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Mar 13, 2014

Yamaha's Hayes Tops Opening AMA Pro Superbike Practice At Daytona

Three-time AMA Pro Superbike Champion Josh Hayes debriefs with members of his team after the first practice Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes was the fastest rider during the opening AMA Pro Superbike practice session Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

Hayes, a three-time Champion of the class, lapped the 2.9-mile infield road course in 1:39.288, 0.65 second faster than anyone else. But that’s well off Hayes’ 2013 pole position time of 1:37.096 and slightly slower than Hayes went during the first practice session in 2013, 1:38.957. The veteran racer attributed the slower times to relatively poor track conditions.

“The track’s getting considerably better,” Hayes told reporters. “The right side was the big issue, I think, more than anything. I think we’re in the same place or a little ahead of where we were this time last year. I think the conditions are gonna get better as the weekend goes on and it warms up a bit. I’m looking forward to this afternoon and going out and seeing if I can go fast again.”

In 2013, Hayes was knocked out of both races at Daytona due to mechanical problems with his YZF-R1. Asked what had been done to make sure those problems do not happen again during this visit to the high-banked superspeedway, Hayes said, “All that stuff was sorted out right after Daytona last year. As far as that goes, we have a full season of work under our belt to try and rectify those problems. They weren’t just Daytona problems. The clutch maybe was. But the team went after all that aggressively right away because it wasn’t something that we wanted to surface at any other racetrack. As far as I know all of those issues have been put to bed, and we can just focus on going fast.”

Hayes’ new rookie teammate, 2013 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion Cameron Beaubier, was second-fastest with a 1:39.936 in his first competitive ride on his YZF-R1. Beaubier came away from the session with one honor, however, the fastest trap speed. Beaubier reached 201.027 mph on his Yamaha.

A total of 23 riders took to the track during the session. That’s done from the 25 riders who participated in the first Superbike practice in 2013.

AMA Pro Superbike Championship

Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
March 13, 2014
Provisional Free Practice One Results (2.9-mile course, all on Dunlop tires):

1. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), 1:39.288
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yam YZF-R1), 1:39.936
3. Martin Cardenas (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:40.453
4. David Anthony (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:40.705
5. Roger Hayden (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:41.200
6. Chris Ulrich (Hon CBR1000RR), 1:42.786
7. Chris Clark (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:42.872
8. Chris Fillmore (KTM RC8R), 1:43.475
9. Taylor Knapp (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:44.155
10. Diego Pierluigi (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:44.263
11. Larry Pegram (EBR 1190RS), 1:44.395
12. Cory West (EBR 1190RS), 1:44.891
13. Stefano Mesa (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:44.909
14. Trent Gibson (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:46.000
15. Barrett Long (Duc 1198), 1:46.624
16. Huntley Nash (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:46.822
17. Jacquel Gonzalez (Kaw ZX-10), 1:47.197
18. Johnny Rock Page (Suz GSX-R1000), 1:47.431
19. Sean Dwyer (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:48.178
20. Mathew Orange (BMW S1000RR), 1:49.697
21. Franklyn Dominguez (Kaw ZX-10R), 1:51.496
22. Bernat Martinez (Yam YZF-R1), 1:56.293
23. Reese Wacker (Suz GSX-R1000), 2:23.320