Taylor Knapp Fastest in Superstock 1000 Qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park

Yamalube/Westby Racing report from the MotoAmerica round at Barber Motorsports Park

To a man, every rider who climbs aboard the gold-and-black Yamalube/Westby Yamaha YZF-R1 for the first time goes faster than they’ve ever gone before, and that trend continued in MotoAmerica Superpole on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park.

Taylor Knapp, who joined the team earlier this week as a replacement for injured team rider Josh Day, was the fastest rider on the track, save for polesitter and defending MotoAmerica Superbike rider Cameron Beaubier. And it was faster than Taylor has ever gone on the Alabama track.

Taylor Knapp, Josh Day, Yamalube/Westby Racing, Superstock 1000
Taylor Knapp replaced injured team rider Josh Day and ended up being the fastest rider on the track.Photo Courtesy of Yamalube/Westby Racing

He threw his leg over the #44 Yamalube/Westby R1 Superstock 1000 bike for the very first time on Thursday after arriving at Barber, and the bike felt immediately comfortable to the Michigan native. Small adjustments during each practice session showed dividends in faster and faster laptimes. And then, in Superpole, after his team put the super-soft, yellow-striped, Dunlop qualifying tire on the R1, Taylor really got down to business and clicked off a blistering lap of 1:24.937, which put him second-fastest on the weekend, on the front row for tomorrow’s two Superstock 1000 races, and with a career-best qualifying position for Taylor.

After his eyebrow-raising performance, Taylor said, “Starting with Friday, the bike felt great instantly for me, and we’ve made steady progress all through the weekend. I can’t thank Tryg Westby and his crew enough for giving me this ride. It’s just such a good bike that’s really a joy to ride, so hats off to the Yamalube/Westby Racing crew. They’re the best. When I went out on the ‘Q’ tire towards the end of Superpole, that tire is so grippy, but it didn’t feel like a special lap to me. So, I was kind of in disbelief. I hit all my marks on that fast lap, but I was still really surprised. I’m definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s two races.”

Taylor and the Yamalube/Westby Racing team will start on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s Superstock 1000 Race 1, which goes green at 12:30 p.m. CST. Superstock 1000 Race 2 is later on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. CST.