LEXINGTON, OHIO, JULY 17 - Team Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes moved into a championship tie with Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Tommy Hayden by earning the single point for the pole position in the slim American SuperBike field at the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.Of the 17 qualifiers on the 2.4-mile road course, Hayes was the best, setting a fast time of 1:25.619 on the seventh of his 18 laps in the warm morning session. Though the time came early, and was therefore vulnerable, no one was able to knock the Yamaha rider from the top and he'll start the weekend's two American SuperBike races from the pole position for the third race in a row.The point he earned gives him 229 , equal to Hayden, with the second half of the season starting this race after a six week layoff.Hayes explained that he'd been reluctant to push hard on Friday, after seeing a number of riders crash, and that he'd saved his best for Saturday."Yesterday went pretty well," he said. "We got up to speed and were able to do pretty decent laps pretty quickly. I think all of us have been off for quite a while. And then we haven't been in heat like this for quite some time and yesterday afternoon a lot of mistakes were being made. I saw Ben [Bostrom] fall, I saw [Jake] Holden fall, seen a lot of people on the ground. I'd run off the track twice. I had some pretty good laps in and, with about 10 to go, we just said, you know what, let's park it and come up with a good game plan for tomorrow and we felt pretty confident we could go faster today whenever the conditions were a little bit cooler and so we had a pretty good game plan and everything ready to go."Went out this morning. Just started on the race tire and went faster than I qualified yesterday on the race tire pretty quickly and did a bunch of low 26's, only one '25. Still making quite a few mistakes. This weekend I seem to be struggling a little more than other weekends. I'm just putting the bike in the same spot every time and, so, still making some mistakes here and there. But it seemed like the time came pretty easy and I was like, ‘Here comes 24's baby,' and we put on the softer rubber and just kinda created some problems for me and we couldn't do any better with it. We actually went a little bit slower, so I got pretty lucky that the time held up. An so I felt a little disappointed with the session, but I feel lucky that I got pole, because these guys are riding good. And I kept waiting, watching all the splits to see who was coming, so I just got lucky today."Hayden will start alongside Hayes on the front row. Hayden was the overnight pole holder, but couldn't improve on his 1:26.637. His Saturday best was a 1:26.064.Having crashed on Friday, Ben Bostrom rode his backup Pat Clark Motorsports' Yamaha into the third starting spot on the front row, with Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Ducati) jumping up to the front row with his final lap. This is Pegram's home race and the veteran said he had a win-at-all-costs attitude this weekend.For the second day in succession, the second row was covered by two teams, though in a different order. National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Jake Zemke qualified fifth, while teammate Brett McCormick (Jordan McCormick) recovered from a Friday crash to qualify seventh. Jake Holden (M4 Monster Energy Suzuki) qualified in between the Jordan riders with his teammate, Chris Ulrich, eighth.Then came two veterans on the third row. Eric Bostrom rode the  Cycle World Attack Performance Yoshimura Suzuki to the ninth fastest time, one better than Kurtis Roberts on the Ridersdiscount.com Yamaha. The final riders on row three were Buell Racing's Geoff May and Jordan Szoke on the Waznie Racing Ciclo Werks BMC Dewildt Honda.

Results:

1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:25.619

2. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:25.637

3. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:25.744

4. Larry Pegram (Ducati) 1:25.838

5. Jake Zemke (Suzuki) 1:25.902

6. Jake Holden (Suzuki) 1:26.065

7. Brett McCormick (Suzuki) 1:26.077

8. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 1:26.826

9. Eric Bostrom (Suzuki) 1:26.873

10. Kurtis Roberts (Yamaha) 1:27.040

AMA Pro Racing Headlines

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.

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