Yates, Eslick and Pascarella Pace AMA Pro Road Racing Basic Qualifying at Auto Club Speedway

NEWS March 26, 2010

Yates, Eslick and Pascarella Pace AMA Pro Road Racing Basic Qualifying at Auto Club Speedway

FONTANA, CA (March 26, 2010) - The more things change, the more they stay the same as the first day of practice and qualifying came to a close at the Auto Club Speedway in beautiful sunny southern California.  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.  Twenty-two American SuperBike motorcycles attempted to qualify today and final qualifying will be tomorrow morning at 9:50 a.m. local time, ensuring quicker times as the track conditions will be close to perfect around the 2.36-mile 21-turn Auto Club Speedway circuit. 

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.  The second round of qualifying for the Daytona SportBikes will be tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. local time, with the first of two races kicking off tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

In keeping with the pattern so far, Daytona's SuperSport pole and race two winner Joey Pascarella took the top spot in the last qualifying session of the day.  After being beaten in race one at Daytona in the SuperSport season opener by 0.001 of a second, Pascarella has yet to be beaten in a race or qualifying session.  Pascarella, suffering the painful looking wounds from a mountain bike fall earlier in the week, led the way on his No. 25 LTD Racing Yamaha with a time of 1:29.310.  Asked if he was distracted by the abrasions on his hands and face, Joey commented, "Once I start riding, I don't notice it.  I wasn't sure I would be able to hold on but it's not bad." 

Second quick was No. 19 Scott Gilbert on his Yamaha with a time of 1:30.188 and third was Pascarella's Yamaha teammate, No. 75 Huntley Nash who turned in a time of 1:31.393.  Nash has never been to Auto Club Speedway and was pleased with his effort, "For my first time here, I'm pretty happy, I followed Joey around a couple of times and picked up some ideas where I could improve and I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I know I can run better." 

The SuperSport riders will take to the track again tomorrow for final qualifying and also their first race of two this weekend.  Local rider Elena Myers again showed her experience on a track she has been riding on since the beginning of her short career by taking fourth place with a time of 1:31.573.  Myers, riding her No. 21 RMR/RoadracingWorld.com Suzuki, ran close to the top of the time charts throughout today's practice and qualifying sessions. 

Following post-qualifying technical inspection, times were disallowed for non-compliant fuel for the following motorcycles: American SuperBike No. 10 and No. 59, Daytona SportBike No. 122 and No. 153, SuperSport No. 729.  Riders will have the opportunity to qualify or improve their position on the grid by posting times in tomorrow morning's final qualifying sessions.

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.

Check www.amaproracing.com for the latest information and be sure to check your local listings for SPEED's coverage of this weekend's races from Auto Club Speedway.
To purchase tickets call 800-944-RACE (7223), or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.

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San Bernardino County, California (March 26, 2010) - Aaron Yates and Danny Eslick recorded top speeds in the AMA Pro American SuperBike and Daytona SportBike classes Friday at Auto Club Speedway in the opening day of competition of the Suzuki AMA Pro SuperBike Challenge.

Yates, who finished fourth in the season-opening races in Daytona three weeks ago in American SuperBike, rode his Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 to the top position with a time of 1:23.982.

"I want to be focused and just do the best job I can," Yates said. "The guys are working really hard to get the bike ready. We are working on couple of different things. I was going a little better on one of the bikes."

Rounding out the top five AMA Pro American SuperBike riders are Tommy Hayden riding his Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki GSX-R1000 (1:24.133), Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram (1:24.150), John Hopkins on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki GSX-R1000 (1:24.190) and Blake Young on his Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki GSX-R1000 (1:24.227).

Eslick on his GEICO Powersports/RMR/Suzuki GSX-R600 posted the top time for the day in AMA Pro Daytona SportBike with a time of 1:27.164. He is looking to achieve the same feat as last year at Auto Club Speedway when he won both Daytona SportBike races. The rest of the top-five included Josh Herrin on his Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 (1:27.255), Tommy Aquino on the Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 (1:27.457), Team Latus Motors Racing's Steve Rapp (1:27.515) and Martin Cardenas on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki GSX-R600 (1:27.560).

Young talent in the SuperSport class showed their skills as they raced against expert licensed local riders. Joey Pascarella topped the riders on his Yamaha YZF-R6 (1:29.310), followed by Scott Gilbert (1:30.188), Huntley Nash (1:31.393), Elena Myers (1:31.573) and Charles Strong (1:33.998).

Qualifying and Race 1 in each class will continue at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday beginning at 9:00 a.m.

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