Two-time and defending MotoAmerica Motul Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier claimed the provisional pole position during qualifying Friday at Circuit of The Americas.
Beaubier, riding his Monster Energy/Yamalube Yamaha YZF-R1, improved on the 2:11.422 he did Thursday with a 2:10.080 today and said everything was working well for him.
“I felt comfortable as soon as I got on the bike,” said Beaubier, who came into the weekend feeling under the weather. “We made a couple of changes. We’re struggling with a couple of things still, but I got a string of four decent laps there at the end. All’s well.”
Beaubier also said he was happy with the announcement that Dunlop would be supplying soft, pre-qualifying tires to riders who reach Superpole to help prepare them before they mount their one-lap rear qualifying tires.
“I think that was a good call on MotoAmerica’s part,” said Beaubier. “It’s pretty tough trying to adapt for one lap to a Superpole tire. That first one [pre-qualifier] will kind of get us ready for it. I think it will also be safer for us and it may save us a little bit in case we have a problem on our Superpole lap or if someone gets in the way, something like that. We’ll still be able to get in a good lap time with that pre-qualifier.”
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias was only 0.067 second behind Beaubier at the end of the session with his lap of 2:10.147 on his GSX-R1000. Elias said he only used one set of tires throughout the session, choosing to work towards his race-distance setup rather than go for one fast lap.
Elias’ teammate Roger Hayden was third-fastest with a time of 2:10.601.
Fourth overall and quickest of the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 competitors was Bobby Fong, who did a 2:10.799 on his Quicksilver Latus Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R. In spite of leading his class, Fong said he uncomfortable with his motorcycle. The culprit, said Fong, was a new set of brakes, which are better for stopping but are upsetting the handling of his Kawasaki.
Beaubier’s teammate Josh Hayes came out of the session fifth overall with a 2:10.849.
Jake Lewis, the fastest Superstock 1000 rider on Thursday, improved his lap time from 2:11.798 to 2:11.054 on his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000, and the tall Kentucky rider was brimming with confidence after the session.
Frenchman Sylvain Barrier made a huge improvement from 2:13.945 on Thursday to 2:11.085 on Friday on his Scheibe Racing BMW S1000RR. Barrier’s Superbike has an upgraded BMW RC Pro engine electronics kit this weekend that it did not have during the Dunlop pre-season test at COTA.
Motovation USA/Lucas Oil KWR’s Kyle Wyman blew his Yamaha’s Superbike engine early in Thursday’s session, but the New Yorker bounced back Friday by doing an eighth-quickest 2:11.126 in spite of switching to a lower-spec back-up engine.
Mathew Scholtz chopped 1.6 seconds off his time from Thursday to end up ninth overall and third in Superstock 1000 with a 2:11.503 on his Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.
Jake Gagne, 10th-quickest overall with a 2:12.132, said he spent Friday’s session continuing to work up the steep learning curve presented by his new Broaster Genuine Chicken Honda CBR1000RR SP2 Superbike.
Hayden Gillim (2:12.438) was 11th overall and fourth in Superstock on his 2016-model Cycle World Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Cameron Petersen earned the 12th and final spot in the Superpole session by turning a 2:12.550 on his Fly Street/Motul/ADR Motorsports Kawasaki ZX-10R Superstock machine.
MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Series
Circuit of The Americas
April 21, 2017
Motul Superbike/Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Qualifying Practice Two Results (All on Dunlop tires):
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 2:10.080
2. Toni Elias (Suz GSX-R1000), Superbike, 2:10.147
3. Roger Hayden (Suz GSX-R1000), Superbike, 2:10.601
4. Bobby Fong (Kaw ZX-10R), Superstock 1000, 2:10.799
5. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 2:10.849
6. Jake Lewis (Suz GSX-R1000), Superstock 1000, 2:11.054
7. Sylvain Barrier (BMW S1000RR), Superbike, 2:11.085
8. Kyle Wyman (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 2:11.126
9. Mathew Scholtz (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:11.503
10. Jake Gagne (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), Superbike, 2:12.132
11. Hayden Gillim (Suz GSX-R1000), Superstock 1000, 2:12.438
12. Cameron Petersen (Kaw ZX-10R), Superstock 1000, 2:12.550
13. Josh Herrin (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 2:12.652
14. David Anthony (Kaw ZX-10R), Superbike, 2:12.672
15. Danny Eslick (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:12.974
16. Bryce Prince (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:14.265
17. Tyler O'Hara (Kaw ZX-10R), Superstock 1000, 2:15.487
18. Max Flinders (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:15.959
19. Anthony Kosinski (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:19.606
20. Mathew Orange (BMW S1000RR), Superbike, 2:20.030
21. Jeremy Cook (BMW S1000RR), Superstock 1000, 2:20.395
22. Steven Zoumaras (Kaw ZX-10R), Superstock 1000, 2:21.169
23. Roi Holster (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:22.394
24. Joy Higa (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:23.430