DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MARCH 15 – If the very first session of the very first race of the year showed us anything at all it’s that the fast guys are still the fast guys. And the champion is still the fastest of the fast guys. The AMA Superbikes took to Daytona International Speedway this morning for the first official session of the season and at the end it was defending AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes at the top of the heap.
Hayes and his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha lapped at a best of 1:38.670 to lead National Guard Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden by .257 of a second on a bright and sunny Florida morning. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Young, the runner-up in last year’s series, was third, .300 of a second behind his rival Hayes. Hayes qualified on pole for last year’s two Superbike races at Daytona with a best of 1:38.228.
Fourth fastest was Superbike class rookie Josh Herrin on the second Graves Yamaha R1, the Georgian ending up 1.5 seconds behind his teammate Hayes. Ben Bostrom rode his Michael Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 to fifth fastest – ahead of hte Erik Buell Racing EBR of Geoff May. Aussie Dave Racing’s Davied Anthony, Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram, EBR’s Danny Eslick and motorcycle-superstore.com’s Steve Rapp rounded out the top 10.
Pegram, however, suffered a crash near the end of the session, but walked away uninjured.
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:38.670
2. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki) 1:38.927
3. Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:38.970
4. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:40.182
5. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki) 1:40.266
6. Geoff May (EBR) 1:40.714
7. David Anthony (Suzuki) 1:40.864
8. Larry Pegram (BMW) 1:40.996
9. Danny Eslick (EBR) 1:41.082
10. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki) 1:41.289