Eslick Wins Daytona SportBike Race Two at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to Tighten up the Championship Battle LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 18, 2010) -Just when everything was falling into place, the entire apple cart was overturned today in AMA Pro...
Eslick Wins Daytona SportBike Race Two at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to Tighten up the Championship Battle
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 18, 2010) -Just when everything was falling into place, the entire apple cart was overturned today in AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Last year's Daytona SportBike Champion Danny Eslick took a hard-fought victory today and with this year's championship points leader Josh Herrin suffering a dramatic fall on the last lap, Eslick and his GEICO Powersports team have pulled themselves right back into the thick of the championship battle. Herrin and his Team Graves Yamaha team now lead Eslick by only two points, 249-247.
The 21-lap race at Mid-Ohio began somewhat like yesterday's event, with furious action at the front involving yesterday's main cast, Eslick, Herrin, Martin Cardenas (M4 Monster Energy Suzuki), Bobby Fong (DNA Energy Drink Ducati), Herrin's Team Graves Yamaha teammate Tommy Aquino and Team Latus Motors Ducati rider Steve Rapp. These six riders once again made a break and dueled back and forth, exchanging the lead lap after lap, sometimes two or three times per lap. Eslick would lead, Cardenas showed his speed with a nice outside pass into first at the end of the back straight, then Herrin would reassert himself back at the front.
Under partly cloudy but hot and humid conditions, something had to give and it happened as the leaders were finishing the eleventh lap. Coming through the Carousel corner, Cardenas went down and Herrin had to take evasive action, allowing Fong, Rapp and Aquino quickly by. Eslick was in front and didn't really know what happened until after the race but this gave him the break he needed to consolidate his second win of the season and vault him right back into the chase for the championship. In a great display of courage, Cardenas picked up his Suzuki and continued to the finish, and his persistence was rewarded as he ended up fifth at the flag.
Another rider who stayed the course all day was Aquino, who raced hard with Fong, Rapp and Herrin as well and took home a solid fourth place finish. Gathering his second consecutive podium finish was Fong. He has been showing good speed so far this season but this weekend at Mid-Ohio he really showed his great potential with another strong run up front all day. It was only the hard riding of another Ducati rider, Rapp that prevented Fong from another second place. Rapp, who started strong yesterday but ran into some mechanical issues, came back today and contended all the way and took a well deserved second place for his close knit Team Latus Motors team.
In a cruel twist of fate, as Herrin headed into turn six at the end of the long Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course backstraight for the last time, his motorcycle seemed to twitch and the next thing you knew, he was down. Rapp and Fong were quickly by as Herrin struggled to pick up and restart his Yamaha. He did so and to cheers from the appreciative crowd, he slowly rode back around on the damaged bike to post a 19th place finish, thereby scoring two valuable points. P.J. Jacobsen ran well again but was passed on the last lap by Cardenas; Jacobsen still had a solid weekend on his Celtic Racing Suzuki.
Cory West took seventh on his Vesrah Suzuki, Josh Day, the 2009 SuperSport Young Gun East Division Champion ran well again on his Four Feathers Racing Yamaha, finishing eighth. After making a change in his Dunlop tire choice, Fernando Amantini took a nice ninth place finish aboard his Kawasaki followed by Kris Turner in tenth on his Turner Cycle Racing Suzuki.
The AMA Pro Daytona SportBike riders will reassemble next weekend in California for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. The Daytona SportBikes will race on Sunday, prior to the MotoGP event.