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Josh Hayes Wins Rain-soaked MotoAmerica Superbike Opener in Texas

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Josh Hayes turned 40 last week, but apparently age hasn't slowed him down. Riding in a Texas rainstorm, the Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha rider showed he's still the master of the class as he sloshed his way to a calculated victory over teammate Cameron Beaubier at the Circuit of The Americas.

Yoshimura Suzuki's Roger Hayden ended up third.

Rain moved into Austin area just prior to the start of the Supersport final and it hung around until after the two MotoAmerica debut races were completed. More of it is expected for Sunday's second race of the Superbike doubleheader, which will run at the end of a busy day of Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP racing as MotoAmerica is sharing the weekend with the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

Hayes took off from the start for the 12-lap final and opened up a gap almost four seconds early in the race. Pole sitter Beaubier chipped away at the lead and got it down to 2.5 seconds, but Hayes was able to maintain the gap and eventually stretched it back out to win by 5.279 seconds.

It was the 49th AMA Superbike win of Hayes' career and the four-time AMA Superbike Champion dedicated his victory to his friend Dane Westby, a MotoAmerica racer who lost his life a few weeks ago in a street accident.

"There are just so many things going on this weekend," Hayes said. "Just so much: new series, new machine. There is a lot of Yamaha brass here for a big weekend with MotoGP.

"A lot of things happening with so much of my family here, a lot like Rog [Hayden]. I have a lot of friends here in Texas and I'm a bit overwhelmed.

"We've had some dodgy weather, we've had some good weather, we've had a little bit of everything. I feel like we've had a good sprinkle of everything. To have a successful race weekend and come out of here with a win, regardless of what happens tomorrow, it's fantastic. I'm very happy to be up here and get one in for Yamaha and the new R1.

"My team has done an amazing job. I was prepared, rain or shine. Mentally, I was in a really good state. I was ready to go either way very early in the weekend."

Fourth place in the Superbike race went to Bernat Martinez on a Yamaha YZF-R1 with Yoshimura Suzuki's Jake Lewis rounding out the top five in his Superbike debut.

The Superstock class ran together with the Superbikes and it was RoadRace Factory's Jake Gagne riding his Yamaha YZF-R1 to victory over the RSV4 of Aprilia HSBK Racing's Dustin Dominguez. Tyler O'Hara rode the Tyler O'Hara Racing Yamaha R1 to third place.

"My plan was to get out there and do my own thing, let the race come to me and be there in the end," Gagne said. "I put my head down and rode hard in the beginning to try and keep those guys [the top three Superbikes] in sight.

"Josh [Hayes], Cameron [Beaubier] and Rog [Hayden] were all hauling butt. About halfway through I had some moments and I couldn't hold on to Rog any longer. I wanted to bring this thing home and get the Yamaha R1 on the top of the Superstock podium.

"I'm stoked. It's my first time on the 1000 in the wet and it was a big eye-opener, but I had fun out there and I'm glad we brought her back home."
Yamaha-mounted JD Beach (95) leads Bobby Fong's (50) Triumph en route to winning the soaking-wet Supersport final at COTA. - Credit: Brian J. Nelson.
The Supersport final was a wild race with several of the top racers crashing out in the difficult conditions. The man who stood on the top step of the podium when all was said and done was Yamalube/ Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha's JD Beach, the Kentuckian taking his first-ever win in the premier 600cc class and his first win of any kind in five years.

Beach topped teammate Garrett Gerloff and M4 Suzuki/SportbikeTrackGear.com's Australian David Anthony.

Among the top men who crashed out of the race were race leaders Josh Herrin, on the Wheels in Motion/Motosport.com/Meen Yamaha, and Latus Motors Racing Triumph's Bobby Fong. Both Herrin and Fong were able to remount, finishing seventh and ninth, respectively.

"It's great to get this first win, but I definitely want to dedicate this win to the Westby family," Beach said. "Coming into this weekend I wanted to win for myself, but I also wanted to win for the Westby family too.

"I know what it's like to lose somebody real close like that. This race is for them. When I came out of turn 20 and looked back and there was nobody there, it was amazing. I've been working hard for five years and it's been a long time since I've won a race.

"I'm living in Kentucky with a great family. The Gillims have helped me out a lot and doing winters there... I'm riding my bicycle and it's 20 degrees outside. I'm putting in the miles, putting in the work... to finally get that first win again is amazing."

SUPERBIKE FINAL
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
3. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
4. Bernat Martinez (Yamaha)
5. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
6. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki)
7. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
8. Mathew Orange (BMW)
9. Ricky Orlando (Kawasaki)
10. Aaron Hersh (Suzuki)

SUPERSTOCK 1000 FINAL
1. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
2. Dustin Dominguez (Aprilia)
3. Tyler O'Hara (Yamaha)
4. Mark Heckles (Yamaha)
5. Devon McDonough (Aprilia)
6. Taylor Knapp (Yamaha)
7. Geoff May (Yamaha)
8. Barrett Long (Ducati)
9. Carlos Lescale (BMW)
10. Jeff Wrobel (Suzuki)

SUPERSPORT FINAL
1. JD Beach (Yamaha)
2. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha)
3. David Anthony (Suzuki)
4. Ben Young (Yamaha)
5. Kaleb De Kreyel (Yamaha)
6. Joe Roberts (Yamaha)
7. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
8. Kyle Wyman (Yamaha)
9. Bobby Fong (Triumph)
10. Ramdan Rosli (Yamaha)

Top Image: Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes leads teammate Cameron Beaubier during the Superbike final.

Credit: Brian J. Nelson.

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