Roger Hayden wins in Superstock and Supersport, Tommy takes the crown
Newly crowned AMA Supersport champion Tommy Hayden and repeat series runner-up Roger Hayden had a memorable weekend aboard their Kawasaki motorcycles as AMA motorcycle road racing returned to Road Atlanta Raceway last weekend. The Hayden brothers celebrated together, Roger for scoring victories in Superstock and Supersport and Tommy for capturing his second consecutive Supersport championship.
In the AMA Superstock race, Roger blasted off the grid and began an intense battle with Jason Disalvo for the duration of the 15-lap event. As the laps clicked away, the two routinely made amazing passes, darting past each other on almost every lap through the first turn, down the back straight, into the turn 10/11 chicane, and then charging down the hill towards the start/finish line. On the final lap, the younger Hayden remained determined to capture his first Superstock victory aboard his NINJA® ZX-10R and chose to run wide around Disalvo in turn 12, one of the most dangerous in all of racing, only to run off the track and onto the rumble strips, but still edged his nemesis by a mere .008 seconds for the win.
In the AMA Supersport race, Roger completely dominated the field aboard his Kawasaki NINJA® ZX- 6RR. The younger Hayden proved the final Supersport race of the season was his right from the start by claiming his first-ever pole position, leading every lap, and breaking away to win by a stunning 5.096-second margin over second-place rider Disalvo. Attack Kawasaki rider Ben Attard finished in third, earning his second Supersport podium of the year. Tommy, who had a 31-point lead and his second championship wrapped up if he finished 23rd or better, rode a consistent race to finish fifth and celebrated by riding a victory lap with Roger at his side.
Immediately following the Supersport race, Tommy admitted that although he made the chase for the championship look easy, the season for him was actually somewhat of a struggle.
"Relieved," was the first thought that came to Tommy's mind when asked about defending his title. "I was ready honestly just to get this year over with. I felt like I came into the year really strong and really prepared and we started out good. Everything was going according to plan, but towards the middle of the year I had a lot of problems."
"I actually got really sick and wasn't sure I was even going to finish the year. There was a month I literally spent in bed between Road America and Laguna. I had mono and it took like two weeks to find out I had it. I was in the hospital after Fontana and I didn't test at Ohio or Virginia. I was struggling just to ride at all. Then right when I thought I was getting okay, we went to Laguna and I broke my hand."
"So many up and downs this year, it's been really tough on me. I'm just glad it's over honestly. We can regroup and get my health back strong. I haven't really trained in three months and it's been really tough."
"I had the best bike for sure by far. That made things a lot easier. Hats off to my guys."
During Saturday's AMA Superbike race, Attack Kawasaki rider Josh Hayes captured his eleventh top-ten finish of the season by keeping a consistent pace with the rest of the field despite one re-start and rode to a sixth-place finish in the 25-lap event. Ben Attard qualified fourth for Saturday's AMA Formula Xtreme event and rode very consistent race to capture second place which was also his highest podium finish of the season in FX. Hayes also competed in the second Superbike race on Sunday and captured another sixth place finish for his efforts.
Source: Freeman/McCue Public Relations