Hayes Tops at VIR

Henny Ray Abrams | August 14, 2009

Yamaha’s Josh Hayes set fast time in American Superbike qualifying at Virginia International Raceway, which eanred him the final starting spot in the Superpole session later this afternoon.Hayes spent the 40-minute session swapping the top spot with Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin. Hayes held it early before Mladin dropped his lap time by half a second to jump to the front. Then Hayes struck back, the Mississippian lapping nearly half a second quicker to finish with the best time of 1:24.788.Mladin, whose best lap was his eighth, was second at a gap of .227 secs. Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates was half a second back in third and just in front of teammate Geoff May.Heartland Park Topeka double winner Larry Pegram finished fifth fastest, the first of three riders covered by .020 secs. Next was Corona Extra Honda’s Neil Hodgson, .011 secs. behind Pegram, with Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden seventh.Higgins Powersports Jeff Wood (Suz) qualified eighth , with Jake Holden and Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) all on the same second.Superbike Qualifying:

1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:24.788

2. Mat Mladin (Suzuki) 1:25.015

3. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 1:25.504

4. Geoff May (Suzuki) 1:25.744

5. Larry Pegram (Ducati) 1:25.796

6. Neil Hodgson (Honda) 1:25.807

7. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:25.816

8. Jeff Wood (Suzuki) 1:26.102

9. Jake Holden (Honda) 1:26.139

10. Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:26.198

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.