News 27 Mar 2010

AMA SBK: Yates and Eslick quickest at Fontana on day one

The more things change, the more they stay the same as the first day of practice and qualifying of the AMA Superbike Championship came to a close at the Auto Club Speedway in beautiful sunny southern California yesterday.

The fast qualifier from each class in last month’s opening round of the 2010 AMA Pro Road Racing championship season at Daytona International Speedway showed their speed again today during the opening qualifying sessions.

Aaron Yates and the Michael Jordan-owned Brand Jordan Suzuki team again showed the way in the AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike series with a fast time of 1:23.982 to place the Georgia native on provisional pole position going into tomorrow’s final qualifying session.

Asked why he is running so well in 2010, Yates said, “I’m feeling really good this year, my health is really good and the No. 23 Jordan Suzuki guys have been working really hard and it’s paying off.”

Tommy Hayden took second on his No. 22 Rockstar Makita Suzuki with a time of 1:24.133 and No. 72 Foremost Insurance Ducati rider Larry Pegram was third with a time of 1:24.150.

In AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL, Daytona pole position winner Danny Eslick and his No. 1 GEICO Powersports/RMR Suzuki topped the time sheets as the defending champion posted the fastest lap on his penultimate lap of qualifying to take the provisional pole.

Under clear blue skies, Eslick put up a time of 1:27.164 and felt great about his time and his season in general, commenting, “I’m feeling great, I won both races here last year and I really like this track. The change to the GEICO Suzuki has been flawless and we are running right where we need to be.”

Right behind Eslick is 2010 Daytona 200 winner Josh Herrin on his No. 8 Team Graves Yamaha with a time of 1:27.255. Third was Herrin’s Team Graves Yamaha teammate, No. 6 Tommy Aquino with a time of 1:27.457.

Saturday’s weather looks even better than today’s and after a solid first day of practice and qualifying the weekend is shaping up to again see some incredibly close racing.