Birmingham, AL June 19, 2011 -- It was a scorcher of a weekend for the Yamaha Road Racing teams at Barber Motorsports Park, and temperatures in the mid 90s were only part of the reason. AMA Pro Racing continues to be one of the world's hottest and most exciting series, with riders passing each other back and forth, and swapping victories and season points leads with virtually every race.
Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha rider Josh Herrin displayed brilliant racecraft in Sunday's Daytona SportBike event. He kept his Number 8 Yamaha YZF-R6(r) in strategic position throughout the 16-lap contest and made a perfect pass towards the end of the final lap. With just a couple of corners remaining, Josh secured the victory.
Ecstatic with his win on Father's Day, especially after suffering a rare technical problem in Saturday's DSB race, Josh pulled off the track on his cool-down lap, climbed the fence in celebration, and then tossed his gloves to the appreciative fans who loudly cheered for him along Barber's picturesque back stretch. It was a sweet victory in "Sweet Home Alabama" for Josh, since Barber is the closest track to his home in Dublin, Georgia.
Josh leaves Alabama just four points shy of the Daytona SportBike Championship lead, and the series promises to be ultra-competitive right to the end.
Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Motorsports/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6 rider Tommy Aquino had another solid weekend in Daytona SportBike competition where he, once again, battled with the lead pack in both the Saturday and Sunday races. Tommy had two fourth-place finishes--making it three fourths in a row--and in Sunday's race, he shadowed Josh Herrin for a number of laps. With only a couple of corners left to complete on the final lap, Tommy was passed by a hard-charging Cameron Beaubier--himself Yamaha YZF-R6-mounted.
With Josh Herrin's win, Cameron Beaubier's third, and Tommy Aquino's fourth, Yamaha was well-represented in the top five of Sunday's DSB race on Barber's 2.38-mile course.
In American SuperBike, Josh Hayes earned another valuable point for winning the pole, which gives him a perfect five-for-five in pole positions and five critical points towards his successful defense of the season championship.
"I don't ride for points," commented Josh. "It's going to take race wins to capture the SuperBike title, and winning is why I race." Josh fought hard for wins aboard his crossplane crankshaft YZF-R1(r) in both SuperBike races over the past weekend at Barber, finishing fourth in Saturday's rain-interrupted event and a close second on Sunday. Those results don't exactly sit well with Josh, but he emerges from the Barber round still leading the SuperBike championship that he won last season.
"The competition is fierce in both Daytona SportBike and American SuperBike this season," said Keith McCarty, Manager for Yamaha's Racing Division. "That's just the way we like it," he added.
The Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Motorsports/Graves/Yamaha team's American SuperBike rider Chris Clark finished eighth in Sunday's race, for another top-ten finish on his YZF-R1. In Saturday's race, the very tricky track conditions caused by a rain-soaked Barber course caused him to finish in an uncharacteristic 17th place, which proved to be an important learning experience for Chris. "I haven't done all that much rain riding, so it was good to get my feet wet...literally. The experience is going to be a huge benefit to me as my racing career progresses."
The Yamaha road racing teams will return to action in two weeks' time at Mid-Ohio, where the action and excitement of Barber will undoubtedly be equaled in the Buckeye state.