Rockstar Suzuki’s Mat Mladin will start from pole position for this weekend’s Superbike races at Road America.
A pair of familiar faces found their way to the top of the charts in Friday’s Superpole qualifying sessions for the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader at Road America, as Mat Mladin and Jason DiSalvo claimed pole positions in AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited and AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL, respectively.
As he has done for every American Superbike race thus far in 2009, Mladin put the No. 7 Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 on the pole, this time with a lap at 2:13.218 (109.391 mph). The six-time American Superbike champion has won eight of the season’s nine races to date and goes in search of his ninth Road America victory in Saturday’s first race of the doubleheader.
“It was a decent lap for us,” Mladin said. “We left a little bit out there, but it wasn’t too bad. It’s more important to get things sorted out for tomorrow, and we’re definitely lacking some speed this week. A couple of other bikes have somehow picked up a lot of speed in the last month or so, straight-line speed. It looks like it might be a rough and tumble race and we’ll see how it goes in the end.”
Starting alongside Mladin will be teammate Blake Young on the No. 79 Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. Young, who hails from nearby Madison, Wis., posted the second-quickest lap of Superpole at 2:13.736 (108.967 mph). Young is returning to American Superbike action this weekend for the first time since he was injured in the second race of a doubleheader at Barber Motorsports Park early last month.
“This is the favorite track on the circuit for me, obviously to have the fans and friends and family here,” Young said. “It’s good to be back on the motorcycle. I’m really happy and it went really good for us. We moved up a spot, so we’re just going to have to work on a few more things for tomorrow morning’s warm-up session and we’ll be back at it.”
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Josh Hayes qualified third in AMA Superbike at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Josh Hayes qualified third on the No. 4 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1 with a lap at 2:13.995 (108.756 mph). Hayes is the only rider other than Mladin to stand atop the American Superbike box this season, which he achieved with his victory in the first race of the doubleheader at Infineon Raceway last month. He was quick to point out that he and his team have some more work to do if they are going to celebrate another victory this weekend.
“We need a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work,” Hayes explained. “Mat’s still setting the benchmark, so we’re just out there working and we’ll see if we can catch up to him and make him race for it a little bit. ”
Geoff May completes the American Superbike front row following a Superpole lap at 2:14.280 (108.525 mph) on the No. 54 National Guard/Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The first American Superbike race of the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader goes off from a standing start at 3:00 p.m. local time tomorrow afternoon. The scheduled distance is 13 laps (50 miles).
Daytona SportBike Superpole
In the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL Superpole session, DiSalvo claimed his fourth straight pole on the No. 40 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600 at 2:20.153 (103.978 mph). While DiSalvo is riding a four-event streak of pole positions, he heads into tomorrow’s race still looking for his first Daytona SportBike victory.
M4 Suzuki’s Jason DiSalvo earned his best starting spot to date this year after Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke was disqualified due to his team allegedly using a illegal fuel.
“It’s good to have a front-row start,” DiSalvo said. “With the rolling start format, it’s always really important to be up front. I think tonight the guys are going to really tuck in and do some work. We’ve got to go crunch some numbers and just try to figure out where we’re going to find our couple of missing tenths (of a second) out there. We’re pretty close now.”
Joining DiSalvo on the front row is his teammate, Martin Cardenas on the No. 36 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600. Cardenas posted a Superpole lap at 2:20.908 (103.421 mph) to earn his best starting spot of the season to date. The Colombian has won the last four consecutive Daytona SportBike races and five of the last six dating to his first victory at Road Atlanta in April.
“It’s going to be very difficult to duplicate the results that I’m having, but we’ll see tomorrow in the race what happens,” Cardenas said. “I’ll do my best. The lap was okay. I made one mistake and I was a little bit disappointed because I’ve been feeling good since we rode the bike yesterday and the bike is going pretty good. I was hoping for a little bit better lap, but it wasn’t possible. We’ll try tomorrow.”
Bobby Fong will start third on the No. 27 GreenerAcres.org Yamaha YZF-R6 following his Superpole lap of 2:22.021 (102.610 mph). It was also Fong’s best Daytona SportBike qualifying performance to date and was his second consecutive appearance in the 10-rider Superpole session. He qualified ninth last time out at Infineon Raceway. Chaz Davies completed the second row with a lap at 2:22.123 (102.537 mph) on the No. 57 Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Aprilia RSV1000R.
Jake Zemke originally qualified the No. 1x Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR on the Daytona SportBike pole and his teammate Chris Peris was originally third on the No. 10 Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR in Superpole, but both riders’ times were disallowed in post-qualifying technical inspection due to a fuel infraction. The remaining eight riders in Superpole were moved forward accordingly.
Zemke and Peris will be allowed to participate in final qualifying tomorrow morning with a best starting position of ninth available to all remaining Daytona SportBike riders.
The first Daytona SportBike race of the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader closes out Saturday’s activities beginning at 4:00 p.m. local time. The scheduled distance is 13 laps (50 miles).
SunTrust Moto-GT Qualifying
In qualifying for tomorrow’s two-hour AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-GT race at the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader the No. 2 Aussie Dave Racing Suzuki GSX-R600 claimed the overall and GT1 class pole, while the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines entry took the GT2 pole position.
The No. 2 Suzuki, which is co-ridden by David Anthony and Hawk Mazzotta, was quickest overall in the 30-minute qualifying session with a lap at 2:26.970 (99.155 mph). It will be joined on the front row by the No. 14 Crozier Motorsports Triumph Daytona 675 of Mark Crozier, Phil Caudill and Doug Polen, which qualified second at 2:27.519 (98.786 mph).
In GT2, the No. 9 Kawasaki being shared by Nick Cummings and AMA Hall of Famer Jay Springsteen starts from the class pole with a lap at 2:36.306 (93.232 mph). Starting second in GT2 will be the No. 64 TeamHurtByAccident.com Ducati PS1000LE being shared by Justin and Jimmy Filice, another AMA Hall of Famer. The No. 64 Ducati posted a best qualifying lap at 2:36.308 (93.231 mph).
It originally appeared that both class poles would be won by Ryan Elleby, who took the GT1 class honors on the No. 4 Scooter Superstore/Hooters Aprilia RSV1000 with a lap at 2:26.491 (99.479 mph) and posted the fastest qualifying time in the GT2 class at 2:33.247 (95.093 mph) on the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati/Ducshop Ducati PS1000LE.
However, both times were subsequently disallowed. The No. 4 Aprilia encountered engine problems toward the end of qualifying and was unable to complete its mandatory run on the dyno after qualifying. The dyno test of the No. 77 Ducati, meanwhile, revealed that the bike exceeded the maximum horsepower allowed for the GT2 class.
The fourth round of the nine-race 2009 SunTrust Moto-GT season takes the green flag at 11:00 a.m. local time.
Leandro Mercado topped the time charts in both AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei practice sessions with an overall best lap at 2:23.685 (101.422 mph) in the afternoon session on the No. 92 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. The Argentine is looking for his second SuperSport victory of the season after claiming his maiden win in April at Road Atlanta.
Second quickest on the day was Ricky Parker on the No. 96 Graves Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6 with a lap at 2:24.328 (100.970 mph) in the afternoon session, followed by Russ Wikle on the No. 5 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki GSX-R600 at 2:25.399 (100.226 mph) in the morning session.
The SuperSport race wraps up the weekend’s activities for the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader with a 10-lap (40-mile) race beginning at 4:00 p.m. local time on Sunday afternoon. This weekend’s race at Road America marks the first time since the season opener at Daytona that the SuperSport East and West championships will race together.