AMA Laguna Seca: Friday Practice Report
AMA Superbike Friday
Day one is complete for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. All three AMA Pro Road Racing classes held practice sessions, in addition to the MotoGP action.
In National Guard SuperBike practice, Tommy Hayden and his Rockstar Makita Suzuki waited until almost the end of the 50 minute practice session to knock Josh Hayes off the top spot. Hayes had set the pace for the majority of the first practice session.
Hayden, racing this weekend along with his two brothers at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix Weekend, popped in a quick lap of 1:24.988/94.799 MPH.
Hayes was next up with a 1:25.263/94.494 MPH around the 2.238-mile natural road course.
Impressing once again, M4 Monster Energy Suzuki rider Jake Holden posted the third fastest time of 1:25.388/94.355 MPH.
Tommy Hayden says: “The track felt pretty normal to me. It was what I remember from last year. I was happy with the track. We tried a couple different bikes with different settings, something similar to what we ran last year and something like we have been running lately.”
“I evaluated the two Suzukis and tried to get a direction for tomorrow. The lap time was pretty good, there are a couple of areas out there that hopefully we can improve on and make things a little easier and we can get a little faster. But overall it’s a good start to the weekend.”
The National Guard SuperBikes have two qualifying sessions tomorrow in preparation for Sunday’s 23 lap race, which will go green at 3:45 p.m. local time.
In AMA Pro Daytona SportBike, points leader Josh Herrin continued his fast form of late and posted the fastest time on his Team Graves Yamaha. Herrin, coming off a win last weekend at Mid-Ohio (race one), set the bar pretty high with a stellar time of 1:28.483/91.055 MPH. No one else was in the 1:28 minute range.
Josh Herrin says: “It was awesome. We went out and tried to shake down the bike we crashed at Mid-Ohio but I didn’t really like it so we went out on the back-up bike and did three laps and then right away we were fastest. Then we went a little quicker but then the red flag came out and we were expecting to end the session right there.”
“We put a new set of Dunlops on and went out and I did the best time I could. It just came really, really easily on the first flyer. I was really impressed with the track and how clean it was, it was an awesome session and I can’t wait to get back out there tomorrow.”
The 23 lap Daytona SportBike final will kick off at 10:25 a.m. local time on Sunday.
In AMA Pro SuperSport, Austin DeHaven from Los Angeles, Calif. posted the quickest time on his DeHaven Yamaha with a lap of 1:30.479/89.046 MPH. DeHaven is taking part in his first SuperSport race since earlier this year when he ran in the two races at Infineon Raceway. In that event, DeHaven placed fifth and fourth respectively in the doubleheader event back in May.
Newly crowned AMA SuperSport Young Gun West Divisional Champion Joey Pascarella rode his DNA Energy Drink Yamaha to second quickest with a time of 1:30.762/88.769 MPH. Pascarella and DeHaven were the only riders in the 1:30 range.
Taking third was two time SuperSport winner this year Cameron Beaubier riding his Mazda Technologies/Rockwall Yamaha. Beaubier posted a lap of 1:31.144/88.396 MPH.
Final Qualifying and the 18 lap SuperSport race will be tomorrow Saturday, July 24. The green flag is scheduled to fly at 5:30 p.m. local time.
Don’t miss the action from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on SPEED TV, late Sunday, early Monday July 26 at 12:00 midnight a.m. (9 p.m. PT).