Photography by Larry Lawrence
The longest AMA Superbike winning streak at Road America is over. Josh Hayes won the race five straight times coming into this weekend’s doubleheader, but on this day his Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha teammate Cameron Beaubier made a pass on the final lap to beat Hayes in an epic one-on-one duel to the flag.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas finished a distant third, some 15 seconds back from the Yamaha duo.
Roger Hayden took fourth, while David Anthony rounded out the top five.
“My crew gave me an awesome bike,” Beaubier said. “I think that’s the best race I’ve ever run. It was frustrating at times because Josh was giving me so much of a problem. I was fortunate to find a way to get that win on the last lap.”
Cardenas led the small 15-rider field going into turn on, but was passed by Hayes going into two. Then they swapped again with Hayes leading most of the time. Cardenas had a big slip at the end of the back straight and lost ground to Hayes, but just managed to hold off Beaubier.
Cardenas drafted back into the lead on lap two and was able to hold off Hayes in turn five, but then on the next lap both the Yamaha riders drafted and then outbraked Cardenas to run one-two with Hayes leading.
Over the next few laps Hayes led, but it looked like Beaubier was just biding his time, waiting to make a move and the two Yamaha’s began to gap the Suzuki of Cardenas. Hayden ran a close fourth.
On turn three on lap five it was Beaubier outbraking Hayes to take over the lead, but Hayes punched back quickly and regained the point. All this battling allowed Cardenas to stay right there in the hunt for a few more laps.
Larry Pegram burnt a clutch on his EBR at the start and was out after three laps.
On lap six Beaubier made the pass that finally stuck going into turn one and Beaubier, as he did so often in DSB last year, put his head down to try to establish a gap. At the same time Hayden was drifting out of touch with the leading trio.
Lap eight was critical. Hayes dug deep, put together the fastest lap of the race at a 2:12.473 and repassed Beaubier for the lead. Then Beaubier ran wide in turn five, helping Hayes gain a 1.6 second lead as they crossed the line on lap nine of 13.
On the closing laps Beaubier chipped away at the lead and then suddenly dipped down to 2:12.281, re-setting the fastest lap of the race and quickly pulling back into the draft of his teammate. On the white flag lap Beaubier outbraked Hayes into turn one and then was able to hold the lead under relentless pressure by Hayes the rest of the way. At the checkered flag it was 0.306 seconds.
Beaubier now owns a 13-point lead on Hayden in the series standings.
Race 1 AMA Superbike Result from Road America – May 31, 2014
1 2 Cameron Beaubier Monster Energy Graves Yamaha Yamaha R1 13 Laps
2 4 Josh Hayes Monster Energy Graves Yamaha Yamaha R1 0.306 0.306
3 36 Martin Cardenas Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 15.556
4 95 Roger Hayden Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 27.437
5 25 David Anthony ADR Motorsports, Sic, Motul Fly Racin Suzuki GSX-R1000 42.300
6 6 Chris Clark Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 43.401
7 11 Chris Fillmore KTM/HMC Racing KTM RC8R 59.042
8 18 Chris Ulrich M4 Motorcycle Road Racing Honda CBR1000RR 1:03.807
9 13 Cory West Team AMSOIL Hero EBR 1190RS 1:08.855
10 86 Jason Farrell Farrell Performance/US Chrome Kawasaki ZX-10 1:09.671