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May 24, 2014

​Hayes Tops Opening RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike Practice At The Arai Mountain Nationals, Round Three Of The GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha

Josh Hayes (4) in action Saturday morning at Miller Motorsports Park. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Three-time Pro Superbike Champion Josh Hayes posted the fastest lap time during the opening RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike practice session at the Arai Mountain Nationals, Round Three of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented by Yamaha, at Miller Motorsports Park (MMP).

Hayes, riding his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1, lapped MMP’s 2.183-mile West Course in 1:31.384 in spite of damp-but-drying conditions that caused many riders to sit out the first practice.

“The conditions were kind of sketchy,” Hayes told Roadracingworld.com, “but I wanted to go do some laps regardless. So I went out and tootled around.”

Most AMA Pro racers have only ridden MMP’s 3.0-mile Outer Course and one year AMA Pro raced on the 4.5-mile Full Course configuration, but no Pro-level motorcycle road race has been held on the West Course until this weekend. Hayes, however, said he has experience on the shorter West Course.

“I’ve done a bunch of photo shoots for Yamaha and some Yamaha Champion Riding Schools here,” said Hayes. “And when we ran the full course we rode most of it. It’s a fun course. Too bad the conditions weren’t very good. It was drying out, but there were a couple of spots where we had to splash across some water.”

Hayes was significantly quicker than his teammate Cameron Beaubier, who did a 1:37.355. OC Racing’s Mathew Orange (1:52.506) and Mom & Pop Racing’s Daytona Anderson (1:56.223) were the only other riders to go out in the first RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike practice.

No riders went out in the earlier practice for the Dynojet Pro Sportbike class due to the track being wetter from overnight and early morning rain showers.