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Mar 4, 2009

Updated: Tommy Hayden Fastest In First AMA American Superbike Practice At Daytona

Tommy Hayden debriefs with his team on pit lane at Daytona. Photo by David Swarts
Tommy Hayden set the fastest time during the first-ever practice for the AMA Pro American Superbike class, held Wednesday morning at Daytona International Speedway.

Riding a 2008-model GSX-R1000 built during the last three weeks, Hayden lapped the 2.95-mile infield road course in 1:38.815, which is not far off last year's AMA Superstock class pole position time of 1:38.231 (Aaron Yates) but well off the 2008 AMA Superbike pole position time of 1:35.760 (Mat Mladin).

Asked if his American Superbike felt much different than the full-on Superbike he rode in 2008, Hayden said, "It has a lot different feeling. It definitely doesn't have the power. In the end, I don't think the lap times will be a lot different, but the feeling is a lot different. The Superbike felt stiffer, so rigid and it was a handful. This one [American Superbike] is a little tamer on the banking. For me it's a lot easier to ride."

Although the American Superbike lap times were slower than 2008 Superbike lap times, a tailwind in the tri-oval helped boost the top speeds of the new American Superbikes to the same level as last year's Superbikes. In fact, the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000s went faster through the speed traps than they did last year.

AMA Pro Racing's speed trap clocked Blake Young at 199.9 mph during Wednesday morning practice. According to Team Manager Don Sakakura, his team's bikes were timed through the traps at 193 to 194 mph in 2008.

AMA Pro Racing
American Superbike Championship
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
March 4, 2009
Provisional Practice Times (all on Dunlop tires, 2.95-mile course):

1. Tommy Hayden (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:38.815
2. Larry Pegram (Duc 1098R), 1:39.191
3. Neil Hodgson (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:39.407
4. Aaron Yates (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:40.383
5. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), 1:40.982
6. Blake Young (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:41.283
7. Geoff May (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:41.285
8. Michael Laverty (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:41.318, crash
9. Mat Mladin (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:41.533
10. Chris Ulrich (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:41.849
11. Ben Bostrom (Yam YZF-R1), 1:42.690
12. Hawk Mazzotta (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:42.695
13. Taylor Knapp (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:42.823
14. Jeff Wood (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:42.891
15. David Anthony (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:42.937
16. Shane Narbonne (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:43.021
17. Scott Greenwood (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:43.074
18. Scott Jensen (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:43.318
19. Barrett Long (Duc 1098R), 1:43.372
20. Aaron Gobert (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:43.393
21. Jeff Tigert (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:44.490
22. Brett McCormick (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:45.014
23. Davie Stone (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:46.190
24. Reno Karimian (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:46.376
25. Brad Hendry (Duc 1098R), 1:46.475
26. Dean Mizdal (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:47.129
27. Josh Graham (Yam YZF-R1), 1:47.454
28. David Loikits (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:47.619
29. Scotty Van Hawk (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:48.636, crash
30. Ryan Elleby (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:49.664
31. Larry Orde (Yam YZF-R1), 1:49.957
32. Troy Vincent (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:51.406
33. Kevin Boisvert (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:55.896