Pegram, Hayden on podium


Yates, Zemke, chased by Pegram.

A better-than-expected set of races at
Daytona was backed up by a good weekend of racing in the DMG/AMA
series’ second event of the year, at Auto Club Speedway near Fontana,

DMG’s new management group is making serious efforts to
repair the damage that former head Roger Edmondson did to the series
in 2008-9 and so far it looks like they’re on the right track.

The Fontana double-header races were
won by Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance Ducati) and Tommy Hayden
(Yoshimura Rockstar Suzuki), both popular wins. Pegram is personally
well-liked and his team is still regarded as something of an
underdog, while Hayden (older brother of former Moto GP world
champion Nicky) finally won his first superbike race. He should be
more relaxed with that monkey off his back. "Now I can
just focus on racing and not worry anymore about when I’m going to
win the first [one]," he said.

Canadian honour was well-upheld by
Saskatoon teen Brett McCormick. A close second to Jordan Szoke in
both of Canada’s premier series in 2009, McCormick was out of a ride
for 2010 when Blackfoot Suzuki folded its road racing doors. He went
to Daytona with his ’09 Picotte Performance team, paying the freight
out of his own pocket, hoping that results would help bring some
sponsorship money.

No sign of the money he needs yet, but
he got a ride at Fontana as the result of a hand injury to Celtic
Racing’s P.J. Jacobsen, another teen phenom. Celtic owner Barry
Gilsenan has what he calls a "mission" of developing new
talent; he’s helped Jacobsen for years, introduced Welsh rider Chaz
Davies to the U.S., and now has hooked up at least temporarily with

McCormick didn’t disappoint with a new
bike on a new track, ripping huge chunks of time out of his laps
every time he got out, eventually finishing an excellent 12th
in the first race and seventh in the second. He’s 10th in
the overall standings so far.

Jordan Suzuki’s Jake Zemke still tops
the AMA standings, adding a second and a fourth to his double victory
at Daytona. His team-mate Aaron Yates took pole position at Fontana
and collected third in a wild first race, but crashed in the warm-up
for the second and was taken to hospital with a so-far unspecified
leg injury.

Hayden is in a strong second place,
with Pegram a bit farther back, the victim of a crash in the second
Fontana race. Graves Yamaha rider Josh Hayes is next up, with a good
fourth and second at Fontana backing up a troubled Daytona event.
He’s tied with Hayden’s team-mate Blake Young.

Rider standings after two of 10 events
(four of 19 races)

1. Jake Zemke, National Guard Jordan
Suzuki, 106 points; 2. Tommy Hayden, Yoshimura Rockstar Suzuki, 95;
3. Larry Pegram, Foremost Insurance Ducati, 70; 4. TIE, Josh Hayes,
Graves Yamaha and Blake Young, Yoshimura Rockstar Suzuki, 67;

6. Aaron Yates, Jordan Suzuki, 59; 7.
Ben Bostrom, Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha, 52; 8. Chris Ulrich,
Roadracing Suzuki, 49; 9. Taylor Knapp,
Suzuki; 10. Brett McCormick, Celtic Racing Orient Express Suzuki, 37.

The next event is another
double-header, at Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia, April 17-18.


  1. Mat Mladin and Jason Pridmore might disagree that Pegram is well liked. Both have taken pretty solid shots at him via Twitter recently, Mladin especially. Not that Mad Mat is/was Mr. Popular, mind you, but he’s nothing if not upfront.

    I seem to recall him rechristening Johnny Rock Page as Johnny D**k Head last year. Still makes me laugh. Easily amused, I suppose…

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