BIRMINGHAM, AL, JUNE 18 – Geico Powersports/Richie Morris Racing’s Danny Eslick (Suz) took his first Daytona SportBike pole of the season with a late fast lap on a warm morning at Barber Motorsports Park.Monster Energy Graves Motorsports Yamaha’s Josh Herrin had dominated qualifying to that point, heading Friday’s time charts and sitting on top on Saturday morning. But in the final three minutes he was taken down, first by Celtic Racing/Fast by Ferracci’s PJ Jacobsen and seconds later by Eslick.Herrin was in the pits when the faster times went up with just over three minutes remaining in the 20-minute session. He was able to get back out for one fast lap, but it fell short. Herrin would end up third on the front row on the basis of his provisional pole time of 1:29.582 mins.
That he was third wasn’t as bad as it might have been for his championship run. Herrin, with 127 points, was denied the pole point, but so were his closest rivals. Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West, 12 points behind Herrin, was seventh fastest overall, while Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo (Duc), seventh today but fourth on the strength of his Friday time, trails Herrin by 17 points ahead of today’s first DSB race.Eslick’s pole time of 1:29.501 mins., on his seventh of nine laps, fell more than a second short of the existing pole record of 1:28.374 mins. set by Herrin last year. Jacobsen was a scant .005 sec. behind Eslick.Such is the nature of the tight and twisty 14-turns, 2.38-mile road course that Eslick’s top speed of 127.038 mph down the relatively short start-finish straight was more than 10 mph down on the 137.374 mph number put up by Herrin’s Yamaha R6.The second row is Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Sports’ Tommy Aquino (Yam), who put in his fastest lap of the weekend after the session expired, GP Bike Parts Racing’s Cameron Beaubier, West, and Vesrah Suzuki’s Taylor Knapp.
Daytona SportBike Qualifying:
1. Danny Eslick (Suzuki) 1:29.501
2. PJ Jacobsen (Ducati) 1:29.506
3. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:29.582
4. Jason DiSalvo (Ducati) 1:30.152
5. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha) 1:29.783
6. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:30.054
7. Cory West (Suzuki) 1:30.132
8. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki) 1:30.177
9. Dane Westby (Suzuki) 1:30.556
10. Paul Allison (Yamaha) 1:30.965