News 23 Jul 2011

Hayes and Disalvo top AMA practice sessions at Laguna Seca on Friday

Rolling out under bright blue skies, the road racers of AMA Pro spent Friday warming up for the weekend’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix action at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where they’ll join international MotoGP athletes on the world stage.

AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike and Daytona SportBike riders turned practice laps today, with Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s reigning champion, Josh Hayes, reigning supreme in today’s National Guard SuperBike practice, topping the time sheets with a 1:25.362.

“It was a standard first practice for us,” said Hayes. “We ran through our usual checklist of tires and parts to see if we could go fast. The session was busy on the track — you could tell there were a number of riders who hadn’t been to this racetrack before.”

SuperBike points-leader Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) was second, less than three tenths behind the leader, putting he and Hayes alone in riders within the 1:25 frame.

“The session went pretty good,” said Young. “It started kind of slow because we made some big changes, but we got back out and started to go to work.”

Blake’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate, Tommy Hayden, clocked in third-quickest, with Martin Cardenas (M4 Suzuki) and Roger Hayden (National Guard Jordan Suzuki) rounding out the top five.

In Daytona SportBike, three-time 2011 race winner Jason DiSalvo (Team Latus Motors Ducati) grabbed the fast time of 1:29.352 in closing stages of the class’ single on-track session.

Danny Eslick (GEICO Powersports/RMR Suzuki) — the current championship points leader — slotted in second after topping the time charts for the majority of the session, likewise dipping into the 1:29 range with a 1:29.648.

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin was just tenths behind for third-quickest, followed by Celtic Racing/Fast by Ferracci’s P.J. Jacobson and Mid-Ohio Race 1 winner, Dane Westby (M4 Suzuki).

“I was happy to be able to make constant progress with the Latus Ducati,” said DiSalvo. “The bike feels good and it suits this track, and after today, we have a solid direction to pursue for tomorrow.”

All AMA Pro classes will conclude final qualifying tomorrow, with the highly anticipated SuperBike and Daytona SportBike races going green on Sunday.