Round 8 of the AMA Pro Racing National Guard American Superbike Championship kicked off today at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Michael Jordan Motorsports (MJM) riders Aaron Yates and Geoff May capturing the teams’ highest combined qualifying positions of the season. During late Friday afternoon’s Superpole session, Yates and May set down the second and third fastest times, and for the second time this season give MJM two of the four front row positions. This also marks the first time this season that MJM has been the highest qualifying Suzuki team, which serves to highlight the showroom potency of the new 2009 Suzuki GSX-R 1000.
A rain shower hit the Lexington, Ohio track a few hours prior to Superpole, which cast doubt over the running of the session. The sun soon reappeared, however, and track staff quickly got the surface ready to go. The tricky Mid-Ohio track was "green" and a slower race course greeted the American Superbike riders as they headed out for a 10 minute warm-up session immediately preceding Superpole.
Though laptimes were slightly affected, there was still a great deal of excitement on the track as some major reshuffling went on as riders jockeyed to set the top 10. One of the riders to benefit was #54 Geoff May, who entered Superpole in fifth and jumped up two positions to third with his Superpole lap of 1:26.564. #23 Aaron Yates entered Superpole in P2 and left in the same position on the grid.
Aaron Yates Speaks… (2nd 1:26.469 – Jordan Suzuki #23)
"It’s nice to put the Jordan Suzuki up here on the front row," said Yates. "The track was a bit more slippery than it was this morning so our times weren’t as fast, but I was able to put a decent one together and get the #23 in a good starting position for Saturday and Sunday’s races."
Geoff May Speaks… (3rd 1:26.564 – National Guard Jordan Suzuki #54)
"I’m glad to be back in the mix after my off-weekend at Laguna," May said. "We’ve gone back to square one with the front end of the bike and it’s moved us forward here at Mid-Ohio. I just sat down with the crew post-Laguna and we went over everything. This is a good track to be on the front row and I’m looking to getting the National Guard Jordan Suzuki back on the podium tomorrow."
1) Josh Hayes – #4 Yamaha 2) Aaron Yates – #23 Jordan Suzuki 3) Geoff May – #54 National Guard Jordan Suzuki 4) Tommy Hayden – #22 Suzuki 5) Michael Laverty – #8 Suzuki 6) Blake Young – #79 Suzuki 7) Ben Bostrom – #2 Yamaha 8) Larry Pegram – #72 Ducati 9) Mat Mladin – #7 Suzuki 10) Jake Holden – #59 Honda