Under cloudy skies with drops of rain sprinkling the surface of Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) in Minnesota, Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC riders Josh Herrin and Xavi Forés were on pace Friday during the opening qualifying session for round six of the 2023 MotoAmerica Championship.
In the Superbike class at BIR’s 2.5-mile, 13-turn Competition Road Course, Herrin piloted his Ducati Panigale V4 R to the eight quickest time behind leader Yamaha’s Jake Gagne. Herrin, who claimed three podiums at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca three weeks ago, posted a 1:32.210 during the nine laps he rode during Friday’s qualifying 1, an improvement over his 1:33.506 during practice.
As for the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship leader, who heads into the race weekend with a perfect and new record of eight consecutive wins, Ducati V2 pilot Xavi Forés ended the opening qualifying session sixth on his first visit to BIR. The Spaniard, who dominated the extended 38-lap Supersport race at Laguna Seca, posted a best lap of 1:34.697 during his 12 qualifying laps, ending the day 1.443 seconds behind the leader, Yamaha’s Rocco Lander.
Superbike Qualifying 1 Results – Top 5
P1 – Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:31.492
P2 – PJ Jacobsen (BMW) 1:31.510
P3 – Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:31.518
P4 – Cameron Beaubier (BMW) 1:31.632
P5 – Brandon Paasch (Suzuki) 1:32.072
P8 – Josh Herrin (Ducati) 1:32.210
Supersport Qualifying 1 Results – Top 5
P1 – Rocco Landers (Yamaha) 1:33.254
P2 – Joshua Hayes (Yamaha) 1:33.315
P3 – Teagg Hobbs (Suzuki) 1:34.289
P4 – Stefano Mesa (Kawasaki) 1:34.571
P5 – Tyler Scott (Suzuki) 1:34.577
P6 – Xavi Forés (Ducati) 1:34.6971
Josh Herrin (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC– #2)
“Friday wasn’t one of our best days when you look at the qualifying results, but it was one of our best days making changes to the bike. We were able to make the bike feel a lot better in the middle of the second session, but a little bit of rain also came in on the second session, which hurt us from being able to go quicker. The lap times weren’t as good. Today will be really important because we can’t start from the back. The goal for today is to get as close to the front row as possible during qualifying. And then be upfront during the race and fight for the win. It’s the second half of the season, and we are in the championship fight, so we need the points, and we can’t afford to lose any points. We need to put in as good of a performance and get as many points as possible.”
Xavi Forés (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC– #12)
“It was a hard Friday for me. This is the track where I was supposed to struggle most because of the complaining I had all season about the low power on my bike. It’s been a nightmare so far on this track. We struggled setting a gear ratio for the whole track, and the top speed compared to the other bikes is very poor, but I will push hard to fight for the podium for sure!”
- From Ducati Media House