Photography by Larry Lawrence
The timing screens showed Cameron Beaubier winning over Yamaha teammate by 0.001 seconds, but after a review of the finishing video AMA Pro Racing announced it was Hayes who crossed the line first by mere inches in one of the closest races in AMA Superbike history.
Hayes made his pass to take the lead on turn eight on the final lap. Beaubier came back in the final turn, dove underneath and pulled alongside as they crossed the line. Neither rider knew who won until they pulled into the podium area.
“I wasn’t really sure until I got to the podium,” Hayes said of his victory. “I got a little lucky there. It was pretty sloppy after I took the lead and then I lost the front end in the carousel big time.”
For Beaubier he did all he could, but came up just short.
“It was a really fun race,” Beaubier said. “I slotted in with Josh. He started strong. I was bummed I didn’t get the win, but you know it was a good race when you pull into the podium and still don’t know who won.”
Roger Hayden brought his Suzuki home third.
“I held a little closer than the first race at the beginning,” Hayden said. “I’m glad to get two podiums, but we want to win races so we’ll test and try to come back strong to end the season.”
The race got off to a start much like the first one today. Hayes sprinted to the early lead followed by Beaubier, Hayden and Cardenas. Cardenas crashed out of fourth on lap three. That left Hayes, Beaubier and Hayden alone in front with Chris Fillmore running fourth on the KTM.
Again the Yamaha pair steadily pulled away from the Yoshimura Suzuki of Hayden. The Yamahas running in the 1:26 range while Hayden was in the 27s. Beaubier looking to challenge starting on lap five.
Chris Clark, Larry Pegam and Taylor Knapp battled nose to tail for fifth.
On lap 12 it was Beaubier making his move past Hayes into the lead.
Pegram dropped out of that race for fifth when he slowed and pulled off the track having problems with his EBR.
On the last lap Hayes made the move in turn eight he tried in the first race, but couldn’t hold. He slid his bike several times in the final few turns, but had just enough momentum to hold off the surging Beaubier.
Hayden was 21 seconds back in third.
Chris Fillmore brought the factory KTM home in fourth, his best result of the year. Taylor Knapp came back after dropping out of the first race to finish sixth over David Anthony. Chris Ulrich, Cory West and Frankie Babuska rounded out the top 10.
Hayes added to his championship lead and now holds a 40-point lead over Beaubier with just two races remaining.
AMA Superbike Results, Mid-Ohio, Race 2
1. Josh Hayes (Yam)
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yam) (photo finish)
3. Roger Hayden (Suz)
4. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
5. Chris Clark (Suz)
6. Taylor Knapp (Suz)
7. David Anthony (Suz)
8. Chris Ulrich (Hon)
9. Cory West (EBR)
10. Frankie Babuska (Suz)