Busy weekend for Hayden south of the border results in podium finish

Hayden gated for Round 5 of the ISOC Amsoil® Snocross Championship Series as well as a Rock Maple Racing (RMR) Regional round, which meant he had two full days of racing on his agenda. A qualifying slot for the final in the tough-as-nails national and a third place finish in the regional final were his and the team’s reward for the hard work they put into the event.

“This was a bonus weekend for us. With Iain being able to race both the ISOC National and RMR Regional, he was on the track six times giving the team and our sponsors plenty of exposure in the televised event,” said team owner/manager Andre Laurin. “The Yamaha was the only sled out there and there were twenty-three of the other brands. It would have been nice if Iain had cracked the top ten in the ISOC race, but his podium finish in the RMR showdown made it a very good all-round weekend.”

Hayden, whose primary target is winning the CSRA Pro Open Championship this year, only races in the United States when there are no conflicts with his Canadian schedule. The Finger Lakes race was only his second ISOC National event of the season.

Although he faced a bit of a struggle in the ISOC final, recording 12th at the checkered, he more than made up for it with a third place finish in the RMR final, which was heavily populated with other riders from the ISOC Series.

In fact, his best performance of the weekend proved to be in the RMR event. He chalked up 3-2 finishes in the qualifying heats giving him first gate pick for the final, which he concluded with an impressive podium finish. Because the RMR and ISOC final were staged pretty well back-to-back, Hayden rode a reserved 20 lap race to conserve both himself and his Nytro®.

“The guys up front weren’t riding the ISOC final and they really poured it on. Once I knew I was on the podium, I backed off a bit to save my snowmobile, because I really wanted to see that other final as well. If anything developed with the machine in the RMR final we wouldn’t have had time to fix it before the ISOC final. It was basically going from one race to the next with just enough of a gap for me to regroup a bit,” noted Hayden.

The qualifying heats for the ISOC National ran far less smoothly for Hayden than the RMR Regional. In his heat races, he suffered through two mishaps one of which was being hit by another rider. When all was said and done he registered 7-6 finishes, which meant he had to go to the LCQ for a last shot at the feature race of the weekend.

Having every intention of going head-to-head with the best snocrossers in the world in the national final, Hayden did what he had to do to ensure a starting position in the 15-rider field.

He charged out of the gate in the LCQ to vie for the holeshot and whipped through the first turn in second place. Not taking any chances that might jeopardize a qualifying spot, however, Hayden rode a conservative race handily putting his potent Yamaha FX Nytro® into a third place finish. He qualified 13th overall for the main – this, of course, meant a back row start!

On the tight, high speed track, which saw lap times hovering around 29 seconds, a back row start doesn’t hold out much hope for a podium finish and Hayden was hard pressed to get ahead once the race was underway. When the checkered flag was waved, he had managed to pass one other rider, greeting the finish line in 12th place. 

“It wasn’t a stellar weekend for me but still it was satisfying just to make the ISOC final. Considering I didn’t make the final at the first ISOC event I raced this season, it was a good feeling to clear the task this time. The RMR race was a lot of fun and I expected no less of myself than to finish top three in the final,” said Hayden. “I’d like to thank the team for their usual topnotch work and support and also send a special thanks to Evolve Nutrition.”

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