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by David Swarts
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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
“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.