Graves Yamaha rider Josh Hayes won Race 1 at Infineon Raceway yesterday, ending the factory Suzuki team’s incredible run of 55 consecutive wins. Top Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Mat Mladin finished fifth, almost 25 seconds behind the winner, but still has a 69-point lead over Suzuki teammate Tommy Hayden. Mladin commented after the race that due to the heat here in Sonoma, California, his team had struggled to find a good setup for Saturday’s race.
Josh Hayes was pleased with his first Superbike win since joining the Graves Yamaha factory team at the beginning of this season. Hayes is a former AMA champion in both the Superstock and Formula Xtreme classes. After qualifying second behind Mladin, Hayes finished over six seconds ahead of second place rider Tommy Hayden, though he had a lead of over eight seconds at one point. Ducati rider Larry Pegram finished third.
The weather here today should be just as warm if not more so, so Rockstar Makita Suzuki will have to make some improvements to Mladin’s package if the championship leader hopes to get on the podium today.