Photography by Larry Lawrence
DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MARCH 13 - It didn’t take long for the expected battle between Monster Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes and his rookie teammate Cameron Beaubier to get rolling as the two battled throughout the first Superbike qualifying session at Daytona International Speedway with the upstart drawing first blood to take provisional pole position.
Hayes started the session by almost instantly bettering his lap time from this morning’s colder session. With 30 minutes to go, it was Beaubier the first to crack into the 1:38s with his 1:38.526 to take the top spot. With 17 minutes to go, Hayes was back at the top with a 1:38.936 - .410 of a second behind his teammate. Hayes then lowered the mark to 1:38.322 with five and a half minutes to go to move to the top, only to see Beaubier on the attack again right at the end with a 1:38.079.
“We put a tire on there at the end and we were able to dip down in the low 38s,” Beaubier said. “That’s super good for the first day.”
At least on the outside, Hayes didn’t seem troubled by the first-day outcome.
“I knew he was going to be trouble a long time ago,” said Hayes, who qualified on pole for last year's race with a 1:37.096. “He rides really good. Congrats to him and I’ll race him for it tomorrow.”
Third fastest on the day was Roger Lee Hayden in his debut on the Yoshimura Suzuki. Hayden was the only other rider to crack into the 1:38s with his 1:38.827 at the end of the session.
Hayden’s teammate Martin Cardenas ended up fourth and the only rider in the 1:39s with David Anthony fifth at 1:40.148 on the ADR Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The third Yoshimura Suzuki rider was sixth with Chris Clark besting the factory KTM of Chris Fillmore.
Bernat Martinez ended up eighth, the Spaniard riding Anthony’s spare Suzuki in his Daytona debut. M4 Honda’s Chris Ulrich and Team AMSOIL Hero’s Cory West rounded out the top 10 on the first day of qualifying.
Superbike Qualifying 1
Results: March 13, 2014
Daytona International Speedway
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:38.079
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:38.322
3. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki) 1:38.827
4. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:39.472
5. David Anthony (Suzuki) 1:40.148
6. Chris Clark (Suzuki) 1:40.465
7. Chris Fillmore (KTM) 1:40.706
8. Bernat Martinez (Suzuki) 1:41.465
9. Chris Ulrich (Honda) 1:41.566
10. Cory West (EBR) 1:41.976