PICKERINGTON, OhioFor only the second time in AMA road racing history will a pair of brothers win championships. Eric and Ben Bostrom were the first pair to accomplish the feat and now it’s the Haydens, either Tommy or Roger Lee, who will follow in the footsteps of their brother Nicky as an AMA champion. The 2004 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei comes down to Tommy and Roger Lee when the series concludes this weekend at the Suzuki Lightning Nationals on Oct. 9-10 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va.
The brothers and Kawasaki teammates have turned this year’s AMA Supersport Series into a family affair. Eldest brother Tommy held a big advantage mid-season after earning four wins on his factory Kawasaki ZX-6RR. Roger Lee has made a battle out of the title chase by winning three straight races coming into VIR. These types of winning streaks are rare in the ultra-competitive Supersport series. The proof is that if Roger wins at VIR, his four-race Supersport winning streak would be the longest in eight years.
Tommy leads Roger Lee by 11 points (327-316) coming into the season finale. The brothers have outdistanced third-place ranked riders Ben Spies and Aaron Gobert who are tied at 255 points.
Tommy knows he needs to play it smart at VIR. A third place or better finish there would give him his first AMA road racing championship. “It’s been sort of tough having the points lead at the end of the season,” said Tommy, who won the VIR Supersport race in 2002. “The other riders can be more aggressive since they don’t have as much to lose. Rog has really stepped it up and has made it a little too close from my point of view. I can’t afford to back off now and in a way that at least helps decide my strategy going into VIR.”
For his part Roger Lee realizes he’s not necessarily in control of his own destiny, but he’s happy to have gotten to the position he’s in. “I’m just going to keep plugging away,” Roger explained. “Tom’s riding really well so it’s going to be tough, but I’m not going out without a fight.”
Roger Lee also said he has to put out of his mind the spate of crashes he suffered at recent VIR testing.
Irregardless of which brother comes out on top the real winner is Kawasaki. Team Green is assured its third AMA Supersport championship and an impressive one-two finish. Eric Bostrom won the AMA Supersport title on a Kawasaki in 2001 as did Miguel Duhamel in 1993.
The VIR Supersport finale will receive taped coverage on SPEED Channel at 12 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, Oct. 26. For additional information on the Suzuki Lightning Nationals call (434) 822-7700 or visit the website www.virclub.com.
For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information, regular columnists and much more, log onto www.USSuperbike.com, the official website of the AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship.
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