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Sep 28, 2013

Hayes Retains Pole Position For 2013 AMA Pro Superbike Season Finale At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Updated)

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro National Guard Superbike: Josh Hayes (1) in action on his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Photo by Brian J. Nelson/AMA Pro Racing.
GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Monterey, California
September 28, 2013
Provisional Combined Qualifying Results (all on Dunlop tires):

1. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), 1:24.249
2. Josh Herrin (Yam YZF-R1), 1:24.672
3. Martin Cardenas (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:24.694
4. Chris Fillmore (KTM RC8R), 1:25.192
5. Geoff May (EBR 1190RS), 1:25.248
6. Larry Pegram (Yam YZF-R1), 1:25.482
7. Taylor Knapp (KTM RC8R), 1:25.643
8. David Anthony (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:25.801
9. Chris Clark (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:25.806
10. Aaron Yates (EBR 1190RS), 1:26.020
11. Cory West (EBR 1190RS), 1:26.131
12. Chris Ulrich (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:27.725
13. Trent Gibson (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:29.141
14. Mathew Orange (BMW S1000RR), 1:29.155, crash
15. Kevin Pinkstaff (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:29.543
16. Johnny Rock Page (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:30.058

107% of Fast Time: 1:30.146

17. Aaron Ascher (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:30.556
18. Scott Tillery (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:30.753
19. Tony Porter (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:31.959




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Pure Pole Perfection For Hayes As Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha Champ Qualifies First At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca & Notches Eighth-Consecutive Pole Of Season; Teammate Herrin 2nd On Grid

Monterey, CA - September 28, 2013 – In Saturday’s final qualifying session at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, three-time defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes completed a perfect season in qualifying as he notched his eighth and final pole position of 2013, based on his fast lap from Friday’s provisional qualifying. No other SuperBike rider has gone faster than Hayes in qualifying at every AMA Pro Racing event this season.

2013 Championship points leader and Hayes’ teammate Josh Herrin improved on his provisional fifth position from yesterday. He recorded a string of fast laps towards the end of today’s final qualifying and put his #2 Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R1 in second position on the starting grid for tomorrow’s race.

When asked about his perfect season of poles, Hayes said, “It’s really cool to consistently be the fastest rider out there, and to earn the pole at every track really shows just how good my Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha team is. The ultimate goal every weekend is to win the races, but the first step in that process is getting pole. I think it’s something that every team tries for, and I’m proud that we got all eight poles this season.”

“I’m ready for tomorrow’s race,” Herrin said. “I had a much better session today, and I worked methodically on putting down some fast laps. I’m happy with P2 on the starting grid, and I can hardly wait till tomorrow. I really wish the race was today.”

Sunday morning’s SuperBike race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is set to go green at 10:40 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 Geiger Media on behalf of AMSOIL:

AMSOIL rider May confident podium finish in cards at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 28) - Even though Geoff May didn't get his Team Hero/AMSOIL EBR the front-row starting spot for Sunday's National Guard SuperBike Race he was hoping for, the veteran rider is confident about his chances.

May will start on the inside of the front row after qualifying fifth on Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the final stop in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series.

"I've got the best bike I've ever had here at Laguna Seca," May said. "I've got a really good race bike. I can repeat those fast lap times over and over again."

May's best lap of the weekend was in one minute, 25.514 seconds. He said there was always something or someone that kept him from making a home-run-type lap.

"I was never able to make an all-out qualifying lap," he said. "I just kept getting messed up by slower guys in the field and it never seemed to come together. Despite all that I'm real confident we can go real fast in traffic and it's repeatable.

"For some of those other guys who snuck up in there on us, it seemed like they could only keep those quick times for a lap or two. I've got high hopes and I think we're going to do really well. Even past three-quarter race distance, I'm still only .2-second off my best times."

Even starting on the second row should be a positive for May.

"Historically I do better from the second row," May said. "It gives you a target to out-brake in the first corner. When you are in the front you don't have that. Consistency gets you up there in the race, and that's the kind of bike we have."

May's teammate Aaron Yates moved up one spot on the grid to ninth aboard the AMSOIL/Hero EBR with a best lap of 1:26.020.

"We went a little quicker but didn't go as quick as we wanted to go," Yates said. "We had a few small issues. We struggled a little with the feel of the front and confidence in the bike turning on the side of the front tire.

"You've got to have that there. I'm a little slow coming through the back section and having trouble keeping the front loaded. We'll make some changes to make that better and it should help us out."

