Eslick Gets His First

Henny Ray Abrams | July 18, 2009

SONOMA, CA, MAY 16: Geico Powersports/RMR Racing’s Danny Eslick won his first Daytona SportBike race of the year by taking advantage of the mistake of one rider and solidified his championship position by taking advantage of the mistake of another. Eslick was a fading second when race leader and local favorite Steve Rapp (Latus Racing Ducati)  tucked the front end of the Ducati in turn four on the 21st of 22 laps.That put early leader and reigning class champion Eslick into the lead and he ran with it. Eslick kept Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin behind him for the final two laps to win his first race of the season and first since Topeka in August of last year. Project 1 Atlanta’s Dane Westby was back on the podium for the first time since the Saturday race at Fontana by finishing third.Eslick’s margin of victory was .692 secs.Eslick further took advantage of an early mistake by Monster M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas. Cardenas, Saturday’s winner who was tied for second in points coming into the race, crashed on the second lap in turn nine. With a zero point day and Eslick earning 30, Eslick now leads the title chase with 167 points to 158 for Herrin after seven of 18 races. Cardenas holds onto third with 133.Westby fronted a fast quartet  that slighly came apart in the final stages of the race. He was followed across the line by Graves Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino and Vesrah Racing’s Cory West (Suz). DNA Energy Drink’s Bobby Fong, who’d been in the mix, dropped back to a solo sixth.


1. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)

2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)

3. Dane Westby (Yamaha)

4. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)

5. Cory West (Suzuki)

6. Bobby Fong (Ducati)

7. Chris Fillmore (Suzuki)

8. P.J. Jacobsen (Suzuki)

9. Eli Edwards (Yamaha)

10. Tyler Odom (Honda)

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.