PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREA WILSON
MONTEREY, CA, JULY 20 - Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes kept his perfect record of earning pole position at every round of the AMA Superbike Championship in 2013 intact, the defending three-time series champion earning his fifth pole of the year despite being pressured all weekend from the resurgent Roger Lee Hayden.
Hayes couldn’t quite match his pole position from last year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but he came close. Last year Hayes earned his eighth straight pole at Laguna with a 1:24.446 and this year he did likewise with his 1:24.507 - .290 of a second faster than Hayden, the National Guard Suzuki man leading the first session of the weekend but losing out to Hayes in both the qualifiers.
Hayes’ teammate Josh Herrin ended the day third fastest, the Georgian unable to get into the 1:24s with his stable mate and Hayden. Still, his 1:25.225 from the first of the two sessions put him a safe third ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas. The Colombian will lead row two as for this race the Superbikes will emulate MotoGP with three riders per row on the grid
Danny Eslick failed to improve in the second session and he will start the race from the middle of row two. He’ll be joined there by Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram, the Ohioan making a big jump from the first session to put his R1 sixth on the grid.
Taylor Knapp was the first of the factory KTMs in seventh, narrowly ahead of his teammate Chris Fillmore. Both Fillmore and Knapp’s best times came in the first session earlier today.
Then came a trio of EBRs, the first of which was ridden to the ninth best time in the hands of veteran Aaron Yates. Yates topped Cory West and Geoff May.
With the point earned for pole position, Hayes now leads Herrin by five points, 192-187.
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:24.507
2. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki) 1:24.797
3. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:25.198
4. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:25.369
5. Danny Eslick (Suzuki) 1:25.595
6. Larry Pegram (Yamaha) 1:26.233
7. Taylor Knapp (KTM) 1:26.274
8. Chris Fillmore (KTM) 1:26.488
9. Aaron Yates (EBR) 1:26.642
10. Cory West (EBR) 1:26.683