Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes returned to his dominant ways at New Jersey Motorsports Park during Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions. The Mississippi native was fastest in the morning practice and then cut his time even more during qualifying. National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden was second-fastest in Q1, keeping close to Hayes’ time, lagging by just 0.411 seconds. Hayden’s Jordan Suzuki teammate Ben Bostrom was third a further 0.002 seconds back.
Hayes is going to be a difficult rider to contend with at New Jersey, since he’s only lost one race there since the track was added to the schedule in 2009. Apart from the three nail-biting finishes this season where Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Young was able to move past for the win, Hayes’ only misstep came the form of a crash in Race 2 at Infineon that left him outside the top five. Otherwise, the Yamaha ace has been nearly flawless.
“At this point if we (took it easy), it would just be because I was tired and weak,” Hayes said. “I don’t have to think about points very much, so I can race for every race win. If I throw a race away in a garbage can, then I’ll sit down and reevaluate how I’m going to handle the next few. Right now, I’m in a position, other than not wanting to get hurt, that I can race for the win and not have to worry about much of anything. If I don’t, I’ll be disappointed in myself I think.”
Both Bostrom and Hayden have had various difficulties this season. Hayden has been able to score five podiums, but has had a host of crashes and mechanical failures in between that have stunted his progression up the points list. Bostrom has been achingly close to a third place finish a handful of times, but has yet to finish in the top three this season.
Team Amsoil/Hero’s Geoff May was just 0.961 seconds off Hayes’ lead pace in fourth and was followed by Foremost Insurance’s Larry Pegram in fifth. Attack Performance/Motorcycle-Superstore.com’s Steve Rapp held to sixth overall.
Rapp recently contested the two American MotoGP rounds at Laguna Seca and Indianapolis aboard an Attack Performance CRT machine, built from the ground up around a beefed-up ZX-10 engine. Rapp didn’t qualify for the main event at Laguna, but got to run at Indy and took 14th. In AMA Pro Racing, he’s faced a string of disappointments stemming from mechanical failures. When his machinery holds together though, Rapp can generally be found within the top ten at the checkers, with his best results coming at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where he finished fourth in both races.
Hayes’ teammate Josh Herrin came in seventh during Friday’s qualifying, followed by Team Hero’s Danny Eslick. Young’s teammate Chris Clark took ninth and KTM’s Chris Fillmore rounded out the top ten. Young had trouble getting up to speed during Q1 and finished in 11th.
AMA Pro SuperBike New Jersey Friday Qualifying 2012:
1. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1’21.176
2. Roger Hayden (Suzuki) 1’21.587
3. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki) 1’21.589
4. Geoff May (EBR) 1’22.137
5. Larry Pegram (BMW) 1’22.202
6. Steve Rapp (Kawasaki) 1’22.248
7. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1’22.409
8. Danny Eslick (EBR) 1’22.421
9. Chris Clark (Suzuki) 1’22.527
10. Chris Fillmore (KTM) 1’22.561
11. Blake Young (Suzuki) 1’22.663
12. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki) 1’22.672
13. David Anthony (Suzuki) 1’22.896
14. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 1’23.606
15. Tim J. Bemisderfer (Suzuki) 1’23.785
Martin Cardenas posted the top time in Daytona SportBike qualifying Friday, but faced heavy pressure from Tommy Hayden, Cameron Beaubier and Jason DiSalvo.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Geico Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas barely edged out the competition for the top time in Daytona SportBike qualifying at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The Colombian beat Yamaha Extended Service’s Tommy Hayden by just 0.027 seconds and his teammate, Cameron Beaubier, followed behind in third a further 0.022 back.
“So far, the bike has been working awesome from the first practice. We made some small changes. We made some good laps. One of them turned out to be the quickest one. I had a bit of a gap to second so I went out to try some other stuff,” said Cardenas. “When I came back in I saw they were too close. Let’s hope for a dry race tomorrow.”
Cardenas has faced increasing pressure from Hayden and Beaubier as the season has progressed, the two riders both gunning for the top spot on the points list. Beaubier has been more of a threat since he’s finished ahead of Cardenas in four of the last five races, whereas Hayden has been at least one position behind the Suzuki ace in the same contests. M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby, currently second overall, is also within distance of catching Cardenas before the season’s over, but he struggled a bit in Q1 and finished in 13th.
