The test featured many riders making debuts with new teams or motorcycles as well as an opportunity for riders to test the newly-paved race surface.
“The track is just so unbelievably smooth; when you compare some of the data from previous years, it is so much smoother,” says Hayes. “It is different, but it doesn't take long to get back into the groove. I’m looking forward to the race.”
The Graves Yamaha rider topped the timesheets with a time of 1:38.795 riding the YZF-R1. Following Hayes was the Rockstar Makita Suzuki duo of Tommy Hayden (1:39.074) and Blake Young (1:39.416). Hayes, Hayden and Young combined to win 15 of the 19 races last season, and the test times suggest they will again be familiar faces on top of the podium through the 2011 season.
Fourth on the timesheet was Eric Bostrom on the new 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R. Bostrom’s fastest lap time of 1:39.930 was half a second behind Young. Rounding out the top five was Larry Pegram on the BMW S1000RR, just behind Bostrom at 1:39.983. Both riders were testing new race bikes and their results show promise.
Other new combinations were Ben Bostrom and Roger Hayden on the Jordan Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbikes. Ben Bostrom was sixth on the timesheet at 1:40.282 while Hayden was next at 1:40.676.
The 2010 Daytona Sportbike Champion Martin Cardenas (1:40.995) was eighth as he makes his debut in the Superbike class on a GSX-R1000. Just behind Cardenas was his M4 teammate Chris Ulrich at 1:41.497. Ulrich left the test early to return to his family for the impending birth of his second child.
Rounding out the top ten was Geoff May riding the Buell 1125RR with a best time of 1:42.139. May rides for Erik Buell Racing but the team is still waiting for approval of the 1190RS so the team used the 2009 1125RR instead.