ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Following the post-Daytona layover, the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season resumes this weekend as the series makes its anticipated annual stop at Road America for the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader.
The break which has followed the season opener has presented either a lengthy opportunity to ride high on season-opening accomplishments or stew in disappointment depending on one’s Daytona performance.
While AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike leader Josh Herrin (No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1) and runner-up Martin Cardenas (No. 36 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000) no doubt come into Road America full of Daytona-fueled confidence, it’s the predicament of reigning triple champ Josh Hayes (No. 1 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1) that arguably stands as the most compelling story heading into Round 2.
The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha ace has proven to be a dominant force in recent seasons, quickly accumulating statistics that have thrust him into conversations regarding the series’ all-time greats.
Last year’s stop at Road America served as a prime example of his overwhelming form as the Mississippian notched up a one-sided, perfect-points weekend. Hayes grabbed pole by shattering Mat Mladin’s old lap record (the first such mark toppled since the premier-class formula was heavily revised in 2009) while distancing himself from the remainder of the field by more than a second-and-a-half in qualifying. The races didn’t prove any more competitive as Hayes hustled the #1 YZF-R1 to a pair of easy victories, winning by more than 10 seconds both times out.
Hayes looked every bit as quick and motivated at Daytona this past March as he opened his quest to become the first man to win four consecutive AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike crowns. However, his unquestioned speed and racecraft couldn’t prevent him from leaving Daytona International Speedway relegated to just 18th in the early-season championship chase, some 48 points adrift of his young factory Yamaha teammate, Herrin.