DiSalvo Tops the SportBikes

Henny Ray Abrams | August 14, 2009

The penultimate round of the AMA Pro Road Race series began with the Daytona SportBike championship leaders both out of the running in the opening qualifying session, though for vastly different reasons.M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas broke a bone in his right hand during morning practice at Virginia International Raceway. Riding on a track with predominantly right-hand corners, Cardenas struggled to qualify 13th. One spot, and .2 secs., ahead was championship rival Danny Eslick on the Bruce Rossmeyer Racing/RMR Buell 1125R. Cardenas and Eslick are tied with 318 points ahead of this weekend’s two races and the two on the season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Labor Day weekend.”I broke a bone in my hand,” Cardenas, who crashed in the downhill run at Turn 15, said. “I made a mistake and hit a curb going downhill. It was a big mistake, I crashed and I hurt my hand. I will try to ride and see how it feels and try to make it to the races.”

Stepping into the void was Cardenas’s teammate Jason DiSalvo, the class leader in pole positions. The New Yorker lapped the 2.25-mile VIR circuit in 1:27.551 mins. DiSalvo will be the tenth and final rider to take to the track in this afternoon’s Superpole session.The surprise second fastest rider was Latus Racing’s Taylor Knapp, the Michiganite who rode his Buell 1125R to his best provisional starting spot to date.Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke was third fastest and just .014 secs. quicker that Team Graves Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino.Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Roger Lee Hayden and Jamie Hacking were fifth and sixth, respectively, with Herrin seventh on the second Graves Yamaha.Steve Rapp qualified eighth on the Bazzaz Performance Yamaha, less than a tenth of a second up on Erion Honda’s Chris Peris. Peris fell during the session, but was unhurt.

Factory Aprilia/Millennium Technologies’ Chaz Davies became the first rider to qualify for Superpole from the “B” group. Machine problems in morning practice had dropped Davies into the bottom half of the draw. His fast lap of 1:28.944 mins. knocked Chris Fillmore (Yam) out of Superpole.Friday Qualifying:

1. Jason DiSalvo (Suz) 1:27.551

2. Taylor Knapp (Buell) 1:28.052

3. Jake Zemke (Hon) 1:28.152

4. Tommy Aquino (Yam) 1:28.166

5. Roger Hayden (Kaw) 1:28.343

6. Jamie Hacking (Kaw) 1:28.408

7. Josh Herrin (Yam) 1:28.445

8. Steve Rapp (Yam) 1:28.553

9. Chris Peris (Hon) 1:28.638

10. Chaz Davies (Apr) 1:28.944

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.