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Jul 11, 2014

Beaubier Claims Provisional AMA Pro Superbike Pole Position At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Updated)

Cameron Beaubier (2). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Superbike rookie Cameron Beaubier claimed the provisional AMA Pro Superbike pole position during qualifying Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Riding his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1, 21-year-old Beaubier lapped the 2.2-mile circuit in 1:24.433 to lead the 17-rider field.

“I was struggling a little bit there at the beginning just getting down to the time,” Beaubier told reporters after the session. “We threw a new soft [-compound rear tire] in at the end, and I got a couple of good laps in and then made a couple of mistakes and then had a good last lap. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and try to better my time and get ready for the race.”

During the last round of the series, June 21-22 at Barber Motorsports Park, Beaubier crashed twice on Saturday, once during the final qualifying session and once in Race One. After finishing third in Race Two, Beaubier said the crashes hurt his confidence. Did his performance Friday renew his confidence?

“Yeah, definitely,” said Beaubier. “It was pretty low after Saturday at Barber. And then I went out Sunday just with the mindset of trying to finish the race. I still made a few mistakes that were pretty stupid. Definitely, I have a little bit of my confidence back and I just want to continue like this.”

Beaubier was marginally faster than his teammate, three-time AMA Pro Superbike Champion Josh Hayes, who did a time of 1:24.628 on his Yamaha Superbike.

“Everything’s going OK,” said Hayes. “Another weekend at Laguna Seca. It’s not quite like the last World Superbike race when we had already raced once here during the season. It’s been a while since we’ve been here. It took a little longer to get up to speed. Also the new [US-made] Dunlop front tire has been a little bit of a challenge for me. So I’m working on a few things.

“I didn’t get the outright fastest lap, but I’ve definitely been able to string together some good laps. Body-wise I feel really good on the motorcycle, and we’re kind of knocking things out. I feel pretty good.”

Martin Cardenas was third-fastest during the session with a lap time of 1:25.521 on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000.

“It was OK,” said Cardenas. “We were trying a few things different from this morning. I think the bike is working good. I’m enjoying the track a lot, and we will try to close the gap a little bit tomorrow to the two Yamahas. Hopefully, we can be there for the race.”

Cardenas’ teammate Roger Hayden was right behind him in the order with a time of 1:25.716. Chris Fillmore recorded a competitive 1:25.903 on his ever-improving KTM/HMC Racing RC8R. “Aussie Dave” Anthony earned the final spot on the provisional second row with a time of 1:26.400 while riding his SIC/Motul/Fly Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 back-up bike.

Spaniard Bernat Martinez was seventh on a new, current-generation Yamaha YZF-R1. Jake Holden was eighth-quickest in the session in spite of his new TPL Racing/Desmo Veloce/Ducati Omaha 1199 Panigale R losing its clutch late in the session.

Team Hero/AMSOIL EBR’s Cory West (1:27.366) and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark (1:27.541) rounded out the top 10 riders in provisional qualifying.


AMA Pro Road Racing

Superbike

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Monterey, California

July 11, 2014

Provisional Qualifying Session One Results (all on Dunlop tires):

1. Cameron Beaubier (Yam YZF-R1), 1:24.433

2. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), 1:24.628

3. Martin Cardenas (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:25.521

4. Roger Hayden (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:25.716

5. Chris Fillmore (KTM RC8R), 1:25.903

6. David Anthony (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:26.400

7. Bernat Martinez (Yam YZF-R1), 1:26.979

8. Jake Holden (Duc 1199 Panigale R), 1:27.312

9. Cory West (EBR 1190RS), 1:27.366

10. Chris Clark (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:27.541

11. Sebastiao Ferreira (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:29.514

12. Marcel Irnie (BMW S1000RR), 1:29.787

13. Mathew Orange (BMW S1000RR), 1:29.886

14. Kevin Pinkstaff (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:31.007

15. Johnny Rock Page (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:31.128

16. Tony Porter (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:33.024

17. Joy Higa (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:33.631



More, from a press release issued by AMA Pro Racing:

Gold Rush: Beaubier returns to the top in Friday AMA Pro SuperBike qualifying at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. (July 11, 2014) - Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's gifted young pilot, Cameron Beaubier, entered the GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round hoping to rediscover his mojo following three consecutive demoralizing races. The 21-year-old appeared to be back on top of his game on Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, picking up the pace late to claim the provisional pole for Sunday's 23-lap AMA Pro SuperBike contest.

