“But up until that point, I had a pretty good race going. I started off a little relaxed and maybe a little too complacent. I didn’t dig deep for fast laps because I knew the second half of the race was going to change things – and it still was hard for some, even at the beginning of the race. After the red flag, my start was okay and I was just kind of so-so on the first couple of laps. And then I thought, ‘OK, let’s see if (Hayden) has really got some speed here’ in the second half and I started trying a few things. I made a few mistakes but after that I calmed down I started clicking off better and better laps. I was hoping I could put some pressure on, and if he wasn’t ready for it, just get him half a second off and I knew making that ground back up would be really difficult to do.
“I don’t know what happened behind me with him. I hate that he went down – I hate that all the guys went down. But hey, it was a hard race and I’m glad I was able to wrestle that R1 around and not fall off of her and get her to the finish line and do a good job for my team.”
For Australian Anthony, today’s finish marked his second career AMA Pro Road Racing podium, coming directly on the heels of his Road America breakthrough.
Anthony’s stellar season actually sees him ranked second in the points chase following five races.
“I think everyone will say the same – it was a matter of attrition out there,” said Anthony. “I was just trying to keep it on two wheels – it was pretty slippery out there. That was my goal – just bring it to the end. I knew some people would go down and a few of them did.”
“To earn a first (AMA Pro Road Racing) podium in the SuperBike class out of all of them is something pretty special,” said Clark after his third-place finish. “It was definitely a race of attrition – if everybody would have stayed up, I probably wouldn’t be up here, but that’s how the race went.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of training in Florida. When I knew it was going to be a hot race, I thought we’d have a chance at doing something special. I can’t speak for all the riders, but when you’re in a race that long and hot, the brain starts to fade and mistakes can happen. I just put in a really solid race and I’m really thankful to be up here.”
Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram climbed his way up to fourth, while Team AMSOIL Hero’s Cory West made it two EBR 1190RSs in the top five.
Vicious Cycle Racing’s Sean Dwyer, Pilot Travel Centers Racing’s Reese Wacker, Seven Sports’ Trent Gibson, United America All Nation’s Johnny Rock Page and Babuska Racing’s Frankie Babuska made for an interesting top ten by placing sixth through tenth, respectively.
On Sunday, Hayden, Beaubier, Cardenas and company will have a shot at redemption while Hayes will look to continue his march to reclaim the No. 1 plate.