Roger Hayden Gets His First

Henny Ray Abrams | September 22, 2012
Roger Lee Hayden wins his first AMA Superbike race at Homestead. Photography By: Andrea Wilson

Photography By: Andrea Wilson

HOMESTEAD, FL, SEPT 22 – National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden broke through to win his first Superbike race, while championship leader Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) finished 12th after crashing early in the race and re-mounting.

Hayden had been knocking on the door for some time. Earlier in the day he’d taken his first pole on the basis of his Friday qualifying time, which was done on a dry track. Following the provisional pole, Hayden said that he was riding for his job. Today, he did his resume no harm.

Hayden took the lead from Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Young on the second lap and eased away from the field. There were a few riders trying to keep pace, but they couldn’t. Hayden ran his lead to 7.709 secs. before the final few laps when he slowed down, winning his first race since 2007 by 5.069 secs. Young lost second to Team Hero’s Danny Eslick (EBR), who finished a career best second. Young was a close third just ahead of the second EBR of Geoff May.

The win was also the third in the Superbike class for the Jordan Suzuki team and first in over two years. Their previous wins came at Daytona International Speedway in 2010 when Jake Zemke swept both Superbike races.

Hayes was second to Hayden when he lost the front end in a right hander on the third lap. His bike didn’t immediately fire, which put him at the back of the field. He gradually worked his way forward, but once he got into 12th he was too far back to improve.

The end result is that he has an 86 point lead on Young, 487 to 401 with three races remaining. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin, who finished well down the field with an unknown machine problem, is third and only seven points in front of Hayden.

Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom was part of the lead pack early in the race before fading to a solitary fifth.

M4’s Chris Ulrich was sixth in front of Racing’s David Anthony.

The final three riders in the top ten were Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram (BMW), Riders Discount/K&L Supply’s Taylor Knapp (Suzuki), and Aaron Yates in his return to AMA Superbike racing after a two-and-a-half year injury layoff in tenth on the BMW.

Homestead Superbike Results:
1. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
2. Danny Eslick (EBR)
3. Blake Young (Suzuki)
4. Geoff May (EBR)
5. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)
6. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki)
7. David Anthony (Suzuki)
8. Larry Pegram (BMW)
9. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)
10. Aaron Yates (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.