Aaron Yates won both of the AMA Superbike races during a doubleheader weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2000. Photo by Henny Ray Abrams

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.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Aaron Yates always fared well on tight, twisty, and somewhat bumpy racetracks. Like the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In 2000, Yates won the fourth and fifth AMA Superbike races of his career with a clean sweep of the doubleheader in Ohio, bringing his Mid-Ohio win total to three.

“I think a lot of it is just getting the bike dialed in,” Yates answered when asked why he seemingly had Mid-Ohio mastered. “This place is pretty rough, but it’s fast. It’s a lot of fun. I enjoy racing here, you know – the hills, up and down and just all over. It’s like riding a dirt track bike or something – a motocross track. It’s just rough and to go fast you’ve just got to deal with all the bumps and hold the gas on. You’ve got to be on top of things and let the bike move.”

Yates was fast all weekend, but he wasn’t on pole, and he didn’t lead the most laps. What he did was lead the laps that mattered most. At the end of the weekend, he had two Superbike wins and a second-place finish in the 600cc Supersport race. It was enough to make his father, Lucky, say: “I’ve been standing in the winner’s circle so much this weekend, I think someone needs to cut the grass.”

If Yates had the best weekend, then American Honda’s Nicky Hayden had the second best. Hayden emerged from Mid-Ohio as the winner of a brand-new Chevy Silverado truck after winning a title within a title in the Chevy Trucks Like A Rock Challenge by virtue of his two wins, three seconds and a third in the three doubleheaders.

Yates celebrates on the Mid-Ohio podium with Eric Bostrom. Photo by Henny Ray Abrams

Hayden was second and third in the two races at Mid-Ohio in 2000, gaining two points on Mat Mladin in the battle for the AMA Superbike Championship. Mladin left Ohio with a seven-point lead over Hayden.

American Honda’s Miguel Duhamel, meanwhile, led almost all of Saturday’s Superbike race but crashed on the final lap while trying to repass Yates. On Sunday, Duhamel again showed that he had the pace to run with Yates, but he crashed again – this time while leading on the 11th lap. While it was a disaster of a weekend points-wise for the French Canadian, it showed that Duhamel was still fully capable of running at the front of a Superbike National. Duhamel also started from pole position for the two races.

With Kawasaki’s Eric Bostrom finishing third and fourth on the two days, it was Vance & Hines Ducati’s John Kocinski carding a pair of fifth-place finishes on the weekend.

Website | + posts