Beaubier ripped off a 1:24.433 near the end of Friday's qualifying to displace his three-time champion teammate, Josh Hayes, from the top of the charts. As an added bonus, Beaubier demonstrated his immense potential with the World Superbike paddock watching on in this unique combined AMA Pro Road Racing/FIM Superbike World Championship event.

The SuperBike rookie's Friday time was even quicker than the lap that put Hayes on pole for last July's AMA Pro SuperBike race in Monterey.

Beaubier said, "I'm glad to start the weekend fresh and strong. I just hope to continue my pace and be ready for Sunday. (My confidence) was pretty low after Saturday at Barber and I just went on Sunday with the mindset of finishing the race and I still made a couple of mistakes that were stupid. I definitely have my confidence back and I just want to continue like this."

"I was struggling a little bit there in the beginning, just getting down to a time," Beaubier admitted of today's session. "We threw a new soft in there at the end and I got a couple good laps in. I made a couple mistakes but then got in a good last lap. So yeah, I'm looking forward to tomorrow to try to better my time and get ready for the race."

Despite losing his spot in first, Hayes wasn't too far removed from the Californian today. The 39-year-old Mississippian stopped the clocks at 1:24.628 on his last lap to come up just 0.195 seconds short of reclaiming the day's fastest time in qualifying.

"Everything is going okay," Hayes said. "Another weekend at Laguna Seca -- it's not quite like the last World Superbike race we did here where he had already raced here once during the year. It's been a while since we've been here, so it took a little while to get up to speed... We didn't get the outright fastest lap, but I've definitely been able to string together some good laps. I feel pretty good."

No other rider was within a second of Beaubier's class-leading time. Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas came closest, holding down the final spot on the provisional front row at 1:25.521. He was separated from his teammate, Roger Hayden, by the exact same margin dividing Beaubier and Hayes, with Hayden fourth at 1:25.717, 0.195 back of the Colombian.

Cardenas said, "It was okay. We tried a few things different from this morning and I think the bike is working good. I'm enjoying the track a lot and we'll try to close the gap a little bit tomorrow to the two Yamahas and hopefully we can be there for the race."

KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore -- who came within a few hundred meters and a few ounces of fuel of claiming a breakthrough podium finish here in last season's finale -- was fifth quick on the day. Perhaps more impressively than his placement was the fact that he showcased speed similar to that of the Yoshimura duo, circulating at 1:25.903.

ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony, who currently sits second in the championship order behind Hayes, rounded out the provisional second row at 1:26.400.

Proto-Tech Spain Yamaha's Bernat Martinez, TPL Squadra Corse Ducati's Jake Holden, and Team AMSOIL Hero EBR's Cory West underlined the variety to be found in a field represented by seven different marques this weekend.

Third works Suzuki pilot (and Barber Motorsports Park podium finisher) Chris Clark completed the day's top ten.

On Saturday afternoon the top twelve riders following the first two qualifying sessions will advance to Qualifying 3 to determine the front four rows for Sunday's AMA Pro SuperBike race.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Jake Lewis was quickest in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike qualifying on Friday. Lewis earned provisional pole on his Motosport.com/Meen Yamaha with a time of 1:27.452 at the 2.238-mile circuit. Lewis battled with Jason DiSavlo (Castrol/Triumph/Sportbike Track Time) for the top spot in the California sun and the two traded the lead before the young rider emerged as the fastest man on the day.

"In the first practice, I struggled a little bit, and then we made some changes to the bike which seemed to be better for qualifying," said the Kentucky teen. "I came into the weekend with a lot of confidence after finishing second at Barber and I was also a little bit mad about it. So I came in here with a little different attitude and changed some things with myself over the past couple of weeks and I'm ready to go for the race."

Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha's Garrett Gerloff joined them on the third row. Gerloff was fast despite the fallout from breaking his arm in an Alabama crash.

Earning spots on the second row were DAYTONA 200 winner Danny Eslick, of Riders Discount Racing Triumph, Elkhart Lake winner Jake Gagne (RoadRace Factory/Red Bull) and Gerloff's teammate J.D. Beach.

They held off Alabama double winner Dane Westby (Yamalube/Westby Racing) who earned seventh on the day.

AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series

Reigning AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series champ Steve Rapp reconfirmed the fact that he's back in the fight with a dominant showing during Friday's provisional qualifying session.

The Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson superstar led the way by nearly a second, throwing down a 1:35.279 on his final circulation to claim provisional pole by a wide 0.880-second margin.

He was followed by Ruthless Racing's Danny Eslick, who is well positioned to take the points lead with another strong weekend. Young Gage McAllister (Folsom Harley-Davidson), who is looking to return to the podium for a second-time this season, completed the provisional front row in third.

Rapp, who checked out from the field in both the season's most recent race at Barber Motorsports Park and the series' most recent visit to Monterey, will attempt to lock down the pole tomorrow morning and then kick off a new win streak in tomorrow afternoon's 11-lap final.



More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

It Was “Fast-Four Friday” At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca As The Yamaha U.S. Road Racers Start World Superbike Weekend On A High Note

Cypress, CA - July 11, 2014 – The “Fast Four” riders who make up Yamaha’s U.S. Road Racing Teams competing in AMA Pro SuperBike and AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike started their annual visit to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on a high note with practice and qualifying sessions that netted excellent results.

Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha: Hayes & Beaubier

Right from the start of first practice in the morning, three-time AMA Pro SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes was the fastest rider on the track. As expected, he continued his dominance in first qualifying…until his teammate, SuperBike rookie Cameron Beaubier, nipped him with a slightly faster lap time, putting the Northern Californian on provisional pole at one of his favorite tracks.

“Morning practice went pretty well for me, and then, I got off to a little bit of a slow start in qualifying,” Cameron said. “It’s my first time on this track on a SuperBike, so I guess a bit of a learning curve is to be expected. I got going pretty well there towards the end, and I’m happy to get provisional pole today. We’ve got another qualifying session tomorrow, so I’ll be working hard to stay up front.”

Saturday’s two-part final qualifying, which includes a second session to set the grid among the 12 fastest riders, will commence at 2:15 PM PST. Sunday’s SuperBike race is scheduled for 4:20 PM PST.

Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha: Gerloff & Beach

Rider of the #8 Y.E.S./Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6, Garrett Gerloff, looked fully fit after his incident at Barber Motorsports Park late last month, in which he fractured his wrist. The quick-healing Texan was equally quick on track and qualified provisionally in third place on the grid. His teammate, Kentuckian JD Beach, is currently slotted into sixth place aboard his #6 R6, but both he and Garrett are separated by only .243 second, and they’re each just a few thousands of a second off provisional pole. Garrett and JD will be looking to improve on their lap times in Saturday’s final qualifying session, which is scheduled for 10:40 AM PST.

Sunday’s DSB race will go green at 1:25 PM PST.

Visit The Yamaha Display Area At The Marketplace And Demo A 2015 FZ-07

The Yamaha Display Area At The Marketplace, which is located in the track infield between turns 5 and 6 at the Raceway, will be open Friday, July 11 through Sunday, July 13, from 8 AM to 5 PM.

You’ll be able to take a demo ride aboard the all-new 2015 Yamaha FZ-07 sportbike. Demo rides will take place at the Yamaha Display Area At The Marketplace on Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12, from 9 AM to 4 PM, and on Sunday, July 13, from 9 AM to 1 PM. You’ll need a valid motorcycle license (permits are not allowed), a DOT-approved helmet, long pants, enclosed shoes, a shirt, and eye protection to take your ride.

Meet The Yamaha U.S. Road Racers

All your favorite Yamaha U.S. riders will be available for autographs during two Saturday "Meet & Greet" sessions, including Josh and Cameron from Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha; Garrett and JD from Y.E.S./Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha; Jake Gagne and Tomas Puerta from RoadRace Factory/Yamaha; Jake Lewis, Tucker Lancaster, Andre Ochs, Erick Sanchez, and Bernat Martinez from MotoSport.com/Meen Yamaha; along with Dane Westby from Yamalube/Westby Racing. The Monster Energy and Y.E.S. Umbrella Girls will also be there:

• Saturday, July 12, 12:45 - 1:15 PM, Yamaha Display Area At The Marketplace

• Sunday, July 13, 12:00 - 12:45 PM, Team Transporters (infield paddock)

See Garrett Gerloff’s “Misty Morning Hop”

First practice was a misty one for Garrett Gerloff at Mazda Raceway Laguna. Check out what he had to say: http://youtu.be/W2qCOTVo2cA

For more Yamaha racing news, results, photos, and videos, check out: www.YamahaMotorsports.com/Racingor your favorite Yamaha social media channel.