DiSalvo The Night Rider

Henny Ray Abrams | March 4, 2009

Jason DiSalvo’s first ride into the Daytona darkness turned out better than expected.Jobless during the early December Dunlop tire test, the former Yamaha rider missed out on riding under the lights at Daytona International Speedway. Now a member of the M4 EMGO Suzuki team, DiSalvo quickly adjusted to the lights to post the fastest Daytona SuperBike time on the first night of night riding at the Speedway.The New Yorker lapped the 3.51-mile Long Course in a time of 1:49.508. The time was off the 1:49.198 turned in by Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom during the December test, but was best on the day by half a second.”This is a great practice, a great opportunity to get out and run these dark conditions under the lights here and it’s really invaluable, so we’re trying to make the most of our time and just clocking a lot of laps and try a whole different range of settings, see how the bike changes over the course of the cooling down process of the night,” DiSalvo said.The session began in the gloaming at 6:30 p.m. before soon turning to darkness. As the sun set and the lights played a greater role, DiSalvo said there was an adjustment period.”As it got darker it took a little bit to adjust my eyes, but the coolest thing was switching visors between the amber visor and the clear visor on my Arai helmet,” he said. “They have some pretty cool stuff out there now. The amber shield is actually too bright. It makes the whole thing just look like the brightest day you’ve ever seen out here. It’s really cool, it’s a great experience to be here at night under the lights. It’s fantastic.”Next for DiSalvo is Thursday morning qualifying, where he can transfer to the evening Superpole session by finishing in the top ten. For DiSalvo, and the rest of the field, this will be the first ever Superpole session and, he said, “I’m really excited. Just got to get out tomorrow morning and put the thing in the top ten and then just kind of hang out until tomorrow night again and we get to go out and run Superpole. So it kind of makes for a boring day, but I just like to go back to the house and hang out and sort of relax.”

Daytona SportBike Evening Times:1. Jason DiSalvo (Suzuki) 1:49.5082. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:50.0273. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:50.0724. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:50.1015. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 1:50.3056. Danny Eslick (Buell) 1:50.3737. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:50.7698. Jake Zemke (Honda) 1:50.7789. Dane Westby (Yamaha) 1:51.16510. Miguel Duhamel (Suzuki) 1:51.212

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.