Daytona Superbike: Hayes Tops Thursday

AMA Pro Racing

Looking to defend the number-one plate, Josh Hayes began strongly on Thursday, the first day of qualifying at Daytona International Speedway. The Monster Energy Team Graves Yamaha rider took the provisional pole in AMA Superbike.

Hayes, of Mississippi, piloted Yamaha R1 to a 1:38.04 at 1:27.890 mph on the 2.9-mile road course. This was the first session in the Daytona round; the usual practice session was canceled due to rain.

Following by only 0.08 of a second was Hayes biggest rival, Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden, brother of MotoGP star Nicky Hayden. These two men were also fastest at the Dunlop Tire Test at Daytona back in January, with Hayes on top in the session.

Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1) says: "The boys worked hard and gave me what I needed to get up to speed pretty quick today. I won the championship last year and I came out of here horribly.

"I think I had 13th and a 6th or seventh or something. If I come out of here strong, I think it definitely would send a pretty good message across to everybody that I ‘m not going to start slow. I thought this might play into my favor," Hayes said. "I get up to speed pretty quick."

Hayes then discussed the newly paved Daytona track.

Josh Hayes says: "The new pavement is great. The track is beautiful. As far as racing goes, I don’t think it’s going to change the racing a whole lot. It’s just nice. It’s a little bit easier on you physically. You don’t have the bruised chest riding around the race track. My neck feels a whole lot better. That part is kind of nice. Otherwise it offers the same great racing that it always did."

Rounding out the top five on Thursday for the first qualifying session were Hayen’s teammate Blake Young aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000RR, Larry Pegram on the Foremost Insurance BMW S1000RR, and Ben Bostrom aboard the Michael Jordan/National Guard Suzuki.

Daytona International Speedway reported that in other provisional qualifying, Miles Thornton on a Yamaha took the provisional pole in SuperSport with a time of one minute, 54.888 seconds, 109.986 mph. In the XR1200 provisional qualifying, Steve Rapp was fastest with a lap of two minutes, 8.317 seconds, 98.475 mph.

As for the 70th running of the Daytona 200, Jason DiSalvo took the provisional pole around the long-course circuit with a 1:51.445 at 93.678. DiSalvo is competing on the Latus Ducati 848 EVO in the 2011 Daytona Sportbike class.

Daytona International Speedway reported that in other provisional qualifying, Miles Thornton on a Yamaha took the provisional pole in SuperSport with a time of one minute, 54.888 seconds, 109.986 mph. In the XR1200 provisional qualifying, Steve Rapp was fastest with a lap of two minutes, 8.317 seconds, 98.475 mph.

AMA Superbike: Thursday Qualifying Times
1. Josh Hayes (Graves Yamaha YZF-R1): 1:38.804
2. Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000): 1:38.889
3. Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000): 1:39.167
4. Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance BMW S1000RR): 1:39.290
5. Ben Bostrom (Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000): 1:39.393

AMA Daytona AMA Pro Racing Schedule

Daytona AMA Pro Racing, Round 1 Friday (March 11)

  • 8 – 8:40 a.m. SuperSport Qualifying
  • 8:45 – 9:35 a.m. Daytona SportBike Qualifying
  • 9:40 – 10:10 a.m. XR1200 Qualifying
  • 10:35 – 11:20 a.m. National Guard SuperBike Qualifying
  • 12:20 – 1 p.m. Fan Walk, Autographs, Hot Pit Lane/Ceremonies
  • 1:10 – 1:55 p.m. Daytona SportBike Qualifying
  • 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

 

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