KAWASAKI SHINES AT VIR

Roger Hayden wins Supersport and takes second in Superstock

ALTON, Va. (August 28, 2005) - Reigning AMA Supersport champion Tommy Hayden and series runner-up Roger Hayden gave another stellar performance aboard their Kawasaki NINJA® sport motorcycles as AMA motorcycle road racing returned to Virginia International Raceway last weekend.

In the AMA Superstock race, Roger blasted off the grid in fourth and quickly advanced into second by the end of the first lap. As the laps wound down, the younger Hayden was determined to make it to the front aboard his NINJA® ZX™-10R and began to set up a pass on leader Aaron Yates, but a crash back in the field red flagged the race and Roger was forced to accept second place. Tommy elected to sit-out the race to protect his right hand which is still in the healing process following surgery to repair a broken bone back in July.

"I wanted to wait until there was two laps to go before passing because I knew I was faster than him [Yates]," said Roger. "It is kind of hard that my best ride of the season got cut short but I guess that's how it goes."

In the AMA Supesport race, Roger got the jump on the field aboard his NINJA® ZX™- 6RR and took the lead going into the first turn with Tommy close behind. However, Roger's lead was short-lived as Tommy quickly passed him by turn three with Team Attack Kawasaki rider Ben Attard in fifth. As the first three laps were completed, Roger was determined to take back the lead and passed Tommy at the beginning of lap four. Tommy continued to keep the pressure on Roger for the duration of the event with Attard remaining close behind. On the final straight, Tommy made a final effort to pass Roger during an all out drag race for the finish that put him just .022 of a second short of capturing his second consecutive AMA Supersport championship. Ben Attard crossed the line in fourth.

"All in all, it was a good race," said Roger during the post-race press conference. "It was a difficult race because the board said +0 for 16 laps and I could still hear Tommy behind me and I didn't want to make a mistake." As Roger spoke about preventing his brother from clinching the championship with one race left, he joked, "I definitely wanted him to lose a little bit more sleep. I didn't want to give it to him that easy. Fun and games I guess."

For his part Tommy commented, "I really wanted to get the championship wrapped up today and have a stress-free week. But it didn't work and we'll try to finish up with a win in Atlanta."

With his win, Roger kept his slim championship hopes alive as he inched even closer to Tommy in the points chase. However, with only one race remaining in the '05 season, Tommy currently has 301 points to his second-ranked brother's 270 and remains a strong favorite to earn his second consecutive Supersport title.

During Saturday's AMA Superbike race, Attack Kawasaki rider Josh Hayes captured his ninth top-ten finish of the season by keeping a consistent pace with the rest of the field despite two re-starts and rode to a seventh-place finish in the 28-lap event. Ben Attard qualified sixth for Saturday's AMA Formula Xtreme event and rode a clean and consistent race to earn his sixth top-ten finish of the season after crossing the finish line in fourth place. Hayes also competed in the second Superbike race on Sunday and captured a sixth place finish for his efforts.

Racing resumes when the teams head to Road Atlanta Raceway in Braselton, Ga., September 2-4.


Source: Freeman/McCue Public Relations
Photo: Bikeland.org

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