Hayes Fastest on Day One at Road America

Henny Ray Abrams | June 1, 2012

ELKHART LAKE, WI, JUNE 1 – Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes is on pace to continue his perfect pole position record after taking the overnight pole on a cold, windy day on the high speed 4.05-mile road course at Road America.

Hayes clocked the fastest lap in the morning with a time that was best in class by 2.335 secs. It was unlikely that he’d be able to maintain that gap in qualifying, but he was certainly going to try.

As soon as Hayes completed his first flying lap, with about 40 minutes to go in the 50-minute session, he went to the top. Then he bettered it, but he wasn’t able to improve on his morning time for a few reasons. One was a red flag. Robertino Pietri crashed about halfway into the session and, with the clock running, Hayes was denied valuable track time. And the cold, windy conditions didn’t help. Hayes was still able to to take the provisional pole by 1.234 secs. But instead of being in front of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Young, it was his teammate Josh Herrin in second.

Herrin had been down in tenth place until his final lap when he jumped up to second with a lap of 2:13.087 mins. That put him .091 sec. in front of Young, who finished third in session.

National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden went from eighth to fourth with his final lap, dropping Team Amsoil/Hero’s Geoff May (EBR) to fifth.

Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom was sixth, .133 sec. in front of Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram (BMW).

MotorcycleSuperstore.com/Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp (Kaw) was eighth fastest ahead of the second EBR of Danny Eslick. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark jumped into the top ten with his last lap.

AMA Superbike Qualifying:

1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 2:11.853

2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 2:13.087

3. Blake Young (Suzuki) 2:13.178

4. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki) 2:13.698

5. Geoff May (EBR) 2:13.844

6. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki) 2:13.937

7. Larry Pegram (BMW) 2:14.070

8. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki) 2:14.474

9. Danny Eslick (EBR) 2:14.653

10. Chris Clark (Suzuki) 2:14.667

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.