Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin kept his cool, riding to his third straight Daytona Sportbike victory.
It wasn’t a good day for polesetters at New Jersey Motorsports Park today. First Mat Mladin crashes out in American Superbike, then Daytona Sportbike polesetter Jason DiSalvo suffers his own setback after grabbing the holeshot in his race. By the end of Lap 1 though, the M4 Suzuki rider was all the way back in 30th place. This opened the door for Team Graves Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino, who would go on to lead the Daytona Sportbike pack around New Jersey Motorsports Park most of the day.
But it was Aquino’s Team Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, who would snag the victory today. Herrin patiently kept pace with Aquino, never allowing his Yamaha paddock mate more than a half-second lead. His patience paid off when Aquino crashed in the final left-hand corner on Lap 20, handing the victory to Herrin. It is Herrin’s third straight win and pushes him into second place in the Daytona Sportbike point standings behind leader Danny Eslick.
The championship battle was supposed to be between GEICO Powersports/RMR Buell’s Eslick and M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas this weekend, but Cardenas withdrew because of a busted-up right hand. This opened the door for Herrin, who has ridden strong the last half of the season to put him in title contention. Granted he’s still down 22 points, he has now put the pressure on Eslick tomorrow to finish the race. If Herrin wins, Eslick would have to finish 12th or better to capture the 2009 Daytona Sportbike crown.
Danny Eslick powered through the pack to finish in fifth today, and barring the unthinkable is poised to capture the title of 2009 Daytona Sportbike champion barring the unthinkable – a DNF coupled with a Herrin victory.
Aprilia’s factory rider Chaz Davies stuck around the front-runners all afternoon and brought the RSV1000R across the line in second place. Davies was constantly hounded by Steve Rapp, but Rapp was unable to move the Bazzaz Performance Yamaha ahead of the Aprilia rider and settled for the final podium position.
Paradigm Racing Yamaha’s Bobby Fong posted his best effort of the season, crossing the line in fourth-place. Fong held off Eslick, who powered up the grid after starting out of the top ten to finish fifth-fastest. The Buell rider was able to get by Erion Racing’s Jake Zemke on the final lap to grab the final spot in the top five.
Zemke would hold on for sixth place, with Erion Honda teammate Chris Peris just off the pace. Privateer Chris Fillmore rode admirably to grab the eighth spot.
M4 Suzuki’s DiSalvo was able to fight his way through the pack after his first lap mishap to finish in 13th.
A long list of riders didn’t fare as well as DiSalvo. The list of competitors who wouldn’t see the checkered flag includes Aquino, Roger Hayden, and Eric Haugo.
Daytona Sportbike New Jersey Race 1 Results
1. J. Herrin (Yamaha)
2. C. Davies (Aprilia) +6.028
3. S. Rapp (Yamaha) +6.728
4. B. Fong (Yamaha) +17.911
5. D. Eslick (Buell) +19.031
6. J. Zemke (Honda) +20.033
7. C. Peris (Honda) +21.280
8. C. Fillmore (Yamaha) +22.319
9. D. Westby (Yamaha) +24.563
10. L. Mercado (Kawasaki) +38.062
11. M. Beck (Yamaha)
12. J. Hacking (Kawasaki)
13. J. DiSalvo (Suzuki)
14. A. Gobert (Aprilia)
15. R. Parker (Yamaha)
16. K. Wyaman (Yamaha)
17. J. Day (Yamaha)
18. R. Wikle (Suzuki)
19. M. Barnes (Buell)
20. F. Amantini (Kawasaki)