Photography by Larry Lawrence
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 20, 2014) — Josh Hayes gave everything he had on the final lap, but his young Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha teammate Cameron Beaubier withstood the pressure and held on to win his third race of the year and breaking Hayes’ four-race winning streak. In the end the gap between the leading Yamahas was 0.293 seconds. Roger Hayden broke away from an early battle with his Yoshimura Suzuki teammate to nail down third. Hayden was 11 seconds back from the leaders.
“My team worked so hard with limited track time,” Beaubier said. “I’m happy we’ve got two races today. I’ll try to do it again.”
Hayes is also looking forward to race two this afternoon.
“I gave it a shot he beat me today,” Hayes said. “I’ll have another shot at him this afternoon.”
Hayes took the early lead followed by Hayden and Beaubier. By the second lap Beaubier had dispatched Hayden and was quickly on the tailpipe of his Yamaha teammate. By lap four the top four – Hayes, Beaubier, Hayden and Cardenas – had separated from the field, with KTM’s Chris Fillmore rounding out the top five.
On lap six Beaubier set up the prototypical Mid-Ohio pass on Hayes, drafting and outbraking him going into turn six. From that point to pair stayed together the rest of the race.
On lap eight Taylor Knapp, in his first AMA Pro race since Daytona, slowed on the front straight with some problems on his TOBC Racing Suzuki.
In the closing laps of the 16-lap final, the top two Yamaha riders continued just feet apart. Hayden broke free of Cardenas and was alone in third. Fillmore was fifth and then came a good three-rider battle between David Anthony, Chris Clark and Larry Pegram.
On the final lap Hayes pressure Beaubier and actually passed for the lead at turn eight, but ran just a bit wide on the exit and Beaubier got back under him to take back the point. Hayes continued to probe the rest of the lap looking for an opening, but Beaubier never gave him an opening.
AMA Superbike Results, Mid-Ohio, Race 1
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yam)
2. Josh Hayes (Yam) -0.293
3. Roger Hayden (Suz) -11.456
4. Martin Cardenas (Suz) -18.947
5. Chris Fillmore (KTM) -32.299
6. Chris Clark (Suz) -40.943
7. David Anthony (Suz) -41.777
8. Larry Pegram (EBR) -41.8984
9. Chris Ulrich (Hon) -57.503
10. Frankie Babuska (Suz) -1:01.539