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Apr 8, 2002

Updated Post With Snarky Reader Comment And Our Mea Culpa: According To This Honda Press Release, The Next Round Of The AMA Series Will Be Held At Sugo, Japan!

From a press release (and pay attention to the last line of text):<BR><BR>HONDA RACING NEWS<BR><BR>AMA SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS TWO AND THREE/AMA 600cc SUPERSPORT SERIES <BR>ROUND TWO<BR><BR>SATURDAY/SUNDAY APRIL 7-8 2002 FONTANA, CALIFORNIA, USA<BR><BR>Weather: Cloudy<BR>Temperature: 60 degrees<BR>Attendance: 20,000<BR><BR>Gobert, Hayden Split Wins at California Speedway<BR><BR>American Honda's Nicky Hayden rode his Honda RC51 to victory on the second day of the doubleheader weekend of AMA Superbike racing at California Speedway in Fontana, California, adding that to his third-place finish of the previous day to take control of the AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship after three rounds.<BR><BR>On Saturday, Hayden was bested by Yamaha's Anthony Gobert and Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates with the trio fighting the entire 28-lap distance in the debut race at the first-class facility. It was also a race that was delayed until late in the afternoon as unusually poor weather hit the Southern California area.<BR><BR>Traffic played a role in the outcome of the race, with Hayden the first to be thwarted by the slower men on a track that proved to be difficult to pass on. On the final lap, Gobert hit traffic in the last corner and Yates appeared to have the upper hand in their drag race to the checkered flag. The Australian, however, was able to latch into the draft of a lapped rider to beat Yates to the line by just .014 of a second in what was the closest finish in the history of California Speedway. Knowing any chance of victory was gone, Hayden slowed in the final laps to finish 6.5 seconds behind the dueling duo ahead of him his win streak stopped at five successive victories.<BR><BR>The win was pole-sitter Gobert's first of the season and it left him tied with Hayden for the championship points lead with 67 points.<BR><BR>Hayden admitted to never really getting comfortable on the day when delays were the norm: "Right at the beginning, I got up there," Hayden said. "Right off the start, when I was fourth, I thought, ‘Man, this is going to be a good race here.' I felt all right at the beginning, but I just wasn't that comfortable the whole time. I was having a few problems and was just kinda hanging on to those guys. Right there at the end, I really put my head down and was going to try and make a run at ‘em, but I just didn't really have it today. These guys rode good. They were really beating me in traffic, both being really aggressive. I had a hard time getting the bike where I wanted it in traffic. I was just real lazy and couldn't hold it tight coming out of the corners to get inside of ‘em. That's where they were a lot better than me today. We had a nice little streak going and I wanted to keep it going. At the end I was taking a few chances and the last few laps I knew I had to back it off and just finish. I was pretty happy because I fell back and when Aaron [Yates] ran wide I could close back up."<BR><BR>HMC Ducati's Doug Chandler finished fourth in his debut ride with the team. Fifth place went to the man that Chandler recently replaced on the HMC <BR>team, Pascal Picotte. The French Canadian had picked up a new ride just prior to the Fontana event, switching to the Austin/Bleu Bayou Ducati team and its Michelin tires.<BR><BR>Three-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin ended up sixth after encountering tire wear woes and the top 10 was filled by privateer Suzuki riders Lee Acree, Brian Parriott, Brian Livengood and Andy Deatherage.<BR><BR>Hayden's American Honda teammate Miguel DuHamel crashed out of a battle for fifth place on the seventh lap and the third of the factory Honda men, Kurtis Roberts, was knocked out by a knee injury suffered in a qualifying crash on Friday afternoon.<BR><BR>Hayden dominated the second of the two Superbike races after his crew made the changes necessary to make his ride to victory on the RC51 relatively easy. Hayden took the lead off the start, but was passed by Yates and the Yoshimura Suzuki. Yates led for six laps before Hayden pushed through on the front straight. From there he was never headed as he stormed to a 6.366-second victory in the race that was shortened by a red flag after 24 of 28 laps.<BR><BR>Second place ended up going to Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom after he held off a determined Mladin and a fast-closing Chandler, the Ducati rider coming from well back to challenge for the spot in the closing stages of the race.<BR><BR>Hayden's victory was his second of the season, with the first coming last month in the prestigious Daytona 200. The youngster from Kentucky was also able to take full advantage of a miscue by Gobert's crew that saw the Australian battle an over-inflated front tire for the entire race. He ended up finishing eighth, one lap behind his championship rival.