Tommy Hayden and his Rockstar Makita Suzuki threw down the gamut today with his exceptional performance in the last moments of AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike initial qualifying at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Hayden’s lap of 1:20.624 eclipsed Ben Bostrom’s similar time in the 1:20 range which bested the quick time set early in the session by Josh Hayes.
Hayes on his Team Graves Yamaha and Bostrom on his Pat Clark Motorsports Palms Casino Yamaha had set times that didn’t look like they could be beaten. First, Hayes led the way, then Ben popped in his time and then right at the end, Hayden lowered the time even further, resulting in the provisional pole position for the weekend’s races here in Millville, N.J.
The point for the pole position will be critical in the championship fight between Hayden and Hayes. Eleven points separate the two with this weekend’s two races and then the season finale at Barber Motorsports Park later this month.
Another rider showed good form today, John Hopkins on the M4 Monster Energy Suzuki was quick for the entire session and ended up third overall, just ahead of Hayes. A resurgent Jake Zemke and his National Guard Jordan Suzuki ended up fifth after a good morning practice and qualifying session.
Australian Chris Trounson was 17th on his Aussie Dave Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000.
In Daytona SportBike Presented by AMSOIL, six time race winner and championship contender Martin Cardenas put together an almost perfect lap in posting the best overall time in the first round of Daytona SportBike qualifying.
Cardenas rode his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki to a time of 1:23.683, just ahead of championship points leader Danny Eslick who got close to his opponent’s time right at the end of the session.
GEICO Powersports Suzuki’s Eslick is leading the championship by 12 points from Josh Herrin and the Team Graves Yamaha team. Cardenas is third in points, just fourteen back from Eslick. Herrin’s Team Graves Yamaha teammate Tommy Aquino ended up third just ahead of Cory West.