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Daytona: Supersport race report

Aaron Yates Scores Breakthrough Win At Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 8, 2002)& ...

Aaron Yates Scores Breakthrough Win At Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 8, 2002)– After years of trying, Aaron Yates finally broke through to win his first AMA Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday.

The 28-year-old Blimpie Yoshimura Suzuki rider from Milledgeville, Ga., made a late-race break from the pack to win over Honda's Nicky Hayden, of Owensboro, Ky., and his Honda teammate, Canadian Miguel Duhamel.

The race was a hard-fought affair with as many as 20 bikes running in the leading pack early on. Six riders swapped the lead 11 times in the 18-lap event. Top contenders Anthony Gobert and Tommy Hayden crashed out of the race on Lap 7 in a four-rider accident.

Yates emerged from deep in the pack and with two laps to go and made an excellent drafting move to take over the lead for the first time. On the final lap, Kurtis Roberts, who led much of the race, slid and brushed the wall coming out of the exit to the chicane while running second. That allowed Yates to break the draft and pull out to almost a half-second victory.

"I sat back and waited for the right moment," said Yates, a nine-year veteran of the AMA Pro Racing tour. "The opportunity opened up with two laps to go and I just rode as hard as I could to get away. There on the last lap I felt my bike slowing down coming around to the finish and I thought for sure someone was drafting by me. I was happy when I crossed that line and no one else was there."

The victory for Yates marked his eighth-career win in AMA 600 Supersport. He is fourth on the all-time winners list for the series. It also marked Suzuki's second victory in the race.

"It feels good to win something at Daytona," Yates said.

Jimmy Moore, twice a runner-up in the Geniune Suzuki Accessories Superstock at Daytona, also finally broke through with a victory. Despite having oil leak on his smoking Suzuki, Moore held off Jordan Swoke and Michael Barnes for his fourth career Superstock victory.

"I can't believe I won this," Moore said. "I look back at it, I can't figure out how it happen."

Also on Thursday, Jason DiSalvo, aboard a Honda, captured the pole for Sunday's MBNA 250 Grand Prix.

Motorcycle action continues at the Speedway on Saturday with the Daytona Supercross By Honda. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223 or at the gate.

-dis-

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Series AMA
Drivers Anthony Gobert , Kurtis Roberts , Nicky Hayden , Miguel Duhamel , Tommy Hayden , Aaron Yates , Michael Barnes