When the Formula USA race planned in conjunction with a Canadian Superbike National at Mosport was cancelled due to contract problems between the sanctioning body and the track lease holders, most Formula USA teams simply cancelled their plans to attend. But Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki was committed to hold a Team Suzuki Advanced Riding School on the Friday of race weekend, having signed a contract to do so with Suzuki Canada, and had to attend.
So the team headed north with Crew Chief Keith Perry, rider Josh Hayes, Hayes’ mechanic Jerry Daggett, Chief Riding School Instructor Michael Martin, Assistant Instructor Lynn Miller and Team Captain John Ulrich. The plan was to run Hayes in the two Canadian Superbike Series races, aboard the ex-Tray-Batey 1180cc, 184-horsepower GSXR1100, and to also run Hayes in the 138-horsepower class aboard a Superstock-spec GSXR750.
It’s part of the training program the team has developed for young Hayes, who, if all goes according to plan, will be one of the team’s two primary riders in 1999.
Hayes didn’t disappoint in his first trip to the tricky, bumpy Canadian track, finishing second in his Superbike qualifying race and third in his 138-horsepower qualifying race despite a crash in early practice on the violent GSXR1100.
For the first Superbike race, held on a wet track, Hayes elected to ride his Superstock GSXR750 on the slick Mosport track, and finished fourth in official results. Hayes finished second on the GSXR1100 behind the defending Canadian Champion. In the 138-horsepower class, Hayes finished third, his GSXR750 making 126 horsepower in the mandatory post-race dyno testing.
Remember the name Josh Hayes–Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki predicts it’s a name the racing world will hear more of in the near future!