Nicky Hayden read the infield crowd wrong at Brainerd International Raceway Friday.
Seeing that they weren't excited as he raced his Honda RC51 past them on the final lap of the Hitching Post Motorsports AMA Superbike Classic, he thought he didn't win the provisional pole for Sunday's 21-lap final. BIR is the 11th round of the 16-round series.
The event's defending champion was wrong. He won the pole with a lap time of 1:36.608 on the three-mile track in temperatures above 90 degrees. His best speed was 111.791 mph.
Hayden, the current American Motorcyclist Association Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship Series points champion, said late in the session he thought he clicked off a pretty good lap.
"I came in and got another new tire and just got one lap and it really didn't feel that good," he said. "I didn't think I was going to get (the pole position)."
There was another qualifying session Saturday.
"We hope to find a little more speed and massage (the tune up) a little bit," he said.
Last year his average winning speed was only 109.727 mph. His average lap time was 1:38.426.
Eric Bostrom qualified second on a Kawasaki with a time of 1:36.786. Defending three-time series champion Mat Mladin was third on his Suzuki at 1:36.934, three-time winner at BIR and Hayden's teammate Miguel DuHamel was fourth with a time of 1:37.065 and Doug Chandler was fifth on a Ducati with a time of 1:37.065.
Bostrom said that his bike was slow Friday morning in the first practice session. He was fourth fastest with a time of 1:38.519. Hayden was fastest in 1:37.638.
The top privateer racer was Jason DiSalvo with a lap time of 1:41.365.
Central Roadracing Association Champion and North Dakotan Robert Jensen qualified No. 13 on his Suzuki at 1:41:830.
-- Mladin holds the track record of 1:35.320, which he set last year.
-- The Superbike final is 3 p.m. Sunday.
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