Day on VIR SuperSport Pole
NEWS August 15, 2009
Saturday at VIR, Day clocked in at 1:29.398 (91.008 mph), the fastest lap any rider has run in SuperSport so far this weekend. Day also remains the only SuperSport rider at the Big Kahuna to get around the 2.25-mile circuit in less than 90 seconds. He also paced Friday's opening practice session with a top lap time of 1:29.707 (90.695 mph).
"I just went out there and tried the best that I could," said Day, who edged out nearest title challenger Leandro Mercado (No. 92 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R). I knew they were going to be closing in on my time, and I know all of them are going to be up there for the race. Leandro hasn't been able to ride for awhile so I'm sure he's fine tuning his riding this weekend and he'll be right up there during the race."
Mercado led the East point standings earlier in the season and also has a pair of victories, but his title hopes took a severe hit when travel issues forced him to miss the Topeka round. He was second fastest in VIR qualifying with a lap time of 1:30.125 (90.275 mph).
"I always think of races for what they are but I have to be thinking for the championship," Mercado said. "Tomorrow I have to work on the race to make points, so we'll see for the championship."
Day now has a 46-point lead over Mercado, 127 - 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 31 remaining available points at VIR, Day only needs to finish third or better to leave Virginia with the East title.
Corey Rech (No.7 AB1 Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R600) is making his SuperSport debut and recovered from a Friday practice spill to qualify third with a lap time of 1:30.160 (90.240 mph).
"I'm riding with AB1 Motorsports this weekend," said Rech, who has a pair of AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-GT wins this season. "The bike was running really good, the tires were working great. We clicked on a really good setup in the first practice and I just have to thank my team. I crashed yesterday in practice and demolished the bike. They stayed up pretty late putting it back together so I just have to put it all to them. My wrist is a little banged up, but I'm fine."
Joey Pascarella (No. 25 LTD Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) has missed two of the last three SuperSport races while recovering from a broken right wrist and splitting his schedule with SuperMoto. He returned at VIR and earned a front-row start with the fourth-fastest qualifying time of 1:30.168 (90.232 mph).
"I missed two Supermoto races and two SuperSport races because of my wrist," said Pascarella, who recently competed in Supermoto at the X-Games. "I don't really know, with my schedule, if I'll be able to make New Jersey, but I'm going to try if I can. I really like these races. I like this track a lot, it's pretty fun. My bike was working pretty good. I don't really know when I did my lap, to be honest with you. I just pushed my hardest and hoped I was on the front row. I'd like to thank the whole LTD racing team."
Sunday's SuperSport final is18-laps for 40 miles and is scheduled to start at 3:10 p.m.
More from a press release issued by LTD Racing:
PASCARELLA ON FRONT ROW, NASH "IN THE MONEY" AT VIRGINIA
Alton, VA (Aug 15, 2009) -- LTD Racing had an exciting day at the track, with Huntley Nash finishing inside the top 20 in his first AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race and Joey Pascarella qualifying on the front row in AMA Pro SuperSport.
Nash, doing double duty for the team at Virginia, finished inside the top 20 on Saturday. Nash was with 19th out of 45 entries. If Huntley is able to repeat his fine performance of Sunday and stay inside the top 20 combined results, he'll earn at least $3000.
"My first Daytona SportBike race was cool," said Nash. "It was a longer race so I knew I had to pace myself. This is a more experienced class than SuperSport so I knew I had to find the speed, too. I'm happy with it. I stayed on the lead lap until the very end and I had some good battles out there. I'm looking forward to it tomorrow and also the Supersport race."
Pascarella jumped from 17th to fourth in the late part of the SuperSport qualifying session and will start again from the front row.
"I don't really know which lap I set the time on but I only was able to get about eight laps in during the session," said Pascarella. "I was riding with some of the faster riders in the class so they time came pretty naturally for us. The track's really slick when it gets hot so I'm going to ride smart and finish the race and hopefully I'll finish on the box."
Tomas Puerta will start 11th in the SuperSport race after a crash in qualifying. "It was the worst qualifying for me this year," said Puerta. "I was unsure of how hard to push with my injured hand because I want to finish the race tomorrow. I tried to push when I was riding with J.D. Beach and Ricky Parker in the qualifying session but I crashed. We'll see how it goes in the race on Sunday."
The SuperSport race is scheduled for 3:10 on Sunday.
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