Expert lensman Tim White snapped the attached images on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway during the afternoon AMA Pro practice and qualifying sessions. Morning practice was washed out by overnight rainstorms. By 10 a.m., the storm had blown through town, and DIS’s whistling jet dryers were clearing moisture from the racing surface. Clear weather is expected for the rest of the weekend.
In the American SuperBike class, Graves Yamaha rider Josh Hayes led the way, posting a best timed lap of 1:38.804. The reigning series champion was trailed closely by the Rockstar Makita Suzuki duo of Tommy Hayden (1:38.889) and Blake Young (1:39.167). Foremost Insurance-backed Larry Pegram (1:39.290), who has shown early speed on his BMW S1000RR, and new Jordan Suzuki recruit Ben Bostrom rounded out the top five.
Eric Bostrom posted the 13th-quickest lap time, a 1:41.509, on the Team Cycle World Attack Performance Kawasaki ZX-10R. “Everything that could go wrong, did,” he admitted. “Tomorrow will be better,” said crew chief Richard Stanboli. “It always is.”
Bostrom’s teammate, JD Beach, was a revelation. The 19-year-old 2010 AMA Pro SuperSport East champion laid down the third-quickest lap of the 46-rider Daytona SportBike field (headed by Jason DiSalvo on the Latus Motors Ducati); Bostrom was fifth. The pair topped the speed charts on their Attack Performance-built ZX-6Rs, posting 174- and 173-mph speeds, respectively.
Former Daytona 200 winner Steve Rapp, making his first appearance in the Vance & Hines XR1200 class on a Parts Unlimited-branded machine, earned provisional pole with a 2:08.317 lap time. “Mr. Daytona,” Scott Russell, and 2000 AMA Pro Grand National Champion Joe Kopp are also among the record 20 entries.
Georgia’s Miles Thorton set the best SuperSport lap time, a 1:54.888.