-- Smooth Sailing for Beaubier in 72nd DAYTONA 200
Cameron Beaubier won the 72nd DAYTONA 200 on Saturday as the 20-year-old dominated on board his Y.E.S Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 in the famous 200-mile race. Beaubier earned pole and led much of the race by a wide margin, putting his stamp on a GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing event that many racing legends have claimed for themselves over the years.
Beaubier was the fastest man in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike over the three days, and managed to run a clean 57-lap race with two trouble-free pit stops. He lapped up to fifth place and won by 22.254 seconds in a race with no red flags. The 20-year-old set a high mark as he begins the 2013 AMA Pro season with a stellar race. He led pretty all but seven laps, taking the lead for the last on lap 21 and never looking back.
"I'm pretty tired right now, but I'm just trying to soak everything in," said Beaubier. "I rode as hard as I could the first stint and then be super-consistent. I had one little mess-up -- I ran wide in Turn 1 -- and then after that I just calmed down and kept clicking off laps. My Yamaha Extended Service Monster Energy Graves Yamaha ran awesome. They gave me two awesome pit stops, and I just rode as hard as I could. I can't thank them enough."
His teammate Garrett Gerloff led early in the race before finishing second, ahead of Bobby Fong of the RMR/Triple Crown team. Gerloff was able to make his way clear of Fong, but was unable to run down Beaubier.
Gerloff had a tough crash at Daytona last year and left with a broken leg, but the Texan leaves this year having earned second place. "(The race was) longer than I thought it would be, but it was awesome," said Gerloff. "It was awesome to be in the front group at the beginning and then Cameron started pulling away and we started pulling him back. Every once in a while we'd pass him and then he made a run for it and kind of got away. I tried to catch up but I just couldn't do it. Big thanks to my team for awesome pit stops and all the testing we do. That's why we're 1-2 on the podium. I think this is going to be an awesome year and I just want to keep it rolling."
Fong had a solid race but wanted more. As one of the contenders in the GoPro Daytona SportBike class, Fong has shown he can be as aggressive as any rider in the series. On Saturday, he lost Beaubier's draft. "I made a mistake in the beginning of the race -- the bike was hitting false neutrals, and I let Cameron get away. So I had to ride pretty much by myself the whole time. It was a long race but the training I did this off-season paid off. My bike worked great the whole time -- I was just out there circulating, trying to maintain my position. It's the best finish I've ever had at Daytona so thanks to everyone for helping me out."
RoadRace Factory teammates Jake Gagne and J.D. Beach finished fourth and fifth in the race. The young teammates outlasted a pack of challengers that included Jake Zemke, who retired from the race after leading five laps and battling in the top ten.
Steve Rapp, filling in for Dane Westby on the GEICO Honda, earned sixth place with a strong ride. Rapp rode well as a substitute rider, hopping on the bike for the first time Friday morning.
Young rider James Rispoli on the National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki had a strong race before losing a bit of steam at the end and taking seventh ahead of Ben Young (Ben Young Racing).
Two women finished inside the top 10, with Elena Myers (Sturgess Cycle Triumph) getting the nod over Melissa Paris (MPH Racing.) Paris looked to have the position locked up but a pit stop infraction meant she had to serve a ride-through penalty that reversed their order.
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike
Any residual sense of inevitability hanging over the paddock as a result of Josh Hayes' all-conquering 2012 campaign was promptly shattered in the opening weekend of the 2013 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season. Hayes' improbable Friday DNF disaster was doubled up on Saturday, and the three-time defending champ now finds himself in an early hole in his pursuit of a fourth consecutive crown.
In contrast, Martin Cardenas celebrated a spectacular victory in his first weekend with the storied Yoshimura Suzuki squad, one-upping his Friday runner-up. He earned the win after pushing Hayes deep into the race before the Mississippian's Yamaha expired shortly after the two took the stripe for the 12th time in the 15-lapper.
Hayes leapt into the lead at the green light, but was again unable to shake his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, who again tucked right in behind on his #2 R1.
Cardenas too got away with the leading Yamahas but appeared to be just barely clinging on to the front, fading to just over a second behind by lap 5. In danger of losing the lead draft, the Colombian summoned a remarkable 1:36.835 lap from his #36 GSX-R1000 (the only '36 of the weekend) to close right back in on the escaping Yamaha pilots, apparently setting the stage for a race-long dogfight to the checkered flag.
The factory Suzuki man used that building momentum to fight his way up to the lead momentarily on lap 8, but Hayes and Herrin displaced him to third once again on the following lap.
