Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates and Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom brought home pole positions in their respective classes on the first day of AMA activities at Daytona International Speedway.
The pair of qualifying sessions for Superstock and Supersport kicked off the first of four days of AMA activities at DIS including Flat Track racing at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium, the Daytona Supercross By Honda on Friday night and the AMA Superbike Opening Round and 67th Daytona 200 By Honda on Saturday.
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Yates led a 1-2 Jordan Suzuki qualifying effort for Thursday’s 22-lap Superstock event with a fast lap of 108.112 mph followed by his teammate Geoff May at 108.051 mph. Michael Barnes (108.013) and Blake Young (107.765) rounded out the front row.
“It’s a great way to start the season off especially for Jordan Suzuki having a first and second right off in the first race in qualifying,” said Yates, who earns a point in the championship standings for his pole. “Hopefully we can take it on through the race.”
“I guess I’ll give Aaron those five hundredths or whatever it was. He has got a year more on the team,” quipped May, who is in his first season riding for the NBA Basketball legend. “I’m happy with my performance. The Dunlop tires are unbelievable. I’m having a ball. It’s like starting racing all over again when I was a beginner privateer. It’s really fun.”
Scott Russell, the five-time Daytona 200 By Honda champion, made his return to AMA competition at Daytona International Speedway by qualifying 15th with a speed of 103.489 mph.
Bostrom led a 1-2 Yamaha qualifying effort for Thursday’s 22-lap Supersport race. Bostrom posted a lap of 105.834 mph followed by Yamaha teammate Josh Herrin at 105.406. Attack Kawasaki’s Chaz Davies was third at 105.337 and Erion Honda’s Josh Hayes in fourth with 105.270.
“The R6 is fantastic,” Bostrom said. “Yamaha has outdone themselves when they built that bike. That’s pretty cool because we didn’t have it completely set up. We had the bike up for Fontana and we kind of had to bring it back to Daytona.”
“It’s only the second time we’ve ever put it on the front row,” Herrin said. “Usually I’m a horrible qualifier, but I think we’re putting it together pretty good this year. The Yamaha couldn’t work any better.”
The Superstock race will go green at 3:50 p.m. on Thursday while the Supersport race will start at 4:50 p.m.
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