Road Atlanta AMA Superbike, Braselton, Georgia, (April 19, 2015) - Jake Lewis had a red-letter day in the AMA Superbike races at Road Atlanta Sunday. The Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000 rider scored his first and second-career Superbike podiums, taking third in race one and following that up with a second in race two. It was a breakthrough day for the Superbike rookie and it moved him up to third in the series standings after four races.
Hayden was the man who came out of Saturday’s 15-minute MotoAmerica Superbike Superpole 2 session with pole position on the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. Hayden led the wet session with a 1:35.308 lap to best the two Yamahas of Josh Hayes and Cameron Beaubier, who joined him on the front row.
“This weekend I’ve been working really hard on the halfwet, half-dry things where previously Josh [Hayes] has been really strong in those conditions,” Hayden said after earning his third career Superbike pole position. “I had a lot more confidence than normal and got a good first lap. On the second one I was like, ‘I’m going for it.’ I could have gone another lap, but I don’t think I could have gone any quicker and I didn’t really want to really go through that again. Going down the back straightaway it was just like all over the place. I’m happy to get pole, but tomorrow is what matters and I feel ready to go either wet or dry.”
Hayden was battling for the lead in race one when he crashed, then in race two he was pulling away and held a substantial lead when he crashed again.
“I was pretty down after today,” Hayden admitted on Sunday evening. “It was probably one of the lowest points in my career. I was off line maybe a couple of inches in both of those races and it cost me. Now I just have to focus on the race next month at VIR. I know I can run up front - we’ve proven that. Now I just have to put a complete weekend together. With the new points structure we’re not out of it and we won’t give up.”
|Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000|
Lewis, who was initially having trouble getting used to handling the powerful Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 in wet conditions, broke through what he felt was a psychological barrier on Sunday and raced to a pair of podiums in sketchy conditions.
“I was always a good rain rider, but I was having a tough time getting used to it on the 1000,” Lewis admitted. “My parents talked to me and told me they had confidence in me and reminded me I was good in wet conditions. I woke up and decided to push harder and it paid off. I got a lot of my confidence back racing in these conditions today and it feels great to be on the podium. Hopefully I can keep it up as the season goes on.”
2015 Atlanta SBK Race 1:
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 3. Jake Lewis (Suzuki) 4. Bernat Martinez (Yamaha) 5. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 6. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
2015 Atlanta SBK Race 2:
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 2. Jake Lewis (Suzuki) 3. Bernat Martinez (Yamaha) 4. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 5. Stefano Mesa (Honda) 6. Elena Myers (Suzuki)
2015 Superbike Standings:
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yam), 95 2. Josh Hayes (Yam), 65 3. Jake Lewis (Suzuki), 60 4. Bernat Martinez (Yam), 51 5. Elena Myers (Suzuki), 38 6. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki), 34 7. Roger Hayden (Suzuki), 32 8. Ricky Orlando (Kaw), 14 9. Aaron Hersh (Suzuki), 13 10. Stefano Mesa (Honda), 11
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