Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 pilot Roger Hayden was quickest in the morning warm-up session for this afternoon’s two final Superbike Feature races of 2016 in the MotoAmerica Championship Series. After a troubled SuperPole session on Saturday, dominated by Yamaha entries, the last pre-race SBK track sessions at New Jersey Motorsport Park suggest a more diverse pair of races this afternoon.
Hayden, youngest of the famed trio of Hayden brothers from Kentucky, set the pace with a best lap at 1:21.6, comparing well to his Saturday best lap of 1:21.3 (fourth on the grid) set on special Q slick rear Dunlop rubber.
Pole for today’s races belongs to Josh Hayes on the works Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha YZF-R1, and he was second quickest in the warm-up at 1:22.3. Third best was the second works Suzuki of Spanish ace Toni Elias, recovering from a Qualifying crash to turn a best lap of 1:22.5 around the 12 turn, 2.25 mil long New Jersey venue.
Mathew Scholtz continued his impressive weekend, fourth best in the warm-up on the Westby Racing/Yamalube entry, at 1:22.613. In the “class within a class” Superstock division of MotoAmerica, Scholtz was the fastest entry.
Italian ace Claudio Corti struggled on Saturday, but in the warm-up was fifth best aboard the HSBK Aprilia RSv4, also a Superstock class bike. Last month, Corti earned a pair of second place finished in Mopar CSBK National action at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON.
MotoAmerica Superbike Championship points leader Cameron Beaubier, another Saturday crasher, turned only three laps in the warm up with his works Yamaha, and was ninth best.
The two Canadians on hand both made it into the afternoon’s Superstock 600 round. In this morning’s Last Chance Qualifier ten lap race, Jeff Sneyd made up for yesterday’s frustrations, netting a strong second overall. Sneyd is a former Canadian National Superbike Feature race winner, coming back to racing after a 15-year retirement. Sneyd rides a recently purchased Black Sheep Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja.
On Saturday, Quebec’s Alex Coelho qualified well aboard his Liqui Moly Kawasaki, only to suffer engine issues early in the opening race. Coelho placed second overall in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike Canadian National class in his rookie Pro season,
After a busy evening of paddock repair, Coelho made it out to race, and although the machine was not 100%, once again qualified for the Final 600 race with a fourth place finish. The top five machines from this morning’s LCQ transferred to the final event.
Sunday, 11 September 2016 11:18
Josh Hayes will start from pole in the final Superbike Feature races of the 2016 MotoAmerica National season, after toping the time sheets in Superbike SuperPole 2 at New Jersey Motorsport Park. Riding his Monster Energy/Graves works Yamaha YZF-R1, Hayes made the most of his yellow-striped Dunlop special soft rear slick, turning a lap at 1:21.1.
Earlier in practice, Hayes had turned a best lap of 1:21.5, third best of the session, on the “regular” Dunlop slick rubber. In final SuperPole, each of the top 12 Pro riders were allotted a special Dunlop soft Qualifying tire.
The effort was Hayes’ second pole of 2016, and the 40th overall in the career of the multi-time overall American national motorcycle road racing Champion.
“I fell like that was a good effort, everything hasn’t always worked out this year, I haven’t always done my best, so I’m happy with that,” confirmed Hayes in the post-Q Media session. “It’s really hot and humid today, and that’s having an effect on everyone, our conditioning and our equipment. But I fell like after the announcement at lunch today, it’s really good to put this Yamaha on pole.”
Earlier in the New Jersey program, the Yamaha team confirmed that Hayes would continue with the team for 2017, once again joined by current series points leader and 2015 Champion Cameron Beaubier. 23-year-old Beaubier was quickest prior to the SuperPole session, but suffered a minor tumble in the Q Session with his number one plated 1000cc Yamaha, and wound up third on the grid for Sunday’s pair of 25 lap Superbike rounds.
“It was really minor, second gear, no big deal,” explained Beaubier following the incident, when he delayed his fast lap and then perhaps allowed his front tire to cool too much. “I’m fine, and we’ll be ready for our races.”
Beaubier leads Hayes 298 to 269 in the points standings, and it will take some unusual events during the two races to keep Beaubier from winning his second straight crown.
“I fell like Cam has done everything right, really done his homework, and he’s ready to take the title,” explained Hayes of the Championship battle between the team-mates.
Jake Gagne was second quickest in Qualifying to earn the second start spot with his Broaster Chicken/Roadrace Factory Yamaha, a return to form after some recent testing activity for the squad. Gage turned a lap at 1:21.273, just ahead of Beaubier’s 1:21.348 effort.
