Herrin Storms To Provisional Pole On Opening Day At Road Atlanta

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Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin had two reasons to be happy with his Friday qualifying at Road Atlanta. For starters, Herrin earned provisional pole position in Q1 with his 1:24.627. He then followed that up by pocketing an “I owe you” from his teammate Loris Baz as he towed the Frenchman to third, giving Ducati two bikes on the provisional front row heading into tomorrow’s Q2 session.

If Q1 is any indication, the Steel Commander Superbike Championship is going to be hotly contested as eight riders circulated within a second of Herrin.

Three-time and defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Jake Gagne ended the session third fastest and just .096 of a second behind Herrin’s best. With the aforementioned Baz ending the session third in his return to the MotoAmerica paddock, it was Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong slotting into fourth, the last rider in the 1:24s on the 2.55-mile road course.

Superbike rookie Sean Dylan Kelly had an impressive first day on the TopPro Racing BMW M 1000 RR, the 2021 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion ending up fifth fastest and less than half a second behind Herrin.

Gagne’s Attack Performance Yamaha teammate Cameron Petersen was sixth fastest, the fastest of the two Camerons on day one with five-time champ Beaubier ending up seventh on the Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW M 1000 RR. Beaubier returned to action with just a handful of minutes left in the session after his crew did a good job of getting him back on track after an early session crash in turn 10-A.

Beaubier’s teammate JD Beach ended up eighth in his first qualifying session on the BMW.

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammates Richie Escalante and Brandon Paasch rounded out the top 10.

Motoamerica - Road Atlanta - Saturday Morning
Josh Herrin was the fastest of the fast on Friday at Road Atlanta as he rode his Ducati to provisional pole heading into Saturday’s final qualifying. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Supersport – Alexander’s Surprise

Of the three Supersport riders on the Rahal Ducati Moto team, Corey Alexander came into the 2024 season with the least amount of fanfare. On Friday afternoon, Alexander let his riding do the talking as he emerged from the 43-rider field with the fastest lap to earn provisional pole position at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Alexander led the way with his 1:28.912 just .225 of a second faster than Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott and .334 of a second clear of his teammate PJ Jacobsen, with those three making up the provisional front row.

N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto’s Blake Davis, Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Stefano Mesa, and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Teagg Hobbs made up the second row, provisionally.

Things were tight at the top with nine riders qualifying within a second of Alexander’s best.

Junior Cup – Medina Gets It Started

Yandel Medina showed that he’s ready for the new season of Junior Cup racing with the New Yorker leading the way on Friday to earn provisional pole position on his New York Safety Track Racing Kawasaki Ninja 400.

Medina lapped at a best of 1:42.976 to lead BARTCON Racing’s Eli Block by .765 of a second with defending class champion Avery Dreher third with his 1:43.768 lap.

BSB Racing’s Trenton Keesee and Speed Demon Racing’s Logan Cunnison rounded out the top five qualifiers on Friday.

BellissiMoto Twins Cup – Rocco Leads Suzuki 1-2

RevZilla/Vance & Hines Suzuki’s Rocco Landers put his new Suzuki GSX-8R on provisional pole position in the BellissiMoto Twins Cup class at Road Atlanta on Friday afternoon with a best lap of 1:33.150.

Landers, the all-time wins leader in the Twins Cup class, led Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Rossi Moor by .610 of a second for a Suzuki one-two.

Daytona winner and championship leader Gus Rodio was third quickest on his Rodio Racing – Powered By Robem Engineering Aprilia and .665 of a second off Landers’ best. Giaccomoto Yamaha Racing’s Dominic Doyle and Rodio’s teammate Alessandro Di Mario rounded out the top five heading into Saturday’s Q2 session.

Motoamerica - Road Atlanta - Saturday Morning
Bobby Fong led the way in Mission King Of The Baggers qualifying on Friday. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Mission King Of The Baggers – Bagger Bob Gets It Done

SDI/Roland Sands Racing/Indian Motorcycle’s Bobby Fong led the Mission King Of The Baggers qualifying session on Friday with a new lap record at Road Atlanta of 1:29.528.

Second fastest on opening day was Troy Herfoss, the S&S/Indian Motorcycle-backed Australian just .192 of a second off Fong’s best in his first visit to Road Atlanta.

Championship points leader Kyle Wyman was third fastest on the factory Harley-Davidson, despite a crash in 10-A early in the session. Wyman’s best was .265 of a second slower than Fong’s.

Defending Mission King Of The Baggers Champion Hayden Gillim was fourth fastest, a few tenths quicker than his class rookie teammate Rocco Landers.

The session was a bit of a crashfest as Kyle Wyman wasn’t the only faller. He was joined in the 10-A gravel by his teammate James Rispoli and by his brother Travis Wyman. Tyler O’Hara was also a faller in the session.

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