<BR><BR>The victory, combined with Gobert's eighth-place finish, translates to a 13-point lead for Hayden as he now leads Gobert, 104-91, after three rounds.<BR><BR>Austin/Bleu Bayou Ducati's Pascal Picotte finished fifth for the second successive day, leading Yoshimura Suzuki's Jamie Hacking and DuHamel across the finish line. Then came Gobert with privateers Parriott and Deatherage rounding out the top 10 finishers.<BR><BR>Hayden credited his crew with making the changes that transformed his RC51 into a race winner overnight: "I've really got to thank my crew and my team," Hayden said. "It's amazing how much better my bike was today. Last night in the meeting you have all these problems you tell them about. Normally, they fix some stuff and maybe compromise on other stuff. Today, they just fixed everything. The transmission was a lot better. The bike just felt a lot more comfortable. I could be a lot more aggressive with it today. I could get it turned and it was just a really good race."<BR><BR>Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates won his second successive 600cc Supersport race, adding a California Speedway victory to his win at Daytona last month. Yates pulled away from Gobert in the middle stages of the race to win by 3.44 seconds after 17 laps of the 21-turn, 2.36-mile racetrack.<BR><BR>Third place went to Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden after a race-long battle with Yamaha's Damon Buckmaster. The Suzukis of Ben Spies, Jamie Hacking, Jason Pridmore and Tom Kipp finished fifth through eighth with American Honda's Mike Hale and Roger Lee Hayden rounding out the top 10.<BR><BR>Yates' 73 points leads Buckmaster and Hacking, with the pair tied for second on 52 points.<BR><BR>HONDA TEAM QUOTES<BR><BR>Nicky Hayden, American Honda, 3rd and 1st:<BR>Saturday: "Right at the beginning, I got up there," Hayden said. "Right off the start, when I was fourth, I thought, ‘Man, this is going to be a good race here.' I felt all right at the beginning, but I just wasn't that comfortable the whole time. I was having a few problems and was just kinda hanging on to those guys. Right there at the end, I really put my head down and was going to try and make a run at ‘em, but I just didn't really have it today. These guys rode good. They were really beating me in traffic, both being really aggressive. I had a hard time getting the bike where I wanted it in traffic. I was just real lazy and couldn't hold it tight coming out of the corners to get inside of ‘em. That's where they were a lot better than me today. We had a nice little streak going and I wanted to keep it going. At the end I was taking a few chances and the last few laps I knew I had to back it off and just finish. I was pretty happy because I fell back and when Aaron [Yates] ran wide I could close back up."<BR><BR>Hayden from Sunday:<BR>"I've really got to thank my crew and my team," Hayden said. "It's amazing how much better my bike was today. Last night in the meeting you have all these problems you tell them about. Normally, they fix some stuff and maybe compromise on other stuff. Today, they just fixed everything. The transmission was a lot better. The bike just felt a lot more comfortable. I could be a lot more aggressive with it today. I could get it turned and it was just a really good race."<BR><BR>Miguel DuHamel, American Honda, DNF and 7th.<BR>Saturday: "The race was going not bad. The guys pulled me out a little bit when I hit the curbing coming on to the front straight and got a pretty vicious tankslapper. I lost some time. I was aware of those guys breaking away so for the next two laps, two and a half laps, I reeled them back in so I felt pretty good about that. Going into that corner we've been having problems… there are two things: the bike and my boot. I don't have the right size boot on so I've been having trouble with that. I couldn't get the downshift right and I was struggling to get the downshift going into that corner and it just messed me up going in there. I didn't think I got into first, but they said I did get to first but I think that happened when the bike went down. I just couldn't downshift right. It must have looked like I was doing some sort of Lords of the Dance while trying to get down to first gear. It didn't want to downshift smoothly and that threw me off. I think I went a little tighter and there's a bump there, which I should know better. I hit the bump and it bogged out the front and lost it."<BR><BR>DuHamel from Sunday: "For some reason it just didn't work. I was having some trouble with the front end of the bike. I'm not too sure, maybe suspension, maybe tire, but it was the same tire that Nicky [Hayden] rode. There was a lot of instability in the front. Whenever I touched the brake, I thought the front was going to tuck underneath me. From the get-go, I was struggling. This morning it was fine. I ran the same lap times they ran in the race."<BR><BR>Kurtis Roberts, Erion Honda, Did Not Start.