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AMA Superbike Road Atlanta - Blake Young double winner at Road Atlanta, Brett McCormick improving but frustrated



Blake Young (Suzuki) was the man to beat this week-end at Road Atlanta, where he won both AMA Superbike events from pole position. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) figured prominently in both races, crossing the line first on Saturday before a 21.4sec penalty for a jumped start pushed him back to 6th, and finishing 0.136 sec behind Young in the Sunday race.

Photo: Suzuki

Hayes won the hole shot in the Saturday race after clearly jumping the start. Officials penalised him with a drive through, which Hayes served after receiving the black flag for two laps. Hayes had not made it out of the pits before a red flag stopped the race as Tray Batey (Suzuki) had crashed hard in turn 6.

With 17 laps to go at the restart, officials inexplicably put Hayes back in first place, deeming the penalty served and thus wiping out any disadvantage for Hayes.

Young took the lead, just in front of Hayes and Zemke (Suzuki). Hayden made a late charge and ended up third at the finish, while Hayes out braked Young at corner 10 on the last lap and hung on for the temporary “win”.

Misfortune struck Brett McCormick (Suzuki) as he lost the front, much like Batey, at turn six halway through the race, while in the top ten.

After the race, two separate protests were filed with AMA Pro Racing and after careful deliberation it was determined that Hayes hadn't actually completed his penalty. He was given a time penalty of 21.4 seconds (The equivalent of a stop and go penalty) on the race distance, which dropped him down to sixth place. Blake Young was declared the winner, his first ever win in AMA Superbike.

In the Sunday race, Young took a hard fought and popular win from Hayes, after the Yamaha rider had disposed of Tommy Hayden on lap four. Young and Hayes then left the rest of the field for dead, ending up 17 sec ahead of the rest of the pack, led by Hayden and Zemke.

Brett McCormick encountered electrical problems on lap 9 and retired from a top ten position aboard the second Jordan Motorsports Suzuki.

The AMA Superbike circus is now off to Infineon raceway for the next round, may 14 to 16.

AMA Superbike Results Race No.1 – Round 3
Pos. Rider Bike Gap
1. Blake Young Suzuki GSX-R1000 20 Laps
2. Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 0.457
3. Jake Zemke Suzuki GSX-R1000 0.611
4. Ben Bostrom Yamaha YZF-R1 9.450
5. John Hopkins Suzuki GSX-R1000 19.155
6. Josh Hayes Yamaha YZF-R1 21.216
7. Etc..

AMA Superbike Results Race 2 – Round 3
Pos. Rider Bike Gap
1. Blake Young Suzuki GSX-R1000 20 Laps
2. Josh Hayes Yamaha YZF-R1 0.136
3. Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 16.986
4. Jake Zemke Suzuki GSX-R1000 18.370
5. John Hopkins Suzuki GSX-R1000 25.143
6. Larry Pegram Ducati 1098R 26.560
7. Etc…

AMA Superbike Standings - After Round 3 of 10
Pos Rider Points
1 Jake Zemke 145
2 Tommy Hayden 141
3 Blake Young 130
4 Josh Hayes 107
5 Larry Pegram 92

Ed note:
From where I sit, AMA officials screwed the pooch by penalising Hayes after race 1, when he had no way of fighting back.

Here is what I feel they should have done: determine at what race position a 21.4 sec (Whatever the right time was) delay would have placed him if the red flag had not come out (say tenth).

They could then have placed him at that spot on the grid for the restart. That would have penalised him for the jumped start right then and there, and Hayes would have had to race his way back up to the front during the race.

Adding race time after the race is over is horse manure, as the penalised rider cannot react on the track.