Photography By: Andrea Wilson
ELKHART LAKE, WI, JUNE 2 - Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes enjoyed a thoroughly dominant win on a day of rapidly changing weather in the rain-shortened first leg of the Subway Superbike Doubleheader at Road America.
The race was delayed for over an hour by a brief but intense downpour and gale force winds that ripped the canopy off the Yoshimura Suzuki semi.
When the race was green flagged, at 4:20 p.m. CDT, Hayes shot away from the start to build a first lap lead unlike any seen in recent memory. Early in the lap it was clear he was clearing out and when the lap ended his lead was 3.372 secs. It went up to 5.192 secs. on the second lap and continued to balloon. The race was stopped by rain when Hayes was on the 12th and final lap, but most of the 14-rider field was on the 11th. With scoring going back to the end of lap ten, Hayes' margin of victory over Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Young was 11.348 secs.
"I've got a great motorcycle and a great crew that give me what I need to go out there and ride well and I'm just having a lot of fun," Hayes said. "I love racing in Wisconsin, I love coming here."
Young, from Waunakee, Wisconsin, also loves racing in Wisconsin, but wanted a better result.
"Just getting on the podium here in front of my friends and family definitely feels a bit like a win," Young said, adding that he'd wanted to get a win for his team..
Hayes' teammate Josh Herrin was third, another 7.2 secs. back, with Jordan Suzuki's Ben Bostrom on the same second in fourth.
"It was kind of boring," Herrin said. "I think I almost high-sided like three or four times that last lap."
Having taken the pole and led the most laps in his fifth win of the season, Hayes added 32 points to his championship total. The two-time Superbike champion now has 226 points to 212 for Young. Herrin takes over third in the standings from Roger Lee Hayden, the National Guard Jordan Suzuki rider who pitted after falling well down the order. Herrin has 130 points, Hayden is stuck on 114.
There was little positional changing from the outset. Hayes took off, Young secured second, and Herrin and Bostrom settled into third and fourth, respectively. Nothing much changed and Bostrom never really made a run on Herrin.
Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram moved up to take a distant fifth, ten seconds behind Bostrom and 2.856 up on Jason Farrell, a local rider. Farrell, 36, from Oshkosh, Wisc., finished fifth, his best ever AMA finish in his first Superbike appearance of the year.
Yoshimura Suzuki's Chris Clark was seventh with Team Amsoil/Hero's Geoff May (EBR) eighth in the team's home race. Teammate Danny Eslick was forced to start from pit lane, then was black flagged when his EBR 1190RS began smoking on the seventh lap.
Road America Superbike Results:
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Blake Young (Suzuki)
3. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
4. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)
5. Larry Pegram (BMW)
6. Jason Farrell (Kawasaki)
7. Chris Clark (Suzuki)
8. Geoff May (EBR)
9. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
10. Stefan Nebel (KTM)