Only a tenth of a second separated Josh Hayes from Tommy Hayden when the final AMA Superbike qualifying session ended Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
In a last-lap effort, the reigning champ Hayes piloted his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 to a 1:38.228 lap time, 0.576 faster than his best time on Thursday when he captured the provisional pole.
With his pole positions for both Daytona American Superbike races, Hayes is the only Yamaha rider starting in the top 10.
But it didn’t look as if Hayes would start from first on the SBK grid. Hayden lead for most of the qualifying session aboard the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000, but just like last year’s championship, Hayes had just what it took to outdo the Kentuckian.
These results from the very first qualifying sessions of the season (Hayden was also right behind Hayes on Thursday) already preview that the Hayes/Hayden rivalry is strong, and is far from over.
Hayden’s youngest brother Roger wasn’t far behind. The Jordan Suzuki rider placed his GSX-R 1000 on the front row with a 1:38.614 around the 2.9-mile Daytona course.
Roger quickly found a good rhythm on the American Superbike, looking much different than the Roger Hayden that competed on the Team Pedercini Kawasaki Team in 2010 World Superbike.
Taking the final spot on the front row was Tommy Hayden’s teammate Blake Young, who was only a tenth of a second behind Roger.
The second row starts with the other Jordan Suzuki rider Ben Bostrom. Bboz got into the position by a mere three-hundreths of a second over last year’s Daytona Sportbike Champion Martin Cardenas on the M4 Suzuki.
The Team Iron Horse BMW S1000RR ridden by the Canadian Chris Peris was seventh fastest, followed two-tenths back by Eric Bostrom on the Cycle World Attack Kawasaki ZX-10R.
The main privateer on the grid, Larry Pegram, was the last person to qualify within a second of Hayes. Pegram piloted his Foremost Insurance BMW S1000RR to a 1:39.248. Rounding out the top ten was M4 Suzuki rider Chris Ulrich, who posted a 1:40.531.
Race 1 in AMA Superbike will be at 4:30 p.m. today; Race 2 will be at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, before the 70th annual Daytona 200.
AMA American Superbike: Daytona Qualifying Results:
1. Josh Hayes (Graves Yamaha) 1:38.228
2. Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) 1:38.322
3. Roger Hayden (Jordan Suzuki) 1:38.614
4. Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) 1:38.767
5. Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki) 1:38.955
6. Martin Cardenas (M4 Suzuki) 1:38.980
7. Chris Peris (BMW) 1:39.023
8. Eric Bostrom (Cycle World Kawasaki) 1:39.192
9. Larry Pegram (Foremost BMW) 1:39.248
10. Chris Ulrich (M4 Suzuki) 1:40.531
AMA Daytona AMA Pro Racing Remaining Schedule
Daytona AMA Pro Racing, Round 1 Friday (March 11)
- 2:15 p.m. SuperSport Race 1
- 3:15 p.m. XR1200 Race
- 4:30 p.m. National Guard SuperBike Race 1 (15 Laps)
Saturday (March 12) Schedule
- 8 – 8:20 a.m. National Guard SuperBike Warm-Up
- 8:50 – 9:10 a.m. SuperSport Warm-Up
- 9:15 – 9:35 a.m. Daytona SportBike Warm-Up
- 10 a.m. SuperSport Race 2 (10 Laps)
- 11:15 a.m. National Guard SuperBike Race 2 (15 Laps)
- 12:15 p.m. Opening Ceremonies DAYTONA 200
- 1:15 p.m. DAYTONA 200