Pegram Gets Pole

Henny Ray Abrams | July 31, 2009

With half the field yet to run, it was clear a new pole-sitter would emerge from the American Superbike field.Both of this season’s previous pole-winners had been eliminated. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin was home in California, having withdrawn on Thursday, and Yamaha’s Josh Hayes, who took the lone pole Mladin didn’t get, didn’t set fast time on his Superpole lap of Heartland Park Topeka.The pole, the second of his career, went to Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram. Starting seventh, after qualifying fourth fastest, Pegram lapped the 2.5-mile, 14-turn road course in 1:36.368 mins., which was slower than he’d gone in qualifying earlier in the afternoon.”I actually feel really good because I usually really screw up in Superpole,” Pegram began, “and I felt like I left a little bit out there like I normally do, but it was good enough to hold on. Everybody wasn’t as good as their best laps that they’ve done today.”Three riders followed Pegram, but only Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates came close. The Georgian clocked a best of 1:36.513. The rest of the front row is filled out by fast qualifier Jake Holden (Corona Extra Honda) and Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom.Pegram’s previous pole came aboard a Fast by Ferracci Ducati at Road America in June of 1996.Bostrom’s teammate Josh Hayes leads off row two from Celtic Racing’s Michael Laverty and Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammates Blake Young and Tommy Hayden. This was the first time the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team wasn’t represented on the first row.Asked what he thought about racing with Mladin absent, Pegram said, “I’m happy about it. It makes it easier to win, because, well, I don’t know; he hasn’t been doing that good the last couple of weekends. So it just makes the paddock a much friendlier and nicer place without him around.”Mladin won two rounds ago in the support race for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and finished third and seventh at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago after saying he’d “lost interest” in racing in the series.


1. Larry Pegram (Ducati) 1:36.368

2. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 1:36.513

3. Jake Holden (Honda) 1:36.540

4. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:36.643

5. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:36.994

6. Michael Laverty (Suzuki) 1:37.126

7. Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:37.263

8. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:37.481

9. Neil Hodgson (Honda) 1:37.670

10. Geoff May (Suzuki) DNF

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.