However, Herrin bowed out of that battle on lap 10, running off in Turn 1. He re-entered the fray nearly ten seconds back -- still in the top three but joined by the chasing Larry Pegram on the Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.
Hayes managed to eke out a small bit of padding over the subsequent laps but his hard work proved for naught when smoke began to pour out from beneath his machine's fairing and he moved aside, allowing Cardenas to power into the lead and ultimately race home to the second AMA Pro SuperBike victory of his career.
The triumphant Cardenas said, "I didn't expect a win to come this soon in the season. If Hayes didn't have a problem I think he would have ended up first because he was a little bit faster than me today. I'll take it anyway -- anybody can have problems in each race.
"I'm very happy. I want to thank very much Yoshimura Suzuki for giving me the opportunity to ride for them. This team is awesome."
Some 11 seconds back, Herrin narrowly fended off Pegram to finish second and take an early one-point championship lead over Cardenas.
"I felt really good today compared to yesterday in the beginning of the race," Herrin said. "I felt really comfortable sitting behind him. He'd gap me coming out of the chicane but I'd be able to close back up to him every time going into Turn 1. Whenever Martin started dicing it up with us it got pretty crazy. It was fun, it went from just sitting there to having to think about it and be real smart.
"I just didn't pull up hard enough on the lever going into Turn 1 and went into neutral. I was lucky I was able to save it and regroup and hold off Larry to the end."
Pegram leaves Daytona with a pair of thirds, his first two trips to podium since the 2010 season.
Pegram said, "It was pretty uneventful today until the end; I had a lot of fun racing with Josh Herrin. I'm not looking forward to the (angry) Josh Hayes that will show up at Road America. We can say whatever we want, but he was the guy to beat in both races and had some bad luck. I'm sure when we show up at Road America he'll be fighting. But hey, we'll take it."
National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden bounced back from yesterday's DNF with fourth after edging new Jordan Suzuki teammate Danny Eslick to the stripe.
Cardenas' Yoshimura Suzuki teammate, Chris Clark, beat Team Moto Venezuela PC 4x4 Kawasaki's Robertino for sixth, while Chris Fillmore finished eighth after earlier running in a pack with Clark and Pietri. That pack also included M4 Broaster Chicken Racing's Chris Ulrich, who ultimately finished a bit further back in ninth, and Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony, who ran into troubles late and finished a lap down in 12th).
Spaniard Bernat Martinez rounded out the top ten on the Team TJA Valencia Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Triple champ Hayes leaves Daytona with just two points to his name, one for pole and one for leading the most laps today. Meanwhile, Herrin boasts 56 and Cardenas 55.
That deficit promises to make for an exciting campaign for fans and a new challenge for Hayes, who won last year's championship by a 154-point margin.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
Tomas Puerta won Saturday's AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race Two at Daytona International Speedway. Puerta was strong all 10 laps and was able to earn a gap on the final time around the famed circuit, putting his stamp on a race that saw as many as 10 riders take part in the draft battles at the front. The RoadRace Factory pilot topped CJ Weaver on the Napa Auto-sponsored Yamaha. Corey Alexander on the National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki team took third.
Polesitter Puerta was disappointed with how the first Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race ended on Friday. After running near the front, the Colombian found himself shuffled back in the field when the last lap ended and took fifth. On Saturday, he seemed more determined to lead and for his efforts earned his second career AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport victory. He put his head down in the final laps and earned a one-second gap as he turned his fastest lap the final time around.
"I made a mistake on the last lap yesterday," said Puerta. "I [took the wrong line] on the banking on the last lap and couldn't get back to the front. Today, the bike ran great and I can't thank my team enough. This race was much better. Today, I wanted to be in the lead as much as I could. I tried to put in a perfect lap and push to the finish line."
After a red flag on lap one, the race shaped up as the typical Daytona draft-fest. The top 12 finished within three seconds of Puerta.
Many riders, including Stefano Mesa, Jeffrey Tigert, and Hayden Gillim, took a turn at the front. One of the impressive riders was Sebastiao Ferreira from Brazil on his BP Racing machine that chased Puerta late.
20 year-old Weaver climbed from a 13th starting position to second place (and his first top-ten finish in the class.) "I crashed in the warm-up, but I kept moving forward in the race," said Weaver.
The battles behind the top two required photo finish equipment to determine which rider would take the remaining step on the podium, with eventual third-place finisher Alexander taking the spot.
Tigert was fourth on his CM Motorsports machine. Harv's H-D pilot Travis Wyman was fifth, followed by David Sadowski, Jr on his Yamaha. Friday winner Stefano Mesa was seventh on the MotoSport.com Yamaha.
