ALTON, Va. (August 15, 2010) - - After Saturday's amazing display of action and close finishes, Sunday's AMA Pro Road Racing finals at the 2.25-mile Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. to close out the the Suzuki White Lightning AMA Pro Nationals Presented by Foremost Insurance event weekend provided redemption for a couple of riders and also brought a divisional championship to another very deserving rider.
Team Graves Yamaha AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike points leader Josh Hayes had a day where he totally reasserted himself at the top of the tables in every way. After what was for him a disappointing third place result in Saturday's race, where his main championship rival Tommy Hayden took a well measured victory with his Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Hayes came back today to utterly dominate the 23 lap race here at Virginia International Raceway.
"I just feel like I woke up, I didn't like to get beat yesterday," said Hayes. "Somewhere along the way I feel like I kind of got lost a little bit, just in my riding. I wasn't riding my full potential and I was still capable of racing for the wins. I think our motorcycle has a lot to do with that, we have a really good motorcycle. I was just thinking about, what was my mindset last year? I was racing myself a lot more last year. These guys ride great, but I put an awful lot of pressure on myself to perform, so that's what I tried to get back to this morning and today's race was a race against myself."
Hayes led every lap on his way to a series high fifth win in the powerful SuperBike class. Pole position winner and Ben Bostrom and his Pat Clark Motorsports Palms Casino Yamaha duplicated his second place from yesterday to round out a solid weekend for the Las Vegas Motor Speedway supported team. Bostrom had surgery on his thumb after the last race and he was feeling the effects but didn't let it dampen his spirit or resolve.
Tommy Hayden, as he has all season long, took what might have been a tough day and in his usual determined way, battled first with Hayes and then fought Bostrom for second before he finished third to stay close to Hayes in the points chase. Hayden is only 11 points adrift of Hayes with two double header race weekends to go.
"I felt pretty good about stepping up and going faster than I had all weekend there for the first five or six laps," said Hayden. "But in the end we didn't have the pace to go that fast, or cooked the tire a little bit and couldn't keep up. That's the biggest part of it really, we just weren't fast enough."
Riding to fourth place was Jordan Suzuki rookie Brett McCormick who easily had the best race of his season in relief of injured teammate Aaron Yates. Yates did make an appearance at VIR this weekend and quickly showed his mettle with an excellent qualifying effort but he decided not to race until he was fully confident that he was in race distance shape after his lengthy lay off.
Another rider having a good day was Taylor Knapp who rode his RidersDiscount.com Suzuki to a nice fifth place finish after dueling with first Jake Zemke and then Geoff May on his Buell. Chris Ulrich also ran well today and took seventh aboard his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki. Zemke fell to eighth on his National Guard Jordan Suzuki after battling hard to hold onto every position. Zemke ran in fifth place in the early stages of the race.
Larry Pegram fell from sixth at the start down to 15th on lap two but as usual, Pegram put on a great show for the fans and took his Foremost Insurance Ducati all the way back up to ninth at the flag. Canadian Superbike Champion Jordan Szoke made his second AMA Pro SuperBike appearance of the year after racing at Mid-Ohio and impressed once again with a nice tenth place finish after a spirited battle with Shane Narbone on his DASPerformance.com Suzuki.
Tune into SPEED TV for tonight's coverage of the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike and Daytona SportBike races. Coverage starts at 12 midnight a.m. ET (9 p.m. PT) tonight for Daytona SportBike and SuperBike begins at 1:00 a.m. ET (10 p.m. PT).
Please visit www.amaproracing.com for the complete results breakdown. The full SPEED schedule can be found at http://www.speedtv.com/schedule/filter/program/948061.