Collingwood, ON’s Ben Young sits 13th fastest at Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama after the first day of practice for the Motul Superbike Feature class races slated for this weekend. The 25-year-old is making his debut in MotoAmerica-sanctioned action this weekend, although he did compete in the 600cc category on the U.S. tour back in 2015 for the RoadRace Factory squad.
Monster Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff jumped from fourth in the morning’s session to sit atop the standings in the afternoon, with a lap at 1:21.315, having turned an incredible 28 laps in the session. Reigning Champ Toni Elias put the number one Yoshimura-Suzuki GSX-R1000 in second at 1:25.331, while Josh Herrin netted third aboard the Attack-Yamaha YZF-R1 with a tour at 1:25.382.
Young’s best tour aboard his regular BMW S1000RR in an abbreviated session was a lap at1:27.7, about half a second ahead of his morning lap times. Recovering from a bout of food poisoning earlier in the week while dealing with the extreme Alabama heat and humidity, Young was cautiously optimistic about his performance.
“It’s tough going here, even without the heat, this track is so physical,” started Young, referring to the busy 2.38-mile layout. “We were working on the back end this morning, we are chasing the front end now, and we will try some new things tomorrow.
“The track was greasy this afternoon with the high heat, but that’s the same for everyone. We’re making steady progress, and we’re not a million miles away from where we aim to be – I think we can be in the mix.”
Young admitted it has been a while since the big Mopar CSBK season-ending double-header at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, so “we’re here with no expectations, but we certainly have our goals. There are some differences with the different Dunlop tires they use in MotoAmerica, they have switched to a bigger rear tire and they also have some compound options that are softer than what I am use to in Canada.
Among Young’s primary concerns are the American-based BMW S1000RR racers. Danny Eslick is 8th overall on Scheibe-BMW entry, while Geoff May is right behind Young in 14th with his S1000RR BeeMm.
“So yeah, It’s an adjustment, and I think tomorrow will be a step better, it always helps when you get to sleep on it,” confirmed the 2016 Brooklin Cycle Pro Rookie of the Year in the Canadian Superbike Tour.
With the extreme heat, thunder storms are a possibility, but Young says he doesn’t care. “If it rains, we should be fine, and this is a good track in terms of racing in the rain.”
Tomorrow’s Superbike Schedule has a final practice, a SuperPole Qualifying Session, and the penultimate 21 lap race of the 2018 Championship.
Young’s effort at Barber Motorsport Park is supported by BMW Motorrad, ACF50, Barrie Trim and Moulding, Hindle Exhaust, and Dunlop.