ROCKSTAR MAKITA SUZUKI FINISHES STRONG IN NEW JERSEY
Rockstar Makita Suzuki's AMA American SuperBike duo of Tommy Hayden and Blake Young put together great performances on Saturday. Hayden finished the race in second place, and Young marked his return to the track with a great fourth-place finish.
Hayden set the fastest time in qualifying and got the pole position, the first pole point he's earned. With a smooth start, Tommy found himself fighting for the lead throughout the 23-lap race. As the white flag came out, Tommy made his move from second to take over the lead. He was rolling on the power and looking to keep himself out front until the checkered flag, but instead the race got red flagged when another racer crashed on the course. Due to AMA rules, the racer who led the last complete lap is awarded the win, putting Tommy second on the podium.
"This is a rhythm track and I started feeling pretty good after a few laps," Hayden said after the race. "I thought, 'I think I can keep this up to the end and see what happens.' In the last lap I could tell it was going to come down to a last-lap battle like it has so many times this year, and then the red flag came out. It's very frustrating, but that's racing. I won't have any trouble putting it behind me and getting ready for the race on Sunday. Let's forget it and move on…that's my plan, anyway."
Tommy's teammate Blake Young made his comeback on Saturday in New Jersey after missing three rounds of action due to a back injury. Young was confident in his ability but wasn't sure where he'd stack up against the competition. Blake traded sixth and fifth place before finally moving his way into fourth and making it stick until the end of the race.
"Today, I knew what I needed to do and I knew what I was capable of doing," Young said. "This is, out of all the races I've ran this year, the one I've been most consistent and smooth. I wasn't in the lead group where I wanted to be but I think fourth place is pretty decent. I don't think I thought about my back at all the whole race, and I came into the weekend thinking about it a lot. I've turned my focus from my back to what I'm doing out on the racetrack. Overall I feel about 85 percent. I think if we can do what we did Saturday on Sunday, maybe just a couple tenths quicker pace, I think that's going to be pretty respectable."