Feb 13, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Yamaha's Anthony Gobert continued his rampage on California Speedway's 2.36-mile infield road course by turning a new, unofficial motorcycle lap record of 1:26.113 on his Dunlop-equipped 2002 Yamaha YZF-R7 Superbike. Gobert's time betters the previous best Superbike lap time of 1:26.97, turned by Honda's Nicky Hayden during testing in January.<BR><BR>After turning one of the fastest unofficial 600cc Supersport times of the morning (1:29.25, matched by Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden), reformed wild child Gobert switched to his new Superbike in the afternoon with equal success.<BR><BR>Halfway through the afternoon session, it appeared almost as if "Go Show" and Team Blimpie Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin were battling for the pole position in a final qualifying session. Gobert and Mladin leapfrogged over each other on the timing monitors several times before Gobert began ripping off consistent 1:26s.<BR><BR>As Mladin's times leveled off, Gobert's times continued to fall to a best of 1:26.113 with a second best of 1:26.571.<BR><BR>"I always go quicker on the second day," said the pierced and tattooed Aussie. "We're dialing in my new suspension a little bit more, and I'm starting to learn the track better. Hopefully, Mat (Mladin) won't go any quicker. He gets to spend all day with his bike. I only get to ride my Superbike in the afternoon. But I've been working really hard, my crew has been working and the results show."<BR><BR>At the other end of the pits, Mladin calmly explained that he was still testing rather than looking for his race set-up. "We're having a few general problems," said Mladin, choosing not to be specific about his problems. "Right now we're just trying to get the bugs ironed out. We'll start looking for our race set-up tomorrow." As he spoke, Mladin's crew was working with his rear suspension and had three different shock linkages laid out on the pit wall.<BR><BR>When asked what the pole position time would be for the April Superbike double-header at California Speedway, Mladin stated, "If we had to qualify tomorrow, 25-flat."<BR><BR>Wednesday also saw Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom continue to shave tenths off his best California Speedway lap times, while Aaron Yates found himself right on pace despite a sticking problem with his Superbike's front brakes in the afternoon.<BR><BR>Remarkably close to the factory Superbike lap times, Graves Yamaha's Damon Buckmaster was the fastest of the four Formula Xtreme riders on the track Wednesday at Fontana. Even though he was riding last year's bike, with no new parts, on last year's Dunlops, Buckmaster turned a very quick 1:27.700 on his 2001 YZF-R1/R7 hybrid.<BR><BR>Buckmaster was also the first AMA rider to test the new Invader Technologies' Audible Alert system and found positive results.<BR><BR>According to his Crew Chief Joey Lombardo, Tommy Hayden tied with Anthony Gobert for the fastest 600cc time of Wednesday morning and again turned the fastest 600cc Supersport lap time of the afternoon with a 1:29.403 on his Dunlop-equipped Kawasaki ZX-6R.<BR><BR>Even though Hayden has ridden at five different tests this off-season, Lombardo said that the team is just now starting to test new suspension parts for the ZX-6R because of bad weather at some of the previous tests. At some other tests, Lombardo said that Hayden just rode around without changing anything on the bike, to get a feel for his new machine.<BR><BR>Dirt on the track was not a problem Wednesday morning, and the turn one chicane remained configured as it was at the end of day one. <BR><BR>The test is due to end Thursday.<BR><BR>Unofficial Wednesday Afternoon Lap Times:<BR><BR>1. Anthony Gobert, Yamaha YZF-R7, 1:26.113<BR>2. Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:26.800<BR>3. Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, 1:27.264<BR>4. Aaron Yates, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:27.326<BR>5. Damon Buckmaster, Yamaha YZF-R1/R7, 1:27.700<BR>6. Tom Kipp, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:28.324<BR>7. Aaron Gobert, Yamaha YZF-R1/R7, 1:28.964<BR>8. Josh Hayes, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:29.143<BR>9. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki ZX-6R, 1:29.403<BR>10. Jason Pridmore, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:30.179<BR>11. Jamie Hacking, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:30.556<BR>12. Ben Spies, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:30.751<BR>13. Tony Meiring, Kawasaki ZX-6R, 1:31.771<BR>14. Chris Ulrich, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:32.961<BR><BR>Best Front Straightaway Trap Speed:<BR><BR>1. Bostrom, 167.787 mph<BR>2. TIE, Buckmaster/Aaron Gobert, 167.205 mph<BR>3. Hayes, 166.340 mph<BR>4. Mladin, 165.769 mph<BR>5. Anthony Gobert/Yates, 165.484 mph<BR>6. Kipp, 163.521 mph<BR>7. Ulrich, 154.364 mph<BR>8. Tommy Hayden, 151.546 mph<BR>9. Meiring, 150.276 mph<BR>10. Spies, 149.577 mph<BR>11. Hacking, 148.427 mph<BR>12. Pridmore, 147.519 mph<BR><BR>Best Split Time Section Number One (Front Straightaway To Infield Straightaway):<BR><BR>1. Anthony Gobert, 0:56.250<BR>2. Mladin, 0:56.498<BR>3. Yates, 0:56.876<BR>4. Bostrom, 0:56.905<BR>5. Buckmaster, 0:57.322<BR>6. Kipp, 0:57.535<BR>7. Hayes, 0:58.077<BR>8. Aaron Gobert, 0:58.154<BR>9. Tommy Hayden, 0:58.217<BR>10. Spies, 0:58.520<BR>11. Hacking, 0:58.595<BR>12. Pridmore, 0:58.988<BR>13. Meiring, 0:59.685<BR>14. Ulrich, 1:00.810<BR><BR>Best Split Time Section Number Two (Infield Straightaway To Front Straightaway):<BR><BR>1. Anthony Gobert, :029.863<BR>2. Mladin, 0:30.096<BR>3. Buckmaster, 0:30.192<BR>4. Yates, 0:30.324<BR>5. Bostrom, 0:30.359<BR>6. Kipp, 0:30.733<BR>7. Aaron Gobert, 0:30.784<BR>8. Hayes, 0:30.973<BR>9. Tommy Hayden, 0:31.186<BR>10. Hacking, 0:31.742<BR>11. Pridmore, 0:31.781<BR>12. Spies, 0:31.897<BR>13. Meiring, 0:31.969<BR>14. Ulrich, 0:32.151<BR><BR>All timing information supplied by AMA Pro Racing Timing and Scoring.