Photography by Larry Lawrence
DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MARCH 14 – Who was going to take pole position for the two Superbike races at Daytona International Speedway – Monster Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes or his rookie teammate Cameron Beaubier? Turns out it was neither as Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden pulled off the surprise of the weekend thus far by putting his GSX-R1000 on pole.
With five minutes to go in the final qualifying session, Hayden threw down a 1:37.674 to snatch pole away from the Yamaha pairing with Beaubier ending up second by virtue of his 1:37.955 that came late in the session. Hayes, who was on pole here last year with a 1:37.096, ended up third with his 1:38.100.
“This is for the Yoshimura Suzuki team for the guys giving me the opportunity to come out here and show what I can do,” Hayden said after earning his second career Superbike pole position. “I’m looking forward to the race. I know it’s going to be a dogfight.”
Hayden’s teammate Martin Cardenas ended up fourth fastest and will lead the second row of what will be a 21-rider field for the two races. The Colombian was.450 of a second behind his teammate Hayden.
Chris Clark rode the third Yoshimura Suzuki to the fifth best time, the Las Vegas resident knocking a second off his best time from yesterday. Although that put him ahead of KTM’s Chris Fillmore, it was 1.7 seconds off Hayden’s pace as the top four will likely be in their own race this afternoon. Fillmore also dropped a tad over a second from his best from yesterday to end up sixth.
Aussie Dave Anthony rode his Suzuki to seventh with Taylor Knapp eight on another GSX-R1000. Then came the first of the EBRs with Cory West putting the twin in ninth. Yamaha-mounted Bernat Martinez rounded out the top 10.
Larry Pegram continued his struggle on the EBR, the Ohioan ending up 15th on the grid for today’s race.
Johnny Rock Page was the final qualifier to make the 107 percent cut – 7.3 seconds a lap slower than pole-sitter Hayden.
Superbike Final Qualifying
Daytona International Speedway
Results: March 14, 2014
1. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 1:37.674
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:37.955
3. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:38.100
4. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:38.124
5. Chris Clark (Suzuki) 1:39.424
6. Chris Fillmore (KTM) 1:39.487
7. David Anthony (Suzuki) 1:39.899
8. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki) 1:40.374
9. Cory West (EBR) 1:40.685
10. Bernat Martinez (Suzuki) 1:41.011