-- Friday Report - Herrin wins Daytona opener
Just when things start to feel a bit too certain, the racing gods typically serve up a reminder of the unpredictable nature of the sport. And such was the case in the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season opener which capped off a thrilling opening day of GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing race action on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
Josh Hayes' overwhelming pre-race advantage was rendered meaningless less than five laps into the contest and the day's glory was shifted over to his young Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, who walked away with the first National Guard SuperBike victory of his career.
Hayes pushed hard to hold onto first at the green light after earlier earning pole position, but that would ultimately prove to be his undoing. Hayes fended off quick starts from Yoshimura Suzuki's Martin Cardenas and Herrin in hopes of making an early escape.
Meanwhile, National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden, one of the few riders thought capable of pushing Hayes, saw his race end less than one lap into the opener. The Kentuckian lost the front in the chicane while running third and was unable to continue.
Hayes proved unable to break the pursuit of Herrin, who tucked his identically prepared R1 into the triple champ's draft and the factory Yamahas promptly stretched away from the pack while running in formation.
The building question whether Herrin would be able to make it a fight for the entire 15-lap distance became moot while working lap five as Hayes slowed dramatically and handed the lead over to his teammate. Hayes limped around for a period after that but eventually was forced to retire, the victim of clutch issues which he attributed to his aggressive launch off the line.
Hayes' misfortune didn't automatically hand the win over to Herrin, however. Despite building up a two-and-a-half-second advantage on Cardenas, without Hayes to lead the way and suffering from arm pump issues, Herrin was helpless as the Suzuki pilot gobbled up that gap. The reigning AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike champ closed right in on his former DSB rival, slotting in directly behind on lap 8 of 15.
Their position and proximity would remain basically unchanged to the flag from that point on. Cardenas attempted to line Herrin up for a final slingshot maneuver on the last lap but a big wheelie coming onto the banking cost him just enough of drive to allow Herrin to hold him off by 0.135 seconds at the flag.
"It feels really good," new race winner Herrin remarked. "I thought for sure Martin was going to get me on the last lap. I was trying to get him to pass me and it didn't work. I don't want to beat up on myself, but it almost doesn't feel like a win because Josh was out, Roger crashed. But it's still a win and the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha was working good. They've been putting in a lot of hours to get it working even better. I'm really grateful that the thing was fast enough to keep Martin behind me because I knew Martin was right there."
Runner-up Cardenas said, "Herrin and Hayes got away a little bit and I started pushing and pushing. I caught back up to Herrin midway through the race. My plan was to stay there and attack on the last lap because it's Daytona and the draft is very important. But this time it didn't work for me -- I kind of did the chicane badly and he got me a little too much. But second place is a good start to the season and we'll try to do a good job again tomorrow."
Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing's Larry Pegram enjoyed a successful start in his new partnership with Yamaha. Bouncing back from a big (and costly) crash on Thursday, Pegram rode a steady race to the podium in third.
"It's been a while -- I haven't been up here since 2010," the multi-time class race winner said. "I wanted to do well here and yesterday kind of threw me for a loop. I've already crashed the thing and did kind of the same thing once while I was testing. Being that this is my program, you crash these bikes and they get expensive. I was kind of down in the dumps last night, but my guys stepped up for me and said don't worry about that crash. I knew I had to get a good start. I was fifth and Roger fell so I was fourth. Once I got into third I kind of wanted to get through the race and get a podium. Tomorrow will be a bonus so we'll be able to really go for it."
Danny Eslick piloted the Jordan Suzuki to a lonely fourth in his maiden ride aboard the #23 GSX-R1000.
Behind him, second Yoshimura Suzuki entry Chris Clark narrowly edged Team Moto Venezuela Kawasaki's Robertino Pietri and Team Hero EBR's Geoff May following a race-long tussle for fifth.
Motorsport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony took eighth while another three-way battle decided ninth. KTM/HMC's Taylor Knapp claimed the position, finishing just 0.108 seconds ahead of teammate Chris Fillmore, with Team AMSOIL/Hero EBR's Aaron Yates another 0.002 seconds back in his debut on the EBR 1190RS.
The champ will have an opportunity to get his revenge and go to work on his early championship deficit on Saturday morning as the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike stars return to the high banks at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow for the second race of the 2013 premier class campaign.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Cameron Beaubier claimed pole for the 72nd DAYTONA 200 on Friday. Beaubier, on board his Yamaha Extended Services/Graves Yamaha YZF-R6, dominated the field to set a best time of 1:49.612 on the 3.51-mile traditional motorcycle course in the afternoon session. The 20 year-old topped a front row of teammate Garrett Gerloff, Bobby Fong of Triple Crown/RMR, and Jake Zemke of Desmo Veloce for the 57-lap contest.
