The two-day Dunlop tire test came to a conclusion this afternoon with Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier ending the day as the fastest rider at the Circuit of The Americas, the site of round one of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship, April 10-12.
The carrot of a sub-2:11 lap was hung at the end of the stick after yesterday’s four sessions when Beaubier completed the opening day of testing, held in mixed weather conditions, with a 2:11.910. Today, Beaubier went out and got it done, the 22-year-old Californian taking over a second off his Wednesday best to break into the 2:10s with his 2:10.730 coming in the final of four sessions.
“We started out strong today and put in a solid race stint,” Beaubier said. “This track is super physical and I just wanted to make sure I was solid in a race situation, a race stint. I felt good. I was plugging away at laps and not pushing like crazy. Kinda riding around at 80 percent and getting a good flow going. I felt really good. We put some new tires on for the last session and went out and did some fast laps. I didn’t get a perfect lap in and I made a couple of mistakes and ran into a couple of guys, but I think coming back here for the race we’ll be ready. I can’t thank my guys enough for all the hard work they put in. It’s been crazy. They’ve been staying up until 2 in the morning getting ready for the test. It’s pretty cool they’re working that hard. I just need to keep my hard work up too and get ready for the season.”
Beaubier’s best was .349 of a second quicker than that of his teammate Josh Hayes, the defending four-time AMA Superbike champion lapping at 2:11.079 in the final session.
“I’m very thankful that MotoAmerica had this test prior to the race,” Hayes said. “This was super beneficial for me. We started off a little bit frustrated yesterday but we found some better direction today and I feel better about today than yesterday. I feel like it’s going to be a long couple of weeks before we come back here because I want to keep working. Fortunately, with the MotoAmerica format we’re going to have a bit more time to where we can sort out the motorcycles rather than racing on the very first day that we show up. I’m looking forward to getting back to work.”
Roger Hayden also set his fastest time in the fourth and final session, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider ripping off a 2:11.311. Hayden was pleased at the progress he’d made during the test, but wasn’t happy at being third fastest. He left wanting more, but he’ll get his chance in three weeks.
“For the most part, I’m happy,” Hayden said. “I got going pretty quick this afternoon and consistently so I’m pretty happy with that and we got the tire life a little bit longer too. You’re never happy when you’re a half a second off, but at the same time yesterday we were a lot farther off than that. And I could do those times now by myself. We’re satisfied. As always we could be a little better, but I think we have a good setup for when we come back her for the race. I’m not fighting any big problems. We just have a few little things that we could get working a little better at the low :11s pace, which would have been nice if I could have gotten to the lower :11s a little sooner. Overall we’re happy, but you never leave a test completely happy when you’re third quick.”
Yamalube/YES Graves Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff was fast yesterday and again today, the Texan leading the way in the combined Supersport and Supertock 600 sessions. Gerloff’s best came in the fourth and final session.
“I’m really happy we got to come test here with everybody and see everybody on the same track, in the same weather conditions,” Gerloff said. “We can see where everybody stacks up so that was really good. It’s also really cool being so close to my hometown of Houston, so it’s all good things. I think we worked a lot and hopefully we’ll come back here with some more speed.”
The fastest of the Superstock 1000 riders was Red Bull Roadrace Factory’s Jake Gagne, the Californian putting his Yamaha R1 fourth overall in the combined Superbike/Superstock sessions.
The Superstock 600 class was led by Meen Motorsports’ Joe Roberts with a lap that would have put him fifth overall in the combined 600 timesheets.
The MotoAmerica Series opener will be held in conjunction with the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, April 10-12.
Thursday Lap Times (Combined)
We aren’t much for cutting and pasting press releases and calling it content, but this does pretty much sum it all up nicely.
Honda Press Release
Honda Racing Announcement
HEAD: Honda Racing announcement
For immediate release:
Torrance, CA: During the 2009 AMA/DMG Road Racing series, American Honda
Motor Company, Inc. contracted team personnel, including team Honda rider
Neil Hodgson, to the Corona Extra Honda race team.
Corona Extra Honda race team participated in this series with our
award-winning 2009 CBR1000RR in the AMA Superbike class, unfortunately
participation in this series did not meet our racing goals and objectives.
Regrettably the current AMA/DMG racing environment does not align with our
company goals. Effective today 9/18/09, AHM will not be renewing contracts
with Corona Extra Racing and will be terminating the on-site Road Race
operations by 9/30/09. All assets will be put into storage for future
consideration. Team staff was informed of these changes today at 1:00PM
My friend Tomm Heath (Cycle Tomm) sent me this, it’s some video of he and another good friend of mine, the infamous Tom Pinky back in their heyday. It’s really cool to see some of the old tracks that are no more, Ontario and Riverside, along with current tracks like Sears Point and Laguna Seca.
There have been a few things that have really set me off about Roger Edmundson’s Reign Of Terror in the last couple months. One is minor but important, the other is just inexcusable incompetence.
No I’m not going to go on about the cut in purse and bonus money that was announced last week, that’s just an economic reality. Besides, did anyone think that was truly going to happen at those levels?
No what has me hacked off are the reassignment of race numbers from riders to teams, and the broadcast schedule for Daytona.
For as long as anyone can remember in motorcycle racing a number has been associated with a rider throughout many international series, including the US. As you go through the years 21 was Eddie Lawson, 34 was Kevin Schwantz, 7 was Barry Sheene, while he started out as 11, 155 became Ben Bostrom’s number 69 is Nicky Hayden, 41 Nori Haga and of course 46 has been burned into out collective conscious as Valentino Rossi.
Now, thanks to the influence of “The Beach Front Mafia” just like NASCAR, the numbers belong to the teams. So, for 2009 #2 won’t be Jamie Hacking, it will be Ben Bostrom, except in Daytona Sportbike where he’ll be #1 along with Jake Zemke, HUH???? How can you have two number ones for a class that never existed before, The convoluted thinking is that since Daytona Sportbike combines the FX class and the 600SS class that you combine number ones make one red and one black.
Seriously, are you kidding me? If you can’t get something so small and basic as this right, how can we expect you to get ANYTHING right. While some of the riders haven’t spent years building a personal brand around a number like Valentino, there is still a value attached to it. When you see #16 go buy, will you automatically associate that with Jake Zemke?? Some of the teams have been smart enough to grab the traditional numbers of the riders, Rog Hayden will still be 95, Tommy Hayden will be 22, Miguel will be 17, but many riders will have new numbers for 09. Yes it’s small, but it’s all the small things that add up to big things down the road.
Item two is the TV schedule for Daytona. Roger was all happy and joyful when he announced that he had a new TV deal with SPEED a few weeks ago. What was not said is that the only coverage of Daytona will be for the 200. No American Superbike, no SuperSport, not a bit of the new hyped SuperPole. On Friday, March 6th at 8:30PM EST you get the 200, and that’s it! In years past we got to see ALL the support races, but no more. Thursday the 5th at 2PM while he SuperSport race is running, SPEED is showing a replay of the NASCAR race from Las Vegas. Then, at 3:30 when the American Superbike race is going off, SPEED will be showing Truck U. Finally when SuperPole for the 200 is taking place, under the lights at 6:30, SPEED will be broadcasting Unique Whips!
Talk about your major EPIC FAIL!
Look, I DO understand the economic realities of TV, especially during this current economic unpleasantness, but give me a break, while the motorcycle audience isn’t the largest one you have, it’s your most loyal and vocal, toss us a bone here, would you mind?