Believe it or not, Jake Gagne made a mistake in Friday’s Q1 session at Barber Motorsports Park, the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha rider crashing out of the session and allowing someone else a shot at the top. When all was said and done, it was M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen taking full advantage of Gagne’s miscue to snag provisional pole position for this weekend’s three HONOS Superbike races.
Petersen’s best lap was his last lap, the South African turning in a 1:23.613 to lead fellow South African Mathew Scholtz by .567 of a second. Despite crashing early in the session, Gagne was still able to secure the third-fastest time – .682 of a second slower than Petersen.
Gagne’s teammate Josh Herrin and Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera rounded out the top five on Friday.
“I’m super stoked for day one,” Petersen said. “I know Jake (Gagne) had an issue there in the second session and only got four or something laps in. So, it’s hard to think what he might have done toward the end of the session. I had this one circled from the beginning of the season and I knew that this was going to be my best opportunity to take a win away from Jake. The bike is the best, easiest bike I’ve ridden all year so that has something to say about the lap time. Now I just pray for a dry race. Honestly, I knew the bike was going to be good here. The funny thing is, we haven’t changed anything here from Jersey other than gearing. The bike is pretty much exactly the same, but you know confidence is everything about this. When I drove through the gates yesterday, there’s something about this place that gives me a sense of confidence. Every single lap I do around here I have a big smile on my face. Honestly, I don’t think I have more fun riding a motorcycle anywhere else in the world than here.”
Newly crowned Supersport Champion Sean Dylan Kelly earned provisional pole position in the class with the Floridian lapping at a best of 1:27.271 in Q1 on Friday. That lap put the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider .607 of a second faster than his rival Richie Escalante and the HONOS HVMC Racing Kawasaki. Landers Racing’s Rocco Landers ended the day third, just .057 of a second slower than Escalante.
Scott Powersports KTM’s Tyler Scott is close to being crowned as the SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup Champion and he took the first step towards that goal by earning provisional pole. Scott’s best lap was a 1:35.553, which was .174 of a second faster than Veloce Racing’s David Kohlstaedt. Scott’s season-long rival in the class, Benjamin Gloddy, was sixth fastest in Q1.
With 45 entries in the Stock 1000 class, the sessions were split with the majority of the faster riders taking part in Superbike Q1. The best of those ended up being Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis, besting Jones Honda’s Ashton Yates and Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman.
Robem Engineering’s Italian import Tommaso Marcon ended up as the fastest of the Twins Cup riders in a Q1 session shortened by lightning. Marcon lapped at 1:30.956 to lead Track Day Winner’s Jackson Blackmon by .095 of a second. Newly crowned class champion Kaleb De Keyrel was third fastest.
- Cameron Petersen (Suzuki) 1:23.613
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 1: 24.180
- Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1: 24.295
- Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:24.336
- Hector Barbera (BMW) 1:25.140
- Bobby Fong (Suzuki) 1:25.142
- Kyle Wyman (Ducati) 1:25.490
- David Anthony (Suzuki) 1:26.221
- Jake Lewis (Suzuki) 1:26.264
- Ashton Yates (Honda) 1:26.648