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Superbikes: Duhamel wins first 600 Supersport race in over a year

12 June 2000

Five-time Pro Honda Oils 600cc SuperSport Champion Miguel Duhamel made a
triumphant comeback by winning his first 600 SuperSport race since the
Daytona International Speedway event in March of 1999. The Montreal native
spent most of the 1999 season sidelined with leg injuries. His win this
weekend marks the 37th-career victory in the class. Duhamel is the all-time
win leader in the history of 600 SuperSport racing.

Duhamel earned the victory in the race with a dramatic drafting pass on
Tommy Hayden and Kurtis Roberts charging up the front straight to the
checkered flag. Duhamel put his factory Honda F4 just inches ahead of
Roberts' Erion Honda and Jamie Hacking's Yamaha at the finish line. Brother
Tommy and Nicky Hayden rounded out the top five. Roberts retained his
series lead by a single point over Duhamel, thanks to winning the point for
leading the most laps during the hard-fought race, which saw dozens of lead

The race was red flagged twice due to two accidents involving a total of
five riders. Three of the riders involved in the accidents were treated and
released at the track medical facility.

Not even a sore body and broken finger could keep Rich Oliver from winning
the MBNA 250 Grand Prix race at Road America. Oliver broke away from early
challenger Roland Sands and pulled away to a 14.96-second margin of victory
over Sands. Series leader Chuck Sorensen was third, four and half seconds
back from Sands. Oliver's victory, his 44th-career win in the class, moved
him from eight in the standings to second, 15 points behind Sorensen.

Owensboro, Kentucky's Nicky Hayden, riding a Honda RC51, won the second leg
of the Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship at Road America Sunday,
completing a perfect weekend after also winning Saturday's American
Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Superbike National. Hayden, 18, nipped
series leader Australian Mat Mladin by 0.457 seconds at the finish and
averaged 109.542 miles per hour, a record for the race. Mladin's Suzuki
teammate Aaron Yates, of Milledgeville, Ga., finished a close third.

Hayden's victory moved him to within a single point of Mladin in the
championship race after five of 12 rounds.

Hayden took the lead at the drop of the green flag, but former World
Superbike champion John Kocinski put his Vance & Hines Ducati into first
under heavy braking into turn five of the four-mile, 14-turn road course.
Mladin moved up and took over the lead on the second lap. In the middle
stages of the 16-lap race Mladin, Hayden and Yates established a breakaway
with Canadian Miguel Duhamel and Kocinski running about two seconds behind
the leading trio.

With two laps remaining, Hayden took the lead, while teammates Mladin and
Yates traded second.

The final lap was intense with both Mladin and Yates working hard to pass
young Hayden, but Hayden held off the challenges to earn his second-career
AMA Superbike victory in as many days.

"My bike was a little faster than the others today," said Hayden modestly.
"The way the bike was set up made it a little slow mid-turn, but I was able
to make it up with late braking into the turns and good top speed.

"It feels really good getting my first two Superbike wins in one weekend. I
know it's not going to get any easier. There are a lot of talented and
hungry riders in this series."

The Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championships move to New Hampshire
International Speedway in Loudon, N.H., next Sunday, June 18.

Former AMA Superbike star Mike Smith is throwing the Buell Pro Thunder
Series on it's ear. The rider from Canton, Ga., joined the class last week
at Road Atlanta and won in his first outing. He came back to win his
second-straight race Sunday at Elkhart Lake. Defending champ Shawn Conrad
was second and Jeff Nash was third, good enough to retain his points lead.

Smith battled for the lead early with another former factory Superbike
rider Shawn Higbee. Higbee's machine began smoking and he was force to
retire on lap seven of the 10-lap final. With Higbee gone, Smith was able
to cruise home to a nine-second margin of victory.

Nash now leads the series with 90 points. Tom Montano, who just arrived
back from racing at the Isle of Man TT, finished fourth Sunday and is
second in the series standings with 80. At 74 points, Smith moved into
series contention with his win and now stands fourth in the series, just
five points behind Conrad.

A $32,000 Chevrolet Silverado is the prize that Nicky Hayden and Mat Mladin
are eyeing heading into the final round of the Chevy Trucks Like a Rock
Challenge at the Mid-Ohio doubleheader July 14-16. After this weekend,
Hayden leads Mladin by six points in the Like a Rock Challenge point
standings. At this point only Mladin and Hayden are eligible for the truck,
since a rider has to win a race at one of the three doubleheaders, although
that could change if other riders should win at the final rounds of the
challenge at Mid-Ohio.