“We had some new parts that we were happy with in testing, and then I wasn’t too happy yesterday, so we took some of them off,” smiled Gagne. “But our A bike is working really well, we have a new suspension link, and we’re aiming to finish up the year strong, we have two more races to show where we are.”
Top Yoshimura Suzuki was Roger Hayden in fourth, followed by upstart Matthew Scholtz in fifth on the Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha. The second row will be completed by the sixth best effort of Kyle Wyman, on the Millennium Tech Yamaha.
Former World Series front runner Toni Elias of Spain crashed early in qualifying with the second Yosh-Suz, and wills start eight (middle of the third row) in both of Sunday’s races.
In Saturday’s opening Supersport/Superstock 600 race 1 over 23 laps of the 12 turn, 3.8 km long venue, Yamaha’s reigning Champ J.D. Beach took victory after a good battle with team-mate and points leader Garrett Gerloff. If Beach wins tomorrow and Gerloff places second, then Gerloff earns the 2016 title.
The sole Canuk in the race, fast starting Alex Coelho of Brossard, QC, encountered engine problems early in the race with his Kawasaki and was forced to retire. Further work will be required to determine if Coelho’s equipment can be repaired for tomorrow’s New Jersey National action.
Saturday, 10 September 2016 16:54
Quebec’s Alex Coelho placed fourth in the Superstock 600 Last Chance Qualifier at New Jersey Motorsport Park, part of the final MotoAmerica National of 2016. This means that Coelho will compete in this afternoon’s Supersport/Superstock 23 lap race, his debut on the American tour.
The 2015 Shoei Premium Helmets Amateur Sport Bike Champion on the Mopar CSBK National Tour, Coelho placed second overall in the final points standings for the 2016 Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike Championship, earning a podium at Autodrome St-Eustache in his rookie Pro Mopar CSBK season.
Coelho had a problem-plagued trip down to New Jersey, and hadn’t ridden the venue until Friday’s practice with his regular Black Sheep Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja. Coelho qualified with a lap at 1:29.8, but in the race dropped his best tour down to 1:27.6, an encouraging sign for this afternoon’s race.
Fellow Canadian-based Kawasaki rider Jeff Sneyd, a Pro front runner on the Canadian National tour in the 1990s, continued his “unretirement” program with his third race in the past four weeks aboard his just-purchased Ninja. After returning to action at the Mopar CSBK races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in August, Sneyd competed in the SOAR event at Grand Bend and then travelled to New Jersey.
In the Last Chance Qualifier, Sneyd started 11th and was running in a top spot, likely to qualify for the main race, before he ran off-track. He rejoined to charge to sixth, running a best lap of 1:28.3 – good enough to make the main if not for his problems.
Saturday, 10 September 2016 13:54
2015 Flat Track Canada reigning overall National Champion Doug Lawrence doesn’t mind the interruption on a Saturday night – the first period was not kind to the Leafs on “Hockey Night in Canada.” Lawrence took a break from pre-season preparations, and Pro team sport frustration, to discuss his plans for the upcoming season.
“I’ve been busy, lots of logistics, getting ready for the season opening in Daytona for the Grand Nationals in March,” started the 30 year old Mississauga, ON-based racer.
“Before that, I’m heading to California to ride for a few days. I’m going to Paris Speedway, nothing is really like the Daytona Short Track but Paris is something like that, and of course it is just important to ride. One of my main sponsors, John Briggs out of Santa Barbara got a bike for me to ride, it’s like my current Honda, and I’m flying out with Bryan Smith to get some work in the sun.”
“Then I will ride two test days before Daytona, in South Carolina and near Tampa, I’ll use my regular CRF450 bike in the Nationals and take my older Honda to thrash in practice,” continued Lawrence. “The older bikes doesn’t’ have all the nice little trick bits, but it works just fine. We’re also aiming to do some Dynojet Dyno work at Brooklin Cycle Racing with Rob Egan before we head south.”
“After that, well I have six bikes to get ready for the season, Canada and the U.S., and I don’t want to rush – it’s a lot of work, lots of details. It’s stupid really!
“Regaining the Canadian title is our first priority, then the X Games, then the AMA rounds. I don’t know anything yet about the American Superprestigo (slated for the fall), and the rumor has it we are going to start something similar in Canada – that sounds like a good start.”
When the AMA Pro tour gets to the bigger tracks, especially the Springfield Mile events, Lawrence will revert to his Harley-Davidson XR750 twins, provided by an existing sponsor in Indianapolis.
