A large, enthusiastic crowd turned out to watch the top teams and riders in the AMA Superbike Championship testing Monday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in preparation for next month’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix (July 18-20).
More than 1,000 fans ventured to the Monterey Peninsula to enjoy the day’s activities that included a fan parade lap, Supermoto USA demonstration and a Q&A session with motorcycle racing legend Wayne Rainey, in addition to the full day of testing.
Ten riders were on track, with six testing 1000cc Superbikes and four others aboard 600cc Supersport-class bikes. Both series are competing at next month’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, featuring round 11 of the MotoGP World Championship.
All times are unofficial, but among the Superbike riders, Suzuki’s Mat Mladin set a time of 1 minute, 24.2 seconds, around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn permanent road course. Honda riders Neil Hodgson and Miguel DuHamel set fast laps of 1:24.8 and 1:25.9, respectively. Kawasaki rider Jamie Hacking’s best lap was a 1:24.6. Yamaha’s Jason DiSalvo turned a 1:24.9, while teammate Eric Bostrom turned a 1:25.3.
The Superbike lap record belongs to Suzuki’s Ben Spies, who set a time of 1:23.1 at last season’s season finale.
In Supersport, Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom set the fast lap with a 1:26.4 and his teammate Josh Herrin’s best lap was a 1:28 flat. Kawasaki rider Chaz Davies’ best time was a 1:27.3, while his teammate Steve Rapp did similar times, though he concentrated on testing new ECUs (electronic control unit).
Ben Bostrom’s time today is under the official track record of 1:26.706, set by Honda’s Josh Hayes last September, but is not an official track record as it occurred during a test session.
The AMA Superbike Championship will be back in Monterey in less than one month for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. The 17-lap Supersport race is scheduled for Saturday, July 19, at 4:35 p.m. The AMA Superbike Championship will follow the MotoGP race and closes the weekend’s racing action on Sunday, July 20, at 3:45 p.m. with a 28-lap race.
Tickets for next month’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix are available by calling 1-800-327-SECA during normal business hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. PDT) or logging onto www.laguna-seca.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Event information is also available at www.redbullusgrandprix.com.