Yates, May use first practice at Laguna Seca to fine-tune AMSOIL EBRs

NEWS July 19, 2013

Yates, May use first practice at Laguna Seca to fine-tune AMSOIL EBRs

Photo by Brian J Nelson

Courtesy of Geiger Media:

MONTEREY, Calif. (July 19) - Erik Buell Racing riders Aaron Yates and Geoff May got their initial look at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Friday in the first session of National Guard SuperBike practice for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. Riding just after their international counterparts in Moto GP, Yates and May used the time to make some big changes as they attempted to dial in the perfect setup for their 1190RS machines.

Yates, rider of the Team AMSOIL/Hero EBR, was the quicker of the two, completing the 11-turn, 2.23-mile circuit with a best elapsed time of 1:27.157, which placed him eighth on the timing sheet. May was close behind on his identically prepared Hero/AMSOIL EBR, posting a 1:27.271, good enough for ninth overall.

"It was a decent start," Yates said. "It's later in the afternoon, which limits you a bit, but we'd seen some good times in the other classes, so we expected to do well. I wasn't completely confident pitching it into the corners at first, but we made some changes and I ended up posting my fastest lap right there at the end.

"The best line at this racetrack is probably six inches wide all the way around. When you get up to speed it's very hard to make passes because everyone stays on that line. If you get off it it's very hard to turn the corners like you need to. It's certainly good to get this track time now."

Like Yates, May welcomed the time in the saddle, although his bike seemed to need a little more attention along pit row.

"I'm a little disappointed with myself and the bike," May said. "We had a really good bike here last year right out of the box, and we started off with everything exactly like it was thinking everything would be great again but unfortunately this time it was awful. We are using an American rear tire and it's different from the U.K. Dunlop we used last year. The grip characteristics are quite a bit different, so the handling has changed a lot.

"We came in about halfway through the session and made some spring changes, adjusted the gearing and even changed the wheel base. We basically threw the whole toolbox at the bike to make it better. It started responding well towards the end but it's hot out there, so it was harder to tell exactly where we're at right now. We've got some work to do overnight, for sure, but these EBR guys are great. We'll get it figured out."

Qualifying for the main event will be broken down into two sessions at 11:20 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. Saturday. The race itself will take place at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.

"I do like this track," Yates said. "It's a lot of fun to ride and you can get into a very smooth and fast rhythm out there. I've been around this place so many times I could probably do it with my eyes closed. I know I made a bunch of laps in my head lying up there in the lounge before practice, and I'm sure I'll make many more tonight."


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