickly shot into the lead while Hayes tried to get his bike re-started.

Hayes’ crash didn’t immediately register with Young. “I think I was battling there so I didn’t think about it, then I saw him go down and said, wow, did I see that?” he said. “This early in the race we got a long race to go and these guys behind me are really hungry for a win.”

Hayes got re-started, but at the back of the pack. For the remaining 20 laps he cut through the field to finish a creditable seventh, one better than’s David Anthony.

Young would finish with his largest ever Superbike margin of victory, 3.467 secs.

After the third round of the championship Young leads Hayes by four points, 166 to 162. National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden strengthened his third place position (114 points) by passing Team Amsoil/Hero’s Geoff May on the final lap to finish a career best second in the second race. Hayden had been tenth on Saturday.

“I had to earn that one and the last few laps was a lot of fun with Geoff (May),” Hayden said. “It was pretty clean and we were just running it in on each other.”

May’s third, a day after teammate Danny Eslick finished on the Sonoma podium, was an indication that the EBR team is for real. It was especially impressive since the EBR 1190RS has no sophisticated electronics, only what comes stock on the street version. And the V-twin makes it hard for the bike to change directions, which meant two days of heavy wrestling for May and Eslick.

“It’s been a long road with EBR and we’re finally here and we’re here to stay,” May said.

Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom recovered from an off day on Saturday to finish a charging fourth on Sunday, his best finish of the year and only .3 sec. from the podium.

Also recovering was Chris Fillmore. The KTM/HMC Racing rider, who’d crashed on Saturday, was involved in a scrap with Team Hero’s Danny Eslick on Sunday. Fillmore got the better of him, finishing fifth to Eslick’s sixth. Hayes was closing on them when time ran out. He finished seventh.

AMA Superbike Results

1. Blake Young (Suzuki)

2. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)

3. Geoff May (EBR)

4. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)

5. Chris Fillmore (KTM)

6. Danny Eslick (EBR)

7. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)

8. David Anthony (Suzuki)

9. Robertino Pietri (Suzuki)

10. Larry Pegram (BMW)

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.