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AMA Pro Road Racing
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
March 10-12, 2011
By Eric Barrows
The 2011 Racing Season is upon us, and it's been a few days since the finish of the Daytona 200 and the boards are full of mis-information as usual. Lot's of demeaning remarks from some of the posters who weren't even there and some smart observations from a few who were or just have a better handle on the way things work in the AMA.
Ever since the AMA changed the program to make the Sportbikes the "200 Feature Series" there have been ongoing Safety issues that were supposed to be resolved by this very change.
Tires were supposed to last since the "Sportbikes" don't have the top speed nor the horsepower to put them in danger. As has been seen, Sportbike output has changed faster than expected and the tire wear factor between say, 150hp at the rear wheel versus 190hp is nil.Thinking that the new surface would be less aggressive and would insure a little more safety(wear) margin just didn't pan out. Thus, with Danny Eslick losing the front end "at speed" (I.E.180mph) on the banking, the Dunlop folks wanted to get everyone on a tire that would last however 30 more laps wouldn't do.
The resolution was make it a 15 lap sprint. Give everyone a tire that would stand up for that distance and let everyone run including those whom had issues due to their chunking tires. Latus Motors Racing Ducati Rider Jason DiSalvo's motor gave out as the Red Flag came out therefor according to the NEW rules the Latus Team were allowed to work on the bike. The job they did to not just replace the motor but essentially graft half of the #2 bike to the #1 bike was truly amazing and was completed prior to Dunlop giving new tires to the entire Grid.
It had appeared Jason had been testing out the amount of bikes he could draft by and this gave him the info he needed to set up a final lap draft and the rest is history, as they say. Following are some images from the first day of practice and qualifying. Race shots and winners circle will follow.
Boyd, from Erik's team prepping bikes for practice.
Erik Buell Racing garage.
Jason DiSalvo and the Latus team's
Ronnie Saner and Bubba.
Another shot of the Erik Buell Racing Buells
Anticipating their upcoming Daytona run.
Part of a mostly girl crew.
Geoff May already debriefing after a Qualifying run.
Geoff May preparing for the race start.
Hoban Racing/James Gang's Paul James timing charts.
All Harley Davidson XR1200s from a single team.
JT&S's Roi Holster...Did VERY well here at Daytona.A Dirt bike Guy recently making quite a mark in RoadRacing.
Another Erik Buell Racing garage shot.
Our friend, Eric Bostrum on a Pit-Out.
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