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Oct 5, 2012

Hayes Sets Fast Time During AMA Pro Superbike Provisional Qualifying At Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans (Updated)

Josh Hayes on pit lane at NOLA Motorsports Park. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of AMA Pro Racing
Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans/GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing
AMA Pro National Guard Superbike
NOLA Motorsports Park
Avondale, Louisiana
October 5, 2012
Provisional Qualifying Session One Results (all on Dunlop tires):

1. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), 1:39.943, crash
2. Roger Hayden (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:40.941
3. Blake Young (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:40.962
4. Danny Eslick (EBR 1190RS), 1:41.159
5. Ben Bostrom (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:41.175
6. Larry Pegram (BMW S1000RR), 1:41.665
7. Robertino Pietri (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:41.806
8. Geoff May (EBR 1190RS), 1:42.078
9. Chris Fillmore (KTM RC8R), 1:42.238
10. Taylor Knapp (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:42.474
11. Aaron Yates (BMW S1000RR), 1:42.868
12. David Anthony (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:42.943
13. Chris Ulrich (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:43.565
14. Jordan Burgess (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:44.848
15. Brandt Dillon (BMW S1000RR), 1:45.884
16. Scott Tillery (Kaw ZX-10), 1:48.013
17. Lloyd Bayley (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:49.088
18. Chris Clark (Suz GSX-R1000), no time recorded

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

When the Saints Go Marching In: Hayes Leads the Way on the First Day of GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Action at NOLA Motorsports Park

NEW ORLEANS, La. (October 5, 2012) - With the 2012 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike title already captured, Josh Hayes is on a mission to end his epic GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season with an exclamation point this weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park.

Competing just over an hour's drive away from his hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi, Hayes is motivated to deliver for his large contingent of fans and did so in impressive fashion on Friday at the Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans presented by Dunlop Tire and LeoVince.

Hayes dominated the opening qualifying session, snatching up provisional pole by nearly a full second with a best time of 1:39.943 around the brand-new 16-turn, 2.75-mile facility.

The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider has already assembled what may go down as the greatest season in series' history, and another conquering weekend would only cement that bid. A tenth pole would tie him with Mat Mladin (2005) for the most ever in a single SuperBike season.

However, Friday was not without its challenges. The new track proved exceptionally hard on tires and the champ also suffered a crash during the day.

Hayes spent much of the day just riding around on worn, hard tires, preparing for the possibility of racing in those conditions.

"What's the most adjustable thing on the motorcycle? The wingnut behind the handlebars," Hayes explained. "Give me time to go out and ride the thing around the racetrack and see everything and wait until tomorrow when there's a little more rubber on the track before we even start worrying about if the softer tires going to be able to do race distance. But right now I'm pretty fast on the hard stuff so I'm feeling pretty good about it."

If Hayes can put together one more double-win weekend, he'll up his career win total to 33, moving ahead of Miguel DuHamel for second place all time, not to mention increasing his single-season wins record to 16.

Not content to rest on that success, Hayes is already eying a way to not only continue that unstoppable form in 2013, but up his game even further.

He said, "I'm excited about next year. I think everything is going to be the same on my end -- it's looking that way. I have a good thing going; I hate that we're going to take a bunch of time off. I had that really good run and then we took that time off to New Jersey and it kind of felt hard to come back and get going again. This one is going to be a long time. I sure like riding these things and I wish we had more days in the offseason that we got to ride them on tracks that we race at. It's been an incredible year. Probably the first time all year, within the last week and a half, I said, 'Man, I'm tired.' I didn't really notice. I've been pretty focused and I trained really hard this year. I did quite a bit more than in years past and took everything up a notch. I'm looking forward to getting right back to it and seeing if I can do the same thing again. I took my training up one notch -- I know there's another notch there. We're going to try to do it just a little bit better."

The biggest threat to Hayes this weekend is the same man who ended his pole and win streaks last time out: Roger Hayden.

The National Guard Jordan Suzuki ace scored his first-career AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike pole and race victory last time out at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will be eager to immediately add to that tally this weekend.

The Kentuckian was second best on Friday, lapping at 1:40.941 to narrowly displace Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Young (1:40.962) for the position late.

Young earned three early-season victories and will also be looking to end his season on a high note.

The final spot on the provisional front row went to Team Hero EBR's Danny Eslick, who claimed a stirring runner-up result at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The provisional second row is headed by Jordan Suzuki's Ben Bostrom, with Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram (BMW), Team Venezuela's Robertino Pietri, and Team Amsoil/Hero EBR's Geoff May.

KTM/HMC Racing's Chris Fillmore, Riders Discount K&L Supply's Taylor Knapp, Racing's David Anthony, and BMW's Aaron Yates round out a talented Row 3 heading into Saturday's final qualifying session.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier (Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha) was quickest in opening qualifying session for AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike. Beaubier emerged on top with a laptime of 1:42.958 after the checkered flag had flown and was the final competitor to improve the fastest mark of the session in the waning moments.

Meen Motorsports' Bobby Fong looked to have locked up the provisional pole when his lap of 1:43.083 went to the top of the charts, but moments late Beaubier bested him.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't even know it was Bobby. I just saw 'P2' on my pit board," said Cameron. "I was pushing really hard on the last lap and my lap timer said I went 1:43.2, a little slower than my actual time, so I was kinda bummed out. But they told me I had done a 1:42.9. I like the track. It has a really cool layout and is fast and flowing."

Miami winner Jake Gagne of RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha was third, a shade more than a tenth behind Fong.

