Grids Set for AMA Pro Round 6 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
NEWS July 9, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Hard-fought Qualifying Sessions Kick Off AMA Pro Honda Supercycle Weekend
at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Young, Herrin, and Dominguez Take Pole in Respective Classes
LEXINGTON, OH (July 8, 2011) – With just a few points separating the leaders in the AMA Pro Racing premier classes, the Honda Supercycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, is set to be a pivotal round. Provisional and final qualifying was fast and furious, giving fans their first glimpse of what’s to come as the weekend unfolds.
In AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, current points leader and reigning champion Josh Hayes continued to hold sway in qualifying. The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider has swept all the pole positions this season and claimed the provisional pole at Mid-Ohio thanks to a fastest lap time of 1:25.639. Hayes set the pace early on the undulating, 15-turn, 2.4-mile course, and then raised the bar toward the end of the 50-minute session.
“I think everybody always wants to be fastest in qualifying,” said Hayes. “Is that our only goal? No. We did a time early in the session and I said let’s continue on this tire and work on the bike and see what happens. I was able to do a string of laps in the 25s and some low 26s fairly comfortably, and some of the changes we made allowed us to go pretty good on an older tire. That will help us go faster when we put on a new Dunlop tire tomorrow. It should be cooler tomorrow morning, so we’ll see.”
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young, who’s just two points shy of Hayes in the overall points standings, was also right behind him in qualifying after posting a fast lap of 1:25.713. Young and Hayes were the only riders in the 1:25-second range. National Guard Michal Jordan Motorsports Suzuki’s Roger slotted in third (1:26.093) with Young’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Tommy (1:26.146) just behind.
When Saturday broke out its sunny skies, however, Hayes was forced to cede that pole to Young -- the first rider to break Hayes’ 2011 pole streak. Not content with that accomplishment, a subdued Young, in a post-qualifying press conference, said, “I just feel like we left a lot on the table on that lap.” Young -- who will head up a front row that includes Hayes, Roger Hayden, and local Ohio boy Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing) -- will have a chance to prove exactly how much more speed he can find at 3:15 p.m. EST today.
AMA Pro Daytona SportBike saw GEICO Powersports Suzuki’s Danny Eslick take provisional pole on a track where he’s claimed multiple victories. Eslick currently holds a four-point lead in the series and demonstrated his considerable prowess by posting a fast lap of 1:29.723. Eslick was the only Daytona SportBike rider turning 29s.
“The track was good when we went out for qualifying,” said Eslick. “We went out on some older tires in the beginning of the session and worked on getting a good, solid set-up. Towards the end, we threw some new tires at the GEICO Suzuki and put a good lap in to take the pole.”
Behind Eslick was Jake Holden (1:30.037) of the JHR/RidersDiscount.com team and Jason DiSalvo (1:30.199) of Team Latus Motors Racing. The last spot on the provisional front row went to Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin (1:30.398), a four-time winner in the class this year.
When it came time for final qualifying, however, it was Herrin who took over the P1 position. He’ll be joined on the front row by Eslick (who didn’t feel well enough to contend today’s session), DiSalvo, and Holden. Daytona SportBike Race 1 goes green at 2:00 p.m. EST this afternoon.
In AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport, Dustin Dominguez captured his first AMA Pro provisional pole position on his unique Team Latus Motors Triumph with a fast lap of 1:31.673. Behind Dominguez was recent Barber winner and East Division SuperSport points leader James Rispoli (ANT-Racing.com/STAR School Suzuki) with a time of 1:31.837, and then Hayden Gillim with a best time of 1:32.118. Finally, Tomas Puerta of LTD Racing Y.E.S. Yamaha earned fourth on the grid, thanks to a time of 1:32.978.
“I’ve always liked Mid-Ohio, I think it’s my favorite track,” said Dominguez. “And this weekend, we just kind of got the Triumph package together. We have the suspension and handling where we need it to be and we have a better motor now. I’ve been riding a bone stock bike to this point so it’s pretty good to go out and get the pole.”
Those positions didn’t change in final qualifying, as Dominguez, like the rest of the front row, retained the position he earned late Friday. Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 1 will kick off today’s racing at 1:00 p.m. EST. The AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 class will finished out the day with a 4:15 p.m. qualifying session.
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