Today’s first round of AMA Pro Road Racing qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park produced some indicators for the weekend of championship deciders and also produced one slight surprise.
In AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike qualifying, all eyes were on championship contenders Josh Hayes and Tommy Hayden, but it was Hayden’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Blake Young that set the pace and took the provisional pole position for the doubleheader weekend.
Young set a time of 1:25.775, feeling pretty good in his second event weekend back after missing a number of races following a testing accident at Barber Motorsports Park.
“I came here to win,” said Young. “I know there is a championship going on and I want to help Tommy but my crew have worked really hard for me all year and I would love to reward their hard work with a couple of wins.”
Making his own on-track statement, Tommy Hayden wound up second with a time of 1:25.939 and the resurgent John Hopkins continued his good form from New Jersey Motorsports Park with the third quickest time of 1:26.027 on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki.
Championship points leader Josh Hayes was fourth with a time of 1:26.126 on his Team Graves Yamaha with Jake Holden right behind him substituting for Ben Bostrom on the Pat Clark Motorsports Palms Casino Yamaha.
Bostrom suffered some rib injuries after his accident in the second at New Jersey and as he prepared for the Barber race, he discovered he couldn’t race.
In AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Presented by AMSOIL, Josh Herrin took the top spot after posting the quickest time in the morning practice.
Herrin ran a lap of 1:28.578 on his Team Graves Yamaha. Herrin and his championship rivals all ran in the top three or four and at one point were one-two-three in the session.
Points leader Danny Eslick had a fall during the qualifying session and had to revert to his spare GEICO Powersports Suzuki and ended up third with a time of 1:28.912.
Martin Cardenas ended up fourth fastest with a time of 1:28.961 on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki.
Taking second in the session was Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha rider Clinton Seller who turned a solid lap of 1:28.885 to put him firmly in the middle of the battle around him for the Daytona SportBike championship.