Sunday's National Guard SuperBike race gets under way at 10:40 a.m. PDT.




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

Hayes Closes Out 2013 Pole Sweep At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. (September 28, 2013) - Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha's Josh Hayes completed his perfect season sweep of AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike pole positions Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. However, despite securing his eighth pole in as many attempts -- and now in search of his eighth win of 2013 in Sunday's season finale -- it's actually teammate Josh Herrin who stands as the man in command.

Hayes earned his final pole based on the strength of his Friday time of 1:24.249, but also led the way in Saturday's second qualifying session with a similarly quick lap of 1:24.328. The defending triple champion will be joined on tomorrow's FIM-style three-man front row, as utilized by the FIM Superbike World Championship, by his fellow title contenders, points leader Herrin and Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's Martin Cardenas.

Herrin rebounded from his Friday fall in impressive fashion, laying down a pair of '24s late to leap up from fifth and eclipse Cardenas to claim the center position on Row 1. Hayes' pole keeps the pre-weekend title scenario static entering Sunday's race -- Herrin needs to finish just tenth or better in order to secure the first GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing title of his career.

Herrin, who qualified second at 1:24.672, said, "We have a good race pace, and I'm really looking forward to the race. Yesterday, I made a dumb mistake and crashed in Turn 3. It was just a little lowside but it did a lot of damage to the bike. So the guys built a new one from the ground up last night and it ended up being even better than the one I was on yesterday. Hats off to them for staying late and getting that done.

"I'm ready for tomorrow; hopefully, we can stay out of harm's way and wrap up the title."

Saturday's times were generally a tick slower than those established in Friday's qualifying session. The riders attributed that to the fact that Dunlop elected not to make their newest evolution spec tires, which were introduced on Friday, available for Sunday's race. The new rubber was praised for its feel and speed but was ultimately deemed not yet ready for usage at full race distance around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. As a result, a number of riders struggled to match their qualifying 1 pace as they scrambled to adjust and dial in their race set-ups to best suit the available options.

Hayes didn't seem overly fazed by the decision. He said, "They did still allow us to use that tire in qualifying today, but I actually did my best string and my best laps there at the end on the race tire. The tires are honestly the same other than at very full leans, such as around Turn 2. Just one has a bit more stability and grip than the other at full lean, otherwise, it doesn't affect me too much. Fortunately, with my riding style, I get off the edge of the tire as quick as I can so it didn't have a huge effect on me as far as lap times go."

Cardenas and fourth-place qualifier Chris Fillmore on the HMC Racing KTM RC8R had more difficulty adapting to the shift in tire selection.

Colombian Cardenas, who was the last man in the '24s at 1:24.694, explained, "I started yesterday on the new tire Dunlop brought and everything was working good. We were pretty fast yesterday, close to Josh [Hayes]. But we don't have that tire for the race, and we tried the one we have for the race -- the soft one. The bike seemed to behave not the way I wanted it to -- it chattered a lot. We'll have to work on that a little bit and find a better setup for the race and hope for the best."

Fillmore echoed Cardenas' sentiment, stating, "Dunlop brought a new tire this weekend, and we put it on the bike and it immediately calmed the whole bike down. It's kind of what we were looking for. We made a few changes from the last two races since we were last here, and I think we're making the right progress with the bike. And, with the new tires, it was magic. Unfortunately, they're taking all of those back and that kind of throws a wrench into the race. But, it's the same for everybody, and hopefully we can run like we did the last time we were here and be consistent. Right now, I'm still trying to decide what my race tire will be between the hard and the soft."

Lining up alongside Fillmore on the second row will be Team Hero EBR's Geoff May and Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram. Pegram was among the few front-runners to improve his pace on Saturday, lapping at 1:25.482, but it wasn't quite enough to move ahead of the Friday times of Fillmore (1:25.192) or May (1:25.248).

Row 3 will feature Fillmore's KTM teammate, Taylor Knapp, Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony, and second Yosh entry Chris Clark. The fourth row will boast plenty of experience with Team AMSOIL/Hero's Aaron Yates heading Motosport.com/EBR II's Cory West and M4 Broaster Chicken Racing's Chris Ulrich.

The 2013 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season finale will get underway Sunday morning at 10:40 a.m. local time. Live timing and scoring with play-by-play commentary will be available for all of this weekend's GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing sessions on AMA Pro Live. Log on and tune in at www.amaprolive.com/rr/.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Cameron Beaubier won pole for the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike class on Saturday afternoon at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but his crash late in the session put his win streak in doubt. Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha's Beaubier crashed in Turn 3 in front of Meen Motorsports' Jake Lewis, who said he lost the front and fell with just a few minutes to go. He still held the fastest time, but after winning 10 races in a row, the Californian will be sore for tomorrow's season finale.

