LEEDS, Ala. – Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes completed the Triumph SuperBike Classic weekend sweep today at Barber Motorsports Park, putting on a clinic in race two of the AMA Pro SuperBike class.
The cagey three-time premier class champion exploited the Saturday misfortune endured by his three biggest threats for victory – teammate Cameron Beaubier and the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing duo of Roger Hayden and Martin Cardenas – and cruised to an easy victory.
Armed with the knowledge that all three had crashed in the heat on Saturday and were likely still suffering both physically and psychologically as a result, Hayes dropped the hammer from the start. He didn’t allow his challengers a chance to find their footing or work up their confidence, dropping them right from the race’s opening corners.
The Mississippian assembled an advantage of over twelve seconds before calling off the dogs late. He backed down his pace with just a few laps remaining and ultimately eased his way to a near-eight second margin of victory at the checkered flag.
The win represented a triple-double of sorts, as Hayes equaled the Barber Motorsports Park feat of the legendary Mat Mladin (2007-2009) by claiming six straight victories over three years at the impressive facility.
“It was a lot different race than I expected and how I expected it to play out, being able to get a little gap early and being able to stretch it out pretty quickly,” Hayes said. “I was happy to be able to kind of cruise toward the end of the race and just be careful. I feel a little lucky all of these guys have a rough-and-tumble day yesterday and that kind of leaned in my favor.”
Rookie Beaubier’s confidence appeared to be the one to take the biggest hit following a string of front-end falls. The 21-year-old made a pair of early mistakes and dropped well off the fight for second, which turned into an all-Yoshimura affair with Cardenas running directly in front of Hayden for the race’s opening 14 laps.
However, Beaubier slowly rediscovered his mojo and ran the two down from over five seconds back, arriving in Hayden’s wheel tracks with eight laps remaining. Hayden then started a rapid descent in the opposite direction at that point, ultimately falling to fifth, one position behind the surging David Anthony of ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing, who continued his run of all top fives in 2014.