Friday Morning Notes And Results From Mazda Raceway

Mazda Raceway Aerial 2

Bird’s eye view: This impressive angle of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca shows nearly every bit of the 11-turn racetrack, host for round seven of the nine-event MotoAmerica series.

Morning fog gave way to bright sunshine at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and opening MotoAmerica practices and qualifying are in the books at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile central California track.

Because round seven of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship is running this weekend in conjunction with round nine of the FIM Superbike World Championship, the schedule is much different than usual.

This morning, for example, only the Bazzaz Superstock 600, KTM RC 390 Cup, and Supersport classes were on track. Superbike and Superstock 1000 practiced early this afternoon. JD Beach (Supersport), Joe Roberts (Bazzaz Superstock 600), and Hayden Schultz (KTM RC 390 Cup) were the top performers.

Sixteen-year-old Jayson Uribe made his MotoAmerica debut this morning on a Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Bazzaz Superstock 600 class. Uribe, who is currently racing a Honda CBR600RR in France’s Superstock 600 Pirelli Cup, was 13th in both Practice 1 and Qualifying 1 with a best time of 1:33.275.

“The track was really cold and foggy, so it was hard to see,” Uribe said after opening practice. “Right now, the front end is too stiff and the rear end is too soft, so the whole bike is a bit of a pogo stick. Once we get the setup figured out, I will be a lot more comfortable and I’ll go faster.

“This is my manager’s bike with Meen Motorsports bodywork and a few of their bits and bobs. I’ve ridden this bike at a couple of track days just for fun; this is my first time in competition with an R6. It’s really nice to see everybody again.”

Westby Yoshimura 2

Loud at Laguna: This is the freer-flowing Yoshimura muffler installed on the Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 ridden by Josh Day in MotoAmerica’s Superstock 1000 class.

New Superbike/Superstock 1000 sound regulations are in effect this weekend. The new rule allows machines participating in MotoAmerica’s top two classes to run open exhaust systems. A quick pass through the paddock revealed that, at this stage, only Yamaha teams appear to be participating.

While the YZF-R1 is said to respond well to a freer-flowing muffler, even producing a few more horsepower in the upper ranges of its powerband, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 goes the opposite direction, which explains why Yoshimura Suzuki, GEICO Suzuki, and McGraw Powersports Suzuki are sticking with their existing systems, at least for the time being. Aprilia HSBK has taken the same path.

I asked RoadRace Factory Orion rider Jake Gagne what his expectations were for the open Arrow system fitted to his Yamaha. “I’m only worried about hearing my own bike,” he said. “If anything, it might be a little bit better—block out the stuff you don’t want to hear. I brought a few different earplugs this weekend. I have some custom ones that I may try if the regular ones don’t work.”

Josh Hayes has won four AMA Superbike races at Mazda Raceway. Hayes’ Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Cameron Beaubier, qualified on pole for last year’s race, stopping the clocks at 1:24.019. Beaubier has three AMA Pro Daytona SportBike (now Supersport) wins at Laguna Seca.

MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey won two Superbike races (1983 and 1986) and three 500cc Grands Prix (1989, 1990, and 1991) at Laguna. MotoAmerica rider representative Doug Chandler also enjoyed success at his home track, winning two Superbike races (1996 and 1997) and two Supersport races in April and July, 1998.

Current championship standings:

Superbike (Hayes 245, Beaubier 241, Lewis 171, Hayden 169, Martinez 117);
Superstock 1000 (Gagne 209, Knapp 192, Heckles 156, O’Hara 125, Day 110);
Supersport (Beach 240, Herrin 196, Gerloff 186, Anthony 121, Puerta 117);
Bazzaz Superstock 600 (Roberts 220, Escalante 183, Wyman 151, Farris 117, Prince 94);
KTM RC 390 Cup (McAllister 127, Ortt 80, Schultz 77, Mazziotto 72, McWilliams 61)

Here are the top five finishers and their best lap times for each class from this morning’s sessions:

Bazzaz Superstock 600 (Practice 1): 1. Joe Roberts (Yam) 1:31.395 2. Bryce Prince (Yam) 1:32.198 3. Richie Escalante (Yam) 1:33.060 4. Travis Wyman (Yam) 1:34.883 5. Wyatt Farris (Yam) 1:35.135

KTM RC 390 Cup (Practice 1): 1. Hayden Schultz (KTM) 1:45.903 2. Justin McWilliams (KTM) 1:46.016 3. Gage McAllister (KTM) 1:46.179 4. Anthony Mazziotto III (KTM) 1:47.323 5. Xavier Zayat (KTM) 1:47.455

Supersport (Practice 1): 1. JD Beach (Yam) 1:28.395 2. David Anthony (Suz) 1:28.554 3. Garrett Gerloff (Yam) 1:29.152 4. Bobby Fong (Tri) 1:29.453 5. Tomas Puerta (Yam) 1:29.539

Bazzaz Superstock 600 (Qualifying 1): 1. Joe Roberts (Yam) 1:29.423 2. Richie Escalante (Yam) 1:29.479 3. Bryce Prince (Yam) 1:29.884 4. Michael Gilbert (Yam) 1:30.370 5. Travis Wyman (Yam) 1:30.536

Mazda Raceway Aerial 2

Bird’s eye view: This impressive angle of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca shows nearly every bit of the 11-turn racetrack, host for round seven of the nine-event MotoAmerica series.

