MotoAmerica: Herrin Claims Provisional Superbike Pole At Road Atlanta (Updated)

MotoAmerica: Herrin Claims Provisional Superbike Pole At Road Atlanta (Updated)

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

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Josh Herrin topped MotoAmerica Steel Commander Superbike Qualifying One (Q1) Friday afternoon at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, in Braselton, Georgia. Riding his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R on Dunlop control tires, Herrin covered the 2.55-mile course in 1:24.627 to lead the field of 24 Superbikes.

Three-time and defending Champion Jake Gagne was second-best with a lap of 1:24.723 on his Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha YZF-R1, and Herrin’s new teammate Loris Baz earned the third and final spot on the provisional front row with a time of 1:24.787.

Bobby Fong was fourth with a 1:24.998 on his Wrench Motorcycles Yamaha YZF-R1. TopPro Racing BMW’s Sean Dylan Kelly was fifth-fastest with a lap at 1:25.075 in his first official day as a MotoAmerica Superbike rider. Gagne’s teammate Cameron Petersen, who says his right wrist is finally 100% healed, was sixth-quick at 1:25.121.

Cameron Beaubier bounced back from a crash in Turn 10 to post the seventh-fastest lap, 1:25.246, on his Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW M 1000 RR. Beaubier’s new teammate JD Beach was eighth in Q1 at 1:25.420. And Richie Escalante rounded out the top nine provisional qualifiers with a 1:25.719 on his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R.

The top nine riders in Q1 were separated by just 1.092 seconds.

 

24_3_RDATL_SBK_Q1_res

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:

Herrin Storms To Provisional Pole On Opening Day At Road Atlanta

Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin Leads The Way In Steel Commander Superbike

BRASELTON, GA (April 19, 2024) – Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin had two reasons to be happy with his Friday qualifying at Road Atlanta. For starters, Herrin earned provisional pole position in Q1 with his 1:24.627. He then followed that up by pocketing an “I owe you” from his teammate Loris Baz as he towed the Frenchman to third, giving Ducati two bikes on the provisional front row heading into tomorrow’s Q2 session.

If Q1 is any indication, the Steel Commander Superbike Championship is going to be hotly contested as eight riders circulated within a second of Herrin.

 

Josh Herrin (2) was the fastest of the fast on Friday at Road Atlanta as he rode his Ducati to provisional pole heading into Saturday's final qualifying. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Josh Herrin (2) was the fastest of the fast on Friday at Road Atlanta as he rode his Ducati to provisional pole heading into Saturday’s final qualifying. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

 

Three-time and defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Jake Gagne ended the session third fastest and just .096 of a second behind Herrin’s best. With the aforementioned Baz ending the session third in his return to the MotoAmerica paddock, it was Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong slotting into fourth, the last rider in the 1:24s on the 2.55-mile road course.

Superbike rookie Sean Dylan Kelly had an impressive first day on the TopPro Racing BMW M 1000 RR, the 2021 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion ending up fifth fastest and less than half a second behind Herrin.

Gagne’s Attack Performance Yamaha teammate Cameron Petersen was sixth fastest, the fastest of the two Camerons on day one with five-time champ Beaubier ending up seventh on the Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW M 1000 RR. Beaubier returned to action with just a handful of minutes left in the session after his crew did a good job of getting him back on track after an early session crash in turn 10-A.

Beaubier’s teammate JD Beach ended up eighth in his first qualifying session on the BMW.

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammates Richie Escalante and Brandon Paasch rounded out the top 10.

Supersport – Alexander’s Surprise

Of the three Supersport riders on the Rahal Ducati Moto team, Corey Alexander came into the 2024 season with the least amount of fanfare. On Friday afternoon, Alexander let his riding do the talking as he emerged from the 43-rider field with the fastest lap to earn provisional pole position at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Alexander led the way with his 1:28.912 just .225 of a second faster than Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott and .334 of a second clear of his teammate PJ Jacobsen, with those three making up the provisional front row.

N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto’s Blake Davis, Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Stefano Mesa, and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Teagg Hobbs made up the second row, provisionally.

Things were tight at the top with nine riders qualifying within a second of Alexander’s best.

Junior Cup – Medina Gets It Started

Yandel Medina showed that he’s ready for the new season of Junior Cup racing with the New Yorker leading the way on Friday to earn provisional pole position on his New York Safety Track Racing Kawasaki Ninja 400.

Medina lapped at a best of 1:42.976 to lead BARTCON Racing’s Eli Block by .765 of a second with defending class champion Avery Dreher third with his 1:43.768 lap.

BSB Racing’s Trenton Keesee and Speed Demon Racing’s Logan Cunnison rounded out the top five qualifiers on Friday.

