Photography By: Andrea Wilson
Michael Jordan Motorsports’ Ben Bostrom and his National Guard-backed teammate Roger Lee Hayden left the two-day AMA Pro Racing Superbike test at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida at the top of the timesheets, with both their best coming in the final session today.
Bostrom posted successively faster lap times over the course of the two-day test before ripping off a final session flyer with a time of 1:21.445 around the Speedway’s 2.21-mile motorcycle road course. The former AMA Superbike Champion is one of the few riders in the series to have raced at Homestead, the Californian having won the AMA SuperTwins race there 16 years ago in AMA Pro’s inaugural race at the venue.
“I’ve been here before, I like it,” said Bostrom in an AMA press release. “In 1996 I won the Harley race here, so the track was semi-good to me then too. My first lap around here this year, I said ‘I don’t even remember this track.’ It’s crazy, I didn’t remember it. But the bike is fantastic, nice comeback after Daytona; we had a really tough time there. Actually it sucked, let’s admit it. I know for the rest of the tracks, especially these twisty tracks, we have an awesome handling machine. My engineer Darren has found something again, so it’s been one of the most successful tests we’ve ever had actually, as far as speed goes.”
Teammate Hayden turned in the second overall fastest lap of 1:21.526 in the same session.
“I came here right as the 200 was ending; probably before it was even done I was on my way here,” said Hayden. “Me and my girlfriend came here for a few days and hung out by the beach. It’s been a long couple of months getting ready for the season so it’s kind of nice to take a few days off. I’m a huge sports fan and I’ve always wanted to see LeBron James play. I went to the Miami Heat game on Sunday night when they played the Orlando Magic, so I got to see Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade and LeBron play. It was one of those things I get to check off the list.”
Defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes turned the test’s third fastest lap time of 1:21.647followed by yesterday’s fast man, Blake Young. Young’s Yoshimura Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 was often the fastest rider in each National Guard SuperBike session, the Wisconsin posting a time of 1:21.844 – good for fourth overall.
Larry Pegram rounded out the top five with a lap time of 1:22.266 on the Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing BMW S1000RR. With one of the paddock’s busiest racing schedules, Pegram left the Miami area bound for Florida’s West coast to participate in this weekend’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with the Star Mazda Championship.
“We had a lot of stuff to run through when we were here,” said Pegram. “Right here at the end of the day we threw some tires at it to see what we could do and we did a 1:22.2. I’m not ecstatic with that but that’s a lot better, we made some good improvements here this weekend. We found some things out, we’re still learning. We’re getting the bike better all the time. I feel a lot better leaving here than I did leaving Daytona, as far as our competitiveness.”
Cameron Beaubier finished third in the Daytona 200 last weekend and left the two-day test as the fastest of the Daytona SportBikes with his 1:24.431 on theY.E.S./Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 – nearly a half-second ahead of his closest competitor.
“It was really good; the track got a little more grip today,” said Beaubier. “We tried some things with suspension, getting a little more brake feel. The bike worked really well today, I really like the track and I’m excited to race here.”
The only other GoPro Daytona SportBike rider to crack the 1:24 mark was GEICO Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, who found speed in the second day of the test and posted a fast lap of 1:24.807. Tommy Hayden, freshly added to the Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha team at Daytona, posted the third fastest lap for the class with a time of 1:25.266.
“I enjoyed myself here at the track,” said Hayden. “It seemed like everything went pretty smooth, cool to have a new race and a new track to come and ride. I felt more comfortable with the bike and the team as well, chipped away at things little by little. I made my times a little faster and I’m feeling good. I’m going to be doing the next two races, for sure. It’s a big change for me, you know, with a new team, running a 600, but I’m really looking forward to it so I want to come to the next race and put in a little better fight than we did in Daytona. No major changes, the bike has proven itself for years. A couple of small things to get myself more comfortable personally to it, for my riding style, but for the most part I’m just adapting myself back to the 600 riding style and trying to break some superbike bad habits. I feel pretty confident at Road Atlanta. We are going to be able to compete there with some good results.”