MONTEREY, CA, JULY 27 – It was just another day at the racetrack for Josh Hayes. Show up, put your leathers and helmet on, set fast time, get ready to do it all over again tomorrow.
Like he has done at every race this year, Hayes was fast from the get-go on a sunny afternoon on the Monterey Peninsula, the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha star posting the quickest time in the first and only practice session on the race weekend where the AMA plays second fiddle to MotoGP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Hayes did his best lap of 1:24.991 with 12 minutes to go in the session, bettering a time that already had him at the top of the time sheets. That lap was good enough to keep him at the top, though National Guard Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden challenged him late in the session.
Hayden didn’t quite get into the 1:24s, but his 1:25.262 put him second – .271 of a second behind Hayes. Team Amsoil/Hero’s Geoff May, meanwhile, put his EBR third with a 1:25.540 – half a second quicker than Jordan Motorsports’ Ben Bostrom, the veteran rounding out what would have been the provisional front row if this was a normal AMA weekend with a qualifying session on Friday.
Then came the fastest of the Yoshimura Suzukis, but it wasn’t who you would think. With Blake Young languishing in 10th at the end of the session with his 1:26.509 (1.5 seconds off Hayes’ pace), it was Chris Clark putting his Yosh Suzuki in fifth.
Then came the BuyRedLine.com Honda CBR1000RR of Jake Holden, the privateer besting the factory Yamaha of Josh Herrin. Herrin would end up seventh after his first day on a Superbike at Laguna.
Team Hero EBR’s Danny Eslick, Rider’s Discount Suzuki-mounted Taylor Knapp and Young rounded out the top 10.
Hayes qualified on pole for last year’s Superbike race at Laguna with a 1:24.480. The race, however, was won by Tommy Hayden, on a Yoshimura Suzuki.
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:24.991
2. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki) 1:25.262
3. Geoff May (EBR) 1:25.540
4. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki) 1:25.977
5. Chris Clark (Suzuki) 1:26.020
6. Jake Holden (Honda) 1:26.023
7. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:26.070
8. Danny Eslick (EBR) 1:26.354
9. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki) 1:26.360
10. Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:26.509