Run 1 Racing’s Miles Thorton Grabs Provisional Pole at Daytona; Other Team Members Disappointed in Initial Runs
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (March 10, 2011) – Run 1 Racing’s Miles Thorton jumped from seventh to fastest on the next to last lap of AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport qualifying Thursday to grab the provisional pole position at Daytona International Speedway.
Thornton, a 16-year-old from West Point, GA, took advantage of every drafting opportunity to drop his quickest lap time by 1.686 seconds in a single lap around the 3.51-mile long course to grab the top spot on the timing charts in the season-opening event of the AMA Pro Racing season.
The day was delayed for three hours by overnight heavy rain, and all classes were limited to one 50-minute session, and it was declared a qualifying run. Thorton turned in a lap of 1:54.888 = 109.986 mph aboard his #72 Yamaha YZF-R6 and was almost fourth-tenths of a second ahead of the 40-rider field.
“I am so focused this year,” says Thornton, who won five East Division races last year, and openly declared himself an AMA championship contender in 2011. “I am focused on winning the championship this year.
“Today, I watched somebody pass me in turn 1, and decided that was where I could make up a lot of time, so I just put my head down, and changed my line through that turn, and then I started drafting behind everybody I could. I learned a lot about racing at Daytona today.”
Thorton will have to defend his provisional pole during final SuperSport qualifying at 8 am Friday, and they will host their first race of the season – 10 laps – at 2:15 pm Friday. The grid for Saturday’s second SuperSport race will also be determined in final qualifying Friday.
Thorton fared best Thursday of Run 1 Racing’s four riders.
Antoine Richards of Bermuda did not record an official lap time in SuperSport qualifying after the throttle stuck wide open on his #45 Suzuki GSX-R600 on the out lap. He had to shut off his engine and coast back to the pits in the interest of safety, and the team could not repair it in time for him to get back on track during the session. He will attempt to qualify Friday morning.
Young Joey Pascarella was a disappointing 19th quickest in first round qualifying for the Daytona 200, featuring AMA Pro Daytona SportBikes. His best lap aboard his #825 Yamaha YZF-R6 was 1:56.357 = 89.724 mph. The team had to install a new starter prior to the session, and then he pitted for make suspension adjustments.
“It’s not like I want it, and I can’t blame it all on the bike,” Pascarella says. “It just was not a comfortable session. It will get better.”
Pascarella will get a chance to improve his starting position during a second qualifying session Friday at 8:45 am. The Daytona 200 gets the green flag at 1:15 pm Saturday and will be televised live by SPEED TV.
Skip Salenius, the fourth member of the Run 1 Racing team, also endured a frustrating opening session. He was unhappy with his #63 Yamaha R1 and made a pit stop to replace the rear sprocket. Then, he had ongoing issues with rear tire pressure and withdrew from the session after running just nine laps. He wound up 19th in the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike ranks with a lap of 1:48.777 = 116.164 mph.
“If we had another session today, it’d be OK,” Salenius says, “but the weather took away our second session. So that’s the way it is and it is unfortunate. What is frustrating is not knowing what the problem was – the wheel or the tire – that caused the apparent leak. We’ll get it fixed, but it puts pressure on us tomorrow.”
Final qualifying at 10:35 am Friday will be critical for Salenius to gain a good starting position for Friday’s first Superbike race starting at 4:30 pm.
-source: run 1 racing