Team Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo was fourth-fastest in Q1. He lagged behind Cardenas by a mere 0.082 seconds and was followed by Meen Motorsports’ Bobby Fong in fifth. DiSalvo has earned one race win and five additional podiums, but because of his difficult rounds at Road Atlanta and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course sits fifth overall. When he’s able to compete for a full race though, he’s sure to be competing at the head of the pack.
Full Tuck Racing’s Aaron Gobert was sixth-fastest, followed by Kneedragger.com’s Tommy Aquino in seventh and Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West in eighth. Road Race Factory’s JD Beach and Ducshop Racing’s Jake Zemke took ninth and 10th respectively.
AMA Pro Daytona SportBike New Jersey Friday Qualifying 2012:
1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1’23.522
2. Tommy Hayden (Yamaha) 1’23.549
3. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1’23.571
4. Jason DiSalvo (Triumph) 1’23.604
5. Bobby Fong (Yamaha) 1’24.020
6. Aaron Gobert (Yamaha) 1’24.529
7. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha) 1’24.720
8. Cory West (Suzuki) 1’25.081
9. JD Beach (Yamaha) 1’25.272
10. Jake Zemke (Ducati) 1’25.347
11. Shane Narbonne (Yamaha) 1’25.505
12. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1’25.544
13. Dane Westby (Suzuki) 1’25.672
14. Joey Pascarella (Suzuki) 1’25.796
15. Huntley Nash(Yamaha) 1’26.007
Dustin Dominguez put up the top time in Friday’s SuperSport qualifying at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
Castrol Triumph’s Dustin Dominguez outpaced the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport field at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The Triumph rider is currently tied for the Eastern Division points lead with M4 Suzuki’s Jake Lewis and is coming off a perfect sweep of the previous round at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Lewis struggled in Q1 and came in 17th. Western Division points leader James Rispoli of Celtic Racing posted the second-fastest time, followed National Guard’s Corey Alexander in third.
“We waited until the last little bit to go out on a new tire. At the time, I didn’t know that Rispoli had knocked it down,” said Dominguez. “I put in one good lap but I’m glad I did another one. I was able to go a tenth faster and that was pole.”
Rispoli isn’t eligible to receive points in New Jersey, but a top finish for the Suzuki rider would displace Eastern riders and could affect points distribution in their division. Alexander is fifth overall in SuperSport East and has just one podium, a second-place finish in Race 2 at Daytona.
Eyeball NYC’s Miles Thorton was fourth, followed by Suzuki’s Elena Myers in fifth. Behind Myers is the newly returned Garrett Gerloff of Yamaha Extended Service. Gerloff hardly got time on the bike this season, crashing during practice at Daytona in Round 1 and breaking the femur in his right leg. Since then he’s been training and rehabilitating the injury and was recently cleared to compete at New Jersey. In March he was contesting the Daytona SportBike class, but he’s since been moved to SuperSport to finish off the 2012 season. Last year Gerloff made his AMA Pro Racing debut at New Jersey and went on to earn his first professional race win in Saturday’s contest.
Markbilt’s Brice Lloyd qualified in seventh, followed by RoadRace Factory’s Hayden Gillim in eighth. RacingMotorcycles.com’s Eric Stump took ninth and Gillim’ss teammate, Tomas Puerta, Rounded out the top ten.
AMA Pro SuperSport New Jersey Friday Qualifying 2012:
1. Dustin Dominguez (Triumph) 1’24.599
2. James Rispoli (Suzuki) 1’24.656
3. Corey Alexander (Suzuki) 1’25.530
4. Miles Thornton (Yamaha) 1’25.750
5. Elena Myers (Suzuki) 1’25.752
6. Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) 1’25.766
7. Brice Lloyd (Yamaha) 1’25.893
8. Hayden Gillim (Yamaha) 1’26.182
9. Eric Stump (Yamaha) 1’26.271
10. Tomas Puerta (Yamaha) 1’26.477
11. Mark Miller Jr. (Yamaha) 1’26.486
12. Colter Dimick (Yamaha) 1’26.597
13. Daniel Heverly (Honda) 1’26.809
14. Alex Shaw (Yamaha) 1’26.991
15. Ryan Kerr (Kawasaki) 1’27.009