MotoAmerica: Herrin Tops Testing In Texas

MotoAmerica: Herrin Tops Testing In Texas

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Former AMA Superbike Champion Josh Herrin was the quickest rider Tuesday, August 8 and quickest overall during a private two-day test at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), near Austin, Texas. Riding his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R with an R5-compound rear Dunlop Sportmax Slick, Herrin did a one-lap time attack on the 3.4-mile, 20-turn road course during the cooler conditions of the morning that resulted in a 2:09.966.

“I’m super happy with what we were able to accomplish at the test,” Herrin wrote in a text message to Roadracingworld.com. “We started with settings that were very difficult to be fast on and we worked very well together as a team to find a good setup. It was important for us to come and get some testing in since we haven’t ridden the bike much this year on a non-race weekend. To be fastest is a huge bonus because I’m not normally fast in testing. That means we should be very strong on the race weekend!”

Two-time and defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Jake Gagne was quickest on Day One with a 2:10.358 on his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha YZF-R1 and improved that to a 2:10.065 on Tuesday, but that was unofficially second-best. Gagne’s Team Owner Richard Stanboli said they focused on doing long runs on old tires and that Gagne “lived in the low-2:10s” on both R5- and R7-compound Dunlop tires with double-race-distance on them.

Substituting for Gagne’s injured teammate Cameron Petersen at the test were four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes, who raced for the team at Brainerd International Raceway, and former-full-time-road-racer-turned-full-time-dirt-tracker JD Beach, who will race for the team at Pittsburgh International Race Complex (PittRace).

Hayes did only a few laps on Tuesday with a best lap at 2:12.259, which was slightly slower than he went on Monday, 2:11.830, while Beach improved a huge amount from the 2:14.239 he did on Day One to a 2:10.922 on Day Two.

Beach told Roadracingworld.com that he started off riding on Hayes’ setup on Monday and then migrated toward Gagne’s setup on Tuesday. The two-time MotoAmerica Supersport Champion said he cannot wait to go racing in PittRace and he’s very grateful for Yamaha giving him the opportunity.

For comparison, Gagne qualified on pole position for the last MotoAmerica Superbike race at COTA in 2022 with a 2:08.450, and Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci turned the fastest race lap at 2:08.648 on his way to a pair of victories.

Herrin’s teammate Xavi Fores, the sole Supersport rider at the test, did a 2:14.954 on Monday and a 2:14.470 on Tuesday on his Ducati Panigale V2. Fores currently leads the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship.

Progressive Insurance/Mission Foods Indian’s Tyler O’Hara and Jeremy McWilliams left their Indian FTR 1200 Super Hooligan machines parked for most of Tuesday and focused on testing their Indian Challenger King Of The Baggers (KOTB) machines. O’Hara was fastest with a 2:17.248, which was significantly better than the 2:18.637 he did on Day One. McWilliams’ best lap Tuesday was a 2:19.511, also an improvement on the 2:20.473 he recorded Monday on his Indian Challenger.

McWilliams also did a 2:18.881 on his Super Hooligan machine Tuesday, surpassing the 2:20.263 he did on Monday.

Ambient temperatures Tuesday at COTA reached a peak of 104 degrees F (40 C) at the end of the day with track temperatures approaching 140 degrees F (60 C), according to Stanboli.

MotoAmerica will hold a standalone event at COTA September 8-10 with the Medallia Superbike, Supersport, Steel Commander Stock 1000, Mission King Of The Baggers, and Mission Super Hooligan classes slated to have two races each. It will be the season finale for Stock 1000 and Super Hooligan.

The most of the other MotoAmerica classes wrap up their Championships September 22-24 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

 

Tuesday’s Unofficial Test Times (as provided by Speedhive/MyLaps):

Superbike:

Josh Herrin (Duc), 2:09.966

Jake Gagne (Yam), 2:10.065

JD Beach (Yam), 2:10.922

Josh Hayes (Yam), 2:12.259

 

Supersport:

Xavi Fores (Duc), 2:14.470

 

King Of The Baggers:

Tyler O’Hara (Ind), 2:17.248

Jeremy McWilliams (Ind), 2:19.511

 

Super Hooligan:

Jeremy McWilliams (Ind), 2:18.881

Tyler O’Hara (Ind), no lap time recorded

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