News 3 Sep 2011

Gobert makes AMA Superbike return, Hayden leads day one in New Jersey

Australian Supersport contender Aaron Gobert made his return to AMA Pro Superbike racing on Friday at New Jersey Motorsports Park, concluding provisional qualifying in 13th position.

Gobert has joined the San Diego BMW team for the season finale, competing in his first race aboard the BMW S 1000 RR after most recently contesting Aussie Supersport on a Yamaha YZF-R6.

The action-packed AMA Pro Road Racing Championship Weekend presented by Team Pro-Motion kicked off with a bang today at New Jersey Motorsports Park thanks to a slew of exciting provisional qualifying sessions.

Taking the top spot in the premier AMA Pro National Guard Superbike division with a 1:21.005 was Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden, winner of the class’ last two consecutive races.

“It was a good session,” said Hayden, who sits third overall in the points chase. “I just want to have a good weekend and keep a little momentum going and try to go win some races.

“The championship, that’s a long shot for me. I just want to have fun, ride hard, and try to win some races. I’ve led a lot here and been really close. I would definitely like to get a win here, and I feel like we have the bike and the speed to do it.

“We’ve won two in a row now, so it would be cool to kind of keep that going and end the year on a high note.”

Just 0.114 of a second behind Hayden was Team Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom, followed closely by Bostrom’s National Guard Jordan Suzuki teammate, Roger Hayden.

Championship contenders Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) and Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) rounded out the top five today.

With Hayes and Young currently sitting 2-1 overall and separated by just five points, the 62 points up for grabs this weekend mean even single points earned for pole position and most-laps-led could be crucial to taking the crown.

Gobert was a positive 13th on the time sheets after acclimatising himself to the BMW, his best coming in at a 1:23.036, which was 1.283 seconds off Young’s final time in the top five.

Fellow Australian Jordan Burgess was 22nd in Friday qualifying, his best coming in at a 1:26.195. Teammate and boss Dave Anthony failed to complete a lap in timed qualifying.

In the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike class, championship leader Danny Eslick got the final round started right by taking the provisional pole.

“The GEICO RMR Suzuki number 69 is working really good right now,” said Eslick. “Everybody is all worked up on the championship thing, but we want to go do what we do – try to go as fast as we can every session and win races.

“If we do that, the rest should fall into place. I think I’m sitting in a pretty good seat right now. The big picture is always there and we’ve had plenty of time to think about it in between Laguna and now. It’s a lot easier being 45 points in the lead than 45 points back.”

Slotting in just behind Eslick on the time sheets was Daytona SportBike rookie Cameron Beaubier (JHR/ Yamaha), while Eslick’s closest championship rivals, Josh Herrin (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) and Jason DiSalvo (Team Latus Motors Racing), ended the day in fourth and 10th, respectively.

This weekend, DiSalvo will compete for the first time on the new Triumph Daytona 675R he’ll contend in 2012.