March 14, 2005
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (March 14, 2005) - Kawasaki Road Racing returned to Daytona International Speedway by claming an exciting victory at the season opener.
In the Supersport action on Thursday, Tommy Hayden completely dominated the field aboard his new Kawasaki NINJA® ZX-6RR. The reigning Supersport champion proved he is still the man to beat by claiming the pole, leading every lap, and breaking away to win by a stunning 3.723-second margin over second-place rider Jamie Hacking. The win was largest margin of victory in the Daytona Supersport race since 1998.
"My Kawasaki was really good," said Hayden during the post-race press conference. "I definitely couldn't ask more out of my bike. I mean the thing was unbelievable -- easy to ride and super fast. I got the pole, and I think I led every lap, so I couldn't ask for anything better," Hayden continued. "You come in with a new track and a new bike and you never know what to expect. Obviously, this is how I wanted it to turn out. I've been here many times on slow bikes so it felt really good when I got out there and had the fastest bike."
Roger Hayden showed valiant determination to make it on the podium as he drafted behind his older brother for a few laps near the halfway point. However, the elder Hayden eventually pulled ahead by two bike lengths and Roger dropped back into a third-place war with Jason DiSalvo and Ben Spies. Unfortunately, Roger was forced to pull off the track on the last lap with mechanical difficulties. He would ultimately end up in the 21st position. Attack Kawasaki racer Ben Attard finished 12th.
In Superstock action on Thursday, both Tommy and Roger started strong but eventually settled back in the pack with Tommy running in eighth and Roger in ninth. The pair maintained a consistent pace on their NINJA® ZX-10R motorcycles for a majority of the 12-lap race with Tommy inching up to finish in seventh. Roger ended up just outside the top ten, finishing in 11th.
During Saturday's Superbike race, Attack Kawasaki rider Josh Hayes endured mechanical problems during the first few laps and was forced to pull out of the race. Hayes' misfortune would continue straight into the Formula Xtreme event after he encountered electrical problems on lap four and was done for the day. Unfortunately, his teammate Ben Attard also suffered mechanical problems immediately following the start and was forced to pull out of the race before the end of the first lap.
Racing resumes when the teams head to Birmingham, Ala., April 22-24, for a Superbike doubleheader at Barber Motorsports Park.
Source: Freeman/McCue Public Relations