DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 22, 2010) - After a period of total domination by seven-time AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion Mat Mladin and Ben Spies, the 2010 National Guard SuperBike season has been a battle between a number of different players. Six different riders have won races this year and only after about the fourth event of the season did a picture of the championship and its main characters start to become apparent.
After a quiet Daytona International Speedway round in terms of results, current points leaderJosh Hayes (426) hasn't finished out of the top three since the fifth race at Road Atlanta. And his seven wins leads the series along with his three pole positions certainly underline Josh's absolute speed and overall ability on his Team Graves Yamaha.
Tommy Hayden's brother Nicky is the only rider to disrupt the Maldin/Spies championship run from 1999 (Nicky was SuperBike Champion in 2002) and once again, the Hayden name could top the charts as Tommy goes for his first AMA Pro SuperBike championship. Tommy took a couple of solid second places at Daytona on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki and he then took his first career SuperBike win at the next event in California to stamp his mark on the series for 2010. But it was at Road America where he took his second win and he and Josh Hayes began their private battle for the 2010 title. Tommy is currently second in the standings with 404 points.
It was Jake Zemke riding for Michael Jordan's National Guard Suzuki team that opened up the year with two dramatic victories at Daytona. Jake continued to run well and he topped the points standings until Road America when Tommy Hayden took over with Hayes right behind him. After Tommy and Hayes traded wins at the next race at Mid-Ohio, the die was cast, these two competitors were going to take the championship all the way to the end. Another race winner early on was Larry Pegram on his Foremost Insurance Ducati when he won at Auto Club Speedway. After Hayes and Hayden began trading race wins, Ben Bostrom injected himself in to the process with a win at his beloved Laguna Seca. Competitive every week on his Pat Clark Motorsports Palms Casino Yamaha, Ben has taken the fight to Tommy and Josh and could be the deciding factor this weekend as the title will be decided at the 2.38 mile Barber Motorsports Park natural terrain track. Bostrom took a pair of third place finishes at Barber last year as the race was run much earlier in the season.
Tommy Hayden will have the benefit of his Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Blake Young. Blake won a couple of races earlier this year at Road Atlanta and is in his second race back after a testing injury. The points difference is 22 points with a total of 63 points available over the course of the doubleheader race weekend. The first battle will be for the precious pole position point which will be set on Saturday morning after Friday's first round of qualifying. This will also settle another competition within the sport as the MotoConnect SuperBike Pole Award will be determined also. Currently Josh Hayes holds the edge in the competition for the $10,000 MotoConnect Award.
All eyes will be on these two superb athletes as they take to the track this weekend. Both will be using the considerable expertise of their respective teams and manufactures, both Yamaha and Suzuki are providing their riders with every possible advantage and with the teams and riders working diligently to find the best possible technical solution to the challenges of the Barber track, this will be a memorable weekend for every fan of competitive motorcycle racing.
No matter which rider wins the title, both have ridden and raced with considerable class and skill and the real winners are the fans of motorcycle racing around the world as these two great champions fight to put their claim on the valued AMA Pro Number One Plate.
Practice and qualifying will begin on Friday, September 24th at 1:00 PM. Final qualifying will be on Saturday morning at 9:30 AM. Race one of two during the weekend will be Saturday, September 25th at 3:15 PM. The second race will be on Sunday, September 26th at 3:15 PM. SPEED TV will be showing each National Guard SuperBike race from the weekend, check http://www.speedtv.com/schedule/filter/program/948061 for the broadcast times. Check with www.barbermotorsportspark.comfor the latest ticket and schedule information.
Inaugural XR1200 Champion to Emerge from Barber
This weekend's AMA Pro Road Racing event at Barber Motorsports Park will see the final race in the inaugural AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series. After debuting in Wisconsin in June, the home state of Harley-Davidson, the series has showcased the racing capabilities of the Harley-Davidson XR1200 with a specialized kit of competition and appearance upgrades from famed accessory company Vance & Hines.
Racers young and old have competed in the series this year and the venerable Harley-Davidson has been the star of the show, along with a couple of riders named Eslick and Holden. Riding for series supporter Richie Morris' Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing GEICO Powersports Lucas Oil Team, both Danny Eslick and Jake Holden have dominated the class, Eslick with three wins and Holden taking the checkered flag at New Jersey. Unfortunately his motorcycle and also the motorcycle of third place finisher Kyle Wyman were later found to be running an illegally modified component and their results were nullified. Eslick skipped the last round at NJMP as he focused on defending his Daytona SportBike Championship and now, he could win the title in two classes if he runs in the XR1200 class this weekend.
P.J. Jacobson, racing for Celtic Racing was declared the winner of the New Jersey event and with the disqualification of the number 3 and 33 RMR motorcycles, Steve Atlas riding the HOG Racing XR1200 takes second and Travis Wyman is awarded third.
Travis Wyman is now in second place in the standings and could take the championship on his Harv's Harley-Davidson with a win or second place providing Eslick doesn't score or run. But Holden would have to DNF since he is 30 points behind Eslick. So this will be a race to watch to see who can pull off the upset win and grab the title.
Sixteen riders have taken part in the Vance & Hines XR1200 series this year and this weekend, they will be joined by the Henderson Harley-Davidson XR1200 Trophy series (Great Britain) champion Jeremy McWilliams who will be riding thanks to Roadracingworld.com and the HOG Racing Team along with Warr's Racing and SYN3 lubricants. Joining Jeremy will be series regularsJoseph Rozynski, Paul Schwemmer and Paul James. Also racing this weekend at the 2.38 mile Barber Motorsports 14-turn natural terrain racetrack will be Michael Corbino, Matthew Heidel andRobert Tinagero.
If the current form holds true, the championship will be down to Eslick and Travis Wyman and Jake Holden. Holden could win provided he wins the race and takes at least one of the two available bonus points for either pole position or most laps led. Travis will be riding his Harv's Harley-Davidson Racing XR1200 and will be also racing in the AMA Pro SuperSport series races on the Vesrah Suzuki. If Eslick runs, all eyes will be on him and to see if he can take the title but Travis and Jake are going to give Danny all he can get as each tries to take the first championship in this exciting class for one of the most revered brands in the world.
The first practice for the big twins will be on Saturday, September 25th at 10:20 AM. Qualifying will be later that same day at 4:15 PM and the 11 lap race will be first up on Sunday, September 26th at 12:15 PM right after the Pit Lane Fan Walk and Autograph session. Please check with www.barbermotorsportspark.comfor further schedule and ticket information.
Please visit www.amaproracing.com for the series information. The full AMA Pro Road Racing SPEED schedule can be found at http://www.speedtv.com/schedule/filter/program/948061.