MONTEREY, CA, JULY 29 - Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes made a mockery of the AMA Superbike class at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this afternoon, the defending series champion annihilating the rest of the field to win by a tick over nine seconds.
The win was Hayes' 11th of the year and his eighth in a row, the Mississippian now in a class of his own as he marches toward his third successive AMA Superbike crown. The last time Hayes lost a Superbike race was when he crashed out of the lead in the second of two races in Sonoma back in May. This win was also the 28th of Hayes' AMA Superbike career.
Thankfully, the battle for second was a good one - though it wasn't for the majority of the race as it looked as though Hayes' teammate Josh Herrin had it in the bag. But then the chasing pack battling over third caught up and things got interesting. The race wasn't decided until the run out of turn 11 to the checkered flag with Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Young, who had been off the pace for the entire weekend, blitzed past Herrin to take second by .023 of a second. Danny Eslick on the Team Hero EBR was right behind the pair with Michael Jordan Motorsports' Ben Bostrom a very close fifth as those four ran together for the final laps.
Team Amsoil EBR's Geoff May ended up sixth, well clear of Taylor Knapp and the troubled Roger Lee Hayden. Hayden started strongly, running second until dropping all the way back to eighth with a miscue on the sixth lap. He fought through to eighth before dropping back behind Knapp again late in the race.
KTM's Stefan Nebel battled with Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram before pulling away to beat the Ohioan by 2.1 seconds.
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Blake Young (Suzuki)
3. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
4. Danny Eslick (EBR)
5. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)
6. Geoff May (EBR)
7. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)
8. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki)
9. Stefan Nebel (KTM)
10. Larry Pegram (BMW)