HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 20, 2012) - Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Young led the first day of AMA Pro Road Racing's two-day official series test at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a blazing lap time of 1:21.987 around the 2.21-mile road course. Young continually improved his lap time session after session, setting his fastest time in the fourth session of the day.
"It was pretty good; good conditions, good grip," said Young, who earned his 11th career AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike victory with his Race 2 win at Daytona International Speedway last weekend. "Surprisingly a lot of grip out there. I'm hoping that when we come back for the race it will be like this. It feels good to be back on the bike this quick after Daytona. Having the first race out of the way always relieves some pressure. It's good that we can come down here and do a little bit of testing to work on some things."
This week's two-day test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which is open to the general public at no cost, resumes Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. to give teams and riders the opportunity to break in and tune their machines on a circuit that hasn't been on the AMA Pro Road Racing calendar since 1996. The Series will return for South Florida's biggest motorcycle event in decades, the Big Kahuna Miami, an M1 PowerSports-promoted event scheduled for September 21-23, 2012. Tickets for this fall's Big Kahuna Miami can be purchased at http://www.m1powersports.com/big-kahuna-miami/.
Quotes from Day 1:
Josh Hayes (No. 1 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1) - "I rode here in 1999 and in 2001, when I rode for John Ulrich, but I think the track has changed a little bit because the banking is different than when I rode it last. I can honestly tell you I didn't remember too much of it; when I thought of the last turn I thought of Loudon; when I thought of the turn onto the back straight I think I was really thinking of Phoenix; and turn one I think I was thinking of Texas World Speedway. You know, it was like trying to put all of the pieces together as to where I really was. It felt like it was totally new to me, I don't remember much about it. Things are going okay, we made some progress. As we're making progress, those guys are moving forward too. We have a little bit of catching up to do but at some point they're going to stall and hopefully we'll just keep going until we catch up to them. All in all, I can't complain."
Roger Hayden (No. 54 National Guard Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000) - "It was pretty good, we got going a little better this afternoon. I got to overlay some data of Ben [Bostrom]'s and just figured out where I was struggling at. It was just a little bit everywhere. I'm pretty happy, we're right on pace with the top few guys and I was clicking them off pretty good there at the end. Not a bad day of testing, hopefully tomorrow we can improve a little bit more, just keep getting the bike better, keep getting myself better, because everybody is riding pretty hard."
Danny Eslick (No. 69 Team Hero EBR1190S) - "It's good man, this is my first time to Homestead. After a little bit of an up-and-down weekend at Daytona it's just nice to come here and relax and really do some testing, try to get one with the bike and with the team and everybody. It's kind of a new group of people working together. We just need to find where we all gel and get along, and make the bike work good. We definitely made some progress today, put in a good time here in the last session. We'll sleep on it tonight and hopefully knock another second off of it tomorrow. I'm comfortable riding the bike, just getting the right setup is the biggest thing right now. We found a few things that have given me the traction that I need. That's been the biggest thing: more horsepower, less traction, and just trying to find that extra grip."
Chris Clark (No. 6 Yoshimura Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000) - "This is my first time here on the race bike, so we're trying to find a good setup for when we come back. We wanted to try both tires that last session and we were able to put in pretty decent times with both of them so we're really happy. We were out there by ourselves so that makes it better. Maybe tomorrow we'll get a little tow and can get down to those 1:22's. I would be happy with a 1:22.5, it'd be a great way to end the weekend and have some confidence coming back here."
Stefan Nebel (No. 12 KTM/HMC Racing KTM RC8R) - "I've been getting to know the track well, and how it has to be ridden, because it's different than in Europe. Also, the tires are different than in Europe, so I have to learn how to react differently to it all. At the end, it's been a good result and I'm pretty happy. This weather is fantastic. For the last five months I've only seen rain or snow, and we have an average temperature of five degrees [Celsius]. That's not something that you need for a long time, especially when you want to ride a motorcycle or ride a bike. I'm really enjoying the sight of the palm trees, the sunny track and starting to sweat again, it's a good feeling."
Martin Cardenas (No. 36 GEICO Suzuki GSX-R600) - "It went pretty good. I raced here in 2007 so I know the track. We made some small adjustments to the bike that are working pretty good. Hopefully we can continue in that direction tomorrow."
Cameron Beaubier (No. 6 Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) - "We are just trying to get the suspension dialed in for when we come back for the race. My bike worked really well all day. The track is pretty cool, it flows really well and it was a lot of fun today. I really like the last section, the right-left, because you just throw the bike around and then drive it out, it's pretty cool."
Tommy Hayden (No. 8 Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) - "The day went pretty well, I was happy with it. It nice to get out there and just get a little more relaxed, start trying to get used to a 600 a little bit and get used to the team a little more. We addressed a few small things to get me a little more comfortable. We steadily chipped away at everything today, chipped away at the lap time a little bit. I'm definitely a little more competitive than I was at Daytona. I'm feeling pretty good, I had a fun day. This is a pretty cool track, I hadn't really ridden here before. I enjoyed myself."
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