Season’s best at Barber, Hayden shows he is a title contender after Road America
Following his front running weekend at Barber Motorsports Park a couple of weekends ago, where he missed out on his first win by only 0.003s, Hayden Bicknese once again found himself in contention for victory in both races that took place in the latest round of the 2023 MotoAmerica Junior Cup championship at Road America.
Qualifying on the front row of the grid, Hayden was in the mix for the win throughout the opening seven lap race on Saturday, running a fast pace and adapting a smart strategy throughout. With slip stream playing a major part in races at the Elkhart Lake venue, the #69 Kawasaki rider played it defensive on the last lap which compromised his exit onto the final straight. He crossed the line as part of a five-rider photo finish, narrowly missing out on the win by 0.060s. He was classified fifth in what was the closest top five finish in MotoAmerica Junior Cup History.
Sunday’s race saw him faster in warm up by over a second thanks to some great overnight set up changes made by the team and as the lights went out on Sunday, Hayden was once again in the podium fight. Fourth at the flag, he was a mere second from the victory.
In the overall championship standings Bicknese now lies third, having scored points in every race. He has never finished lower than fifth and has stood on the podium three times in six races with a best finish of second!
The next round of the championship takes place at Brainerd at the end of July.
“After free practice and qualifying one on Friday we looked at where we needed to improve. I knew that I could go faster in sector two and on Saturday morning I was able to improve and take third on the grid. I was cautious in race one and only made moves when I had to. I thought I was in a perfect position at the end of the final lap and so I went defensive, but I lost out in a photo finish and was classified fifth which was still decent. I felt really good in warm up and was over a second faster after the changes we made overnight. Race two was similar to Saturday’s race and so I was determined to not make the same mistake on the final lap. I wanted to lead into turn five, but I never got the chance. I lost a bit of the draft on the run to the line but was still able to finish fourth. Overall, it was a good weekend even if I think I could have gone faster than I did on Sunday. I am looking forward to the next round at Brainerd.”