Dec 12, 2001
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Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>American Honda's Nicky Hayden recorded the fastest Superbike lap time Wednesday morning of the Dunlop tire tests at Daytona International Raceway while Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates led all 600cc Supersport riders on the morning of the last day of the test.<BR><BR>Hayden's best lap, a 1:49.897, came on the first flying lap of a 22-lap endurance test on what Hayden described as "what Dunlop thinks is going to be the race tire in March". Hayden rode the 2002-spec RC51, fitted with new vortex-generating tape strips, in the endurance run before handing the bike off to Miguel Duhamel just before lunch. Within just a few laps, Duhamel turned significantly quicker times on the new Honda Superbike versus his times on his 2001 RC51. Duhamel spent most of the morning testing a new two-way, rider-to-pit radio system from Racing Radios. Residing inside the foam aero-hump of his leathers and activated by a button on his left handle bar, the NASCAR-like radio system is legal only in the AMA Superbike class.<BR><BR>Yamaha's Anthony Gobert turned the second-fastest Superbike lap time late in the morning session despite feeling less than 100% physically and spending most of the morning riding his YZF-R6. Gobert's 1:50.052 was his best effort of the test to this point.<BR><BR>Mat Mladin lapped in the 1:50s on his first flying lap of the morning and ended up the third-fastest Superbike rider with a 1:50.422. Mladin and crew continued to work through their testing agenda of new parts and tires all morning.<BR><BR>Yates rode his GSX-R600 just long enough to turn what may end up being the fastest 600cc lap of the test at 1:53.970. Yates then jumped on his Suzuki Superbike long enough to turn the fifth-fastest Superbike lap time at 1:51.319, just before the lunch break.<BR><BR>KWS Motorsports' Shawn Higbee lapped at a best of 1:53.381 on his Formula USA Unlimited Superbike GSX-R750 with Dunlop DOT-labeled tires while he was supposed to only be riding around for pictures, according to KWS' Kevin Hunt.<BR><BR>Erion Racing's Mike Hale continued to spend time on his 2001 CBR929RR Formula Xtreme bike despite the fact that the FX class will most likely not race at Daytona in March, but the race's exclusion has not been officially decided by officials from Daytona and AMA Pro Racing. <BR><BR>Tripp Nobles and Dave Estok continue to do comparison testing between 2001 Buell X-1 Lightning and Pro Thunder racers and the 2003-model Buell Firebolt XB9R machines. After the majority of their testing is completed and the expensive diagnostic instruments are removed from the Pro Thunder version of the Firebolt, Nobles and Estok will attempt to turn the fastest lap of Daytona by a push-rod-equipped motorcycle. Nobles currently holds that mark with a 1:58 on the old version of the Buell Pro Thunder bike.<BR><BR>Wednesday Morning's Unofficial Lap Times:<BR>1. Nicky Hayden, Honda RC51, 1:49.897<BR>2. Anthony Gobert, Yamaha YZF-R7, 1:50.052<BR>3. Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:50.422<BR>4. Kurtis Roberts, Honda RC51, 1:50.837<BR>5. Aaron Yates, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:51.319<BR>6. Pascal Picotte, Ducati 998, 1:51.828<BR>7. Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, 1:51.839<BR>8. Miguel Duhamel, Honda RC51, 1:52.165<BR>9. Jamie Hacking, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:52.233<BR>10. Shawn Higbee, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:53.381<BR>11. Aaron Gobert, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:53.600*<BR>12. Aaron Yates, Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:53.970<BR>13. Anthony Gobert, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:54.506<BR>14. Roger Lee Hayden, Honda CBR600F4i, 1:55.178<BR>15. Damon Buckmaster, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:55.295<BR>16. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki ZX-6R, 1:55.418<BR>17. Mike Hale, Honda CBR929RR, 1:56.046<BR>18. Alex Gobert, Honda CBR600F4i, 1:57.080<BR>19. Jake Zemke, Honda CBR600F4i, 1:57.180<BR><BR>*Cut chicane on fastest lap time.<BR>