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Apr 20, 2017

MotoAmerica: Toni Elias Fastest In Superbike, Jake Lewis Leads In Superstock 1000 At COTA (Updated)

Toni Elias (right) debriefs after his Qualifying Practice session Thursday at Circuit of The Americas. Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

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 “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 better.”

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 2:11.422.

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 feelings.

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

Austin, Texas

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