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Sep 27, 2013

Beaubier Breaks Sixth Consecutive Lap Record, Takes Provisional AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Pole At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Updated)

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Championship: Cameron Beaubier (6). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Newly-crowned 2013 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Champion Cameron Beaubier showed no signs of slowing down Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

During provisional qualifying, the 20-year-old rode his Y.E.S./Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 around the 2.2-mile road course in 1:26.516, eclipsing the lap record of 1:26.698 he set during the AMA Pro event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in July.

It is the sixth straight event in which Beaubier has broken a Daytona SportBike lap record. If Beaubier can maintain his position during final qualifying Saturday afternoon he will have earned every pole position in the 2013 season.

"It was good," said Beaubier. "It’s nice to come here without any fog in the morning. We had no problem getting out this morning. The track felt a lot better this afternoon with more rubber on it and stuff.

"I had a slow start to the session with the red flag. I put the soft [-compound rear tire] on with 10 minutes to go. I was riding with JD [Beach] and got pushed off the track by someone trying to get out of the way. So that was a bummer. After that, I just put my head down and put in a good last two laps. It was good. I’m glad that we have tomorrow to try again.

"I wanted to come here and better my laps, of course. I think it’s a little warmer than when MotoGP was here. I know that we can probably go faster tomorrow, even. Mostly, we’re just trying to work on a good race setup because our race is early in the morning on Sunday. So our first practice was really important today."

Garrett Gerloff, Beaubier’s 18-year-old teammate, was the best of the rest with a 1:27.439, 0.9-second astern of the leader’s time.

Earning the final spot on the provisional, FIM-spec, three-rider front row was JD Beach, who did a 1:27.820 on his Red Bull/RoadRace Factory Yamaha YZF-R6.

Veteran Jason DiSalvo qualified fourth-quickest with a 1:27.861 on his Latus Motors Racing/Castrol Triumph Daytona 675R.

Daytona SportBike rookie Jake Lewis was fifth-fastest at 1:27.884 on his Meen Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6.

Bobby Fong made it two Triumphs on the second row with his 1:27.970 on his D&D Cycles/Castrol-backed machine.

GEICO Honda’s Dane Westby (1:28.074), Riders Discount Triumph’s Jake Zemke (1:28.478) and Team Amantini’s Fernando Amantini (1:28.772) are on the provisional third row, and Tuned Racing’s Bryce Prince (1:28.782) rounded out the top 10 riders in provisional qualifying.

Because the SuperSport class is not racing this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, AMA Pro Racing has invited riders from that class to bump up to DSB for this season finale. The fastest SuperSport rider in provisional DSB qualifying was Beach’s teammate Tomas Puerta, the 2013 SuperSport West and SuperSport National Champion. Puerta was 11th-fastest overall with a 1:29.033.

Beach’s other teammate, Jake Gagne, was 20th in provisional qualifying with a lap of 1:30.435. Gagne crashed September 15 at New Jersey Motorsports Park and separated his right shoulder and broke his right collarbone. Gagne had surgery to repair the shoulder September 17. The 20-year-old San Diego, California resident sat out practice Friday morning in an attempt to limit the amount of laps he does with his injured shoulder. Gagne is riding in hopes of securing second place, his current position, in the final Championship point standings.

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing
GoPro Daytona SportBike
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Monterey, California
September 27, 2013
Provisional Qualifying Session One Results (all on Dunlop tires):

