It has been a dominating day for the Monster Yamaha team. Their consistent pace through both Free Practice 1 and 2 was clearly a sign of things to come.
Garrett Gerloff and Cameron Beaubier have been the pick of the riders so far today after the pair topped both free practice sessions. That pace continued into Superpole as they delivered on their advantage around the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) to make it a one-two ahead of this evenings race.
Gerloff produced a devastating lap in the closing minutes that even his hugely decorated team-mate could not match. He secured pole with a time of 1:23.908. His pace was such that no other rider was within two-tenths of the 23-year-old American. Beaubier suffered a crash when he fitted the qualifying tyre, but his stunning lap on race tyres was good enough to keep him on the front row.
Gerloff and Beaubier will have the chance to capitalize on their great form as championship leader, Toni Elias, will start from ninth place. Mechanical problems stopped him from completing a single fast lap. Elias enters round three of the championship having finished first or second in all four races so far this season. But that record is now under serious threat in Virginia.
Josh Herrin’s struggles, throughout the day, on the second Yoshimura Suzuki Racing bike continued in qualifying. He could only salvage sixth place, a position that’s becoming all too familiar for him today.
South African Mathew Scholtz produced another great showing as he rounded out the top three. Scholtz had looked strong in both free practice sessions and, with Herrin struggling, he now has the opportunity to move into the top three in the standings with a podium finish.
In fourth place was JD Beach, making it four Yamaha’s in the top four positions. Jake Lewis is the top Suzuki in sixth with Cameron Peterson in seventh. Behind them will be Kyle Wyman on the lone Ducati, in eighth place.
Defending champion, Beaubier, has looked the most consistent of any rider in race trim. With his main title threat, Elias, on the third row of the grid, the early laps will be crucial. The Spaniard is known for his electric starts and will be eager to keep his great record in Virginia.