Photography by Andrea Wilson
Josh Hayes kept his perfect qualifying record for 2013 intact, winning the pole for this weekend’s AMA Superbike races at Barber Motorsports Park. Riding his factory Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha R1, Hayes turned in a time of 1:25.383, well off the 2008 track record of 1:23.664 set by Mat Mladin. Nevertheless Hayes was over a half-second faster than Roger Lee Hayden (1:25.910) who qualified second on the National Guard/Jordan Suzuki GSXR1000.
Series leader Martin Cardenas (1:25.984) qualified third on the strength of the time he turned in yesterday. He was the only rider on the front row not improving his time in today’s session. Rounding out the front row is Hayes’ teammate Josh Herrin (1:26.273).
“It was a good session,” said Hayes, who comes into this weekend’s event ranked fourth in the series standings. “It started off well. I felt better when I got out rolling around the racetrack. We started on a tire from yesterday because we wanted to get race distance on it. It was good to do a decent string of 25.7s, and 25.9s with race distance on the tire. We came in and got a fresh (set) and was able to get in a really fast lap and stay in the mid-25s.
“We made a shock change last night. At first I wasn’t too sure about it, but the lap times seem to say it’s good. I think we’re going to race what we have now and then possibly see if we can make some improvements in the morning warm-up for tomorrow’s race.”
A total of 22 riders made the cut for the Superbike grid.
Cameron Beaubier broke his own Daytona SportBike track record at Barber, turning a 1:27.219 on his Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha R6. That broke the class track record of 1:27.685 set by Beaubier last year. Beaubier was just under a half-second faster than Jason DiSalvo ((1:27.704) on the Latus Motors Racing Triumph. Road America DSB race two winner Jake Gagne (1:27.735) qualified third. Garrett Gerloff (1:28.059) rounds out the front-row qualifiers.
“We made some changes overnight and got a little more grip in the rear tire,” said Beaubier, who swept last year’s DSB races at Barber. “I felt really good today and put in some good consistent laps. I feel good for the race.”
Elena Myers crashed yesterday during the first round of DSB qualifying and withdrew from this weekend’s event.
Maybe the biggest news Saturday was the remarkable AMA road racing debut of 16-year-old racing phenom Joe Roberts. Roberts scored the Supersport pole racing on the California Superbike School/ Roadracingworld.com Racing Honda CBR600RR. Roberts, a Red Bull Rookies Cup competitor from Glendale, Calif., was impressive in qualifying for his pro debut. He turned a 1:29.443, nearly a second faster than Miles Thornton, who qualified second with a time of 1:30.348 on the CTR Racing Yamaha.
“It’s been going great, I’ve been P1 in every session,” said Roberts, who raced Barber for the first time a few weeks ago in a WERA event. “I’m with a great team and the bike handles so nicely. I didn’t really know (how I would stack up) this weekend. I’ve never really raced anyone in this class before, so I didn’t know how the competition would be. But to come out and be P1… it’s just been really good.”
Roberts (who is no relation to Kenny Roberts) is racing the Red Bull Rookies Cup at MotoGP events this season. This is his third year in that series. He won a round at Brno in 2011 and finished ranked eighth in the series last year. So far this season his best result was seventh at Jerez.
Roberts is slated to race two more AMA road race rounds this year – Laguna Seca and Miller Motorsports Park.
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike qualifying
1 1 Josh Hayes Yamaha R1 1:25.383 1:25.889
2 54 Roger Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:25.910
3 36 Martin Cardenas Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:25.984
4 2 Josh Herrin Yamaha R1 1:26.273
5 23 Danny Eslick Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:26.325
6 72 Larry Pegram Yamaha R1 1:26.831
7 11 Chris Fillmore KTM RC8R 1:26.848
8 25 David Anthony Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:26.969
9 99 Geoff May EBR 1190RS 1:27.155
10 44 Taylor Knapp KTM RC8R 1:27.293
Daytona SportBike Qualifying
1 6 Cameron Beaubier Yamaha YZF-R6 1:27.219
2 40 Jason DiSalvo Triumph Daytona 675 1:27.704
3 32 Jake Gagne Yamaha YZF-R6 1:27.735
4 8 Garrett Gerloff Yamaha YZF-R6 1:28.059
5 43 James Rispoli Suzuki GSX-R600 1:28.335
6 52 Joey Pascarella Triumph Daytona 675 1:28.488
7 95 JD Beach Yamaha YZF-R6 1:28.638
8 5 Dane Westby Honda CBR600RR 1:28.
9 85 Jake Lewis Yamaha YZF-R6 1:28.901
10 3 Benny Solis Honda CBR600RR 1:29.346
1 2 Joe Roberts Honda CBR600RR 1:29.443
2 72 Miles Thornton Yamaha YZF-R6 1:30.348
3 118 Nick McFadden Suzuki GSX-R600 1:30.384
4 69 Hayden Gillim Yamaha YZF-R6 1:30.571 1:30.700
5 12 Tomas Puerta Yamaha YZF-R6 1:30.686 1:30.775
6 5 Corey Alexander Suzuki GSX-R600 1:30.720
7 122 Ryan Matter Yamaha YZF-R6 1:30.981
8 9 Wyatt Farris Yamaha YZF-R6 1:31.066
9 37 Stefano Mesa Yamaha YZF-R6 1:31.120
10 180 Curtis Murray Suzuki GSX-R600 1:31.346