MONTEREY, CA, JULY 24 - Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Tommy Hayden came out on top of a scintillating battle with Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes in the Superbike final at Mazda Raceway Laguna, the pair never separated by more than half a second and swapping the lead four times on the final lap.
It came down to a hectic final lap with Hayden leading across the line to get it started. Hayes then darted up the inside of Hayden on the entrance to turn five, only to lose drive on the exit, allowing Hayden to get back past on the run to turn six. Hayes saved his last shot for the run into turn 10 and he pulled it off, stuffing the R1 up the inside of the GSX-R1000 on the entrance. But then he ran slightly wide and Hayden squared him up to make the pass into turn 11. Game over.
If that wasn't enough, the race going on some nine second behind them was equally tense with Roger Lee Hayden and championship leader Blake Young going at it. Young led the majority of the battle, but Roger Lee took the spot on the 16th lap - only to see Young steal it back on the final run to the checkered flag. The margin between the two was .045 of a second.
Behind those two came a lonely Ben Bostrom on the Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki, the veteran riding by himself for the duration to finish fifth.
Sixth went to Foremost Insurance BMW's Larry Pegram by .768 of a second over San Diego BMW-mounted Steve Rapp.
Then came Team M4 Suzuki's Martin Cardenas in eighth, the Colombian running fifth until running off track in Rainey Curve and dropping well back. He beat Y.E.S. Yamaha's Chris Clark to the line by 1.3 seconds. Clark, meanwhile, had his hands full to the bitter end with Buell's Geoff May, with the Yamaha rider taking the spot by just .167 of a second. May ended up 10th.
The came BMW-mounted Chris Peris with Attack Kawasaki's JD Beach 12th.
By beating Hayes, Hayden ended up helping his teammate Young keep his points lead intact. Young now leads Hayes by five points, 311-306.
1. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
3. Blake Young (Suzuki)
4. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki)
5. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)
6. Larry Pegram (BMW)
7. Steve Rapp (BMW)
8. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
9. Chris Clark (Yamaha)
10. Geoff May (Buell)