Team Graves Yamaha's Josh Herrin held off M4 Suzuki's Jason DiSalvo by a half-bike to win his first Daytona SportBike race of the season today at VIR.
Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin won a thrilling Daytona Sportbike race at Virginia International Raceway today, edging out M4 Suzuki’s Jason DiSalvo by 0.010-seconds to secure his first victory of the season. DiSalvo led for much of the race before Herrin was able to track him down on Lap 22 with the help of heavy traffic. The two diced it out to the end, with Herrin winning the sprint to the finish.
Herrin was in the mix from the get-go, battling Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke and polesetter Taylor Knapp for the lead by the end of the first lap. Zemke would move to the front, but was overtaken by DiSalvo and Herrin, who would soon separate from the pack. Jake the Snake would hold on for fourth place, with Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking muscling his way onto the podium in third.
Rounding out the top five was Bazzazz Performance’s Yamaha’s Steve Rapp. Rapp had to scrap it out with Bobby Fong, who rode well enough to secure sixth-position.
The two championship point contenders, Bruce Rossmeyer Racing/RMR Buell’s Danny Eslick and M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas, both wrecked during qualifying and had to start back in the pack. Eslick started in 12th and worked his way up to a hard-fought 7th, earning a precious 14 points for his efforts. Cardenas fought through the pain of a broken right hand that he suffered during a crash in the morning practice session to finish in ninth place. Cardenas now trails in the Daytona Sportbike Championship race by two points.
"I broke a bone in my hand," Cardenas said. "I made a mistake and hit a curb going downhill. It was a big mistake, I crashed and I hurt my hand. Off the bike, it feels okay and if I don't move the hand, it doesn't hurt."
Polesetter Latus Racing’s Taylor Knapp hung around the front until Lap 16 when he crashed out of third place. He would return to the race but finished back in 17th place.
Daytona Sportbike VIR Race 1 Results
1. J. Herrin (Yamaha )
2. J. DiSalvo (Suzuki) +0.010
3. J. Hacking (Kawasaki) +8.379
4. J. Zemke (Honda) +12.553
5. S. Rapp (Yamaha) +16.073
6. B. Fong (Yamaha) +21.584
7. D. Eslick (Buell) +25.236
8. D. Westby (Yamaha) +27.339
9. M. Cardenas (Suzuki) +30.348
10. R. Hayden (Kawasaki) +36.307
11. M. Beck (Yamaha)
12. M. Lynn (Kawasaki)
13. R. Parker (Yamaha)
14. G. Carter (Yamaha)
15. C. Cronin (Yamaha)
16. F. Amantini (Kawasaki)
17. T. Knapp (Buell)
18. S. Higbee (Buell)
19. H. Nash (Yamaha)
20. R. Wacker (Suzuki)