MONTEREY, Calif. – Immediately following the conclusion of the MotoGP World Championship contest at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the massive crowd in attendance at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix witnessed the performance of another world class rider at the peak of his powers.
Three-time AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike king Josh Hayes registered a masterful ride to conclude this weekend’s GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing activities en route to his 39th career premier-class triumph.
Hayes made an aggressive start off the line and put his head down over the race’s opening laps to immediately crush any hope his rivals may have had of shadowing him for the entire 23-lap race.
The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha superstar made a clean break and, after logging a host of flawless laps, ultimately assembled a 7.829-second gap at the checkered flag that brought a merciful end to the reigning champion’s one-sided victory.
After solidifying his hard-earned championship advantage, Hayes said, “It’s not how I expected the race would play out but I’m glad. My idea of the race was it would be more similar to Ohio where the guys would be there for half the race and then the second half I would have a little more pace than them.
“The race actually came to me better than any session all weekend. Things clicked well, the laps times came pretty easily, and I didn’t make any mistakes. It was a really smooth race for me, and I’m glad that it finally kind of came around for the race; I feel like I’ve been working hard all weekend and in the race things came a little more naturally.”
While he seemingly needed little assistance on this day, the efforts of his teammate Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, helped to ease Hayes’ escape. Herrin maneuvered in front of National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden at the start, and corralled the Kentuckian behind him for several crucial laps as Hayes stretched open his early gap.