1. Cameron Beaubier (Yam YZF-R6), 1:26.516*
2. Garrett Gerloff (Yam YZF-R6), 1:27.439
3. JD Beach (Yam YZF-R6), 1:27.820
4. Jason DiSalvo (Tri Daytona 675R), 1:27.861
5. Jake Lewis (Yam YZF-R6), 1:27.884
6. Bobby Fong (Tri Daytona 675R), 1:27.970
7. Dane Westby (Hon CBR600RR), 1:28.074
8. Jake Zemke (Tri Daytona 675R), 1:28.478
9. Fernando Amantini (Yam YZF-R6), 1:28.772
10. Bryce Prince (Yam YZF-R6), 1:28.782
11. Tomas Puerta (Yam YZF-R6), 1:29.033
12. James Rispoli (Suz GSX-R600), 1:29.164, crash
13. Corey Alexander (Suz GSX-R600), 1:29.387
14. Benny Solis (Hon CBR600RR), 1:29.934
15. Hayden Gillim (Yam YZF-R6), 1:29.940
16. Elena Myers (Tri Daytona 675R), 1:30.034
17. Sebastiao Ferreira (Yam YZF-R6), 1:30.053
18. Ben Young (Yam YZF-R6), 1:30.175
19. Wyatt Farris (Yam YZF-R6), 1:30.405
20. Jake Gagne (Yam YZF-R6), 1:30.435
21. Charles Weaver (Yam YZF-R6), 1:30.472
22. Chad R. Lewin (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:31.180
23. Brandon Cleland (Tri Daytona 675R), 1:31.551
24. Dustin Dominguez (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:31.571
25. Travis Wyman (Suz GSX-R600), 1:31.889
26. Bradley Adams (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:31.917
27. Kenny Riedmann (Tri Daytona 675R), 1:32.049, crash
28. Melissa Paris (Hon CBR600RR), 1:32.280
29. Chris Duran (Yam YZF-R6), 1:32.390
30. Shane Narbonne (Suz GSX-R600), 1:33.084
31. Sahar Zvik (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:33.518
32. Roi Holster (Yam YZF-R6), 1:33.741
33. Daniel Ortega (Yam YZF-R6), 1:34.172
34. Shaun Summers (Yam YZF-R6), 1:35.698
35. Walt Sipp (Bue 1125R), 1:36.601
36. Joey Pascarella (Tri Daytona 675R), 1:44.151
37. Kyle Wyman (Tri Daytona 675R), 1:51.370, crash

*new lap record

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Number 6 for #6 As Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha DSB Champ Beaubier Breaks Track Record For 2nd Time This Season At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Monterey, CA - September 27, 2013 – For the sixth-consecutive time, 2013 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Champion Cameron Beaubier broke the track record. Remarkably, this is the second time this season that Cameron, aboard his #6 YZF-R6, set the provisional pole and broke the track record at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Cameron’s teammate Garrett Gerloff also bettered his previous qualifying time from July and is second on the provisional grid.

It’s not often that a rider is able to break a lap record at a track where they already set a new record earlier in the season, but that’s the kind of year that Cameron is having. “The track felt a lot better this afternoon with more rubber on the surface,” Cameron said. “So I was able to run some fast laps. I’m glad I broke the track record again like I did when we were here for the MotoGP weekend in July. I want to keep doing my best and improving every time I’m on the bike.”

Garrett said, “I couldn’t get comfortable this morning with so many more riders on the track. But, in qualifying, everyone seemed to be spread out more, so I was feeling better and better with every lap I rode. I got into P2 (second place) on my last couple of laps, and I’m hoping to go faster in tomorrow’s session.”

Final qualifying for Daytona SportBike is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3:15 PM PT, and the race will go green early on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM PT.

For more news, results, and other team info, be sure to check out Yamaha’s Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @YamahaMotorUSA.

More, from a press release issued by GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing:

Westby sees room to improve qualifying position at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 27) - After Friday's first qualifying session aboard the GEICO Motorcycle Honda, rider Dane Westby is in line to start the GoPro Daytona SportBike season finale from the second row at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the final stop in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series.

Westby turned a best lap of one minute, 28.074 seconds to provisionally qualify seventh. He was just a fraction of a second off the pace for a front-row spot, and he believes that moving up in Saturday's final qualifier is possible.

"We ran fourth most of the session," Westby said. "We got a tow (draft) behind J.D. Beach, which is what we need to go faster at this point. I was able to see what he was doing and follow his lines."

Westby's chances for improvement will be strong because unlike most of the events on the schedule, where qualifiers are run at radically different times of the day, this weekend's sessions will be run at similar times.

