Photography by Brian J. Nelson
When AMA Pro Road Racing gets back to action at Road America on May 30, the Superbike class will have a new qualifying format in place. Instead of the traditional A and B groups, there will be three sessions with all riders participating in the first two sessions. The top 12 will then advance to the third session, which will determine the first 12 positions on the grid. Qualifying 3 is a shorter 15-10 minute session, depending on whether it’s a three- or two-day event schedule.
AMA Pro Racing looks at the new format as a way to provide more excitement for the fans, something that other series – MotoGP, World Superbike and British Superbike – have already experimented with as well.
Both Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden were positive about the new format in the AMA Pro Racing issued release.
"I think it's a really cool format, and I like that it's similar to the way final qualifying is done in World Superbike and MotoGP," three-time AMA Superbike Champion Hayes. "Plus, it gives us a little more time to work on bike setup during that first qualifying session. Getting the fastest 12 guys out there on the track and all going for the pole during a short session adds excitement for the fans, and it's going to be fun for us, too."
"I think the new qualifying format is really cool and something different," said Hayden. "It gives the fans something else to get excited about and I'm really looking forward to getting our first crack at it at Road America."