Superbike Practice Times and Quotes

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
The Superbikes have already taken to the track this morning at Daytona International Speedway and already Honda's Nicky Hayden is setting the fastest lap times. Suzuki's Mat Mladin sits in second while Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom holds down the third fastest time.

Of interest in the following rider quotes is Mladin's ever-constant downplaying of Daytona's importance as well as the fact that Yamaha's Anthony Gobert (currently eighth fastest) is trying to sort out a bunch of new suspension and motor parts...

Pascal Picotte (No. 21 HMC Ducati) "We're a little tight. It's been awhile since I've been on a motorcycle. I'm just trying to get myselfcomfortable and loose. So far it's going pretty good. We're already downto some good times. 1994, the last time, I was on a Ducati Superbike.Everything is quite different ; the riding position, the powerband. The power band is a lot wider than it was back then. It's morestable on the brakes, but I would say a little less traction though. It'stotally different, but I like it better."

Eric Bostrom (No. 32 Kawasaki) "We missed the first half of the session.We had a small error with the bike. The second half went better. We weresurprisingly third fastest, but I don't know why. We really only gotabout 10 laps out there, so it says a lot about the bike and the team,but we still have some pretty big fires to put out. I don't like we wentthat quick, I just think everyone else was going kind of slow, exceptNick (Hayden). Obviously we can't have any hiccups like we had today ifwe expect to becompetitive Sunday."

Nicky Hayden (No. 69 American Honda) "It's still really early and I don'twant to get too excited. I think we're just lucky. We came out of thegate and everything felt good. Now we have a little bit more work to do,but we've definitely got a good start on things. The track feels betterthan it's ever felt on the first day."

Mat Mladin (No. 1 Blimpie Yoshimura Suzuki) "It was the first practicesession. I guess Nicky (Hayden) was the quickest in the session, butwhatever you know? There are 16 races to go from standing here right nowand normally the championship will be awarded in Virginia, so what everhappens, happens.

Anthony Gobert (No. 16 Yamaha) "We've gotten new suspension and motorparts since we were here last in testing, so the bike is going throughthe basic sorting out. We put in some 51s pretty quick. We're realconfident that will be right there on Sunday. To be honest my goal isjust to leave here with podium finishes in both the Superbike andSupersport."

1. Nicky Hayden, Honda RC51, 1:49.8192. Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:50.3383. Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki ZX-7R, 1:51.0454. Kurtis Roberts, Honda RC51, 1:51.1845. Jamie Hacking, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:51.5156. Miguel Duhamel, Honda RC51, 1:51.5677. Pascal Picotte, Ducati 998RS, 1:51.8588. Anthony Gobert, Yamaha YZF-R7, 1:51.8639. Aaron Yates, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:51.87310. Chris Ulrich, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1:55.660
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