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Beaubier Leads First Day Of MotoAmerica/Dunlop Test

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The MotoAmerica stars were given a chance to test their motorcycles on two completely different racetracks today at the Circuit of The Americas - one soaked by a rainstorm for the morning sessions and one dried by sunny skies in the afternoon - during the opening day of the two-day Dunlop tire test.

For most of the 30 riders in attendance at the first-ever MotoAmerica test, today was a day of learning as the vast majority of them had never ridden at COTA before. And with 20 turns packed into its 3.4 miles, learning COTA doesn't come easy.

The exceptions to the rule were returnees Yoshimura Suzuki's Roger Hayden, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes and Meen Motorsports' Josh Herrin. Hayden and his team tested here after last year's MotoGP, Hayes had been a guest of a riding school last summer, and Herrin competed in the 2014 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in the Moto2 class.

But at the end of the day the fastest of the fast was a rider who'd never turned a wheel at COTA prior to this morning: Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Cameron Beaubier. Beaubier lapped at a best of 2:11.910.

"It went really good," Beaubier said. "At the beginning of the day it was my first time ever here so I got to learn the track a bit in the rain.

"We did 10 laps this morning and just figured out where I was going, and I think that was good for me going into the dry sessions this afternoon. We're still getting comfy on the new bike, and on the new track and changing suspension, raising the bike up and down, and little a bit of gearing and stuff."

"I was running the hard rear pretty much all day, and we switched to the medium rear and it was a completely different," Beaubier added. "The old tire was pretty shagged and the new tire was awesome. I felt comfy and the lap times came easy so I'm looking forward to tomorrow and trying to improve my time a little bit and get a little more comfortable on the bike on this track.

All four classes of MotoAmerica (the KTM RC 390 Cup starts later in the season) are being featured at the track for the two-day test, broken into two divisions (600 and 1000cc). The two divisions were on the track for four sessions today and they'll resume tomorrow with four more sessions apiece.

Beaubier led the soaking wet first session for the Superbikes and Superstock 1000s with Hayes leading the second session, which was also held in the wet. Sessions three and four were held on a dry racetrack with Hayden leading session three and Beaubier stepping up to lead the fourth and final session with the best lap of the day.

Herrin used his track experience to lead the first 600cc session, but Yamahalube/Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha's Garrett Gerloff took over in the second session and was never headed again, the youngster dominating the day with a best of 2:13.594. Like Beaubier, Gerloff had never ridden at COTA until today.

"Today was really good," Gerloff said. "The two previous tests we've done at Thunderhilll before we arrived at COTA really helped us get my bike dialed in. Everything was rocking today and going really well. My Yamaha was going fast and I'm looking forward to continuing to develop my bike tomorrow and improving my time."

Top Image: Cameron Beaubier ended up the fastest of the fast on the opening day of the Dunlop tire test at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

Credit: Brian J. Nelson.

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