Hayden takes Sonoma SuperBike win

May 16 2011 - 3:57pm

SONOMA -- Josh Hayes led the most laps in the AMA West Coast Moto Jam's SuperBike race on Sunday but wasn't completely happy with how he was riding. All he could hope for was that Tommy Hayden was having the same kind of trouble.

No such luck.

Hayden stalked Hayes throughout the middle portion of the race, passed Hayes on lap 17 and led the final five laps to earn his sixth career SuperBike win and his first at Infineon Raceway. Hayes finished 1.925 seconds back in second, Blake Young was well back in third, and Steve Rapp was fourth.

"Knowing him, he was back there watching me, laughing at me, saying, 'I'm going to kick his butt with five to go,' " said Hayes, who has won four of the last six SuperBike races on the Sonoma road course, including on Saturday, "which is what he did."

Hayden led the first three laps before Hayes took the lead midway through the fourth lap. Hayes stayed in front for the next 14 laps but wasn't able to shake Hayden, who never trailed by more than .558 seconds.

Hayes said he never heard Hayden right behind him, but he would see him soon enough. On lap 17, Hayden passed Hayes as they went into Turn 4, and built a 1.2-second lead at the start of lap 18.

"As the race went on, my bike kept working better and better," said Hayden, who also won a SuperSport race at Infineon in 2005 and a Superstock race in 2003. "It felt like I was getting more comfortable."

Hayden said he was disappointed with how he performed at Infineon last year, when he had SuperBike finishes of sixth and fourth, respectively, to hurt his chances of winning the season championship. Hayes eventually won the title with 466 points and Hayden was second with 452.

After Sunday's race, Hayes was first with 107 points and Hayden was six points back with a majority of the season still to come. Young, who entered the weekend as the points leaders, is third with 99.

"I was really disappointed in my performance here last year, and I really challenged myself to come here and redeem myself," Hayden said, "and not give away the kind of points I did here last year."

Jason DiSalvo captured his third straight Daytona SportBike race, this one by 4.534 seconds over Danny Eslick in the 22-lap event. DiSalvo led for the final 13 laps. The race was interrupted for roughly 25 minutes by brief showers.

Benny Solis captured the 18-lap SuperSport race for the second straight day, as he got by leader Tomas Puerta on lap 7 and slowly pulled away to win by 12.525 seconds.

Solis was in third place on lap 4 when David Gaviria, who was second, was too aggressive on his brakes on turn 11 and flipped off his bike. Solis narrowly missed Gaviria, then focused solely on catching Puerta over the next two laps.

"Once I saw he made a mistake," Solis said, "it was my time to go."

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