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Hayes runs away to win

Josh Hayes didn’t take his third-place finish in Saturday’s AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike race here at VIRginia International Raceway very well. “It was more like a punch in the stomach,” Hayes said.

“I felt like it woke me up.”

Wake up, Hayes did.

The rider of the Team Graves Yamaha took out his frustrations on the field yesterday in the weekend’s second AMA SuperBike event, riding to a 7.287-second win over Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha rider Ben Bostram in the 23-lap, 80-mile race.

The win was the fifth of the season for Hayes, who led every lap of the race. It allowed Hayes to increase his lead over Rockstar-Makita Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden to 11 points.

“I don’t feel like I’ve been riding to my full potential, Hayes explained.

“Last year, I was racing against myself on the racetrack. It didn’t matter who else was out there. I just went home and thought about that a lot last night (Saturday night). I put so much pressure on myself to perform a certain way that if I ride to my expectations, nobody is going to be able to touch me. I knew that if I did my job and performed the way I was supposed to, this is the kind of results we would have.”

Yesterday’s race was a big contrast from Saturday’s weekend-opening SuperBike race which had a near photo finish between Hayden and Bostram with Hayes right on their heels.

Hayes broke into the lead at the outset and needed only a handful of laps to establish a solid cushion over Bostram and Hayden, who were battling for second place. Bostram got past Hayden to take second place on lap 13. Once Bostram established control of the runner-up spot, he pulled away from Hayden, beating Hayden to the finish line by just over eight seconds.

“I thought he (Hayes) would come back to us,” Bostram said after finishing his weekend with a pair of second-place finishes.

“Yesterday (Saturday) we had a very easy race. My bike was capable of doing these lap times yesterday. Both boys (Hayes and Hayden) took off. I tried to run them down, but that was the limit of my bike. Josh rode fantastic every single lap,”

Hayden, the winner of Saturday’s thriller, said he was ran faster laps than the did the previous day.

“We just weren’t fast enough,” Hayden said.

“I felt pretty good about stepping up and riding faster than I had all weekend for the first five or six laps. Josh did laps today that I expected him to do yesterday. At the end, we didn’t have the pace to go that fast and overheated the tires a little bit and couldn’t keep up.”

Brett McCormick, riding a Jordan Suzuki, finished fourth and Taylor Knapp, riding a Suzuki, rounded out the top five finishers.

Hayes averaged 94.400 mph in the race that took 32 minutes and 53 seconds to complete.

Other Action Yesterday

Josh Herrin had a terrible day in Saturday’s AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race when he was literally knocked off of the track by another rider.

Herrin, who rides for Team Graves Yamaha, salvaged his weekend by winning yesterday’s 23-lap, 80-mile race, edging Ducati rider Steve Rapp by .174-second. The win was Herrin’s fifth of the season.

Class points leader Danny Eslick finished third on his Suzuki, with P.J. Jacobsen on a Suzuki and Martin Cardenas on a Suzuki rounding out the top five finishers.

Cardenas and Suzuki rider Cory West were in the thick of the battle for the win until they both ran off of the course on the final lap.

Herrin led the race five times for a race-high 13-laps.

Yamaha rider J.D. Beach made it a weekend sweep by winning yesterday’s AMA Pro SuperSport East race.

Beach edged runner-up Huntley Nash by 5.381 seconds for the win that allowed him to sew up the class championship.

Beach did not get off to a good start, but rallied to take the lead from Nash on the sixth lap. Once in front, nobody was able to touch Beach.

Eslick won yesterday’s AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR 1200 race, edging runner-up Travis Wyman by 1.209-second.