Daytona 200 Pole To… Zemke!

Paul Carruthers | March 11, 2011

Jason DiSalvo may want to consider just going to the jewelry store and buying his own Rolex because it doesn’t seem like Daytona is ever going to give him one.Once again it looked like the watch was on DiSalvo’s left wrist when Jake Zemke reached over and stole it on the final lap of qualifying, the veteran in his one-off ride with the Project One Yamaha team ripping off a 1:49.775 to take pole position for tomorrow’s Daytona 200. It was Zemke’s first-ever Daytona 200 pole.

“That’s good, maybe I can pawn it and we can make another race,” Zemke said after getting off the bike following his quick lap. “It’s great. The bike’s been really good. I wasn’t feeling too good yesterday, but I’m making up for it right now.”Zemke’s team doesn’t have a sponsor and without one they won’t be able to take part in any races beyond Daytona. At the end of the post-qualfying press conference, an emotional Zemke dedicated his pole to the passing of his friend, WORCS Champion Nathan Woods.DiSalvo and his Latus Racing Ducati came up just a little short once again in qualifying for the 200 and it’s at least the third time he’s had the watched taken from him [Miguel Duhamel swipped it from him twice] at the very end of a qualifying session here at Daytona.Still, DiSalvo was second and just .295 of a second behind Zemke, the winner of last year’s two Daytona Superbike races and the 2006 Daytona 200 winner.Geico RMR’s Suzuki’s Danny Eslick ended up third with Cycle World Attack Kawasaki’s JD Beach taking the final spot on the front row for tomorrow’s 200. Four different manufacturers will be represented on the front row – Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki and Kawasaki.The second row will consist of Beach’s veteran teammate Eric Bostrom, Ducati-mounted Jake Holden, Suzuki-mounted Cory West and Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin.Celtic/Fast By Ferracci Ducati’s PJ Jacobsen will lead row three.

Daytona 200 Qualifying

1.                  Jake Zemke (Yamaha) 1:49.775

2.                  Jason DiSalvo (Ducati) 1:50.070

3.                  Danny Eslick (Suzuki) 1:50.798

4.                  JD Beach (Kawasaki) 1:50.912

5.                  Eric Bostrom (Kawasaki) 1:51.304

6.                  Jake Holden (Ducati) 1:51.595

7.                  Cory West (Suzuki) 1:51.609

8.                  Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:51.674

9.                  PJ Jacobsen (Ducati) 1:51.928

10.                  Dane Westby (Suzuki) 1:52.129

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.