Eslick Gets First Win of Season at Barber

Henny Ray Abrams | June 18, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, AL, JUNE 18 – The always unpredictable Daytona SportBike championship was once again turned upside down at Barber Motorsports Park.In the race after taking over the points lead at Road America, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin suffered a rare engine failure on the fourth of 21 laps, pounding the gas tank in frustration as he slowed.Herrin wasn’t in the lead at the time, Danny Eslick (RMR Geico Suzuki) was, and he’d stay there for the duration, pulling away at will and winning for the first time this season.The margin of victory, which was diminished by a jubilant stand-up wheelie the length of the front straight, was 2.842 seconds, down from a peak of 4.625 when he took the white flag.

The win was Eslick’s first since the tumultuous final race of the 2010 season here at Barber.The battle for second was six-strong at first, but ended up being fought among three riders. M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby took over second on the 19th lap with Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West finishing a close third to give Suzuki their first podium sweep in over a year. Martin Cardenas, last year’s champion, beat West and Eslick in Saturday’s race at Road Atlanta last April 17.The day ended with West in the championship lead for the first time in his career. After seven of 15 races, West has 136 points to 135 for Eslick, the 2009 class champion. Herrin is third with 127, with Jason DiSalvo, who ended a string of bad luck that included two crashes by finishing fifth, moving to within a point of Herrin.Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Sports’ Tommy Aquino lost third to West on the final lap. He finished fourth just in front of DiSalvo. Vesrah Suzuki’s Taylor Knapp was at the tail end of the pack chasing Eslick, finishing sixth.Daytona

SportBike Results:

1. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)

2. Dane Westby (Suzuki)

3. Cory West (Suzuki)

4. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)

5. Jason DiSalvo (Ducati)

6. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)

7. Kris Turner (Suzuki)

8. Tyler OHara (Yamaha)

9. Huntley Nash (Yamaha)

10. Ricky Corey (Yamaha)


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.