Team Hammer returned to action today in Fontana, California, in preparation of tomorrow’s opening leg of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout.
The nation’s top racers made a welcome return to Southern California and the 21-turn, 2.36-mile Auto Club Speedway road course on Saturday as they vied for their grid positions ahead of Sunday’s Dynojet Pro Sportbike contest.
Young gun Joe Roberts continued to demonstrate his prodigious speed, putting the M4 Sportbike TrackGear.com Honda CBR600RR on the third row ( as weekend host WERA utilizes alternating three and two-rider rows for its grid arrangement).
The 16-year-old threw down a 1:29.772 lap during qualifying, lopping more than two seconds of his free practice best to end the day seventh fastest overall. Roberts will look to continue his rapid progression and fight for a place on the podium on Sunday.
“Today went really well,” Roberts said. “I think we made a lot of progress. We’re learning some now stuff every time we get to ride, so I guess you could say things are really positive.
“Seventh isn’t too bad but the main thing is we are pretty close on lap times. I’m excited to get some racing in, especially at a track that’s close to home. All of my family is here and a lot of my friends that wouldn’t ordinarily get a chance to see me race, so that’s fun.”
Meanwhile, fellow Californian Melissa Paris will open the Dynojet Pro Sportbike race from Row 6. She was 15th fastest in qualifying today with a fast lap of 1:34.476.
Like Roberts, Paris made significant strides from free practice to qualifying, improving her time by more 3.5 seconds aboard the Team Hammer Contract Services-prepared MPH Honda CBR600RR.
On Sunday, Roberts and Paris will participate in the first of three GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Dynojet Pro Sportbike races, with events in Sonoma Raceway and Miller Motorsports Park to follow in May. Tomorrow’s 20-lap contest is scheduled to get underway at 1:30pm local time.