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Batey Second-Fastest In Portland F-USA Qualifying

By June 18, 1998April 26th, 20211998 News

Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Tray Batey was second-fastest in Formula USA qualifying at Portland International Raceway despite a crash in practice that left Batey with two ground-up fingers and a tweaked knee. Batey’s best qualifying lap of 1:08.43 came in the second qualifying session, held Saturday afternoon, and Batey was the only rider to run substantially faster in the afternoon session despite higher ambient and track temperatures reducing available traction. Batey’s time was 0.112-second off pole position and locked him into a front-row starting position for the first of two Formula USA races scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Grant Lopez was fifth fastest at 1:08.800, or 0.529-second off pole position. Both Batey and Lopez rode the team’s 840cc GSXR750 Formula USA racebikes and Lopez will start the first Formula USA race on the second row of the grid. The team’s plan to field Josh Hayes on a 1240cc 1996 GSXR1100 Formula USA racebike ended when the bike developed a cracked cylinder. Hayes soldiered on aboard his GSXR600 Supersport bike, which he crashed in the first practice on Friday, and qualified on the second row for the 103 HP class and on the fourth row for the 126 HP class.