Saturday's Devil's Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park saw another historic day of AMA Pro Road Racing as Josh Hayes continued to stake his place among the series' all-time legends.
The Yamaha superstar obliterated the field in Saturday's AMA Pro SuperBike contest, tearing open a 1.6-second lead on the opening lap and working his advantage up to a nearly unthinkable 22.210 seconds by the time he claimed the checkered flag.
On a day that Hayes delivered a performance that would have made seven-time series king Mat Mladin proud, the Mississippian bettered or equaled three of the Australian's all-time records.
Having tied the record for most consecutive poles (11) earlier in the day, Hayes' one-sided victory established the series' all-time mark for most consecutive victories (nine), and moved even with Mladin for most wins in a single season (12).
Mladin wasn't the only legend to take a hit in the record books on Saturday, as Hayes now boasts 29 career total victories, moving ahead of three-time champ Ben Spies for sole possession of third all-time.
"What can I say? Things are going pretty good," Hayes said. "The bike is an incredible machine. The R1 has been treating me good for a long time and this has been a good race track for me with that bike."
Commenting on the rapid accumulation of record marks, Hayes added, "It's pretty cool. When I got this opportunity at Yamaha I couldn't imagine I'd be here now. I'm still pretty awestruck by it. When I graduated high school I had just bought my first street bike and to think that one day I'd be here is pretty amazing. I hope my parents are proud. I'm proud of what I've accomplished and I'm going to keep working hard at it and do it for as long as I can."
While Hayes spent almost no time in his would-be challengers' sights, they kept the racing unpredictable for the non-Hayes steps on the podium.
Roger Hayden and Ben Bostrom suffered twin sputters off the line, both dropping from the front row with poor starts to outside the top ten as the contest opened.
Suzuki's Blake Young and Kawasaki's Steve Rapp tussled for second while Hayes was making his escape. However, Rapp tumbled out of second on lap 3, with his crash opening the door for Young to control the battle for the position the bulk of the contest.
Young corralled a pack that included Geoff May, Taylor Knapp, and finally Bostrom, who charged up into podium contention.
Bostrom continued to systemically work forward, ultimately stealing second away from Young on lap 20 of 23. The Yosh pilot attempted a counterattack but couldn't find a way by around the former World Superbike star, who claimed his first podium result since taking a runner-up finish here at NJMP one year ago.
Bostrom said, "It was entertaining. I saw Josh was going and these guys were battling up there. It allowed me to catch up. My bike was really good today. We need to get a good start tomorrow and see what we can do against the 'blue streak.' Josh is riding incredibly. We'll try to hang with him tomorrow."
Young rounded out the podium with his 14th top-three of the season.
"It was a disappointing race for me," Young admitted. "I got off to a good start and that's pretty much where the race ended for me. Josh put his head down right away. It was pretty frustrating on my behalf and I'm sure the team's behalf... I need to perform better tomorrow."
Knapp collected a mighty impressive fourth, while Hayes' Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, finished fifth after running off track and falling well down the order early.
May came home in sixth, followed by Larry Pegram on the BMW S1000RR.
KTM Racing's Chris Fillmore finished eighth, one spot ahead of Hayden, who also ran through the dirt to make a difficult day even worse. David Anthony completed the top ten.
Hayes will have an opportunity to make even more history on Sunday, with a new single-season wins record within his reach.
AMA Pro Road Racing's National Guard SuperBike and GoPro Daytona SportBike divisions will be featured on SPEED in a set of back-to-back, same-day delayed broadcasts, scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT on Saturday night and at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT on Sunday night.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier won his fifth AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race on Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park, emerging victorious after a heated contest that saw five riders make it to the flag within just over two seconds of the winner. The Yamaha rider won by 0.022 over series points leader Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) and hard charging Dane Westby, who qualified 13th.
Beaubier made his moves just before the white flag lap, taking second from Westby, then positioning himself to pass Cardenas as the final lap began.
"I slotted into third the last few laps," said Beaubier. "I saw what Westby and Cardenas were doing and I was able to make my moves. I was a little out of my rhythm and I would have liked to have made my moves earlier but there was no way I was getting away from these guys. I tried to conserve my tires and wait until the end."
Cardenas was in it until the checkers. "I made two great starts and tried to get in a rhythm, but these guys were with me the whole time and we had a lot of passing," said the Colombian. "It was clean racing. Cameron got me in the first corner and I came up a little short today."
The Wolverine qualified 13th on his Suzuki but was able to jet forward and lead before the halfway point. "We started way back but I wasn't worried," said Westby. "At the end, I saw there were just the three of us, which is what I wanted."
Bobby Fong was fourth, just ahead of Tommy Hayden. Jason DiSalvo ran strong on his Triumph, earning sixth after losing the lead group in the late stages.
Tommy Aquino (Yamaha) was able to handily top Jake Gagne and J.D. Beach for seventh.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
James Rispoli came out on top of a frenetic AMA Pro SuperSport battle to open the weekend's racing action.
Rispoli engaged in a race-long scrap with polesitter Dustin Dominguez, the two men swapping positions regularly while sliding around the track on protesting machinery.
However, Dominguez made a move to steal away first under a waving yellow and was immediately hit with a 20-second penalty. The two continued to fight for position on track and Rispoli ultimately took the checkered flag first by a scant 0.167-seconds.
Dominguez, meanwhile, was credited in 6th after the times were adjusted.
"The race was pretty difficult," Rispoli admitted. "It was a little slick today and we just tried to get a good start and run a good pace. I saw that (Dustin and I) had a pretty good gap and then I didn't know what was going on with the 20 seconds. I got back by Dustin and brought it home. I didn't know what was going on so I just kept pushing like it was the last lap and we were pushing for the win."
Yamaha's Garrett Gerloff launched off the race's final corner to take second from Yamaha's Tomas Puerta.
Puerta's teammate, Hayden Gillim and Stefano Mesa completed the top-five at the conclusion of an attrition-heavy pack battle fought to decide second.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series
Claimed the provisional pole for Sunday's AMA XR1200 Series race with an impressive effort of 1:30.145.
Barnes made a late charge to edge teammate Kyle Wyman for the position in what represented a strong rebound for the veteran following a slightly disappointing opening to the XR Showdown at Indianapolis.
Shane Narbonne clocked the third best time, fractionally ahead of Tyler O'Hara who completed the provisional front row.