File photo by Brian J. Nelson
Josh Hayes opened the new two-day AMA Pro Racing road race program at Barber Motorsports Park with the fastest time in the opening qualifying session. Hayes clocked a 1:25.324 aboard his factory Yamaha R1 late in the session to end session P1. Hayes’ teammate Cameron Beaubier was second with a time of 1:25.465. The two Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha team riders were the only one to get into the 1:25 bracket.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden and Martin Cardenas were next up in the order with Hayden turning a 1:26.416 and Cardenas a 1:26.579. First of the non-factory riders was David Anthony who went 1:27.319 on his ADR SIC Motul Fly Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing SuperBike championship reaches its midpoint this weekend at the Triumph SuperBike Classic.
Beaubier and Hayden are tied atop the standings, but Beaubier is technically in the championship lead on the strength of his two early-season victories. Last season, en route to his dominating AMA GoPro Daytona SportBike title, the young Californian walked away with a pair of lopsided Barber wins.
Hayes rolls into Barber Motorsports Park as the man on the move, having picked up significant ground in the championship hunt following his 2-1 performance at Road America. What had been a significant early deficit behind the championship leader Beaubier has been reduced to just four points, and the third-ranked Mississippian is hoping to strike this weekend with the compressed two-day race weekend format playing into his favor.
RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Jake Gagne was fastest in Daytona Sportbike Q1. His 1:27.712 aboard his Yamaha R6 was a scant 5-1000ths better than Jason DiSalvo on the Castrol/Triumph/Sportbike Track Time Triumph 675.
TOBC Racing Suzuki riders Hayden Gillim and Curtis Murray were a mild surprise in first and second in Supersport qualifying. The dominant rider in the class, Corey Alexander, only managed fifth best in the first session.