Herrin’s Third in a Row

Henny Ray Abrams | September 5, 2009

Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin was never worried.The senior youngster on the Graves Yamaha team was biding his time, waiting for the final two laps before making his move on teammate Tommy Aquino in the first ever Daytona SportBike race at New Jersey Motorsports Park. But Herrin never had to make his move. Instead Aquino crashed out of the lead in the final corner of the 20th lap to hand Herrin his third win in a row, and allow him to stay alive in the championship on a gloriously sunny, warm afternoon in South Jersey.Herrin closed the points gap on championship leader Danny Eslick (Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing/RMR Buell) to 22, 373 to 351, with only Sunday’s season finale remaining. Eslick has to finish 12th or better, if Herrin maximizes his points take, to win the title.Aquino and Herrin took off almost from the start, though they had early company. Factory Aprilia/Millennium Technologies’ Chaz Davies and Bazzaz Performance’s Steve Rapp (Yam) were close behind, with Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke fifth.Zemke was the first to fade, which was predictable. With a power deficit that the team hasn’t been able to overcome, Zemke can only ride as hard as the tires let him, then he goes into survival mode. He was passed by Eslick on the final lap and finished sixth.Herrin and Aquino separated themselves from Davies and Rapp, who had their own battle. Rapp fell over a second behind, then made a push at the end. He finished third by .700 secs. to Davies.There was nothing between Aquino and Herrin when they went into the tricky left prior to the tunnel turn. Aquino had crashed there during the test and Herrin had crashed there on the weekend. The front end tucked and Aquino was out, with Herrin seeing nothing but clear track. His margin of victory was 6.028 secs.Davies equaled his season best second place from Laguna Seca and Rapp equaled his season best third from Infineon Raceway.Paradigm Racing’s Bobby Fong (Yam) won the battle with Eslick to take fourth,  his best finish of the eyar, with Eslick fifth and Zemke sixth.Then a second-plus to Erion Honda’s Chris Peris, with Chris Fillmore (Yam) eighth.Westby Racing’s Dane Westby finished ninth, one better than Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Leandro Mercado, who equaled his best finish from the Daytona season-opener.


1. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)

2. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)

3. Steve Rapp (Yamaha)

4. Bobby Fong (Yamaha)

5. Danny Eslick (Buell)

6. Jake Zemke (Honda)

7. Chris Peris (Honda)

8. Chris Fillmore (Yamaha)

9. Dane Westby (Yamaha)

10. Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki)

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.