"It was weird. As soon as I touched the brakes going into Turn 3, I lost the front," said Beaubier. "I didn't even have any time to react. Before I knew it, I was on the ground. I'm not sure how I banged my knee, but I did tumble a lot going through the gravel... I don't really know how I hurt my knee and ankle. I definitely took a pretty good tumble, though. I may meet up with (my orthopedist) Dr. Bryan tonight to have the injuries evaluated. But, right now, my plan is to race tomorrow."

Lewis earned the next spot on the special three-rider-wide grid and continued the good form he's showed at the last few races.

"We put on a new tire with about 15 minutes to go," Lewis said. "It was good to get down in the 1:26's. I've been gaining a lot of confidence and carrying the momentum from New Jersey."

Garrett Gerloff was third, having made it a front-row qualifying effort for the factory Yamaha squad once again.

"We worked on our race setup during the session," Gerloff said. "I think we have something really good for tomorrow."

Dane Westby (GEICO Motorcycle Racing) held second for much of the session before ending in the fourth spot. He'll start alongside RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's JD Beach and Bobby Fong, the D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph pilot hot on the heels of his podium finish in New Jersey.

Row three will see a trio of triumphs, with Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing) leading Riders Discount Racing Triumph's pair of former DAYTONA 200 winners, Joey Pascarella and Jake Zemke.

Sunday's 20-lap AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike season finale will kick off the day's racing activities with a scheduled green flag time of 9:30 a.m. local time.

How to Follow the Action

Live timing and scoring with play-by-play commentary will be available for all of this weekend's GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing sessions on AMA Pro Live. Log on and tune in at www.amaprolive.com/rr/

Stay connected with GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing on social media at twitter.com/AMAProSBK and www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing.

Steve Rapp Wins 2013 AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series Title

Aerostar Global/Suburban Harley-Davison's Steve Rapp finished off the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Series in appropriately dominant fashion, securing his first-career GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing title with a blowout victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Rapp earned the $25,000 prize that's awarded for winning the XR Showdown by taking his sixth win of the season in convincing fashion. The veteran AMA Pro star, who entered Saturday's finale with a healthy 23-point advantage after taking pole earlier in the day, ripped open a 1.233-second advantage on the race's opening lap and he only piled it on from there. He never put a wheel wrong despite the immense pressure of racing towards his first AMA Pro title.

Rapp gradually widened the gap to over seven seconds before cruising on the race's final two laps to a margin of victory just under six seconds.

The 41-year-old racer said, "It's just a dream. I didn't even think I'd be able to race with some new things in my life with work and what-not. Thanks to the guys from Suburban Motors, they took me in and gave me an awesome bike and team... It's a culmination of 15 years of a lot of hard work and a lot of trials and tribulations and a lot of things that go along with it. It's just great to finally do it, and do it here at home in front of a lot of friends and family."

Once again, there was significant drama behind the all-conquering Rapp in the struggle to determine second.

Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade's Tyler O'Hara's 'A' bike suffered an engine problem on the warm-up lap. The race was momentarily delayed as a result, allowing O'Hara to hitch a ride back down to the grid and jump on his back-up bike. However, he was forced to start from the back of the field rather than the spot he earned on the front row.

Undaunted, O'Hara slashed up to eighth on the race's first lap and continued his charge through the field from there, finally arriving in second with a three-man overtaking maneuver entering the Corkscrew on lap 4 of 11.

After that, he fended off the repeated advances of Rapp's Suburban teammate, Ben Carlson, and young Hayden Schultz (Kyle Wyman Racing), who raced in a tight pack that also included Spyke's Harley-Davidson's 2012 champ Michael Barnes and Folsom Harley-Davidson's Gage McAllister.

O'Hara held on for second at the flag (and overtook Harv's Harley Davidson's Travis Wyman as the XR Showdown runner-up), with Carlson and Schultz close behind in third and fourth, respectively.

Barnes finished fifth, while McAllister fell off the podium pack but still finished safely in sixth.

Wyman was a distant seventh with Thrashed Bike Racing's David Estok, Ruthless Racing Inc.'s Darren James, and MOB Racing's Shane Narbonne rounding out the finale top 10.

About GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The 2013 schedule consists of nine rounds of competition on the country's finest road courses. The Series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.