After sitting idle for nearly the entire day, the AMA Superbikes finally took to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this afternoon for their first and only practice session prior to tomorrow morning’s qualifying session for Sunday’s race. And as has been the case for the entire season, today’s session came down to Monster Energy Graves Motorsports Yamaha’s Josh Hayes vs. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young with Hayes ending up on top by .270 of a second. Another .435 of a second adrift was Young’s teammate Tommy Hayden.
“Pretty standard session really,” Hayes said. “Did race distance on a tire to see if it was an option and came in and got one tire during the session. We had a few new little thingies to try, electronics and stuff that we kinda went through. I stayed out on the track most of the time, but we went through those things and still have to go sit down and debrief and decide kinda which way we’re going to go with it from there. We kinda ran through some things to see how it was going. The track didn’t feel like it quite had the grip that I remember this place usually having. I thought it was pretty damn bad and we were only half a second off what we did first session last year. I think we were 25.1 to a 25.4. so hopefully conditions will improve. I don’t know. I tend to think that our Dunlops don’t like that Bridgestone rubber that’s on the racetrack. I think the Supersport guys struggled a little bit this morning. Hopefully, that was just because of the wet. I can justify just about everything. I’m not real sure.”
This round of the AMA Superbike Series will differ from the rest in that the race will be gridded in rows of three, ala MotoGP, instead of the normal four-rider rows, from tomorrow’s lone qualifying session.
Fourth fastest today was Team M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, the Colombian besting National Guard Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden and the Foremost Insurance BMW of Larry Pegram.
Somewhat surprisingly, the man who spent the majority of his day on track as a MotoGP wild card entrant on the LCR Honda, Ben Bostrom, could muster no better than ninth in the session. Bostrom, who won last year’s Superbike National at Laguna, was 1.7 seconds slower than Hayes.
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:25.362
2. Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:25.632
3. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:26.067
4. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:26.392
5. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki) 1:26.524
6. Larry Pegram (BMW) 1:26.575
7. Jake Holden (BMW) 1:26.706
8. Geoff May (Buell) 1:26.963
9. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki) 1:27.073
10. Chris Fillmore (KTM) 1:27.288