However, prior to the April AMA National rounds at the Circuit of the Americas, Lawrence aims to start testing a brand new bike – a Kawasaki 650 twin, currently coming together under his father’s care.
“We’ll have the Harleys for CotA, but we should have everything we need to run the new Kawasaki,” confirmed Lawrence. “There are so many little things to work on, sometimes I really would prefer I didn’t know the things I know!”
“The Kawasaki is actually pretty easy to build, even though we haven’t had any help from Kawasaki. Briggs got us the engine, we had the wheels and forks, and we bought the frame and triple clamps. Aaron Humphrey in Pennsylvania built the frame, he was recommended by Joe Kopp and Mike Hacker.
“The frame has the same kind of linkage set-up as the old Honda 750s,” explains Lawrence of his new chassis. “Steve Beattie will do the forks and the shock, and then we’ll start testing. Once we have some feedback, our aim is to get to the point where the Kawasaki as good, or better than our Harleys.
Lawrence hasn’t done any riding on the ice this winter, explaining that “the ice isn’t always such a good idea, it can teach you some bad habits – there is really too much traction, so it isn’t that helpful for flat track.” Meanwhile Lawrence might make one ice appearance in Canada this winter, indoors in Kitchener next weekend, if time permits.
Another activity that is on Lawrence’s mind is roadracing, following his brilliant debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last summer, winning the inaugural Kawasaki Ninja 300 Cup series.
“I want to put something together, maybe ride a Mopar CSBK round or two, probably on a 600,” explains Lawrence. “It depends on a few things, but that is for sure another goal. I want to be in good shape if I do that, do some pavement practice, and I might try to get some riding in when I am down in Texas at CotA. I talked to Jason DiSalvo about his School, so that is certainly an option.”
Sponsors for the 2016 Lawrence Racing campaign include Town Moto, Parts Canada, American Harley-Davidson, OneSpeed, Klotz Canada, Alpinestars, HJC, Thor, Saddlemen, Motion Pro, K&N and Brooklin Cycle Racing.
Saturday, 06 February 2016 21:57
Prior to the start of practice for the Super Hooligans class at the Superprestigio of the Americans at the Orleans Casino Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon, November 21, Roland Sands check out the paddock. Sands, one of the prime movers in the new Super Hooligans race division for street-based motorcycles above 750cc, entered a team of Indian twins and placed third overall in the "Super H" Final after a poor start. This is the final image in our selection of 15 shots from the afternoon and evening, initial running of the successful SuperPrestigio of the Americas Short Track event.
Sunday, 06 December 2015 20:40
Roland Sands styles during Qualifying race action for the Super Hooligans support class during the Superprestigio of the Americas Flat Track at the Orleans Casino Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 21. One of the prime movers in developing the entertaining new category for street-based bikes above 750cc's, Sands moved thorugh the 13 rider field after a bad start to earn third in the Super Hooligans Final, with support for his Roland Sands Design constructed Indian coming from Dunlop, K&N Filters, Bell Helmets and Performance Machine.
Saturday, 05 December 2015 16:26
Super Hooligans paddock at the Orleans Casino Arena for the Superprestigio of the Americas Flat Track event in Las Vegas, November 21. Picutred, the Harley-Davidsons of the Broken Homme and Suicide Machine Company squads, including riders "Guardado", Shaun Guardado, Gabriel Vidrio and Joshua Johnson, await practice around the tenth mile oval.
Thursday, 03 December 2015 23:31
Semi Q race action for the Super Hooligans support Flat Track class at the Indian-backed event at the Superprestigio of the Americas debut at the Orleans Casino arena in Las Vegas November 21. The RSD Harley-Davidson of Hollister, California's Helder Alvernaz (# 74) leads Geoff Cain of Woodstock in the U.K. on a Triumph (# 45) and Thomas Finell of Anaheim, CA on another Harley (# 22) during the opening heat. Russ Brown-backed Alvernaz went on the claim tenth in the eight lap Feature race.
Thursday, 03 December 2015 09:54
Long Beach based Brendon Lutes shows real flat track style aboard his Fasthouse-backed RSD Indian at the Orleans Casino Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, November 21. Competing in the Super Hooligans class at the first-ever Superprestigio of the Amercas, Roland Sands Design supported Lutes netted a strong eight place in the Final race, fourth Indian across the finish line.
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 11:21
Chirs Wiggins lead most of the Super Hooligans Final support event Flat Track at the Superprestigio of the Americas at the Orleans Casino Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, Noveber 21. Terre Haute, IN based Wiggins lead the first six of eight laps before getting baulked in traffic with his Speed Merchants/Lyndall Brakes-backed Harley.
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 09:37