Hayes Tops Superbike Qualifying

Henny Ray Abrams | September 4, 2009

Yamaha’s Josh Hayes topped the first ever American Superbike qualifying session on the inaugural AMA Pro Road Race weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey.Coming off his double-header sweep at Virginia International Raceway, Hayes lapped the 2.25-mile, 14-turn Thunderbolt Raceway race course in 1:21.316 mins. to earn the final starting spot in this afternoon’s Superpole session.Though Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin clinched the Superbike title at VIR, second is up for grabs, and Hayes has the momentum to wrest it from Mladin’s teammate Tommy Hayden. Since getting taken out of the second race at Road America, Hayes has amassed more points than any other rider, winning four of the six races. With this weekend’s double-header to run, Hayden leads Hayes by four points.In his final AMA road race, Mladin qualified second at a gap of .190 secs. to Hayes. The seven-time AMA Superbike Champion is retiring after this weekend’s event.Corona Honda Extra’s Neil Hodgson rebounded from a scary, high-speed crash in morning practice that destroyed his race bike to qualify third fastest, .204 behind Mladin.Hayden was a very close fourth, followed by the Jordan Suzuki of Aaron Yates, Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom, and Latus Racing’s Taylor Knapp, now off the Suzuki and back on the Buell 1125RR Superbike.Topeka double winner Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Ducati) was seventh fastest and just a tenth of a second in front of Cory West, who was making his debut on the Buell Superbike.Australian Damian Cudlin qualified tenth fastest on the Celtic Racing Suzuki.


1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:21.316

2. Mat Mladin (Suzuki) 1:21.506

3. Neil Hodgson (Honda) 1:21.710

4. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:21.754

5. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 1:21.920

6. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:21.956

7. Taylor Knapp (Buell) 1:22.064

8. Larry Pegram (Ducati) 1:22.136

9. Cory West (Buell) 1:22.147

10. Damian Cudlin (Suzuki) 1:22.148

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.