Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young has retaken the lead in the AMA Superbike Championship after winning Saturday’s race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course’s 10th and 11th round in Lexington, Ohio and then raced to second place behind team-mate Tommy Hayden in Sunday’s second leg.
On Saturday, Young came out of the gates swinging: He got a great start on his Yoshimura-prepped Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 and was running in second place. About eight laps in, however, a rider went down and there was a red flag. When the race re-started, Young came out in fourth but quickly moved back up into second place. With just a few laps left, however, Young made a bid for first and held it until the flag.
On Sunday, Young was again quick off the line at the start and then he battled for the lead throughout all 21 laps. In the end, he walked away with a solid second-place finish.
“Saturday was the fifth anniversary of my Dad’s passing,” said Young. “And that put a little bit extra on me…
“This place is pretty special to me – I won my 2005 Horizon Award here with my Dad and I really wanted to get the win and dedicate it to him… I came to Mid-Ohio just really wanting to win it for my Dad’s fifth anniversary and that’s what we did.”
Meanwhile, Hayden’s day to shine was Sunday: The 21-lap race saw him get a good start and slot into fourth place. Then, he put his Yoshimura-prepared Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 into third, then second and then finally, he passed Young for the lead, took the win; and capped off an all-Suzuki sweep of the podium.
Hayden had also had a strong showing on Saturday. Although he struggled initially, after the re-start he was right there: He picked off competitors until he was in a podium position and although he made several attempts at second, he finished up in a strong third place.
“Overall, my weekend went pretty well,” said Hayden. “For some reason, we were struggling a bit on Friday, but my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team kept working hard and making improvements and I was able to put up a good fight for the win on Saturday. I ended up on the podium for a good, solid result. We made a few changes today that helped us be a little stronger and I was able to make passes a little easier. I got a good start on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000, was able to pick some guys off early and get in a good position with the leaders. It was a battle all the way to end and it came down to the last lap with my team mate and, fortunately, I came out on top today.”
The 2011 Rockstar Makita Suzuki team’s next event of the 2011 AMA Pro National Guard Superbike Championship series is at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on July 22 – 24th.
Mid-Ohio Superbike Results, Race 1:
1. Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000)
2. Josh Hayes
3. Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000)
4. Roger Hayden
5. Martin Cardenas
6. Larry Pegram
7. Chris Fillmore
8. Steve Rapp
9. David Anthony
10. JD Beach
Mid-Ohio Superbike Results, Race 2:
1. Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000)
2. Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000)
3. Roger Hayden
4. Josh Hayes
5. Martin Cardenas
6. Ben Bostrom
7. Larry Pegram
8. JD Beach
9. Chris Fillmore
10. Geoff May
2011 AMA Pro Superbike Class Standings:
1. Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000) – 290
2. Josh Hayes – 279
3. Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000) – 233
4. Martin Cardenas – 187
5. Larry Pegram – 154
6. Ben Bostrom – 152
7. Roger Hayden – 145
8. Chris Clark – 120
9. Steve Rapp – 108
10. Geoff May – 103