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|09-15-2014, 11:30 PM||#1|
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AMA SBK: Josh Hayes Crowned 2014 Champion in New Jersey
When Josh Hayes took the checkered flag on his Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R1 at the end of the rain-soaked race Saturday round of the AMA Pro SuperBike Championship at New Jersey Motorsports Park, he also took the 2014 AMA Pro SuperBike title, his fourth in the last five seasons.
Hayes edged Roger Hayden on the last lap as the Yoshimura Suzuki rider lost rear-end traction briefly on the final sprint to the line, allowing Hayes to slip by for the win. A 20-second penalty handed down after the race for passing under a waving yellow dropped Hayes to second and gave the race win to Hayden, but Hayes still had enough points to claim the title ahead of Sunday’s race. Cameron Beaubier, Hayes’ teammate, finished fifth after crashing and remounting early in the treacherous conditions.
Josh Hayes (4), Roger Hayden (95)
With the title in the bag Hayes could have coasted through Sunday’s race, run under dry conditions, but coasting isn’t his style. He led early on with Hayden, Martin Cardenas, and Beaubier hot on his heels. Hayden had an off-track excursion and dropped back to eighth, then Hayes bobbled and fell astern of Cardenas and Beaubier. By lap 10 Hayes was scrapping with Beaubier, who then crashed out of the race. Hayes finished first ahead of Hayden and Cardenas.
Dane Westby wrapped up the 2014 Daytona SportBike season on Saturday by putting his Yamaha YZF-R6 on the pole and leading the race from flag to rain-soaked flag for his third win of the year. But nobody on the podium had a bigger smile than R6-mounted rider Jake Gagne, who clinched the DSB championship with his second-place finish. He won Sunday’s race, as well, ahead of Garrett Gerloff, on an R6, and Westby.