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Jul 19, 2013

Roger Hayden Quickest In First AMA Pro Superbike Practice At Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix (Updated)

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro National Guard Superbike: Roger Hayden (54). Photo by Brian J. Nelson/AMA Pro Racing.
Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix/GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Monterey, California
July 19, 2013
Provisional Free Practice One Results (all on Dunlop tires):

1. Roger Hayden (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:25.138
2. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), 1:25.242
3. Josh Herrin (Yam YZF-R1), 1:26.061
4. Martin Cardenas (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:26.340
5. Danny Eslick (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:26.520
6. Taylor Knapp (KTM RC8R), 1:26.884
7. Chris Fillmore (KTM RC8R), 1:27.122
8. Aaron Yates (EBR 1190RS), 1:27.157
9. Geoff May (EBR 1190RS), 1:27.271
10. Larry Pegram (Yam YZF-R1), 1:27.393
11. David Anthony (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:27.848
12. Dustin Dominguez (EBR 1190RS), 1:28.333
13. Chris Ulrich (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:28.815
14. Robertino Pietri (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:28.879
15. Cory West (EBR 1190RS), 1:29.093
16. Chris Clark (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:29.187
17. Reese Wacker (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:31.220
18. Mathew Orange (BMW S1000RR), 1:31.353
19. Jacquel Gonzalez (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:32.773
20. Johnny Rock Page (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:32.871, crash
21. Aaron Ascher (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:33.121




More, from a press release issued by AMA Pro Racing:

MONTEREY, Calif. (July 19, 2013) - A focused Roger Hayden got right down to business to kick off the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, out-pacing defending three-time AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike champion Josh Hayes in the day's sole session to set the pace on Friday.

Seeking redemption following his deeply disappointing GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course one week ago, Hayden set his sights on storming to the top of the charts in the opening premier-class practice session and succeed in that aim.

Based on his impressive form at Barber Motorsports Park the race prior and his history at Mid-Ohio, Hayden was a hot pick to battle for the win last weekend. However, the event did not go to plan as Saturday tire issues and an off-track excursion suffered while fighting for the lead on Sunday resulted in just a pair of eighth-place finishes.

The Kentuckian, who also traditionally fares well at Laguna Seca, took full advantage of the short week to immediately bounce back and came out swinging on Friday. He traded fast laps with rival Hayes before finally claiming ownership to first place to end the session at 1:25.138. Hayes finished second with a best lap of 1:25.242.

An upbeat Hayden said, "It was definitely a good lap, but more importantly, I was consistent. I was consistently quick and came out the gate and led a session. I think that's important for me to help my confidence. That's what Josh does -- he comes out and leads every session. I want to start leading some myself and try to push him a little harder than he's been pushed.

"I got a good lap -- I did a 1:25.2 and a 1:25.1. Things are looking good so far; it's only one session, but it's definitely a good way to start the weekend and it looked like we had a nice gap to third. Things are coming around pretty well this weekend."

Happy to move past his Mid-Ohio performance, Hayden admitted, "This weekend couldn't come soon enough after last week having a tire issue and then running off when I had the speed to run up front. I wish this weekend started on Tuesday, to be honest with you."

He added, "I came in with (the mindset to open strong). I told my guys if I didn't lead the first session I was going to be mad. I was going to be upset. As soon as they let us go I started pushing as hard as I could. I really studied our track map -- what gears I used in every corner last year -- and just started clicking it off right away."

Second-fastest Hayes said, "For some reason, the first session is always tough for me here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and I seem to ride a little tight in the beginning. I did 29 laps, so I was happy to get that much work in today. The Bridgestone rubber that the MotoGP boys are putting down may not be mixing too well with our Dunlop tires, but it's the same for everybody. Rog was riding really well, and P2 isn't too bad for me. We've got both qualifying sessions tomorrow, so we'll be focusing on going faster in those."

Mid-Ohio Sunday winner Josh Herrin moved up to third late on the second Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 but was more than eight tenths off Hayden's torrid pace.

After the day's lone SuperBike session, Herrin said, "We started the session by doing almost 18 laps on the same tires, which was around 40 minutes. With about 12 minutes to go, we put in a new rear tire and still didn't change the front. That helped a lot, and I moved up. Towards the end of the session, I really focused on fast laps, and I was able to do a time good enough for third. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. We don't often get to do both qualifying sessions in the same day, and that's a little bit old-school, but I like it."

Title hopeful Martin Cardenas was fourth best on the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000, followed by Hayden's Michael Jordan Motorsports teammate, Danny Eslick, in fifth.

Taylor Knapp enjoyed what might have been his most impressive session yet on the KTM/HMC Racing RC8R, heading teammate Chris Fillmore as the orange bikes ran sixth and seventh around the idiosyncratic raceway.

Team AMSOIL/Hero's Aaron Yates was eighth, followed by his Erik Buell Racing teammate Geoff May, while Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram concluded the Friday practice top ten.

The AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike stars will decide their grid positions for Sunday's 23-lap race in a pair of Saturday qualifying sessions.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Cameron Beaubier led the weekend's first AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike qualifying session by more than a second on Friday. The Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha pilot topped regular rival Jake Gagne of the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha team for the top spot in provisional qualifying with a laptime of 1:26.698.

Beaubier is looking to extend his pole streak this weekend, but it took him a while to uncork a lap and break the class record at Laguna Seca.

"This morning in first practice I struggled a little early getting up to speed," Beaubier said. "I was having a hard time getting heat into the right side of the tire. We made some changes for qualifying. Jake (Gagne) was going fast. He got in the '27s but I got in some solid laps at the end."

The Californian said he struggled with traffic, too, but knew he'd go quick at the end.

"This year has gone great," Beaubier continued. "I want to keep up the momentum and see where we wind up at the end of the season."

Gagne's time of 1:27.779 was clear of the other riders on the provisional front row, Latus Motors Racing's Jason DiSalvo and Y.E.S./Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha's Garrett Gerloff.

The provisional second row includes JD Beach of RoadRace Factory/Red Bull, GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing's Dane Westby, Meen Motorsports' Jake Lewis and National Guard/Celtic Racing's James Rispoli.

AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport

RoadRace Factory's Tomas Puerta topped provisional qualifying in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport. Puerta was just 0.013 faster than Jeffery Tigert (Baby Appleseed CM Motorsports) and 0.062 faster than Joe Roberts (California Superbike School Roadracingworld.com) in one of the closest qualifying battles of the year.

The Colombian tried to improve his time late but was just a little short and had to stand on his impressive earlier time.

"It was a good qualifying today," said Puerta, whose lap of 1:29.736 shaved nearly two seconds off his best in the morning. "I was struggling a little bit at the beginning but I did 1:30 so I knew the fastest lap would be a little better than that. I knew it was going to be pretty tough. I saw Tigert had tuned in a 1:29.7 also. We stopped for a new tire but got in a lot of traffic. With 12 minutes to go, I came in to relax a bit and to make sure I had a gap to go for it. I didn't improve but we are looking forward to the race and hopefully I will be up there again."

Puerta won in the East race last weekend in Ohio and is poised to improve his West points lead this time out.

East points leader and National Guard/Celtic Racing pilot Corey Alexander was fourth on Friday.

The 16-lap AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race is scheduled for tomorrow at 3:30 local time.

Stay connected with GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing on social media at twitter.com/AMAProSBK and www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing.

About GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing:
GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The 2013 schedule consists of nine rounds of competition on the country's finest road courses. The Series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.




More, from a press release issued by Geiger Media on behalf of AMSOIL:

Yates, May use first practice at Laguna Seca to fine-tune AMSOIL EBRs

MONTEREY, Calif. (July 19) - Erik Buell Racing riders Aaron Yates and Geoff May got their initial look at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Friday in the first session of National Guard SuperBike practice for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. Riding just after their international counterparts in Moto GP, Yates and May used the time to make some big changes as they attempted to dial in the perfect setup for their 1190RS machines.

Yates, rider of the Team AMSOIL/Hero EBR, was the quicker of the two, completing the 11-turn, 2.23-mile circuit with a best elapsed time of 1:27.157, which placed him eighth on the timing sheet. May was close behind on his identically prepared Hero/AMSOIL EBR, posting a 1:27.271, good enough for ninth overall.

"It was a decent start," Yates said. "It's later in the afternoon, which limits you a bit, but we'd seen some good times in the other classes, so we expected to do well. I wasn't completely confident pitching it into the corners at first, but we made some changes and I ended up posting my fastest lap right there at the end.

"The best line at this racetrack is probably six inches wide all the way around. When you get up to speed it's very hard to make passes because everyone stays on that line. If you get off it it's very hard to turn the corners like you need to. It's certainly good to get this track time now."

Like Yates, May welcomed the time in the saddle, although his bike seemed to need a little more attention along pit row.

"I'm a little disappointed with myself and the bike," May said. "We had a really good bike here last year right out of the box, and we started off with everything exactly like it was thinking everything would be great again but unfortunately this time it was awful. We are using an American rear tire and it's different from the U.K. Dunlop we used last year. The grip characteristics are quite a bit different, so the handling has changed a lot.

"We came in about halfway through the session and made some spring changes, adjusted the gearing and even changed the wheel base. We basically threw the whole toolbox at the bike to make it better. It started responding well towards the end but it's hot out there, so it was harder to tell exactly where we're at right now. We've got some work to do overnight, for sure, but these EBR guys are great. We'll get it figured out."

Qualifying for the main event will be broken down into two sessions at 11:20 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. Saturday. The race itself will take place at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.

"I do like this track," Yates said. "It's a lot of fun to ride and you can get into a very smooth and fast rhythm out there. I've been around this place so many times I could probably do it with my eyes closed. I know I made a bunch of laps in my head lying up there in the lounge before practice, and I'm sure I'll make many more tonight."