AUSTIN, Texas – To say that the Circuit of The Americas seems to suit Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias would be a massive understatement.
A five-time MotoAmerica Superbike race winner in Texas, the Spaniard put himself in perfect position to add more race victories to his COTA tally with his 2:08.537 lap in Friday afternoon’s Superpole session putting him on pole for the start of this weekend’s two races.
Elias improved his lap times methodically during the day from recording the third-fastest time in Friday morning’s first qualifying session, to ending the the afternoon’s second qualifying session in second, to grabbing the pole in the 15-minute Superpole session.
“I’m not a guy who takes many poles, so always a pole is very welcome,” said Elias. “I think the new rules are better for me. We have more opportunities to make one quick lap, so we have three laps now, a good three laps. I was closing in at Road Atlanta, more than other times, but today we were more ready and we did first pole of the year, so I hope some others will come. But, for the moment, we did a great job. The team is working perfectly. It’s going to be a difficult race for the tires. There’s no one tire which we are sure to make the distance. Some tires are difficult. Medium tires are very difficult. Good luck for everyone.”
Elias’ teammate Josh Herrin made a big jump in Superpole to qualify second, besting Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cameron Beaubier. The defending three-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion up third-fastest time after leading the timesheets in both of the qualifying practice sessions leading up to Superpole