Yates Takes Superbike Pole At Daytona

Paul Carruthers | March 4, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MAR. 4 – Foremost Ducati’s Larry Pegram led each and every Superbike session at Daytona International Speedway, but he didn’t lead the one that counted most. Aaron Yates did. The Georgian posted a 1:38.324 in the final qualifying session to earn pole postion on his Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000 for today’s first of two AMA Superbike races at Daytona.Yates displaced Pegram from the top of the time sheets with roughly 17 minutes to go in the 45-minute session, but he was relegated to second by Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden with about 13 minutes to go. But with five minutes to go it was Yates shooting to the top with the 1:38.324 – faster than Mat Mladin’s qualifying effort from last year.Pegram took a final shot at Yates’ best, but came up just short – his 1:38.372 putting him second on the front row for the two races. Hayden, meanwhile, held on for third with his 1:38.715, barely ahead of his teammate Blake Young.”We’re real happy to get the Jordan Suzuki up on pole postion for sure – it’s the first time ever for the team in the Superbike class,” Yates said. “For sure conditions weren’t ideal to get out there and go real fast, but we were working on setup the whole session, all the sessions, and just making real small adjustments and trying to get the bike as good as it can be for the race. We had our tire strategy worked out pretty good and it just worked out for us.”The second row will be headed by Graves Motorsports Yamaha’s Josh Hayes, the R1-mounted Hayes unable to crack the 1:39 barrier. Still he was ahead of National Guard Suzuki’s Jake Zemke and Pat Clark Motorsports’ Ben Bostrom – the last two riders in the 1:39s.M4 Monster Suzuki’s Chris Ulrich ended up eighth with Canadian youngster Brett McCormick ninth and Australian David Anthony 10th.Former MotoGP star John Hopkins ended his first AMA Superbike qualifying 11th on the M4 Monster Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Final Qualifying

1.                  Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 1:38.324

2.                  Larry Pegram (Ducati) 1:38.372

3.                  Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:38.715

4.                  Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:38.783

5.                  Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:39.334

6.                  Jake Zemke (Suzuki) 1:39.533

7.                  Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:39.598

8.                  Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 1:40.140

9.                  Brett McCormick (Suzuki) 1:40.259

10.                  David Anthony (Suzuki) 1:40.560

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.