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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eslick moves into SportBike lead

From AMA Pro Racing

LEXINGTON, OH - As AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Race 2 winner Danny Eslick spun up side-by-side burnouts with runner-up Tommy Aquino, the GEICO Powersports/RMR Suzuki rider was celebrating more than just his second win of the season. Sunday's hard-earned victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course broke Eslick's points-tie with Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rival Josh Herrin, allowing the Oklahoma pilot and 2009 class champion to reclaim the clear lead in the overall Daytona SportBike Championship.

Second-place finisher Y.E.S./Pat Clark/Graves Yamaha's Aquino, ecstatic with his first podium result of the 2011 season, was followed across the line by JHR/RidersDiscount.com's Cameron Beaubier, who -- as in Saturday's Race 1 -- again turned the quickest lap of the contest. Beaubier combined those fast laps with a last-corner error by Herrin to take his second career class podium, having fought through Team Latus Motors Racing's Jason DiSalvo and fended off Vesrah Suzuki's Cory West and M4 Suzuki's Race 1 winner, Dane Westby.

The race was red flagged almost immediately off the start as Santiago Villa (M4 Suzuki) and Michael Morgan (Autolite RIM Racing) both went down, triggering a 10-minute hold. Off the restart, Eslick put his head down and was quickly past DiSalvo into the lead.

"Yesterday I tried to conserve on first few laps," Eslick said after the race, "but after looking at what Dane did [yesterday] coming from that far back, he definitely didn't take it easy on the tire. So I just threw the hammer down from the get-go and figured, 'If we get away, we get away. If not, protect where I can and be strong in other places.'

"Josh got up there next to me a few times and even led a lap, but I knew where he was going to make his move at the end, and I wasn't going to make that mistake again. It was an awesome race: hot, greasy, sliding around ... it was a lot of fun."

"Everybody was riding such a fast-paced race," said Aquino, 19. "If I could have passed somebody earlier, I would have done it, but Danny was setting an incredible pace and Josh was following, so I just had to do what I had to do. I wasn't going to get a fourth or third, so I put it in there on the second-last turn and Josh countered a little bit, but then I think he might have tucked the front a bit, and man, I was so happy when I crossed the finish line. I've had a number of thirds and like a thousand fourths coming into this race, so I'm really happy about it. I really had to work for it in some of the more technical passing spots, and I really have to thank all my guys. They've done so much for me and believed in me -- it's incredible."

Eighteen-year-old Beaubier, beaming throughout the post-race press conference, said, "Danny and Josh, I didn't have anything from them, but it was an awesome race that went down to the wire. Josh made a mistake and I got by the outside of him, which was pretty cool. My mechanics did an awesome job again and gave me an awesome bike, and it's a really good feeling. I was pushing pretty hard at the end and didn't really know what lap we were on, but when I put my head down and went around the outside of him, it was pretty cool. Or it felt cool, at least."

Westby led the rest of the field across the line in fourth, followed by Herrin, West, DiSalvo, Paul Allison (Triple Crown Industries), Taylor Knapp (Vesrah Suzuki) and Tyler O'Hara (GP Bike Parts Racing).

Burlington, ON's Emerson Connor placed 12th on the Ducshop Racing Ducati 848.

Eslick now leads Herrin in the championship standings by a 15-point margin; DiSalvo, Aquino, and West round out the top-five overall.

The AMA Pro Road Race Championship next heads to Monterey, CA's Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 7 on the season calendar, run as part of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix MotoGP weekend.

The AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course were fraught with firsts. On Saturday, the iconic marque Triumph captured its first victory in the class, and on Sunday Bell Helmets-backed Yamaha rider Hayden Gillim claimed his career first AMA Pro Road Racing win in the class.

Gillim led exactly one lap -- the final one -- to take the win with a 0.210 second margin of victory on the 15-turn, 2.4-mile track. He overcame his second slow start of the weekend and was forced once again to work his way through the field. That goal achieved, he then battled with series points leader and eventual second-place finisher James Rispoli (Ant-Racing.com Star School Suzuki) right down to the wire for the dramatic victory.

Thornbury, ON's Ben Young placed 10th after an impressive charge from the back of the grid on his Fogi Racing Development Team Yamaha YZF-R6.

SportBike Race Results
1. Danny Eslick (Richie Morris Racing) Suzuki GSX-R600 21 Laps
2. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha Extended Service, Pat Clark Sports, Graves, Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 +0.210
3. Cameron Beaubier (Jake Holden Racing) Yamaha YZF-R6 +0.807
4. Dane Westby (M4 Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R600 +0.833
5. Josh Herrin (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 +0.861
6. Cory West (Vesrah Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R600 +4.951
7. Jason DiSalvo (Team Latus Motors Racing) Ducati 848 +27.737
8. Paul Allison (Triple Crown Industries) Yamaha YZF-R6 +32.631
9. Taylor Knapp (Vesrah Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R600 +37.617
10. Tyler OHara (GP Bike Parts Racing) Yamaha YZF-R6 +37.968
11. Kyle Wyman (Witchkraft Racing) Yamaha YZF-R6 +49.902
12. Emerson Connor (Ducshop Racing) Ducati 848 +1:01.618
13. Huntley Nash (LTD Racing Y.E.S Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 +1:04.765
14. Christian Cronin (Broken Egg Motorsports) Yamaha YZF-R6 +1:05.902
15. Fernando Amantini (Team Amantini) Kawasaki ZX-6R +1:19.995
16. PJ Jacobsen (Celtic Racing) Ducati 848 20 Laps
17. Melissa Paris (HT Moto Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 +1:01.646
18. Sam Rozynski (Triple Crown Industries) Yamaha YZF-R6 +1:04.874
19. Josh Galster (Josh Galster Racing) Yamaha YZF-R6 19 Laps
20. Kris Turner (Turner`s Cycle Racing) Suzuki GSX-R600 8 Laps
21. Jake Holden (Jake Holden Racing) Ducati 848 3 Laps
22. Raul Alzate (LTD Racing Y.E.S Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 2 Laps
Did Not Finish
Santiago Villa (M4 Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R600
Michael Morgan (Autolite RIM Racing) Suzuki GSX-R600
Did Not Start
Kenny Riedmann (Kenny Riedmann) Triumph Daytona 675
Race Time: 31:39.168
Margin of Victory: 0.210
Best Race Lap: Cameron Beaubier (1:29.414)

SportBike Point Standings
1. Danny Eslick 214
2. Josh Herrin 199
3. Jason DiSalvo 173
4. Tommy Aquino 167
5. Cory West 166
6. Cameron Beaubier 149
7. Dane Westby 144
8. Taylor Knapp 107
9. PJ Jacobsen 95
10. Tyler OHara 94
11. Paul Allison 79
12. Fernando Amantini 72
13. Huntley Nash 72
14. Santiago Villa 63
15. Tyler Odom 45
36. Emerson Connor 9
40. Kenny Riedmann 4

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