Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias was the quickest rider out of
the gate Thursday afternoon in the opening MotoAmerica Motul Superbike/Bazzaz
Superstock 1000 Qualifying Practice at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).
Elias led the session with a time of 2:11.384 on his
2017-model GSX-R1000, but that was well off the pace the Spaniard and other top
riders displayed during the official Dunlop test three weeks ago COTA -- 2:09s
on race tires and 2:08s on qualifying tires.
“The session was not too bad, but not good,” Elias told Roadracingworld.com.
“Not because of the position, because the position P1 is always good. But today
we introduce two new parts. One it works. The other one didn’t work. The one
that didn’t work I’ve never been comfortable all practice, but we couldn’t change
that. In some areas we have to come back to the test setup because it was
Two-time and defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion
Cameron Beaubier said he was relatively happy with his Monster Energy Yamalube
Yamaha YZF-R1, but he said the track felt “pretty slick.” His best time was a
Elias’ teammate, Roger Hayden, the fastest rider at the
Dunlop pre-season test at COTA, said he was forced to work through some issues
with his GSX-R1000 so he didn’t get a chance to evaluate his new chassis parts.
Hayden finished the session third at 2:11.593.
Beaubier’s teammate Josh Hayes ended up fourth with a
2:11.671, less than 0.3 off the fastest time, but Hayes said his YZF-R1 didn’t feel
right and he couldn’t put his finger on exactly what was causing the bad
Jake Lewis, on the other hand, had a terrific session. While
the four top Superbike riders went significantly slower than they did during
the test, Lewis improved on his best time from the test and was the fastest
Superstock 1000 rider Thursday. Thanks to a long list of new parts, upgrades
and changes to his new, 2017-model M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000, Lewis lapped the
3.426-mile circuit in 2:11.798.
“It’s been a long time since I was P1 in my class in any
session,” said Lewis. “At the beginning, I had a bad vibration and the bike was
almost unrideable. I kept going and the times were actually pretty good. Then I
came in and put on a new tire, and the bike was a lot better. I only got one
lap on the new tire, but I hit all my marks. I’m really happy.”
Quicksilver Latus Racing’s Bobby Fong finished the session
sixth overall and second in Superstock 1000 with a 2:12.636, almost one second
slower than Lewis. Fong said he and his team tried some new setup stuff during
the session that did not work. He added that the new parts the team was
expecting had not yet arrived.
The 45-minute session was cut about five minutes short due
to a crash that brought out a red flag.
The Superbike and Superstock 1000 riders return to action
for their second Qualifying Practice at 11:55 a.m. local time on Friday.
MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Series
Circuit of The Americas
April 20, 2017
Motul Superbike/Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Qualifying Practice
One Results (All on Dunlop tires):
1. Toni Elias (Suz GSX-R1000), Superbike, 2:11.384
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 2:11.422
3. Roger Hayden (Suz GSX-R1000), Superbike, 2:11.593
4. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 2:11.671
5. Jake Lewis (Suz GSX-R1000), Superstock 1000, 2:11.798
6. Bobby Fong (Kaw ZX-10R), Superstock 1000, 2:12.636
7. Cameron Petersen (Kaw ZX-10R), Superstock 1000, 2:13.105
8. Mathew Scholtz (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:13.177
9. Josh Herrin (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 2:13.769
10. Danny Eslick (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:13.866
11. Sylvain Barrier (BMW S1000RR), Superbike, 2:13.945
12. Jake Gagne (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), Superbike, 2:13.950
13. Hayden Gillim (Suz GSX-R1000), Superstock 1000, 2:14.134
14. David Anthony (Kaw ZX-10R), Superbike, 2:14.847
15. Max Flinders (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:17.095
16. Tyler O'Hara (Kaw ZX-10R), Superstock 1000, 2:17.102
17. Kyle Wyman (Yam YZF-R1), Superbike, 2:17.756
18. Bryce Prince (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:17.783
19. Anthony Kosinski (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:19.952, crash
20. Mathew Orange (BMW S1000RR), Superbike, 2:20.409
21. Jeremy Cook (BMW S1000RR), Superstock 1000, 2:21.094
22. Steven Zoumaras (Kaw ZX-10R), Superstock 1000, 2:23.823
23. Roi Holster (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:24.903
24. Joy Higa (Yam YZF-R1), Superstock 1000, 2:25.457