Knapp’s First

Henny Ray Abrams | August 14, 2009

Latus Racing’s Taylor Knapp shocked the Daytona SportBike field by taking his first ever pole position with a fast lap of Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va.Second fastest in qualifying, Knapp was guaranteed a front row starting position after setting the fastest time among the first nine riders. Only the final rider, M4 Suzuki’s Jason DiSalvo, could dislodge him, but he didn’t. Instead,  DiSalvo came off with a high-speed tumble in turn one, which he followed by kicking the air fence in frustration. The pole went to Knapp, who found the experience “cool.”The Michigan rider said it was “not only my first pole, but the first time I’ve ever been in here,” for the qualifying press conference, “so it’s really cool.”My lap, I had a little spin coming out of, I don’t know if it’s two or three; the left-hander, and the track kinda crowns off on the edge. And I got a little wide and it spun up and I bounced off the curb and I didn’t know if that was going to hurt me too much. I just kept stringing the lap together the best I could and just ended up on top, so it was totally cool.”Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke earned the other front row starting spot by qualifying second to Knapp at a gap of .43 secs.Teammate Chris Peris shook off the affects of a morning crash to qualify third fastest, one up on Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Roger Lee Hayden.Team Graves Motorsports Yamaha’s Josh Herrin was fifth fastest, sharing row three with Hayden’s teammate Jamie Hacking.Tommy Aquino (Graves Yamaha) qualified just ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Steve Rapp of Bazzaz Performance.Neither of the fifth row starters completed their laps. Factory Aprilia/Millennium Technologies Chaz Davies had a mechanical issue, with DiSalvo crashing.


1. Taylor Knapp (Bue) 1:28.233

2. Jake Zemke (Hon) 1:28.663

3. Chris Peris (Hon) 1:28.676

4. Roger Lee Hayden (Kaw) 1:28.683

5. Josh Herrin (Yam) 1:28.727

6. Jamie Hacking (Kaw) 1:28.765

7. Tommy Aquino (Yam) 1:28.891

8. Steve Rapp (Yam) 1:29.154

9. Chaz Davies (Apr) No Time

10. Jason DiSalvo (Suz) No Time

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.