Morning fog gave way to bright sunshine at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and opening MotoAmerica practices and qualifying are in the books at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile central California track.

Because round seven of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship is running this weekend in conjunction with round nine of the FIM Superbike World Championship, the schedule is much different than usual.

This morning, for example, only the Bazzaz Superstock 600, KTM RC 390 Cup, and Supersport classes were on track. Superbike and Superstock 1000 practiced early this afternoon. JD Beach (Supersport), Joe Roberts (Bazzaz Superstock 600), and Hayden Schultz (KTM RC 390 Cup) were the top performers.

Sixteen-year-old Jayson Uribe made his MotoAmerica debut this morning on a Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Bazzaz Superstock 600 class. Uribe, who is currently racing a Honda CBR600RR in France’s Superstock 600 Pirelli Cup, was 13th in both Practice 1 and Qualifying 1 with a best time of 1:33.275.

“The track was really cold and foggy, so it was hard to see,” Uribe said after opening practice. “Right now, the front end is too stiff and the rear end is too soft, so the whole bike is a bit of a pogo stick. Once we get the setup figured out, I will be a lot more comfortable and I’ll go faster.

“This is my manager’s bike with Meen Motorsports bodywork and a few of their bits and bobs. I’ve ridden this bike at a couple of track days just for fun; this is my first time in competition with an R6. It’s really nice to see everybody again.”

Westby Yoshimura 2

Loud at Laguna: This is the freer-flowing Yoshimura muffler installed on the Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 ridden by Josh Day in MotoAmerica’s Superstock 1000 class.

New Superbike/Superstock 1000 sound regulations are in effect this weekend. The new rule allows machines participating in MotoAmerica’s top two classes to run open exhaust systems. A quick pass through the paddock revealed that, at this stage, only Yamaha teams appear to be participating.

While the YZF-R1 is said to respond well to a freer-flowing muffler, even producing a few more horsepower in the upper ranges of its powerband, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 goes the opposite direction, which explains why Yoshimura Suzuki, GEICO Suzuki, and McGraw Powersports Suzuki are sticking with their existing systems, at least for the time being. Aprilia HSBK has taken the same path.

I asked RoadRace Factory Orion rider Jake Gagne what his expectations were for the open Arrow system fitted to his Yamaha. “I’m only worried about hearing my own bike,” he said. “If anything, it might be a little bit better—block out the stuff you don’t want to hear. I brought a few different earplugs this weekend. I have some custom ones that I may try if the regular ones don’t work.”

Josh Hayes has won four AMA Superbike races at Mazda Raceway. Hayes’ Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Cameron Beaubier, qualified on pole for last year’s race, stopping the clocks at 1:24.019. Beaubier has three AMA Pro Daytona SportBike (now Supersport) wins at Laguna Seca.

MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey won two Superbike races (1983 and 1986) and three 500cc Grands Prix (1989, 1990, and 1991) at Laguna. MotoAmerica rider representative Doug Chandler also enjoyed success at his home track, winning two Superbike races (1996 and 1997) and two Supersport races in April and July, 1998.

Current championship standings:

Superbike (Hayes 245, Beaubier 241, Lewis 171, Hayden 169, Martinez 117);
Superstock 1000 (Gagne 209, Knapp 192, Heckles 156, O’Hara 125, Day 110);
Supersport (Beach 240, Herrin 196, Gerloff 186, Anthony 121, Puerta 117);
Bazzaz Superstock 600 (Roberts 220, Escalante 183, Wyman 151, Farris 117, Prince 94);
KTM RC 390 Cup (McAllister 127, Ortt 80, Schultz 77, Mazziotto 72, McWilliams 61)

Here are the top five finishers and their best lap times for each class from this morning’s sessions:

Bazzaz Superstock 600 (Practice 1): 1. Joe Roberts (Yam) 1:31.395 2. Bryce Prince (Yam) 1:32.198 3. Richie Escalante (Yam) 1:33.060 4. Travis Wyman (Yam) 1:34.883 5. Wyatt Farris (Yam) 1:35.135

KTM RC 390 Cup (Practice 1): 1. Hayden Schultz (KTM) 1:45.903 2. Justin McWilliams (KTM) 1:46.016 3. Gage McAllister (KTM) 1:46.179 4. Anthony Mazziotto III (KTM) 1:47.323 5. Xavier Zayat (KTM) 1:47.455

Supersport (Practice 1): 1. JD Beach (Yam) 1:28.395 2. David Anthony (Suz) 1:28.554 3. Garrett Gerloff (Yam) 1:29.152 4. Bobby Fong (Tri) 1:29.453 5. Tomas Puerta (Yam) 1:29.539

Bazzaz Superstock 600 (Qualifying 1): 1. Joe Roberts (Yam) 1:29.423 2. Richie Escalante (Yam) 1:29.479 3. Bryce Prince (Yam) 1:29.884 4. Michael Gilbert (Yam) 1:30.370 5. Travis Wyman (Yam) 1:30.536