Yamaha's Hayes Takes Second American Superbike Superpole

NEWS August 14, 2009


Yamaha's Hayes Takes Second American Superbike Superpole

ALTON, Va. (August 14, 2009) - Josh Hayes (No. 4 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1) won his second AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited Superpole of the season Friday at the 10th Anniversary Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals at Virginia International Raceway.
 
Hayes turned a top lap time of 1:25.014 (95.702 mph) as the 10th and final rider to qualify in the single-bike Superpole format.  He also won the Superpole two races ago at Mid-Ohio where he went on to sweep both of that weekend's races.  Hayes won his first race of the season in May at Infineon Raceway where he broke a season-opening streak of seven straight wins by Mat Mladin (No. 7 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000), who he edged for the Superpole Friday at 2.25-mile circuit.

"I think we left a little bit out there but it was a good lap," Hayes said.  "I put a lot of effort into it.  Our bike had a lot of grip and worked really well.  I did a clean lap and it was enough to nip Mat by just a small margin.  Since we pulled the bike out of the truck we've been pretty fortunate that it's going around the racetrack well.  I'm having a lot of fun riding.  This has been a good race track for me."

Mladin, who turned a lap time of 1:25.103 (95.602 mph) held the top spot until Hayes made his run. He still leads American Superbike with a series-high eight Superpoles this season.

"It was all good today," said Mladin, who joined most of his competition in having no trouble handling temperatures in the high 80s.  "I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow.  It's been a lot worse around this place before, today's not too bad.  The breeze is nice on the bike, we've had a lot worse conditions here than today."

Jordan Suzuki teammates Geoff May (No. 54 National Guard Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000) and Aaron Yates (No. 23 Brand Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000) turned in a solid Superpole team performance to complete the four-rider front row.  May qualified third with a lap at 1:25.720 (94.913 mph) while Yates was fourth fastest at 1:26.126 (94.446 mph).

"I was feeling good," May said. "We just re-analyzed some stuff.  Since Road America we've had a downward spiral.  This weekend we said 'you know what, we're going to go back to where we had this bike in the beginning of the year when we first got it.'  It seemed pretty good.  So we rolled it out of the truck and haven't really done much since and we're back up where I feel we should be."

Yates is on his second straight American Superbike front row after qualifying second fastest one race ago in the Tornado Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

"It's just like any other weekend," said Yates, who joins his teammate May as Georgia natives. "I'm just going out there and riding the thing.  I definitely felt like the grip was down a little that time out, but we've made a few changes with the front of the bike.  It was sitting lower, I don't think we quite had the load on the rear that we've had earlier and it was missing some traction there.  It's like home for me, I like it hot.  I didn't know if was going to be like this, so we're ready."

Larry Pegram (No. 72 Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing Ducati 1098R), who won the Superpole at the Tornado Nationals and both of that weekend's American Superbike races, rounded out the top five in qualifying at VIR.

Saturday's first American Superbike race of the weekend is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. local time for 23 laps/50 miles.  The Big Kahuna races will be featured in a pair of same-day telecasts on SPEED.  Saturday's American Superbike and Daytona SportBike finals will be shown that night in a two-hour show at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) while Sunday's premier class races and other highlights will air in a two-hour show that evening at Midnight ET (9 p.m. PT).

Click here for the Daytona SportBike Qualifying story.

SuperSport Practice Day
 
Josh Day (No. 4 Team E.S.P. Yamaha YZF-R6) could clinch the AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei East division title this weekend and was the fastest rider in Friday's opening practice.  Day, who won the races at Topeka and Mid-Ohio, turned a top lap time of 1:29.707 (90.695 mph).
 
"We ended up fastest and we still have some work to do on the front end, but I was pretty happy with that time," Day said.  "The E.S.P. guys have been working really hard and we have just been able to carry the setup that we found since Mid-Ohio and it has pretty much worked at every racetrack so far.  We have just had to change and fine tune a few things.  I am really not thinking about the championship, and trying not to.  I don't want it to mess me up and I am just going to come out here and try and do my best and just try to stay on top." 
 
Day has a 45-point lead over Leandro Mercado (No. 92 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R), 126 - 81. That equates to more than a full-race lead and guarantees he will leave the Big Kahuna on top of the standings even if he fails to clinch the crown.  Even if Mercado scores all 32 available points at VIR, Day only needs to finish third or better to leave Virginia with the East title.  Mercado was 10th fastest Friday.
 
Sunday's SuperSport final is18-laps for 40 miles and is scheduled to start at 3:10 p.m.
 
Westby Rolls In SunTrust Moto-GT Qualifying
 
Westby Racing riders Dane Westby and Dustin Meador (No. 13 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) continued their roll in AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-GT and won the pole for tomorrow's two-hour team race at 11 a.m.  Meador turned a quick lap of 1:31.439 (88.977 mph) to qualify first overall and in the GT1 class.
 
"This is a good team," Meador said.  "We are just going to keep working hard and racing hard and get our third win. I have done this kind of racing before and I like it and like running with Dane and the Westby guys."
 
Championship leaders Mark Crozier and Dave Estok (No. 14 Crozier Motorsports Triumph Daytona 675) qualified second despite Crozier's lowside during the session.  The team/owner rider was uninjured and turned the No. 14's top lap of 1:32.638 (87.826 mph).
 
"We are fine and the bike is fine," Crozier said.  "We got back going and finished qualifying and now we have to keep it clean and win a championship."
 
Day and teammate Dominic Jones (No. 27 Four Feathers Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) will start third after Jones turned a lap of 1:33.787 (86.750 mph).
 
The No. 63 Coatzymoto International Racing Ducati PS1000LE of Fernando Ferreyra and Robertino Pietri won the GT2 pole with a lap time of 1:36.150 (84.618 mph).
 
The SunTrust Moto-GT race starts tomorrow at 11 a.m.


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