LEXINGTON, OHIO, JULY 14 - Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes turned back an early challenge from teammate Josh Herrin to speed to his sixth victory in a row, and ninth of the season, on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Buckeye Superbike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Hayes chased Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Young for the first two-plus laps before making a pass on lap three. On the next lap Herrin moved into second and the Yamaha riders tried to separate themselves from Young, who had company from National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden.
Hayes and Herrin had already put more than three seconds on Young-Hayden when Herrin crashed on the brakes into the Carousel near the end of lap 11.
When Hayes crossed the line he had 5.4 seconds on Hayden, now in front of Young, and an easy path to victory.
At the end of the 21-lap race, Hayes' margin of victory was 5.676 seconds
The win was the 26th of his career and puts him two short of Ben Spies for third overall on the all-time list.
Young and Hayden swapped second repeatedly, with Young taking it back for the last time going into turn six on the penultimate lap. Hayden took a couple of looks on the last lap, but couldn't find a way into second. Still, it was Hayden's fourth podium of the year and first since the Infineon round in May.
With his ninth maximum points win - he also earned the pole and laps led points - Hayes now has 352 points to 308 for Young with eight races remaining. Herrin, who rejoined the race after a lengthy pit stop, is third with 204.
MotorcycleSuperstore.com's Steve Rapp equaled his best finish of the year with a solid fourth place. Rapp was well clear of the three-way battle for fifth that was won by Ohioan Larry Pegram on the Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing BMW. Following quickly were Team Amsoil/Hero EBR's Geoff May and Jordan Suzuki's Ben Bostrom.
AMA Mid-Ohio Superbike Results:
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Blake Young (Suzuki)
3. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki)
4. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki)
5. Larry Pegram (BMW)
6. Geoff May (EBR)
7. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)
8. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)
9. Danny Eslick (EBR)
10. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki)