Innerwire - AMA Pro Road Racing Season Reviewposted Sep 28, 2012
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As this newsletter goes to print, the AMA Pro series just completed the race weekend at Miami Homestead Raceway, a venue that the AMA has not visited since the mid-90’s. Despite some unexpected weather (it is Florida after all), the races went off well, and there were some great stories behind the scenes also.
In the Superbike class, Josh Hayes was on a roll, with a record number of wins for a single season already set, and tied the records for consecutive pole positions and consecutive race wins. Unfortunately, Hayes’ streak was broken on Saturday after an uncharacteristic error resulted in a crash in the opening laps of the race. While he was able to remount his motorcycle and eventually finished 12th, he was not able to contend with the riders at the front. This opened the way for a first Superbike class win by Roger Hayden of the Jordan team. Roger was strong all weekend through practice, qualifying on pole and then he kept the momentum going with a win on Saturday.
Sunday was a different story, with a wet but drying track, and tire choice carried the day. There were some new faces out front early in the race, with Chris Fillmore on the KTM leading early. Hayes was all the way back in 15th, but as the track began to dry, his strategy began to pay off in a big way. Hayes blazed through the pack to take the lead on lap 15, and never looked back, eventually winning by almost 5 seconds. This win clinched another record, 14 wins in a single season, and crowned him early as the AMA Pro Superbike Champion for 2012.
The Daytona Sportbike class showed some good excitement all weekend, as the races were run in changing conditions on both days. Nor Cal native Cameron Beaubier won his sixth race of the season on Saturday, unfortunately, injuries early in the season have kept him out of championship contention. Sunday there was a surprise winner in Jake Gagne, a DSB class rookie. Class leader Cardenas finished 4th on Sunday, locking up the DSB championship with one race to go.
In the Supersport class, James Rispoli was dominant all weekend, winning both races. However, with the championship split into East and West divisions, and Rispoli competing in the West, he did not add any points to his championship tally. East leader Dustin Dominguez did not have the best weekend, as 2nd place Jake Lewis made up some serious ground in the points, now only behind by two points before the next and final race.
The final race of the season will take place at the New Orleans Motorsports Park in Louisiana on October 5-7. This will be the first time for an AMA Pro Road race at this new facility, and so it’s anyone’s guess what might happen. Although two of four championships have already been settled, you can bet there will be exciting racing that weekend.