MONTEREY, CA, SEPT. 28 - The good news for Josh Hayes is that his eighth pole position of the season earned him another championship point. The bad news is that he’s still 21 points behind his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate Josh Herrin going into tomorrow’s AMA Superbike Championship finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
All Hayes can do is continue to fight and he did that on a sunny Saturday afternoon on the Monterey Peninsula, the defending three-time AMA Superbike Champion earning his eighth pole position of the season by virtue of his 1:24.328. That lap was .344 of a second faster than Herrin, the champion-elect ending up second - .232 of a second better than Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, the Colombian earning the final spot on the front row (the AMA will use three-rider rows here like the World Superbike Championship it shares the weekend with).
“It was a good session,” Hayes said. “The track was a lot like yesterday and I felt like it was a really good lap time considering I really struggled finding a few apexes. I struggled a little bit on the front today, getting stopped in a couple of areas. The tire had good grip and I did all my work on the exits and was able to get some good drives. Fortunately, I had a lot of clean laps on the racetrack. I didn’t have a much traffic to deal with and was able to do some good laps. I’m pretty happy with how it went and I’m excited to go racing.”
Row two tomorrow will be led by Chris Fillmore, the KTM rider continuing to impress as he slotted into fourth with a best of 1:25.279. Fillmore will be joined on row two by Team Hero EBR’s Geoff May and Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram.
Fillmore’s KTM teammate Taylor Knapp ended the session seventh with Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark eight and EBR’s Aaron Yates ninth. Aussie Dave Anthony rounded out the top 10.
Final AMA Superbike Qualifying
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
September 28, 2013
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:24.328
2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:24.672
3. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:24.904
4. Chris Fillmore (KTM) 1:25.279
5. Geoff May (EBR) 1:25.400
6. Larry Pegram (Yamaha) 1:25.482
7. Taylor Knapp (KTM) 1:25.643
8. Chris Clark (Suzuki) 1:25.806
9. Aaron Yates (EBR) 1:26.020
10. David Anthony (Suzuki) 1:26.165