<BR>"We were just starting to improve the bike and get it setup for here. I think we were in the top four. There were still some improvements to make to the motorcycle and getting it to handle around here. I was getting really excited because we were quite far off in the morning as far as setup went and it was getting better. We threw in a qualifier. I guess a lot of the other guys got warned when they went into the chicane with the rear coming around a bit on ‘em. The first rider it kinda chattered a little bit the rear, the tire slid for just a second but it drove out fine. So I thought it was just a little cold. I went into the chicane where you're not even leaned over to the right. I was coming out of there pretty much straight up and down and the thing let go. I highsided. Nothing's broke, they said, though the doctors at Loma Linda [hospital] weren't up there with the best at all. I was in the hallway the whole night. I didn't get a room. You have four different doctors and they were each different. I never got the full story from anybody. I'm not sure exactly what what's wrong, but I know there is nothing broken. They did an MRI on the knee and X-rays on the knee and ankle. It's just really bruised in there. I can't believe I highsided almost going straight. It was like it hit oil almost."<BR><BR>RESULTS:<BR>First race result: (Laps 28 = 100 km)<BR>1 Anthony Gobert, AUS (Yamaha), 39:28.637<BR>2 Aaron Yates, USA (Yoshimura Suzuki), -0.014 sec.<BR>3 Nicky Hayden, USA (American Honda)<BR>4 Doug Chandler, USA (HMC Ducati)<BR>5 Pascal Picotte, CAN (Bleu Bayou Ducati)<BR>6 Mat Mladin, AUS (Yoshimura Suzuki)<BR>7 Lee Acree, USA (Suzuki)<BR>8 Brian Parriott, USA (Suzuki)<BR>9 Brian Livengood, USA (Suzuki)<BR>10 Andy Deatherage, USA (Suzuki)<BR>11 Kim Nakashima, USA (Suzuki)<BR>12 Owen Ritchey, USA (Suzuki)<BR>13 Alan Schmidt, CAN (Suzuki)<BR>14 Marco Martinez, USA (Suzuki)<BR>15 Shawn Conrad, USA (Suzuki)<BR><BR>Second race result: (Laps 28 = 100 km)<BR>1 Nicky Hayden, USA (Honda) 34:48.072<BR>2 Eric Bostrom, USA (Kawasaki) -6.366 sec.<BR>3 Mat Mladin, AUS (Suzuki)<BR>4 Doug Chandler, USA (Ducati)<BR>5 Pascal Picotte, CAN (Ducati)<BR>6 Jamie Hacking, USA (Suzuki)<BR>7 Miguel DuHamel, CAN (Honda)<BR>8 Anthony Gobert, AUS (Yamaha)<BR>9 Brian Parriott, USA (Suzuki)<BR>10 Andy Deatherage, USA (Suzuki)<BR>11 Rich Conicelli, USA (Suzuki)<BR>12 Owen Richey, USA (Suzuki)<BR>13 Brian Livengood, USA (Suzuki)<BR>14 Mike Sullivan, USA (Honda)<BR>15 Aaron Clark, USA (Suzuki)<BR><BR>AMA Superbike championship points:<BR>1 Hayden 104<BR>2 Gobert 91<BR>3 Deatherage 66<BR>4 Livengood 63<BR>5 Hacking 60<BR>6 Yates 59<BR>7 Bostrom 58<BR>8 Mladin 54<BR>9 Chandler 54<BR>10 Picotte 52<BR>11 Conicelli 50<BR>12 Parriott 45<BR>13 John Dugan 44<BR>14 Owen Richey 38<BR>15 Marco Martinez 36<BR><BR>600cc Supersport race result:<BR>1 Aaron Yates, USA (Yoshimura Suzuki), 25'16.820<BR>2 Anthony Gobert, AUS (Yamaha), -3.344 sec<BR>3 Tommy Hayden, USA (Kawasaki)<BR>4 Damon Buckmaster, AUS (Graves Yamaha)<BR>5 Ben Spies, USA (Attack Suzuki)<BR>6 Jamie Hacking, USA (Yoshimura Suzuki)<BR>7 Jason Pridmore, USA (Attack Suzuki)<BR>8 Tom Kipp, USA (Valvoline Suzuki)<BR>9 Mike Hale, USA (Erion Honda)<BR>10 Roger Lee Hayden, USA (Erion Honda)<BR>11 Tony Meiring, USA (Kawasaki)<BR>12 Jake Zemke, USA (Erion Honda)<BR>13 Alex Gobert, AUS (Erion Honda)<BR>14 Jimmy Moore, USA (Corona Suzuki)<BR>15 Ty Howard, USA (Suzuki)<BR><BR>600cc Supersport championship points:<BR>1 Yates 73<BR>2 Buckmaster 52<BR>3 Hacking 52<BR>4 Spies 47<BR>5 Pridmore 47<BR>6 Hale 46<BR>7 Kipp 43<BR>8 Roger Lee Hayden 39<BR>9 Tony Meiring 39<BR>10 Nicky Hayden 33<BR>11 Jake Zemke 33<BR>12 Anthony Gobert 33<BR>13 Alex Gobert 33<BR>14 Jimmy Moore 33<BR>15 Miguel DuHamel 29.<BR><BR>Next round : Sugo, Japan, 21-04-2002<BR><BR><BR><BR>And now this comment from reader Scott England, headlined "Don't Cast Stones":<BR><BR>"Honda did state that the next race is in Sugo Japan, but they did not have Ben Bostrom racing in Fontana instead of South Africa as you did. Nice to see that not everyone is as perfect as they think they are."<BR><BR><BR><BR>And now the official Roadracingworld.com Mea Culpa: "Hey, we fully admit when we screw up, and that Ben/Eric thing is a devilish typo deal where it seems that no matter what, it keeps cropping up, especially when you're simultaneously entering info from Kyalami and Fontana! Sometimes when you're entering/editing/proofreading thousands of words at once, your mind just automatically corrects stuff and you don't see it. We admit it--we're human, our staff is human, and we keep screwing up Ben and Eric! The Honda reference was a joke, and it (the headline) got you to read the posting, right?"<BR><BR><BR><BR>And now an interesting development:<BR><BR>An Australian website, which we have repeatedly caught stealing our copyrighted material before and which has denied everything, reposted our Fontana post with a slight reworking of the language but including the error (since corrected on this site) referring to Ben instead of Eric! No worries, eh, you lying, stealing Aussie bastards?