Photography by Andrea Wilson
It took him a little longer than usual, but in the end the results were the same – Josh Hayes topped the AMA Pro Superbike timing charts. Hayes waited until under five minutes to go before clocking his best time aboard his factory Monster Energy Yamaha R1. Hayes topped National Guard/Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden, fellow Yamaha rider Josh Herrin and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas.
Hayden led early in the session under a blazing Utah sun with a 1:51.673, before Herrin went to the front with a 1:51.601. Cardenas jumped up to second with about 16 minutes to go, but in the final five minutes Hayes came through with his normal top qualifying performance, clocking his 1:51.021 to go P1.
The AMA Superbike track record at Miller is still held by Ben Spies, with a 1:49.167 set in 2006.
By his own admission things didn’t come easy for Hayes Friday.
“(It was) hard work today,” he said. “Things are a bit of a struggle. I say that (because) the tires are not what I remember from last year. Being on the new tire’s making it a little but tough and it’s kept it really close. I’m trying very, very hard. I’m riding very hard. I’m hoping, as usual, that a good night’s sleep tonight will help me come back tomorrow and put the pieces together, the puzzle a little bit better.”
Hayes said he went back and forth between the two tire compounds trying to figure what is best running in hot conditions, contrasting sharply from the winter-like weather of last year’s race.
On Saturday Hayes will attempt to keep his perfect qualifying record of 2013 alive and then turn his attention to tomorrow’s race.
Cameron Beaubier obliterated Miller’s Daytona SportBike track record, turning a 1:53.637 on his Yamaha Extended Service/Graves Yamaha R6. That shattered the Miller DSB track record of 1:55.291 set by Jason DiSalvo in 2011. Beaubier was the only DSB rider in the 53-second range, this after he admitted to not being totally comfortable with track conditions earlier Friday.
“This morning I struggled a little bit getting up to speed,” Beaubier said. “I was kind of struggling trusting the tires and stuff just cause the track was pretty slick and a little dirty and stuff. My third stint felt pretty good. I got a lot more comfortable and was trusting the bike more.
On why he broke the class record by so much, “I think the reason why the times are so fast is we came here in the middle of the summer. Before we came here in the winter (May) and it was really cold and we had to deal with tires shredding and stuff. The Dunlop tires have been awesome this weekend. We’ve got a good set up. We’re still working on a couple of things in some of the fast corners trying to get the bike more planted.”
Beaubier’s bike also set the fastest trap speed at 162.922 mph compared to second fastest James Rispoli, who’s Suzuki went 160.380 mph.
Beaubier’s Yamaha teammate Garrett Gerloff had a minor fall in the session, but was OK. He was able to turn the second fastest time with a 1:54.724. Jake Lewis rounded out the fast DSB rider in preliminary qualifying with a 1:54.844 on his Meen Motorsports Racing Yamaha.
Tomas Puerta took provisional pole in SuperSport with a time of 1:57.189, a new class record as well, on the RoadRace Factory Yamaha. He edged former AMA Superbike rider Jeffrey Tigert in the session. Tigert went 1:57.252 on his Baby Appleseed Yamaha.
Two-time SuperSport winner and rookie sensation Joe Roberts only managed fourth in Friday’s session with a 1:58.241, just behind Wyatt Farris’ 1:57.405.
Puerta said his focus was on winning the SuperSport West (and overall) championship, rather than beating Roberts for the first time.
“What he (Roberts) did at Barber was pretty surprising for all of us,” Puerta said. “I think Laguna was a good race. I made a big mistake on the last turn. I thought I got him, but that’s racing. I’m actually trying to race my own race and not think about who else is riding or who’s going to be there. I have to think about the championship a little more this weekend.”
AMA Pro Superbike provisional qualifying from Miller Motorsports Park – Friday, August 02, 2013
1 1 Josh Hayes Gulfport, MS Yamaha R1 1:51.021
2 54 Roger Hayden Owensboro, KY Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:51.391
3 2 Josh Herrin Dublin, GA Yamaha R1 1:51.395
4 36 Martin Cardenas Medellin, Colombia Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:51.628
5 23 Danny Eslick Broken Arrow, OK Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:52.204
6 72 Larry Pegram Hebron, OH Yamaha R1 1:52.577
7 99 Geoff May Gainesville, GA EBR 1190RS 1:52.658
8 25 David Anthony Murrieta, CA Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:52.807
9 11 Chris Fillmore Oxford, MI KTM RC8R 1:53.644
10 44 Taylor Knapp Lapeer, MI KTM RC8R 1:53.806
AMA Pro Daytona SportBike provisional qualifying from Miller Motorsports Park – Friday, August 02, 2013
1 6 Cameron Beaubier Roseville, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 1:53.637
2 8 Garrett Gerloff Spring, TX Yamaha YZF-R6 1:54.724
3 85 Jake Lewis Princeton, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 1:54.844
4 40 Jason DiSalvo Batavia, NY Triumph Daytona 675 1:55.135
5 95 JD Beach Philpot, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 1:55.474
6 32 Jake Gagne San Diego, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 1:55.721
7 5 Dane Westby Tulsa, OK Honda CBR600RR 1:56.107
8 43 James Rispoli Londonderry, NH Suzuki GSX-R600 1:56.421
9 50 Bobby Fong Stockton, CA Triumph Daytona 675 1:57.492
10 3 Benny Solis North Hollywood, CA Honda CBR600RR 1:57.596
AMA Pro SuperSport provisional qualifying from Miller Motorsports Park – Friday, August 02, 2013
1 12 Tomas Puerta Medellin, Colombia Yamaha YZF-R6 1:57.189
2 91 Jeffrey Tigert San Leandro, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 1:57.252
3 9 Wyatt Farris Calistoga, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 1:57.405
4 2 Joe Roberts Glendale, CA Honda CBR600RR 1:57.586
5 37 Stefano Mesa Boca Raton, FL Yamaha YZF-R6 1:57.977
6 73 Sebastiao Ferreira Parauna, Brazil Yamaha YZF-R6 1:58.395
7 75 Brandon Cleland Fort Worth, TX Triumph Daytona 675 1:58.417
8 5 Corey Alexander Carmel, NY Suzuki GSX-R600 1:58.485
9 69 Hayden Gillim Philpot, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 1:58.539
10 13 Charles Weaver Roseville, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 1:58.623