Exciting Qualifying Sessions Highlight Day 1 at BigM Weekend

Some familiar names topped the timesheets in today’s Miller Motorsports Park qualifying sessions, setting the stage for epic racing throughout the combined AMA Pro Road Racing/FIM World Superbike BigM Weekend Presented by Lucas Oil.

Reigning AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) earned provisional pole at MMP with a 1:50.40 lap around the 15-turn, 3.048-mile road course. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the current points leader, however, as he experienced a slight mishap toward the end of the 45-minute session.

“I tipped it over in Turn 1 [and] the bike barely made it off the track,” said Hayes, who wasn’t injured in the get-off. “I tried to hold on to it … I was thinking about how much work my guys put into this bike! But I went back out on the back-up bike to verify the set up,” Hayes added, “and it was fine.”

Hayes has gone two-for-two in 2011 qualifying and is looking to claim a third pole here at Miller. “I’m pretty happy if I’m the guy they’re always chasing,” Hayes said, “and if I keep doing my job and working hard, we can keep the string going.”

Daytona double-race winner Blake Young was second-quickest in Saturday qualifying, posting his best time in the final moments of the session and thereby jumping ahead of his Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate, Tommy Hayden. The youngest Hayden, National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger, was fourth-quickest, with Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram rounding out the top-five. Final qualifying for the class kicks off at 9:35 a.m. MDT Sunday in preparation for Monday’s National Guard SuperBike race.

In AMA Pro Daytona SportBike, Team Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo continued his trend of class dominance by claiming today’s provisional pole. DiSalvo has yet to be beaten this season, having earned victory at the opening Daytona 200 round then backed it up by doing the double at Infineon Raceway’s Round 2.

DiSalvo jumped to the top of the chart early in the session, throwing his quickest lap in just before the clock ran out to consolidate his advantage. “The lap felt comfortable and we had a fairly heavy fuel load,” said Jason. “I rode both Team Latus Ducatis this morning, but it was on the 2011 model that we qualified today.”

Celtic Racing/Fast by Ferracci’s P.J. Jacobson posted the second-fastest time of the session, with Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider Josh Herrin just behind. Former AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport standout Cameron Beaubier (GP Bike Parts Racing Yamaha) was fourth-quickest, followed by Triple Crown Industries’ Paul Allison. Daytona SportBike will run their second qualifying session tomorrow at 8:40 a.m. MDT, and will race at 4 p.m.

In the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class, Infineon double-winner Benny Solis (Roadracingworld.com) amplified his recent success by notching the top time in Qualifying 1. Although a number of riders briefly appeared in the frontrunner position, it was a late lap turned in sprinkling rain via which Solid settled the matter. Y.E.S./LTD Racing’s David Gaviria made Solis work for it, however, coming in just a few tenths behind. Vesrah Suzuki’s Corey Alexander was third-quickest on the day, with Y.E.S./LTD Racing’s Puerta fourth and Nadr Riad (SKR Inc.) fifth.

“I knew I had to get in a fast lap,” Solis said after qualifying. “My team was giving me information on who was fast, and I went out, but the engine was running way too hot so I came in and we took off some tape and I went for a time. I was sliding more on that lap than any lap in my life!” Solis added. Final qualifying for the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class runs tomorrow at 8 a.m. MDT, and the division will race at 11:40 a.m.

In the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 class, Drag Specialties rider Michael Barnes took advantage of his prior MMP experience to set the provisional pole for Monday’s 1:10 p.m. race. Infineon Raceway’s XR1200 winner, Chris Fillmore (RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing) took the second slot, having headed the timesheets until Barnes knocked him off. Californian Chase McFarland came in third; Barnes’ teammate, Steve Rapp, was fourth; and J&P Cycles Michael Beck was fifth. Final qualifying starts tomorrow at 10:25 a.m. MDT.

Please visit www.amaproracing.com for complete Timing & Scoring results, and visit  www.millermotorsportspark.com for additional ticket and event information. For broadcast times of MMP’s BigM Weekend AMA Pro Road Races, visit www.speedtv.com.

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