Hayden Gets First Pole

Henny Ray Abrams | September 22, 2012
Roger Hayden scored pole position at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a little help from the weather.  Photography By: Andrea Wilson

Photography By: Andrea Wilson

HOMESTEAD, FL, SEPT 22 – National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden earned his first Superbike pole position, and denied Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) sole possession of the consecutive Superbike poles record, on the strength of Friday’s dry lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway after a wet track denied Hayes a chance to improve his time in Saturday’s final qualifying.

Hayden will start Saturday afternoon’s race from the pole position ahead of Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom, Hayes, and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Young.

“It was kinda, I mean it doesn’t really feel that great because, you know, it was a 20 minute session, then today it was wet, so I don’t really feel like I earned it, but I’m glad to be starting on the front row nonetheless,” Hayden said. “And I was really hoping for a dry track this morning because we made some changes yesterday afternoon to get some rear grip and worked a lot and we were going to another step in that direction and we didn’t get to try it, and I’m pretty confident that would’ve worked.”

On Friday, Hayden lapped the 2.21-mile, 14-turn circuit in 1:22.746 mins. The fastest wet weather time was a 1:33.221 turned in by Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing).

By being denied the pole, Hayes couldn’t add to his 98 point lead, 478 to 389, on Young.

Hayes said he would ride in the rain, but wouldn’t take unnecessary risks if the track was wet for the race.

“If it rains I think that I’ll be out there on the racetrack riding what I feel is within my limits, comfortable, where I will not make a mistake,” Hayes said. “I don’t want to leave the fans hanging who come out to see a race and the number one bike’s not going around the racetrack. But I can’t foresee me racing to the best of my abilities to try to win a race; I don’t feel that the track is conducive to that, in my opinion. So I’ll go out there and ride what I feel is comfortable and safe and make sure that I can bring the bike back to the pits.”

AMA Superbike Qualifying Results:
1. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 1:22.746
2. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki) 1:22.857
3. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:23.061
4. Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:23.581
5. Danny Eslick (EBR) 1:23.623
6. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 1:23.823
7. Geoff May (EBR) 1:24.065
8. Robertino Pietri (Suzuki) 1:24.172
9. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:24.191
10. Larry Pegram (BMW) 1:24.563

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.