Beaubier led most of the session by a wide margin, eventually ending up with more than a second's advantage over the rest of the field when the session ended. Beaubier won the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph traditionally awarded to the DAYTONA 200 pole winner handily, but his rivals are expecting to give him a tougher task on Saturday.
"This morning, conditions weren't good but in the afternoon, the temperatures came up. I got a good draft on the straightaway at the finish," said Beaubier.
The front row offers a varying level of rider experience. Veteran Zemke is a former DAYTONA 200 winner while Gerloff has never competed in the 200-mile race before.
Row two is packed with some of the best young riders in the country. J.D. Beach of RoadRace Factory heads up the second row, along with Meen Motorsports' Jake Lewis, last year's winner Joey Pascarella on the Riders Discount Triumph and LTD Racing's Huntley Nash.
The sighting lap for the 72nd DAYTONA 200 begins at 12:40 p.m. local time Saturday. The race will be televised on SPEED in a next-day delayed broadcast beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT on Sunday.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
In AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race one, Stefano Mesa won a closely contested event on the Motosport.com entry, winning a draft-fest by 0.026 over David Sadowski, Jr. Hayden Gillim took third place on the Team 95 bike in a photo finish which had to be confirmed by high-speed camera.
Mesa said, "It feels great. These guys rode a great race. It came down to the last lap and came down to the banking. I tried to get it up front and it worked out for us. I hope to win some more this year and I think this is a good start to the season."
After winning at Elkhart Lake last season, today's win marked the Colombian's second career AMA Pro victory.
"It was a wild one from my seat, too," said David Sadowski, Jr. Sadowski ran down the lead pack and nearly took victory in the 10-lap race.
Matt Sadowski earned fourth ahead of RoadRace Factory's Tomas Puerta, the polesitter who led much of the race before being shuffled back late. Sebastiao Ferreira, finishing sixth, was just 0.274 behind the winner on his BP Racing machine.
Mark Miller, Jr. was seventh, just behind the lead pack. The Mar Del Auto rider finished ahead of Cody Wyman (Harv's H-D).
The second AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race will be held tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. ET/7:00 a.m. PT and will be broadcast live at http://www.speed2.com.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series
The AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series opener more than lived up to the lofty pre-race expectations of a thrilling battle for the first victory of the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season. Eleven riders took the fight to the checkered flag, with as many as eight riders running side-by-side on the banking as they jockeyed for position throughout the seven-lap affair.
On the final lap, Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade/Bartel's Harley-Davidson's Tyler O'Hara and Revolution Performance/Millennium Technologies' Kyle Wyman once again demonstrated why they are regular contenders for victory in the class, showcasing some serious strategic acumen.
Sitting several positions out of first as they started the final run to the flag, Wyman and O'Hara built up steam as they utilized the draft to blast past a succession of opponents. Wyman rushed into first with the checkers in sight, but O'Hara made one final slingshot maneuver and stole the win away at the stripe.
"It was crazy," race-winner O'Hara said. "It was almost like riding a Pro Single on a mile. It was hairball and I'm just happy everybody rode respectfully... My main goal was to come out of here with some good points and we did.
"Coming onto the banking I was in like sixth or seventh and I told my dad I thought I could win from around sixth. I was like 'slingshot -- engaged!'
"It's all about putting yourself in the right place at the right time. It feels really good to come out of here with a win."
Rossmeyer's Harley-Davidson's Bobby Fong came home in third in a race that saw the top 10 riders separated by a meager 0.792 seconds.
Rossiter's Harley Davidson's Michael Corbino finished fourth and Canadian Steve Crevier rounded out the top five, followed by defending champ Michael Barnes, who got shuffled down the order in the chaotic final drafting battle. NJMP winner Shane Narbonne was seventh, followed by pole winner Travis Wyman, Gage McAllister and Eric Stump completing the top ten. Ben Carlson was originally scored fifth, but was later disqualified for failing to comply with post-race technical inspection.
Live Timing & Scoring of all on-track sessions will be available at http://live.amaproracing.com/rr/. Between the races, stay connected with AMA Pro Road Racing at www.twitter.com/AMAProSBK and www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing; keep up with Daytona International Speedway via Twitter (www.twitter.com/DISupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).
For tickets and additional event information, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
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RND 2 - ATLANTA
RND 3 - INFINEON
RND 4 - MILLER
RND 5 - ROAD AMERICA
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