Saturday Road Atlanta American Superbike Recap

BRASELTON, Ga. - After Saturday morning's exciting qualifying session that saw Blake Young really put a tremendous couple of quick laps together to take the pole position from overnight pole winner Jake Zemke, the AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike race looked all set to be another thrilling race.

Young, riding his Rockstar Makita Suzuki, lined up next to Daytona double winner Zemke on his National Guard Jordan Suzuki. Team Graves Yamaha rider Josh Hayes was next up with Auto Club Speedway winner Tommy Hayden on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki completing the front row. The fireworks started early as Josh Hayes started rolling slightly before the start and was deemed to have gained a competitive advantage by leading into turn one. Hayden had a great start and was second going up the hill into turn one, followed by Young, Zemke, Larry Pegram on his Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Ducati and an impressive Tray Batey, making his return to AMA Pro Racing on his Vesrah Suzuki.

The first four quickly broke away but it was determined that Hayes and also fifth starting Taylor Knapp on his Suzuki had violated the jump start rule and were to be assessed a penalty. Hayes came into pit lane for his penalty and unfortunately, the fast running Batey suffered a fall at the turn six area of the track. Batey was in a dangerous situation and the red flag was immediately shown to the competitors.

Unfortunately, Hayes was in the process of serving his penalty and Knapp hadn't made his way to pit lane to serve his ride through penalty. Batey was transported to the infield care center and then airlifted to Gwinnett Medical Center for further evaluation.

After a delay, the field resumed racing with 17 laps remaining. At the restart, Hayes lined up in his previous position and he, Young, Hayden and Zemke resumed their intense battle at the front of the field. Young, really riding well this weekend, took the lead and as his teammate dropped back, it looked like Young was going to follow Hayden's example from the last round and take his first AMA Pro American SuperBike win. But both Hayes and Zemke were going to do all they could to prevent this from happening.

Hayes looked like he had the measure of Young, but then it was Zemke that was putting on a charge and he rode up to second place. Behind this battle, it was a somewhat lonely Ben Bostrom on his Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha ahead of a very solid John Hopkins riding his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki ahead of his teammate, Chris Ulrich on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki, who continues to run very nicely in 2010.

The sidelined Aaron Yates watched from the Jordan Team pit as young Brett McCormick rode Yates' regular Jordan Suzuki, but misfortune struck McCormick as he fell off at turn six on lap eight. Zemke had a slight bobble and Hayes was by in an instant, now pressuring Young as the race wound down.

Hayden had made a late charge and he was now attacking Zemke and at the finish, Hayden did end up third. But it was Josh Hayes who made a strong pass into the turn ten complex and held the lead to the line to take the win on the track. Young had given it his all and he was a disappointed second, his first win almost in his grasp.

After the race, two separate protests were filed with AMA Pro Racing officials and after careful deliberation and detailed information from Timing and Scoring, it was determined that Hayes hadn't actually completed his penalty prior to the red flag period and he was given a time penalty of 21.4 seconds which dropped him down to sixth place. This gave the win to Young and Hayden was now second with Zemke third and Bostrom fourth followed by Hopkins in fifth.

Hayes was the aforementioned sixth ahead of Ulrich in seventh, the first rider's standing that was unaffected by the penalty. Taylor Knapp recovered from his completed ride through penalty to finish eighth ahead of Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha rider Chris Clark and Barrett Long flew the flag for Ducati on his Longevity Racing Ducati, finishing tenth after Larry Pegram suffered mechanical issues which forced him to make a pit stop early and finish 14th.

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Monday, January 01, 0001 12:00 AM
Monday, January 01, 0001

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