John Bettencourt (center) won the AMA Superbike race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 1985, topping Rueben McMurther (right) and Todd Brubaker (left). Photo By Bert Shepard

With MotoAmerica set to bring AMA Superbike racing back to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 16-18, we’re taking a closer look at past Superbike races at the iconic racetrack in Lexington, Ohio.

John Bettencourt ended a seven-year drought between AMA Superbike wins when he stormed to victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 1985. The victory was Bettencourt’s second career Superbike win, but his first since he won at Loudon in 1978.

Honda Interceptor-mounted Bettencourt had an ear-to-ear grin after taking victory over Canadian Rueben McMurter and his Yamaha FZ750 with third place going to Honda-mounted Todd Brubaker.

Bettencourt at speed on his Honda Interceptor. Photo by Gary Van Voorhis

Defending AMA Superbike Champion Fred Merkel showed up to Mid-Ohio with pins and screws in the top of his left foot from his crash at Laguna Seca a month before. He was going to attempt to ride but opted not to once his closest competitor for the championship, John Ashmead, crashed in practice and broke his thumb, which put him out of action for the rest of the weekend.

Bettencourt’s victory vaulted him to second over Ashmead in the title chase.

Superteam Yamaha’s Jimmy Filice looked to have things in hand with a 10-second lead in the race when his Yamaha suffered an engine failure. Randy Renfrow was also knocked out of a podium finish when he “missed a shift and bent some valves in the engine” while running second.

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