BellissiMoto Twins Cup – Rocco Leads Suzuki 1-2

RevZilla/Vance & Hines Suzuki’s Rocco Landers put his new Suzuki GSX-8R on provisional pole position in the BellissiMoto Twins Cup class at Road Atlanta on Friday afternoon with a best lap of 1:33.150.

Landers, the all-time wins leader in the Twins Cup class, led Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Rossi Moor by .610 of a second for a Suzuki one-two.

Daytona winner and championship leader Gus Rodio was third quickest on his Rodio Racing – Powered By Robem Engineering Aprilia and .665 of a second off Landers’ best. Giaccomoto Yamaha Racing’s Dominic Doyle and Rodio’s teammate Alessandro Di Mario rounded out the top five heading into Saturday’s Q2 session.

Mission King Of The Baggers – Bagger Bob Gets It Done

SDI/Roland Sands Racing/Indian Motorcycle’s Bobby Fong led the Mission King Of The Baggers qualifying session on Friday with a new lap record at Road Atlanta of 1:29.528.

 

Bobby Fong (50) led the way in Mission King Of The Baggers qualifying on Friday. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Bobby Fong (50) led the way in Mission King Of The Baggers qualifying on Friday. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

 

Second fastest on opening day was Troy Herfoss, the S&S/Indian Motorcycle-backed Australian just .192 of a second off Fong’s best in his first visit to Road Atlanta.

Championship points leader Kyle Wyman was third fastest on the factory Harley-Davidson, despite a crash in 10-A early in the session. Wyman’s best was .265 of a second slower than Fong’s.

Defending Mission King Of The Baggers Champion Hayden Gillim was fourth fastest, a few tenths quicker than his class rookie teammate Rocco Landers.

The session was a bit of a crashfest as Kyle Wyman wasn’t the only faller. He was joined in the 10-A gravel by his teammate James Rispoli and by his brother Travis Wyman. Tyler O’Hara was also a faller in the session.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati North America:

Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin tops Friday’s qualifying session at MotoAmerica’s Road Atlanta

Loris Baz backs up his teammate with third place on Friday for two Ducati Panigale V4 Rs in the top three.

Sunnyvale, Calif., April 19, 2024 —Day one of the opening round of the 2024 Steel Commander MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, was a fine one indeed for those dressed in red as Josh Herrin and Loris Baz occupied first and third after the first qualifying session.

Herrin was on the pace from the get-go, pumping 17 laps in the opening Free Practice session, two laps shy of a full race distance to finish second to Cameron Beaubier. The number two turned that around with a scintillating 1:24.627 in Qualifying 1 after another 10 laps to finish the day P1 ahead of defending champion Jake Gagne.

Loris Baz’s return to the MotoAmerica grid started off sedately as the Frenchman reacquainted himself with the demands of the unique 2.5-mile Road Atlanta layout. Baz knocked out 20 laps in FP1, more than any other rider on track, ending the session 10th fastest.

However, with a little help from his teammate Herrin, Baz unlocked his speed in the Qualifying 1 session to deliver a time just 0.160s off Herrin’s fastest lap. Baz thus ended the session third fastest after a total of 30 laps across both sessions, the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati team delighted with his and Herrin’s speed heading into the all-important Qualifying 2 session tomorrow morning.

Josh Herrin (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati–#2)

“Today was really good,” Herrin said. “The fastest time we did this morning in FP1 was on the last lap after we did the whole session on one set of tires, so that showed us we’re on the right track as far as bike set-up goes.

“In the second session, we tried a new front tire that I didn’t really like, so we came in and swapped the tires for the same compound we had in the first session. I went out with Loris (Baz) to give him a bit of help, and it worked out great for the team because I got provisional pole position, and Loris is in third, just under two-tenths off me. That showed me he has the pace, but he owes me because I helped him get that time!

“It’s an important track to start up the front, and the ultimate goal is to have two Ducatis up there fighting for the win. Overall, it’s been a great start to the weekend, and we will continue that tomorrow and Sunday.”

Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati–#76)

“First day back,” started Baz, “and it’s tough to be on the pace. I know this track from when I raced here in 2021, but I need to relearn it again. It feels like I’m coming back to a completely different track.

“I just wanted to be calm all day, just build the pace step by step, so I rode alone in the first practice session. In the Qualifying 1 session, I wanted to go out with the guys at the front, but I had an old set of tires, so I came back in, changed to a fresh set, and got behind Josh. He showed me some things that helped my time, so I must thank him.

“We still have to find the ultimate pace to run at the front. It’s been a long winter, and I am still discovering the bike, but I’m going to do my best, have fun, and enjoy the weekend.”

Round one of the 2024 Steel Commander MotoAmerica Superbike Championship continues tomorrow, Saturday, April 20. The second qualifying session is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. EDT. Race One will take place later in the day at 3:10 p.m., and Race Two is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. on Sunday, April 21.

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