As the AMA Pro National Guard superbike series came to a close at Laguna Seca there is still a question unanswered. Is Josh Herrin of the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha team really number one? Well the answer is simply, no. Had a series of unfortunate events not happened he simply would have been dominated by the famed Josh Hayes who is also his teammate. This was proven at Laguna Seca as Josh Hayes bested the field by 13.4 seconds, this is just unheard of in most motor sports.
When the season started there were really only three main contenders to be concerned with Josh Hayes, Josh Herrin both from the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha Team, and Martin Cardenas of the Yoshimura Suzuki Team. The series began in Daytona, where every doubt of the dominance of Josh Hayes was disproven as he was the fastest man out there. Now here comes those series of unfortunate events. As the race neared its start Mr. Hayes was poised to start off the series with back to back wins. Well that all came crashing to a halt as his bike had a set of mechanical failures causing him to score zero points in the first two races of the season. This had now opened the door for Herrin and Cardenas.
After that disappointing first weekend Josh Herrin was leading the point race with question of Josh Hayes being able to contend at all. This is now where the true number one rider emerged and answered all doubts. Josh Hayes is now competing to try and win the first ever four peat in AMA superbike history. This was very clear as he began to dominate the rest of the season. Hayes went on to win eight races and earn eight poles, where Herrin had only won four races, only one of which he actually won straight up. The others were all won after penalties were assessed or mechanical failures of his teammate occurred.
So simply put Herrin is still playing second fiddle to the great Hayes. Had two unforeseen engine failure never happened Hayes would have easily walked away with the championship and never looked back. Now we have a new first time champion who allegedly won’t even stick around to defend his title in the next season to prove he truly is number one. Although many critics say that’s all part of racing in many fans eyes Hayes was clearly the number one rider. This now leaves us poised for a dominate and exciting season next year, with up an comers now excited with the thought that even the greats can be beaten.