Motorcycle racing • Georgian finishes third but benefits from teammate's fall.
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Tooele • Thanks to a great weekend at Miller Motorsports Park and a new training regimen, Josh Herrin could soon be an AMA Pro Road Racing champion.
Herrin entered the weekend's two National Guard SuperBike races in Tooele trailing three-time defending champion Josh Hayes by 11 points in the season standings. Following a wild weekend of racing, Herrin now sits atop the leaderboard.
Herrin finished third on Sunday, but season points leader and Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate Hayes crashed early in the race, allowing Herrin to take over the points lead.
Herrin, three riders behind Hayes when he crashed, knew his teammate was physically unharmed because of the way he fell. But he said he instantly realized what it meant for the standings.
"When [Hayes] fell it, was kind of a relief because I knew I wasn't going to able to beat him," said Herrin, who was having tire trouble throughout the race. "All I thought of right away was dang, we got some good points here. I was kind of happy."
With three races left in the season, Herrin now holds a 16-point lead over Hayes, who sits in third place, and an 11-point lead over Martin Cardenas, who won Sunday's SuperBike race. Roger Hayden finished in second place for the second straight day.
Herrin, of Dublin, Ga., said that just recently he made some changes that have him feeling stronger physically, helping him to his string of six straight top-three finishes.
"I've been riding my bicycle a lot, I have a trainer, I'm doing workouts at home," Herrin said. "Instantly in a month and a half, just completely changed me as a person, on and off the track. I'm not tired when I finish the races. … I can go as hard as I can on the last lap and not even make any mistakes, not get tired, feel like I can be just as strong as I was the first lap of practice."
In the GoPro Daytona SportBike race, season points leader Cameron Beaubier the winner of eight of nine races on the season going into Sunday's race had his run of first-place finishes challenged by JD Beach and teammate Garrett Gerloff.
Beach passed Beaubier and Gerloff as the two teammates battled for position in the last few laps, but when he wobbled and almost took a spill while leading, Beaubier and Gerloff passed him for good.
On the final lap of the race Gerloff passed Beaubier and looked poised to earn his first win of the season, but like Beach before him, a wobble and near-crash slowed Gerloff just enough for Beaubier to slip by and win his ninth race of the year.
Joe Roberts topped the field in the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race, earning his fifth win in five starts. It was the last AMA race of the season for Roberts, who will return to Europe to race in the MotoGP Red Bull Rookies Cup with an unblemished record in the AMA series.
In the Vance & Hines Harley Davidson race, the final result played out the same way as the season series currently stands points leader Steve Rapp won the race, Tyler O'Hara placed second and Michael Barnes finished third.