Miller Motorsports Park
Following is the full AMA Pro Racing review of the two-day test at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah May 2-3. Again, it was Josh Hayes who dominated the AMA Superbike category aboard the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1. In Daytona Sportbike, Daytona 200 winner Jason DiSalvo was quickest aboard the Latus Ducati 848.
Ringed by snow-capped mountains, Northern Utah’s majestic Miller Motorsports Park played host to a two-day AMA Pro Road Racing test May 2-3 that brought in a total of 62 participating riders.
All four classes were represented at the test, which served as preparation for AMA Pro Road Racing’s Round 2 (May 13-15 at Infineon Raceway) as well as for the series’ Round 3 return to Miller Motorsports Park, an event at which it will run concurrent with Round 5 of the World Superbike Championship.
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s reigning National Guard SuperBike Champion, Josh Hayes, was dominant in both days’ testing, topping seven of eight sessions on the 3.05-mile, 15-turn “natural road course” configuration. Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram headed the one session Hayes did not, but M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas and Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammates Blake Young and Tommy Hayden were an even more consistent presence at the top of the time sheets throughout. Cardenas’ times were particularly notable, as the reigning AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion has just a single SuperBike race under his belt thus far.
Also showing strongly in SuperBike testing was Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden, who returns to the AMA Pro series this year after a difficult 2010 season in World Superbike. At the opposite end of the experience scale from those listed above, Cycle World/Attack Performance Kawasaki’s JD Beach used the test to make his debut AMA Pro SuperBike appearance, dropping more than 7.726 seconds between his first and best session to finish with the 12th-quickest time overall.
In all, twenty-one SuperBike riders attended the MMP test; the top-five overall were as follows: Josh Hayes, 1:50.333; Blake Young, 1:50.840; Larry Pegram, 1:51.215; Tommy Hayden, 1:51.255; Martin Cardenas, 1:51.351.
Twenty-two AMA Pro Daytona SportBike riders rolled out on track for the Monday-Tuesday sessions, Celtic Racing/Fast by Ferracci Ducati’s PJ Jacobsen taking over the scoreboard early and topping five of eight sessions, with only Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo and M4 Suzuki rider Dane Westby able to wrest the top spot away. DiSalvo’s seventh-session lap, however, was good for quickest overall, and with Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin consistently hunting the front-runners, Herrin’s third-quickest overall time came as no surprise.
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
GP Bike Parts Racing’s Cameron Beaubier and Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West placed consistently among the top lap-runners; also strong were Y.E.S. Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino and Triple Crown Industries’ Paul Allison. But with riders like GEICO Powersports/RMR Suzuki’s Danny Eslick, Vesrah Suzuki’s Taylor Knapp, Tyler Odom, and more lurking just behind, Infineon can’t come soon enough for the field.
In related news, following a productive meeting held late Tuesday at the Utah track between AMA Pro Racing officials, Josh Herrin, and Graves Motorsports Yamaha personnel, AMA Pro has determined that Herrin will serve a one-race suspension at Round 2 instead of the two-race penalty originally assessed post-Daytona. “The communication and shared understanding between parties was such that AMA Pro felt it was appropriate to move forward in this manner,” said AMA Pro Racing COO David Atlas.
The top five Daytona SportBike riders at the MMP test were as follows: Jason DiSalvo, 1:55.254; PJ Jacobsen, 1:55.596; Josh Herrin, 1:56.543; Cameron Beaubier, 1:56.881; Cory West, 1:56.981.
Sixteen-year-old Benny Solis impressed in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport testing, the Team Roadracingworld.com rider topping the majority of the two days’ sessions, but he was narrowly edged out in the test’s final hours by LTD Racing/Y.E.S. Yamaha’s David Gaviria, who posted the quickest SuperSport lap of the test in the seventh session.
Gaviria’s teammate, Tomas Puerta, also showed well, topping one session and turning in the fourth-quickest lap overall, but it was Vesrah Suzuki’s Corey Alexander (currently in his first full season of AMA Pro competition) who really came into his own at MMP. Alexander turned in the third-quickest SuperSport lap at the circuit, just a few tenths behind Solis.
The class’ top-five overall were as follows: David Gaviria, 1:57.988; Benny Solis, 1:58.348; Corey Alexander, 1:58.615; Tomas Puerta, 1:58.615; Quentin Wilson, 2:00.655.
Many of the series’ most competitive AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 riders also rolled in the MMP gates Monday morning, Latus Motors Racing teammates Joe Kopp and Chase McFarland getting started early and taking turns at the top of the timesheets twice and three times, respectively. RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing’s Chris Fillmore was the first to break the cycle, but teammate Kyle Wyman soon followed, turning in laps quick enough to see him ranked first overall by Tuesday evening. Top-five rankings at test’s end were as follows: Kyle Wyman, 2:08.637; Chase McFarland, 2:08.964; Joe Kopp, 2:09.085; Gerry Signorelli, 2:09.837.
For complete test results for all four classes, broken down by session and type, please click here.
With AMA Pro Road Racing’s Round 2 at Infineon Raceway now just ten days away, series participants return home for a short break before heading to Sonoma, California’s pastoral wine-country, soon to get loud with the sounds of Infineon Raceway’s West Coast Moto Jam. For information about and tickets to the California circuit’s May 13-15 AMA Pro Road Racing weekend and surrounding events, visit infineonraceway.com.