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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Westby claims first SportBike win

From AMA Pro Racing

LEXINGTON, OH - The AMA Pro Daytona SportBike class saw a brand-new winner on Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as M4 Suzuki's Dane Westby staged a brilliant, aggressive ride that took him from ninth to first through some of the toughest riders in the series. For Westby, it marked his career first AMA Pro sprint race victory and a whole new chapter in premier-class-level competitiveness.

"I've never really led at the end before," said Westby after the race, "so it was kind of gnarly the last couple laps. These are the big dogs, so I knew Danny would be right there on the last lap, coming on the braking zones, and he's not playing around. I just tried to be conservative on the inside, and it just barely worked out; I was able to cut him off there at the end on a right-hander and pull it off.

"This is great," Westby continued, shaking his head and smiling. "At the beginning of year we had some bugs to shake out, but we got some stuff worked out and the bike will pretty much go wherever I want. I could just carve right up the inside."

Carve he did -- after finally getting by Vesrah Suzuki's Cory West, Westby set off after Latus Motors Racing's Jason DiSalvo (then the last rider of the lead pack), faced with the task of making up several seconds. Through a series of deep-braking maneuvers and what Westby himself labeled "a couple of hairball moves, but with no contact," he spun a mediocre start into an unforgettable race.

The rest of their pack, too, did more than their fair share of adding to the gasp-worthy excitement of the overall contest, DiSalvo getting things started off the line by blasting past Josh Herrin (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) to take the holeshot and early lead. While Herrin systematically tested the inside and outside of DiSalvo's lines, he was himself hunted by a hard-charging Danny Eslick (GEICO Powersports/RMR Suzuki), Tommy Aquino (Y.E.S./Pat Clark/Graves Yamaha), and JHR/'s Cameron Beaubier.

Within a handful of laps it was Eslick who'd taken over the lead, kicking off some of the most intense passing, re-passing, position shuffling, and door slamming the class has seen yet, Eslick, Herrin, DiSalvo, and Westby each desperately determined to claw their way to the top of the Race 1 podium. Herrin and DiSalvo were both resurgent in the final laps after seeming to slip back somewhat in intensity, but the last corners of the last lap were all about Oklahoma boys Westby and Eslick.

"I just kind of got settled in at the start," said Eslick. "Jason had a good pace and I knew it was going to be hot and that tire wear would be an issue, so I stepped back a bit and tried to just get in the groove of things. I got into the lead and put my head down, hoping to get away there, but everybody's so close when they're dialed in -- there's always four or five guys right there.

"We went back and forth a couple times and for four or five laps no one stuck a wheel on me, but then Josh would come by or Jason would stick a wheel in. And then, with three of four to go, here comes Dane. I thought, 'Whoa -- where'd he come from?' I never saw Dane until that moment, and it kind of threw me a curveball; I wasn't ready for him. I made a countermove after a while and passed him, and then you saw a bunch of stuff that doesn't usually happen [at this track]. It was good, fun racing."

Herrin, who appeared to be sticking to the watch-and-wait strategy that's served him well in recent races, may have stuck to it a little too well in Saturday's contest.

"I was just trying to sit back there and see how the pace was going to be," he said, "and what everybody else was doing, and the bike was working good. I just waited too long to make a move, I think. I made an error there on the last two laps, and I need to pay a little more attention to what we're doing and make sure those things don't happen again. Tomorrow should be a little bit better. Dane rode a really good race, and congratulations to him on his first win."

Emerson Connor of Burlington, ON was classified 22nd on his Ducshop Racing Ducati 848 and Belfountain, ON's Kenny Riedmann was a non-starter with his Triumph Daytona 675.

The overall AMA Pro Daytona SportBike points chase continues to tighten, with Herrin and Eslick now tied in points. DiSalvo, West, and Aquino round out the top five.

As the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course celebrates its 50th year of competition, a legendary name in motorcycling won the AMA Pro SuperSport race on Saturday. Dustin Dominguez, riding the Team Latus Motors Triumph Daytona 675, took the iconic brand's first win in AMA Pro Road Racing since 1999 when Curtis Adams won at Willow Springs Raceway in California.

Second-place finisher James Rispoli, riding his Star School Suzuki, maintained his East Division points lead and is in contention for the $25,000 season-end points fund from

Although Dominguez started the race from the pole position, he suffered a sluggish start. Even so, he went on to win the 17-lap race by a margin of 8.080 seconds. Although Dominguez had won an AMA Pro road race back in 2009, he was particularly ecstatic over this victory on the Triumph.

Ben Young of Thornbury, ON finished 16th on the Fogi Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.

SportBike Race Results
1. Dane Westby (M4 Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R600 21 Laps
2. Josh Herrin (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 +0.139
3. Danny Eslick (Richie Morris Racing) Suzuki GSX-R600 +0.217
4. Jason DiSalvo (Team Latus Motors Racing) Ducati 848 +0.356
5. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha Extended Service, Pat Clark Sports, Graves, Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 +2.284
6. Cameron Beaubier (Jake Holden Racing) Yamaha YZF-R6 +6.539
7. Cory West (Vesrah Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R600 +21.308
8. Taylor Knapp (Vesrah Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R600 +43.905
9. Kyle Wyman (Witchkraft Racing) Yamaha YZF-R6 +44.519
10. Tyler OHara (GP Bike Parts Racing) Yamaha YZF-R6 +45.602
11. Josh Galster (Josh Galster Racing) Yamaha YZF-R6 +56.696
12. Huntley Nash (LTD Racing Y.E.S Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 +59.755
13. Fernando Amantini (Team Amantini) Kawasaki ZX-6R +59.855
14. Paul Allison (Triple Crown Industries) Yamaha YZF-R6 +1:04.185
15. Santiago Villa (M4 Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R600 +1:13.145
16. Michael Morgan (Autolite RIM Racing) Suzuki GSX-R600 +1:13.647
17. Christian Cronin (Broken Egg Motorsports) Yamaha YZF-R6 20 Laps
18. Sam Rozynski (Triple Crown Industries) Yamaha YZF-R6 +45.762
19. Melissa Paris (HT Moto Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 18 Laps
20. Raul Alzate (LTD Racing Y.E.S Yamaha) Yamaha YZF-R6 17 Laps
21. PJ Jacobsen (Celtic Racing) Ducati 848 14 Laps
22. Emerson Connor (Ducshop Racing) Ducati 848 11 Laps
23. Kris Turner (Turner`s Cycle Racing) Suzuki GSX-R600
24. Jake Holden (Jake Holden Racing) Ducati 848 5 Laps
Did Not Start
Kenny Riedmann (Kenny Riedmann) Triumph Daytona 675
Race Time: 31:47.553
Margin of Victory: 0.139
Best Race Lap: Cameron Beaubier (1:29.580)


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