Hayes Tops Provisional Qualifying in Sonoma
Josh Hayes grabbed the provisional pole on Friday for AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike at the Great Clips West Coast Moto Jam at Infineon Raceway.
Hayes, who has won three of the last four SuperBike features in Sonoma, turned the 12-turn, 2.32-mile circuit in 1 minute, 36.032 seconds aboard his Yamaha R1. It was Hayes' third consecutive provisional pole of the year. He was followed by two riders from Eric Buell Racing, Danny Eslick (1:36.976) and Geoff May (1:36.983).
Hayes, who also tops the SuperBike point standings, has become a master of the twists and turns of Infineon Raceway.
"I've worked with a lot of great crew chiefs and I've learned a lot about bike set-up," Hayes said. "I can build a bike that I can ride well here."
Eslick, who won in Daytona SportBike in Sonoma in 2010, was pleased with his second-place effort.
"We haven't had quite the results that we had been hoping for, but this is definitely more where we would like to be. We're in the hunt looking for strong results,' he said.
Blake Young (Suzuki), who has staged an exciting early-season battle with Hayes and entered the weekend second in points, was fourth. Young has never won in the Sonoma Valley.
Northern California riders Ben Bostrom (Redding) and Steve Rapp (Oakland) were fifth and ninth, respectively.
Jason DiSalvo (Triumph) set a new track record in provisional qualifying for Daytona SportBike at 1:38.159. That bested the prior mark of 1:38.439 set by Tommy Aquino in 2010. Roseville's Cameron Beaubier was second in Daytona SportBike (1:38.466) and is riding this weekend with a broken kneecap. Antelope's Joey Pascarella was fifth, Paso Robles' Jake Zemke eighth and Stockton's Bobby Fong 12th.
Dustin Dominguez (Triumph) led the field in provisional qualifying for Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport at 1:42.042. Discovery Bay's Elena Myers (Suzuki) was 13th.
Action resumes on Saturday at the Great Clips West Coast Moto Jam with final qualifying, followed by main events in SuperBike, Daytona SportBike and SuperSport. Race fans will also be treated to plenty of excitement off the track, including stunt shows, how-to seminars, a ride-in bike show, paddock park and sell and more. Tickets are available at the gate; for more information, visit www.infineonraceway.com.