"It's been an odd weekend," Westby said. "Usually there's fog and the track is wet in the morning. The weather has just been perfect. I'm excited to qualify at the same time. The track will be nice and warm, so we'll go out and give it another shot."

That time among the leading riders (Beach is provisionally third) has also given Westby confidence about Sunday's race.

"I also saw we're going to have a really good race pace," Westby said. "If their pace doesn't change, it bodes well for us. There were places where they were weak and we were strong. I think we'll be able to strike."

Westby said he could tell the team had made serious gains since the last race in New Jersey.

"The bike felt good as soon as we unloaded it from the truck," Westby said. "This is the best the bike has felt yet. I know my guys have been working really hard to make it that way. I'm really pleased with my GEICO Motorcycle Honda; we've barely adjusted anything."

The second Daytona SportBike qualifier gets under way at 3:15 p.m. PDT Saturday from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Sunday's race starts at 9:30 a.m.

More, from a press release issued by Team Hammer PR:

Return To Laguna Seca For Team Hammer

Team Hammer kicked off the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season finale weekend on Friday at the fabled Laguna Seca raceway in Monterey, California.

Returning to the Northern Californian circuit for a second time this season -- this time alongside the Superbike World Championship -- GEICO Road Racing Honda's Dane Westby was immediately up to speed, clocking a top-five time in the morning Daytona SportBike practice.

The Oklahoman lowered his time by nearly a second in the afternoon's DSB qualifying session, posting a 1:28.074 aboard his Honda CBR600RR to rank seventh provisionally.

M4 Hotbodies Racing's Benny Solis was 14th fastest in the first of two SportBike qualifying sessions. The Californian navigated the steep climbs and dips of the undulating course with a best time of 1:29.934 to place his CBR600RR on the provisional fourth row.

Solis said, "Right away in the morning we started off pretty good -- it was better than our race pace from earlier in the season. That gave me some good confidence, but I wanted to make some small changes for qualifying. The changes we did make, unfortunately, we went backwards. But at least we know what direction to go. Tomorrow we'll start off with the set-up we had this morning but with a really small change. We know the lap times we can do, and I think just riding a little bit harder will make it even better."

MPH Racing's Melissa Paris rounded out the team's efforts in Daytona SportBike, closing out Friday in 28th in a very deep, 37-rider field. Paris' best lap was a 1:32.280 aboard her Team Hammer Contract Services-prepared Honda CBR600RR.

Friday proved to be a rocky day for Team Hammer's AMA Pro Superbike contender, M4 Broaster Chicken Racing's Chris Ulrich. The Californian bravely fought his way back from a very big crash in the morning to claim 12th in the session with a best time of 1:27.744 aboard his CBR1000RR Superbike.

Ulrich said, "We've been working on the bike all year and had some high hopes coming into this weekend, especially after a positive weekend at New Jersey. But finally the air-bleed back-in control system that we've been forced to use by the sanctioning body bit us today. It had been a little bit inconsistent this morning and I got myself in a situation where I corrected for it using a little throttle to get the bike back in line. I came off the brake pressure when I did that, and then came back on it a bit too aggressively. It spit me on my head, very, very quickly, and very, very violently. It was a huge crash and I am beat up.

"I wasn't too sure if I was going to be able to continue to ride this weekend but I got on the spare bike in the afternoon and matched our qualifying time from earlier in the year. That shows a little bit of progress, particularly considering the state that I'm in. I need to improve some tomorrow and we have changes to make to help make the bike rotate in the center of the corner.

"We have 23 laps on Sunday to see what we can do. I'm sure a couple of those guys in front of me will come back to me and I think I can hang on and be in the hunt. But it's disappointing because I had some higher hopes and expectations for this weekend."

On Saturday, Team Hammer's riders will look to improve as they lock down their final grid positions of the 2013 season ahead of Sunday's SportBike and Superbike race finales.

About Team Hammer: In 2013, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 33rd consecutive racing season, and is marking its seventh year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. Riders on Team Hammer-prepared racebikes have earned 59 AMA Pro National race wins; 135 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 5 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.