DAYTONA BEACH, FL., MAR. 10 - With morning rains washing out morning practice, it was straight to qualifying for the Superbike men at Daytona International Speedway today, but defending AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes' path to the top wasn't so direct.Although he held the top spot for most of the session, it slipped away with about 10:30 to go in the 50-minute session when Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Tommy Hayden (pictured leading teammate Blake Young) snuck to the top. But Hayes and his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha R1 counter-attacked at the very end to snatch provisional pole position with a 1:38.804.Hayes was quick from the get-go, despite no one getting their scheduled morning session of practice. When the red flag was thrown early in the session, Hayes was at the top with his 1:39.780. He would move into the 1:38s when the session restarted and he would hold the top spot until Hayden threw down his 1:38.916. That looked like it would hold until Hayes pulled off the 1:38.804 on the final lap."I thought this might play into my favor a little bit because I tend to get up to speed pretty quick," Hayes said. "And those guys are chasing me from time to time, so having the rain this morning and drying the track, it was a lot like when we were here for the test not that long ago. We went out with a track with a couple of damp spots on it and got right up to speed, so I'd seen it all before. I felt pretty good and we tried a few new things with the bike and sorted a few things out to make sure things are just how we want them for the race. It's an on-going thing. The boys worked hard and gave me what I needed to get to speed pretty quick today. I think last year we were a second a half slower than this in the first session, so it shows we're getting to speed quickly."Georgian Aaron Yates earned pole position for last year's two Superbike races at Daytona with a 1:38.324 on his Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000.Hayden's Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Blake Young ended up third, though the Wisconsinite didn't break into the 1:38s. He was close, though, with a 1:39.167. Larry Pegram and the Foremost Insurance-backed Pegram Racing BMW ended up fourth on the provisional front row with a 1:39.290.The second row provisionally would feature both of the Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzukis with Ben Bostrom and National Guard-backed Roger Lee Hayden finishing fifth and sixth, respectively. BMW-mounted Chris Perris and Superbike class rookie Martin Cardenas were seventh and eighth.Privateers Jeremy Toye on the Team Iron Horse BMW and ADR Racing's David Anthony rounded out the top 10 on the first day of action from the Speedway.

Superbike Qualifying

1.                  Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:38.804

2.                  Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:38.889

3.                  Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:39.167

4.                  Larry Pegram (BMW) 1:39.290

5.                  Ben Bostrom (Suzuki) 1:39.393

6.                  Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki) 1:39.661

7.                  Chris Perris (BMW) 1:40.431

8.                  Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:40.912

9.                  Jeremy Toye (BMW) 1:40.923

10.                  David Anthony (Suzuki) 1:41.097

 

AMA Pro Racing Headlines

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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