Photography by Andrea Wilson
Josh Hayes scored the pole for this weekend’s AMA Pro Superbike doubleheader from Road America. The time he set in Friday’s session of 2:13.355 held after Saturday morning’s session saw a track still not completely dry. His best time this morning was 2:14.124, the fastest in the session. The pole for Hayes was significant since it marked his 24th-career pole. That tied him with Ben Spies for second on the all-time AMA Superbike poles win list.
The track was still very green after rains last night and Hayes said he narrowly escaped a major moment on the back straight because of the conditions.
“It was really hard to see back in the shadows on what was wet and what was dry,” Hayes explained. “That long left hander towards the end of the back straightaway I got a little wide out into the wet stuff. You’re top gear leaned over, probably more than you think. It was a pretty big moment. I just about closed my eyes. That was really about the only thing that went on. I held it a little tighter from then on.”
Martin Cardenas, Roger Hayden and Josh Herrin round out the front row starters. Most riders were not able to improve on their times from Friday with the notable exception of KTM’s Chris Fillmore and Suzuki rider David Anthony.
Jake Gagne was fastest Saturday in Daytona SportBike qualifying, but a track that was still damp in spots from overnight showers meant that the times from Friday’s session held and that put Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha rider Cameron Beaubier on the pole for the races this weekend at Road America. Beaubier’s time of 2:19.908 from yesterday made him the only DSB rider to dip into the 2:19s this weekend and earned him his second pole of the season. He will be joined on the front row by Gagne, Dane Westby and JD Beach.
Stefano Mesa also held on to best time on his Motorsports.com/RSRacecraft Yamaha to secure pole in SuperSport.
Beaubier said he’s felt fast all weekend.
“Yesterday, all day, I felt really good,” he said. “We got the bike dialed in… didn’t really do too much to it. I felt really comfortable right off the bat. This morning I got a couple of laps in right at the end. It was a little wet in some places. I couldn’t go any faster, but I’m feeling good for the race.”
Like Beaubier, Mesa in SuperSport said being setup from the start was a big advantage.
“It was great right off the bat,” Mesa said. “My bike was set up. We had a little bit of notes from the other team, but the bike just worked great. We threw up a couple of alright laps at the beginning. When Corey (Alexander) threw that 24 I said we have to pick it up. We threw a soft tire on and went and put in a couple of laps and we were able to do all the laps in the 24s so we’re happy about it.”
Veteran Michael Barnes, riding his Rossmeyers Harley-Davidson-backed XR1200, scored the pole in the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XR1200 class with a 2:38.578. Barnes was 1.2 seconds faster than Shane Narbonne.
AMA Pro Superbike combined qualifying
1 1 Josh Hayes Yamaha R1 2:13.355
2 36 Martin Cardenas Suzuki GSX-R1000 2:13.776
3 54 Roger Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 2:14.503
4 2 Josh Herrin Yamaha R1 2:14.633
5 72 Larry Pegram Yamaha R1 2:15.221
6 23 Danny Eslick Suzuki GSX-R1000 2:15.362
7 11 Chris Fillmore KTM RC8R 2:15.695
8 6 Chris Clark Suzuki GSX-R1000 2:15.736
9 99 Geoff May EBR 1190RS 2:16.083 2:16.083
10 25 David Anthony Suzuki GSX-R1000 2:16.124
Daytona SportBike combined qualifying
1 6 Cameron Beaubier Yamaha YZF-R6 2:19.908
2 32 Jake Gagne Yamaha YZF-R6 2:20.475
3 5 Dane Westby Honda CBR600RR 2:21.659
4 95 JD Beach Yamaha YZF-R6 2:21.660
5 85 Jake Lewis Yamaha YZF-R6 2:22.325
6 43 James Rispoli Suzuki GSX-R600 2:22.548
7 8 Garrett Gerloff Yamaha YZF-R6 2:22.718
8 52 Joey Pascarella Triumph Daytona 675 2:23.823
9 50 Bobby Fong Triumph Daytona 675 2:24.241
10 3 Benny Solis Honda CBR600RR 2:24.837
1 37 Stefano Mesa Yamaha YZF-R6 2:24.275
2 5 Corey Alexander Suzuki GSX-R600 2:24.501
3 109 Ricardo Valdez Yamaha YZF-R6 2:26.079
4 91 Jeffrey Tigert Yamaha YZF-R6 2:26.318
5 12 Tomas Puerta Yamaha YZF-R6 2:26.327
6 101 David Sadowski, Jr. Yamaha YZF-R6 2:26.391
7 69 Hayden Gillim Yamaha YZF-R6 2:26.611
8 63 Devon McDonough Yamaha YZF-R6 2:26.725
9 24 Travis Wyman Suzuki GSX-R600 2:26.777
10 33 Conner Blevins Kawasaki ZX-6R 2:26.808