Roger Hayden (95). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Roger Hayden was the fastest rider in challenging conditions
during Motul Superbike/Bazzaz Superstock 1000 qualifying practice Friday at the 2017 MotoAmerica season finale at Barber Motorsports Park.
Riding his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000, Hayden lapped the
2.3-mile, 16-turn road course in 1:25.974 in spite of ground water seeping up through cracks at several points on the track.
The “weepers,” as they are being called, caused Jake Gagne
to crash and destroy his Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda CBR1000RR SP2 Superbike during Qualifying Practice Two (QP2).
Gagne was not injured in the crash.
“The first 10 minutes were OK. I got going pretty fast and
felt a lot better than in the morning,” Hayden told Roadracingworld.com. “Then
the water kept coming up and coming up. I was having some moments. In a couple
sections of track you could push, but in others you couldn’t. I hate doing
this, but I quit [riding] 15 minutes early because there was so much water
coming up in places I didn’t want to toss it down the road.
“One of the things, if you crash where the water’s coming up
your bike is done. Those corners just eat bikes. I didn’t see anything worth
the risk of pushing in those conditions. I’m interested to see what will happen
because we can’t race like that tomorrow.”
Gagne’s crash brought out a red flag, and during the cleanup,
MotoAmerica officials dried up the “weepers” as best they could, before
restarting the session. But the water returned shortly after the session
restarted, preventing many riders from going faster than they did in the early
going of the session or than they did in the morning’s qualifying practice.
Josh Herrin (who is filling in for the injured Cameron
Beaubier) said the Monster Energy/Yamalube Yamaha crew made special parts just
for him since the event last weekend in New Jersey, and those parts allowed him