AMA Superbike Report
Josh Hayes, Josh Herrin and Joey Pascarella paced their respective classes in the first day of AMA Pro Road Racing competition at Virginia International Raceway, the picturesque 2.25 mile natural road course in Alton, Va.
Today marked the first day of competition for the Suzuki White Lightning AMA Pro SuperBike Nationals presented by Foremost Insurance, with practice and basic qualifying for AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL and SuperSport. Tomorrow’s races can be seen in same-day delayed broadcasts on SPEED beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
Hayes, who won both races at VIR last year, turned a time of 1:25.104 aboard the No. 4 Graves Yamaha R1 on his 10th lap in the afternoon National Guard SuperBike qualifying session to claim the provisional pole, improving on his early afternoon practice time by almost a full second.
Behind him was fellow Yamaha rider Ben Bostrom (No. 155 Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha R1), with a time of 1:25.596, who led the field in the aforementioned practice session.
Josh Hayes says: “They are doing some pretty good laps right now but I definitely feel like I still have a bit of an advantage whenever we all put on the same hard tires and have to race,” said Hayes, who leads the SuperBike points over No. 22 Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 rider Tommy Hayden, 311 – 302.
“I feel good about this race and New Jersey is going to be another good one. Tommy rode really well there last year so I expect him to up his game there again. Barber has traditionally been a really good Tommy Hayden track. It’s probably not my best, but not a bad track for me.”
In Daytona SportBike, Herrin once again set the bar, with a basic qualifying time of 1:27.589 in his eighth lap on the No. 8 Graves Yamaha YZF-R6. Behind him was Martin Cardenas, with a time of 1:28.135 on the No. 36 M4 Monster Energy Suzuki GSX-R600.
Josh Herrin says: “I always think of this track as my old stomping grounds,” said Herrin. “I grew up here. My first couple of 125 races were here and I’ve been racing here since I was 13. It’s not really anything about track time or anything like that, it’s just a track I’ve always loved coming to and have fun at. I think a lot of the credit to doing so well here is just in my head because I like this track so much.”
Pascarella has returned to his usual form and set a strong laptime of 1:29.250 aboard the No. 25 DNA Energy Drink CNR Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6. No. 73 J.D. Beach posted the second fastest time of the session with a 1:29.352 on the No. 73 Rockwall Performance Yamaha YZF-R6.
Joey Pascarella says: “It’s actually not affecting me, I’ve been here all week,” Pascarella commented on the hot conditions. “I was cycling in the heat, running, and I got pretty used to it. Today was good, I struggled a little bit this morning. I know I have quite a bit more speed in me.”
Tomorrow’s final qualifying sessions begin at 8:00 a.m., and the first of two races in this weekend’s doubleheaders for National Guard SuperBike, Daytona SportBike and SuperSport kick off at 1:00 p.m local time.
The Vance & Hines XR1200 Series Harley-Davidsons take to the track tomorrow at 10:20 a.m. and will conclude the weekend’s AMA Pro Road Racing action with a final at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.