AVONDALE, LA, OCT 6 - Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's won his record-extending 15th AMA Superbike race of the season with yet another flag-to-flag romp on a sunny day at NOLA Motorsports Park south of New Orleans, and not far from his hometown of Gulfport, Miss.
Starting from his record-tying tenth pole of the year, Hayes continued his mastery of the class, taking the lead at the start and stretching it at will. He set his fastest lap on the fifth of 18, by which time he had over five seconds in hand. He'd continue to grow the gap until he crossed the finish line with a cushion of 10.212 secs.
The win was the 32nd of his career, tying him for second all-time with American Honda's Miguel Duhamel. A win on Sunday would put him in second place by himself. Given the season he's had, it would be unwise to bet against him.
As he's done numerous times this season, Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Young finished a distant second. Young was involved in a spirited skirmish with Jordan Suzuki's Ben Bostrom until the midpoint of the 18 lap race when he gapped him by over a second. Bostrom would later slow with a technical issue and retire. He was credited with 15th place.
His exit elevated teammate Roger Hayden to third, an improbable finish after an ugly start. Hayden completed the first lap in a distant 11th place, then picked his way through the field. He'd moved up to fourth on the 11th lap and took advantage when Bostrom slowed on lap 15. It was his career best eighth Superbike podium, a number than includes his breakthrough win at Homestead-Miami Speedway two weeks ago.
Team KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore finished a season best fourth place, holding off the Team Venezuela Suzuki of Robertino Pietri. Both riders took themselves out of contention for a higher finish by incurring five second penalties for crossing a white line in Turn 16.
Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram (BMW) was just better than Taylor Knapp on the Riders Discount/K&L Supply Suzuki.
MotorcycleSuperstore.com/Attack Performance's Steve Rapp (Kaw) was up the order early on before sliding down to eighth.
The final two riders in the top ten are Kneedraggers.com's David Anthony (Suz) and Aaron Yates in his second race weekend on the EvanSteelPerformance.com BMW.
AMA Superbike Results:
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Blake Young (Suzuki)
3. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
4. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
5. Robertino Pietri (Suzuki)
6. Larry Pegram (BMW)
7. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)
8. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki)
9. David Anthony (Suzuki)
10. Aaron Yates (Suzuki)