Miller AMA Pro Racing: Saturday Qualifying

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2012 AMA Pro Racing

Even Saturday’s heavy winds at Miller Motorsports Park couldn’t dent the qualifying dominance of defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes.

Hayes laid claim to the top spot in qualifying again today to kick off the BigM Weekend presented by Lucas Oil, continuing his perfect 2012 streak of provisional and combined qualifying pole positions.

Motivated to set things right after crashing from the race lead and surrendering his points advantage last time out at Infineon Raceway, Hayes clocked a best time of 1:51.046 on the #1-plated Yamaha YZF-R1 despite the day’s gusty conditions.

After the session, the Mississippian said, “It was very, very windy. It was a very tough session. I came in with six or eight minutes to go and the guys asked if I wanted another tire and I said, ‘Only if you want the bike in weeds; I’m not going any faster than that.’

“The wind is definitely quite a bit to deal with in certain areas of the racetrack — for me I think Turn 2 and Witchcraft were probably the worst parts of the racetrack. I struggled a little bit in the last sector also.

“But all-in-all, things came around pretty quickly this morning and in qualifying. I think things are going pretty well. I’m happy with how things are going.”

Hayes didn’t control qualifying throughout, however. National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden headed the charts for a sizable chunk of the session aboard his #54 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Hayden held down as much as a half-second advantage well into qualifying before ultimately finishing about that same margin behind Hayes, ranking second with a time of 1:51.514.

Teammate Ben Bostrom ran third quick on the #23 Jordan Suzuki, sagely catching onto Hayes’ rear wheel late to jump a handful of spots up the order with a lap of 1:51.954.

Title leader Blake Young rounds out the provisional front row, albeit nearly a second behind championship rival Hayes at 1:52.013. The Yoshimura Racing Suzuki star once again finds himself playing catch-up despite his stated goal of matching Hayes’ early-weekend pace this weekend at Miller Motorsports Park.

However, despite his Saturday deficit, Young has repeatedly proven adept at finding the speed necessary to fight for victory just in time for the green light.

Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing BMW’s Larry Pegram moved ahead of the twin EBR1190RSs of Team Amsoil/Hero EBR’s Geoff May and Team Hero EBR’s Danny Eslick to claim fifth on the day. Racing’s David Anthony completed the provisional second row in eighth.

The works R1 and GSX-R SuperBikes of Josh Herrin and Chris Clark finished the day in ninth and tenth, respectively.

Hayes will look to lock down yet another pole position on Sunday morning in advance of Monday’s AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike race, which will be broadcast on SPEED in a same-day delayed broadcast at 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Martin Cardenas earned AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike provisional pole for GEICO Suzuki despite windy conditions in Utah. Cardenas was able to best his rivals as four different manufacturers qualified on the front row, showing the parity and competitiveness in the GoPro Daytona SportBike class.

“Today the conditions were not perfect,” said Cardenas. His best lap was 1:56.522. “At the beginning of qualifying, there were some wet patches and the wind was quite strong. We put a fresh rear tire with about ten minutes to go. I did three laps and one of them was fast enough to get the provisional pole. I hope the conditions improve so we can do more. I like the high speed corners here. I love this place. It’s one of the best tracks in the US.”

Jason DiSalvo was a close second, just 0.14 seconds behind his fellow 2012 race winner. DiSalvo (Latus Motors Castrol Triumph) bested Cameron Beaubier (Y.E.S Graves Yamaha) and former Miller Motorsports Park SuperBike race winner Jake Zemke (Ducshop Ducati).

The AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike division will contest a 16-lap race final Sunday, May 27 at 4:10 p.m. local time. SPEED will broadcast flag-to-flag coverage of the race starting 20 minutes after the green flag flies at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

AMA Pro SuperSport

Hayden Gillim (RoadRaceFactory Red Bull) earned provisional pole in the AMA Pro SuperSport class. Gillim broke the two-minute barrier quickly and was able to maintain his lead despite others improving late, including defending series champ James Rispoli (Orient Expres Celtic Racing), Castrol Triumph’s Dustin Dominguez, a winner in Sonoma.

“I think that will be a precursor for our race tomorrow, ” said Gillim, who had a best lap of 1:59.002.

Ryan Matter (Citizens of Humanity Suzuki) qualified fourth at 2:00.138.

AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series

The three leading men of the early AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series once again laid claim to positions 1, 2, and 3 during Saturday afternoon’s provisional qualifying session.

Bartel’s Harley-Davidson’s Tyler O’Hara got a small measure of revenge on teammate Michael Barnes, edging the veteran rider for the top spot on the provisional order after being narrowly defeated by him for victory at the most recent race at Infineon Raceway. O’Hara rung up a 2:10.281 to beat Barnes’ 2:10.455, while KLR Group/Vesrah’s Kyle Wyman was third at 2:10.940 to stand as the last man into the 2:10s (or 2:11s for that matter).