Hayes Takes Provisional Pole in SuperBike Qualifying in Sonoma
Yamaha's Josh Hayes captured the provisional pole on Friday during qualifying for the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike class at the West Coast Moto Jam at Infineon Raceway.
Hayes, who has won three of the last four AMA Pro Road Racing SuperBike main events in Sonoma dating back to 2009, continued his success on the 12-turn, 2.32-mile road course. He turned the track at 1 minute, 36.397 seconds. He was followed by Tommy Hayden (Suzuki, 1:36.509) and Redding native Ben Bostrom (Suzuki, 1:36.846).
"I'm very fortunate that my crew does such a good job to get me a bike that is absolutely perfect," said Hayes, the defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike national champion. "It works the same every time I get on it. I know I can go out and ride my behind off from the get-go…. I've had some really good races throughout my career here at Infineon and I really enjoy this track."
Locally, Oakland native and Acalanes High School graduate Steve Rapp (BMW) qualified eighth in SuperBike at 1:37.988. Rapp was as high as third in the qualifying session but drifted to eighth. He is also competing in the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series this weekend.
Jake Holden (Ducati) grabbed the top spot in provisional qualifying for Daytona SportBike at 1:39.444, followed by Josh Herrin (Yamaha, 1:39.626) and Danny Eslick (Suzuki, 1:40.182).
"We're going to have a real fun year and to be quick here in the session makes it all worth it. I'm super excited and this is one of my favorite tracks," said Holden, who won in SuperStock in Sonoma in 2008. "I love technical tracks and I have a lot of confidence here. I think we'll run up front no matter what (in the race); there's just a lot of tough guys out there; it's a tough pack."
Benny Solis (Honda) topped the speed charts in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport qualifying, turning the track at 1:42.413. He was followed by Tomas Puerta (Yamaha, 1:43.342) and David Gaviria (Yamaha, 1:43.652). Discovery Bay’s Elena Myers, who became the first female in history to win an AMA Pro Road Race when she took the checkers in Sonoma in the SuperSport class in 2010, withdrew from competition after experiencing pain from a broken wrist sustained just three weeks ago.
“This is my first time here since 2008, but it’s a really fun track and close to my house (North Hollywood),” said Solis, who won the Red Bull Rookies Cup event in Sonoma in 2008. “The secret for me is having fun. This is a tough track with a lot of elevation changes, but having fun helps me put together a good lap.”
Action returns on Saturday at Infineon Raceway with final qualifying, followed by main events in SuperSport (1 p.m.), Daytona SportBike (2 p.m.) and Pro National Guard SuperBike (3:15 p.m.). There will also be main events in Supermoto USA, Flat Track and AHRMA Motocross. Gates open at 8 a.m. For more information, visit infineonraceway.com/ama.