Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom earned a Rolex watch and the pole position for Friday night’s Daytona 200 with the fastest lap in the first ever Superpole for Daytona SportBikes on a cool evening at Daytona International Speedway.Bostrom, the fastest rider in final qualifying and a World Superbike veteran of Superpole, was the last of the ten riders to take to the 3.51-mile Long Course. The mark he was shooting for had been set one rider earlier by Bruce Rossmeyer/Richie Morris Racing Buell’s Danny Eslick. The former dirt tracker and second fastest qualifier had turned a lap of 1:50.352 to take over the top spot. Then came Bostrom.Bostrom started fast, setting the fastest time in the first split, through turn two, then it nearly went horribly wrong.Having raced the Short Course on his Superbike earlier in the day-he finished sixth-Bostrom was momentarily flummoxed when he hit the infield kink. He very briefly considered turning right at the infield kink, rather than the fast dogleg left that leads to the second horseshoe of the Long Course that’s used by Daytona SportBikes. “I said, ‘Oh my god, I think we just gave this thing away,'” he said, but he hadn’t, though the gaffe dropped him to third in the second split, which includes the entire infield. But he was still comfortably in front of Eslick, whose Buell 1125R was strong on top speed and powered through the long stretches from the infield to the flag.For the rest of the lap, Bostrom never put a wheel wrong, and the blue and white Yamaha R6 crossed the line with a time of 1:50.240 mins., the best of the top ten by more than a tenth of a second.”The bike’s pretty special; it makes up for my mistake,” Bostrom said. “The rider made a bit of an error there,” he continued, adding that he “hit the brakes going into the kink, which is pretty silly, because, 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.”Even with the mistake, Bostrom said he “wasn’t too upset. I knew we had a good starting spot. I was pleasantly surprised when I came around and saw the ‘1′ up there, so that was really exciting and it was a good time.”Eslick was an impressive second in his Buell debut. His time knocked Team M4 EMGO Suzuki’s Jason DiSalvo back to third. Attack Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking, who’d ridden Superpole during World Superbike races, qualified at the end of the front row.
Daytona SuperBike Superpole:1. Benjamin Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:50.2402. Danny Eslick (Buell) 1:50:3523. Jason DiSalvo (Suzuki) 1:50.3634. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 1:50.4665. Josh Hayes (Honda) 1:50.5206. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:50.5207. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:51.2968. Jake Zemke (Honda) 1:51.3289. Dane Westby (Yamaha) 1:51.59210. Chris Peris (Honda) 1:52.160