Photography by Larry Lawrence
DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MARCH 14 - Monster Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes started his 2014 season off the best way possible – with a victory in the first of two AMA Superbike races at Daytona International Speedway. But it didn’t come easy.
After trying to break away early on, Hayes found himself in a good old-fashioned dogfight with his teammate Cameron Beaubier and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden, the man who earned pole position earlier today. While Beaubier turned in the fastest lap of the race, he was forced to do so to get back with the lead duo after making a mistake and running wide in turn one. But catch up he did. But the series rookie made another mistake in turn one at the start of the 14th lap and it was one he couldn't fight back from.
That left Hayes and Hayden to do battle for victory and it came down to the drafting battle to the flag. Hayden looked to have it won as he pulled out of the draft and up next to Hayes. But Hayes’s R1 had a bit more and was able to outrun the GSX-R1000 to the flag – taking the win by just .025 of a second.
The win was the 42nd career Superbike win for Hayes and his second Daytona Superbike win.
“I’m real happy,” Hayes said. “We've been doing a good string of pole positions and qualifying didn’t go our way, but a race win at Daytona always feels good. That takes some pressure off me tomorrow and I can go have some fun. Hopefully I can go a little faster and still have good race with these guys. If I have to I will pull out some more dirty tricks.”
Hayden was happy with second after crashing out of the first race at Daytona last year.
“It went pretty good,” Hayden said. “I was a little slow the first couple of laps, but once we settled in I just stayed behind Cam [Beaubier] and let him pull us back to Josh. Wait until the last couple of laps, but I just came up a little short.”
Beaubier ended his first career AMA Superbike race with a third-place finish.
“I’m feeling good, but I’m a little bummed,” Beaubier. “I blew the first corner and it was a rookie mistake.”
With Beaubier ending up 4.7 seconds behind in third, the race for fourth went to the line with Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark getting the nod – by just .294 of a second over ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony. KTM’s Chris Fillmore was with that battle until the very end and he ended up 4.5 seconds behind Anthony. The fourth-place finish was a career high for Clark.
Seventh place went to Argentina’s Diego Pierluigi, the Cusanelli Motorsports Argentina rider beating Taylor Knapp and the TOBC Racing Suzuki to the line by just .096 of a second. Cory West put the Team AMSOIL EBR in the mix, ending up just .083 behind Knapp.
Stefano Mesa rounded out the top 10 on the DMS Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas ended up out of the top 10, the Colombian crashing out of the lead pack on the fourth lap, but remounting to finish 12th.
Superbike Race 1 Results
Daytona International Speedway
March 14, 2014
1 Josh Hayes Gulfport, MS Yamaha R1 15 Laps
2 Roger Hayden Owensboro, KY Suzuki GSX-R1000 +00.025
3 Cameron Beaubier Roseville, CA Yamaha R1 +04.724
4 Chris Clark Las Vegas, NV Suzuki GSX-R1000 +21.648
5 David Anthony Murrieta, CA Suzuki GSX-R1000 +21.735
6 Chris Fillmore Oxford, MI KTM RC8R +26.331
7 Diego Pierluigi Buenos aires Suzuki GSX-R1000 +44.933 1
8 Taylor Knapp Lapeer, MI Suzuki GSX-R1000 +45.030
9 Cory West Eureka Springs, AR EBR 1190RS +45.113
10 Stefano Mesa Boca Raton, FL Kawasaki ZX-10 +46.198
11 Bernat Martinez Alberic, Spain Yamaha R1 +46.265
12 Martin Cardenas Medellin, Colombia Suzuki GSX-R1000 +52.562
13 Chris Ulrich Lake Elsinore, CA Honda CBR1000RR +53.565
14 Huntley Nash Marietta, GA Kawasaki ZX-10 +54.176
15 Reese Wacker Orange Park, FL Suzuki GSX-R1000 +1:10.181
16 Trent Gibson Spotswood, Australia Suzuki GSX-R1000 +1:12.746
17 Sean Dwyer Palm Beach Gardens, FLKawasaki ZX-10 +1:29.474
18 Jacquel Gonzalez Venezuela Kawasaki ZX-10 +1:29.737
19 Johnny Rock Page Scottsdale, AZ Suzuki GSX-R1000 +1:37.745 1
20 Barrett Long Miami, FL Ducati 1199 +1:38.085