LEEDS, AL, JUNE 23 – Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes won his fourth Superbike race in a row after turning back a nearly racelong threat from teammate Josh Herrin on a hot and sticky day at Barber Motorsports Park. Herrin finished a distant second with Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Young third, nearly ten seconds behind Herrin.
Starting from his eighth consecutive pole position, Hayes went for the lead, only to get beaten into the first turn by Herrin. Herrin kept the point for several corners until Hayes made a clean pass in Turn 6.
For the next 15 laps they were inseparable and untouchable. Lap after lap of the 2.38-mile road course the matching blue Yamaha YZF-R1s pulled away effortlessly. They had over 12 seconds on Young on the 16th lap when they still ran in formation. But on the 17th lap Herrin slowed and Hayes kept up the heat and finished the lap with a lead of 1.634 secs.
The lead continued to grow until Hayes crossed the line with a wheelie and a 5.136 secs. margin of victory.
The win was his fourth in a row, sixth in the last seven races, and seventh of the year, matching his career best Superbike total from both 2009 and 2010. It was also both his and Yamaha’s first Superbike win at Barber Motorsports Park.
At the halfway point in the 20-race season Hayes has 289 points to 258 for Young and 176 for Herrin.
Team Amsoil/Hero’s Geoff May (EBR) finished fourth after closing to less than a second on Young. He’d spent most of the race just out of the grasp of National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden, who fell well behind May at the end in fifth. Ben Bostrom, Hayden’s teammate, crashed in the penultimate turn of the first lap.
Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram passed Team Hero’s Danny Eslick (EBR) on lap four and pulled away to a solid sixth. Eslick was seventh, comfortably in front of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark.
The final two riders in the top ten were Attack Performance/Motorcyclesuperstore.com’s Steve Rapp (Kaw) and David Anthony on the Kneedraggers.com Suzuki.
AMA Barber Superbike Results:
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
3. Blake Young (Suzuki)
4. Geoff May (EBR)
5. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
6. Larry Pegram (BMW)
7. Danny Eslick (EBR)
8. Chris Clark (Suzuki)
9. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki)
10. David Anthony (Suzuki)