Bouncing back from a fall in Saturday’s wet penultimate SBK National race while running third, Christie started sixth but gave up several positions in the early going. As his race progressed, Christie moved up to the front of a busy mob of riders, eventually out-dueling the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Chris Clarke to score sixth on the final lap.
“It was a bit of a struggle out there,” said a jubilant Christie as he was congratulated by several top AMA teams. “I had new gloves, and I developed a blister on my right hand, and I lost my right knee slider early in the race.
“When Chris Ulrich got by me on his Honda, I knew I had to pass him back as soon as possible. Our set-up wasn’t there, we didn’t get much dry practice, and I was skating around on the corner entry. But I really wanted a finish, I wanted to redeem myself.”
British Columbia’s Marcel Irnie had a slow start on his BMW S1000RR, but also moved through the pack to out-dice his rivals, netting a good 13th. Irnie was in his third career American Superbike event, while Christie’s debut in the feature class was actually Saturday.
Winner on the day was Josh Hayes, who made up for the frustration of Saturday’s Superbike event to walk away with the final race of this era of Superbike competition. Hayes won on the road Saturday but was penalized for passing under a caution flag, ending up second behind the Suzuki of Roger Lee Hayden. Even so, he won the AMA’s top championship for the fourth time in his career.
Hayes was challenged early by his Monster Energy-Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 team-mate Cameron Beaubier. However Beaubier fell mid-race when he lost the front end, and Hayes was clear for the win.
“It was a really cool race, but I was struggling near the end, trying hard to maintain my pace, and I thought I was losing ground,” explained Hayes post-race, saying that he figured that he had abused his Dunlop slick in the early going. “I ran off track in turn 1, I wasn’t paying enough attention, and Martin [Cardenas] was coming.
“I decided I wanted to go down swinging, and I kept charging. I was gutted for Cameron when he slipped off, I wanted a Yamaha one-two, and then I struggled to maintain my pace and get it home for my team.”
After running off track early, Hayden got into a wild battle for second with his Yoshimura Suzuki team-mate Martin Cardenas. Hayden, riding with an injured shoulder, made a pass work on the last lap to take second, Cardenas third.
Spanish ace Bernat Martinez ran with the leaders early on his Yamaha, then struggled to hold onto fourth on the last lap, challenged by the Suzuki of David Anthony. Martinez got the spot, ending a strong debut season in the U.S. Top privateer Anthony was fifth.
Next up was Christie followed by Clarke, the Buell twin of hard charging, long time pack leader Larry Pegram, Chris Ulrich on a Honda and Taylor Knapp’s Suzuki in 10th.
Jake Gagne confirmed his title in Daytona SportBike, clearing off for the win aboard his Red Bull Yamaha. Garrett Gerloff was 2.5 seconds back for second, out-duelling Dane Westby, both on Yamahas.
British Team WD-40 rider Ben Young of Thornbury, ON, returned from the U.K. to work his way up to a very respectable 13th overall in Daytona SportBike.
In the Vance and Hines Harley-Davidson Racing Series class for XR1200 machines, Kyle Wyman won the race from outgoing champ Steve Rapp and Tyler O’Hara, but Danny Eslick limped through the 12-lap race to earn sixth, good enough to clinch the crown. Eslick crashed in the Sunday morning warm-up, and his crew struggled to get the twin repaired in time for the final.
B.C.-based, American series regular Darren James diced with Eslick and Davie Estok, netting eighth in what is expected to be his final race in the U.S. James has announced his retirement, but is considering an offer to compete “on the roads” in Ireland next spring.
In the Rising Star SuperSport class, Dustin Dominguez took the win for Houston Superbikes with a Yamaha YZF-R6, out-dicing new champ Hayden Gillim on his TOBC Racing Suzuki GX-R600.
After a lousy day in slippery conditions Saturday, Mitch Card had a good ride in Supersport, the Canuck rookie Pro working all the way through from the back of the grid to net 16th on his Trackside Cuts Honda CB600RR. Starting right at the back after a troubled debut in the U.S., an enthusiastic Stacey Nesbitt worked her way up to 36th in the 50 plus bike field with the OCT Racing/FTR Honda CBR600RR.
“I finished! It was good,” started Nesbitt after her U.S. debut. “I was confused by the blue flags, the process is different here, you have to get out of the way. I missed a shift into turn 1, lost a little time, but I learned a lot and it was a very positive experience.”
SuperBike Race Results
- 1 4 Josh Hayes Monster Energy Graves Yamaha Yamaha R1 23 Laps
- 2 95 Roger Hayden Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 4.824
- 3 36 Martin Cardenas Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 4.863
- 4 76 Bernat Martinez Proto-Tech Spain Yamaha R1 36.663
- 5 25 David Anthony ADR Motorsports, Sic, Motul Fly Racin Suzuki GSX-R1000 36.683
- 6 20 Jodi Christie Honda Canada/Accelerated Technologies Team Honda CBR1000RR 43.064
- 7 6 Chris Clark Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 43.230
- 8 72 Larry Pegram Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing EBR 1190RS 43.256
- 9 18 Chris Ulrich GEICO Motorcycle Racing Honda CBR1000RR 47.490
- 10 44 Taylor Knapp TOBC Racing II Suzuki GSX-R1000 50.888
- 11 13 Cory West Team AMSOIL Hero EBR 1190RS 51.593
- 12 16 Frankie Babuska Babuska Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 53.060
- 13 174 Marcel Irnie Mobibuff/Irnie Racing/World's Best Motorcycles BMW S1000RR 1:18.131
- 14 66 Scott Harwell TOBC Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:18.211
- 15 186 Tony Leong Push Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:18.892
- 16 10 Sean Dwyer Vicious Cycle Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:19.304
- 17 269 Johnny Rock Page United America All Nations Suzuki GSX-R1000 22 Laps
- 18 7 Jake Holden TPL Squadra Corse Ducati 1199 11 Laps
- 19 2 Cameron Beaubier Monster Energy Graves Yamaha Yamaha R1 10 Laps
- 20 11 Chris Fillmore KTM/HMC Racing KTM RC8R 7 Laps
- 21 166 Jon Couch TOBC Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 56.842
Race Time: 31:51.019
Margin of Victory: 4.824
Best Race Lap: Josh Hayes (1:21.437)
SuperBike Final Point Standings
- 1 Josh Hayes 285
- 2 Roger Hayden 231
- 3 Cameron Beaubier 206
- 4 Chris Clark 176
- 5 David Anthony 175
- 6 Martin Cardenas 147
- 7 Cory West 124
- 8 Chris Fillmore 119
- 9 Larry Pegram 105
- 10 Bernat Martinez 98
- 11 Chris Ulrich 95
- 12 Taylor Knapp 71
- 13 Frankie Babuska 70
- 14 Johnny Rock Page 65
- 15 Trent Gibson 55
- 16 Sean Dwyer 53
- 17 Diego Pierluigi 28
- 18 Reese Wacker 27
- 19 Marcel Irnie 23
- 20 Jason Farrell 20
- 21 Stefano Mesa 20
- 22 Francois Dumas 19
- 23 Huntley Nash 17
- 24 Mathew Orange 17
- 25 Jodi Christie 15
- 26 Jake Holden 12
- 27 Sebastiao Ferreira 11
- 28 Kevin Pinkstaff 10
- 29 Scott Harwell 7
- 30 Jacquel Gonzalez 7
- 31 Tony Leong 6
- 32 Barrett Long 2
--By Frank Wood and Colin Fraser