Bostrom Wins First AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Superpole in Daytona 200 by Honda Qualifying DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 5, 2009) - An inaugural AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL Superpole qualifying session that was the first in the ...
Bostrom Wins First AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Superpole in Daytona 200 by Honda Qualifying
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 5, 2009) - An inaugural AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL Superpole qualifying session that was the first in the world ever run at night provided plenty of fireworks as Ben Bostrom (No. 1s Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) saved the best for last in the qualifying session that set the top-10 grid positions for Friday's Daytona 200 by Honda (SPEED at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT).
Bostrom, who topped Thursday morning's group qualifying, was the last of 10 riders to make an attempt in the special single bike/single lap Superpole session and his lap of 1:50.240 (115.929 mph) was the fastest of the night. Bostrom will start on the Daytona 200 pole for the second time in his career after also earning the top starting spot for the 2003 race.
"The bike is pretty special and makes up for my mistakes," said Bostrom, who finished sixth in the AMA Pro American Superbike race earlier on Thursday. "I hit the brakes going into the kink, which was pretty silly. For some reason I thought I was going to go right, or something, but I was on the wrong side of the track, and I figured it out. I said 'I think we just gave this thing away' but I was pleasantly surprised when I came around and saw the No. 1 up there."
The pole-winning lap edged Danny Eslick and the No. 9 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing/RMR Buell 1125 that held the pole before Bostrom's final run. Eslick, 22, has been fast all week on the team's new Buells and is confident heading into the Daytona 200.
"I had no real big moments in the run except riding a wheelie out of the chicane on the first little part of the flyer, and I think that hurt me a little bit," Eslick said. "The lap itself was fairly uneventful and it is good for the Bruce Rossmeyer/RMR Buell to be on the front row. We are super confident and tested here a little bit last weekend, we haven't had any issues on my bike and I am looking forward to 57 solid laps and being there at the end of the race and having good clean pit stops."
Four different manufacturers were represented in the top-four qualifiers and the group also included Jason DiSalvo on the No. 40 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600 and Jamie Hacking on the No. 88 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. DiSalvo, who has already won three preliminary races during Daytona 200 Week by Honda, held the pole before relinquishing it to Eslick.
"I am just really happy for all of the crew guys and I am really thankful for all of the hard work they have put in all week down here," DiSalvo said. "I wanted to go out there and get pole for those guys but we will just have to go out there and get them a race win tomorrow instead."
Hacking was the 10th and final rider to advance to the Superpole round after this morning's group session and made the most of the opportunity.
"We benefitted the most out of anybody coming from 10th and qualifying on the front row, which is good," said Hacking. "It is going to be a long race and hopefully we can keep improving our bike."
Friday's Daytona 200 will be the first running in the 68-year history of America's premier motorcycle race to be run under the lights at Daytona International Speedway.
"It is going to be interesting to run at night," Bostrom said. "It is a little bit more difficult to see and it seems like some humidity comes to the track. It's a little bit greasier at night and should be a little more spectacular with bikes sliding around. You just don't know what is going to happen. It makes for a good time riding, that's for sure."
Friday's Daytona 200 by Honda starts at 8 p.m. local time and will be showed in flag-to-flag coverage just 30 minutes later on SPEED at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.