Series champion Martin Cardenas was fourth in his first race after locking up the 2012 title. The GEICO Suzuki pilot is now a two-time GoPro Daytona SportBike champ after winning seven races this year.

Tommy Aquino was fifth on the Yamaha.

AMA Pro SuperSport
RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's Hayden Gillim earned provisional pole in AMA Pro SuperSport on Friday in the first day of action at NOLA Motorsports Park. Gillim, the winner at Utah earlier this year, put his stamp on the session early and ended it on top of title hopeful James Rispoli (Celtic Racing Orient Express) and Garrett Gerloff (Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha).

Gillim said, "The first practice this morning I was feeling really good. For qualifying, the bike was feeling great. We led the whole session, setting some awesome times and kept stepping up from there. I was glad to get back into first on something. It's been a while."

Gillim was the only rider in the 1:44-range.

Travis Wyman (Harv's H-D) and Tomas Puerta (RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha) rounded out the top five.

AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series
The AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series competitors were allowed a rare Friday practice to prepare for this weekend's XR Showdown conclusion at the new NOLA Motorsports Park facility.

KLR Group/Spyke's Harley-Davidson's Michael Barnes, who enters the finale clinging onto a scant two-point advantage over rival Tyler O'Hara (Bartel's Harley-Davidson), got his weekend off to an outstanding start. 'Barney' threw down a 1:53.226, which was more than a second faster than any other rider lapped in the session.

Harv's Harley-Davidon's Travis Wyman was second, followed by Surburban Harley-Davidson's Benny Carlson, who is eighth points off the Showdown lead, and O'Hara, in fourth.

Catch all the Action on SPEED

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing's National Guard SuperBike and GoPro Daytona SportBike divisions will be featured on SPEED in a set of back-to-back broadcasts, scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT on Sunday, October 7 and 12:00 midnight ET/9:00 p.m. PT late Sunday night. The AMA Pro SuperSport and AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series races will stream live on SPEED2. For more information, please visit

AMA Pro Live Streaming Video Experience, Live Timing & Scoring and Social Media Channels
AMA Pro Live, the online streaming video experience launched earlier this season, will be broadcasting views from around the track this weekend. Tune in at

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Live Timing & Scoring presented by Cortech offers fans real-time access to results from on-track sessions at Between the races, stay connected with GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at and

Event Features

In addition to the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing action, there will be family-friendly entertainment located in every turn. Event promoter M1 PowerSports will be bringing motorcycle stunt rider Jason Britton, a variety of New Orleans culinary concoctions, a 4x4 Monster Ride Truck, the always-popular Big Kahuna Bikini Girls, a kid's corral full of fun for the Little Kahunas and dozens of vendors. Motorcycle parking is free and tickets start at just $20 for Friday admission.

Tickets for this fall's Big Kahuna Miami, scheduled for September 21 - 23, 2012 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, can be purchased at

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

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

C'est Si Bon For Yamaha On First Day At NOLA Motorsports Park

New Orleans, LA October 5, 2012 Things got off to a great start for the Yamaha U.S. Road Racing Teams on the first day at the Big Kahuna New Orleans as Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha and Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha riders earned provisional pole position in two GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing classes.

In AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, three-time reigning series champion Josh Hayes got down to business right away aboard his #1 Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R1 and led provisional-pole qualifying from start to finish. It was another dominant display by the Mississippi native, on a race circuit that is a scant 90 minutes from his hometown in Gulfport.

"It's great to be riding on a track that's so close to my home in Gulfport," Josh said. "Everything's going well. We're still sorting out some stuff but, so far, things are good. We got up to speed really quickly and kept putting down consistent laps."

In AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, Cameron Beaubier certainly has a flair for the dramatic. He worked diligently throughout the qualifying session and put his #6 Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6 on the provisional pole on his final circulation around the 16-turn, 2.75-mile NOLA Motorsports Park natural road course.

Commenting on his provisional-pole-winning effort, Cameron said, "The start of the session was a little rough, and I was trying to get my laptimes down. I built my confidence up a little bit, and I switched to the hard tire option, which helped a lot. I saw P2 on my pit board, and I was really pushing on my last lap. I'm super-happy to put my R6 on the provisional pole, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Cameron's Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha teammate Tommy Hayden--in his first race back since suffering a concussion, broken foot, separated shoulder, and rib injuries in a race crash at New Jersey Motorsports Park a month ago--finished provisional qualifying in 15th. When asked if he was feeling the effects of his New Jersey crash, Tommy said, "It's definitely making it tough. I've lost a little bit of strength in my shoulder. That's the biggest problem. We modified my boot so that helped a little bit with my foot. I'll see how I feel in the morning. Hopefully, I can improve in final qualifying."

In AMA Pro SuperSport, Garrett Gerloff was third-fastest in provisional qualifying, on a track that he'd never set a tire on before, due to the fact that he was injured earlier in the season when AMA Pro Road Racing had an official test at NOLA. About his provisional qualifying session, Garrett said, "The bike feels good, and it's fast, but we picked the wrong tire for the session. I really like the flow of the track a lot. The more laps I ride on it, the more comfortable I feel, so seat time is important, obviously. I can't wait to get back out there tomorrow."

SuperSport Race 1 will go green at 1:00 PM on Saturday, Daytona SportBike Race 1 will start at 2:00 PM, and SuperBike Race 1 is scheduled for 3:15 PM. All times are Central.

For news, results, and other team info, be sure to check out Yamaha's Facebook page.
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