Herrin Back in Championship Hunt

Henny Ray Abrams | June 4, 2011

ELKHART LAKE, WI, JUNE 4 – Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin took advantage of a race crash by class leader Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Ducati) to narrow the Daytona SportBike championship points gap with a victory at Road America.Pole-sitter DiSalvo had a rare race crash out of the lead on the second of 13 laps, handing the lead to Herrin. Then followed 12 laps of tensely fought racing, with Herrin facing off against PJ Jacobsen (Celtic Racing/Fast by Ferracci Ducati) and GP Bike Parts Racing’s Cameron Beaubier (Yam).Jacobsen used the power of the Ducati 848EVO to draft into the lead ending the fifth lap and become the carrot the others were chasing. Herrin and Beaubier were rarely out of his draft and occasionally swapped spots.Herrin took the lead in the right hand 12th turn on the penultimate lap and took advantage of a lapper between turns 13 and the final corner to put Jacobsen safety behind him and stretch his gap on the field.At the end of the race, Herrin “thought PJ was right behind me, but I put my head down and rode as hard as I could on the last lap and didn’t hear anyone behind me in the last corner. I’m sure tomorrow will be a different story, especially with DiSalvo up there.

“It sucks to see someone fall, but when you know they’re okay and you realize you just got a bunch of points you desperately needed, it’s kind of a big relief.””That last lap, it sucked for me, but it’s racing,” Jacobsen said. It also allowed the pursuing pack to close up on him. “The lapper definitely helped us catch PJ,” West said. Meanwhile, Herrin got away.He crossed the line with more than a second in hand to race to his second win in a row following last weekend’s victory at Miller Motorsports Park.The margin of victory was .748 sec.Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West, who’d been mixing it up with three or four other riders in the battle for fourth, consumed Jacobsen on the final lap and took second. Jacobsen was third.Then came Geico Powersports/Richie Morris Racing’s Danny Eslick in front of Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Motorsports Tommy Aquino. Taylor Knapp was sixth on the second Vesrah Suzuki, with Beaubier ending up a distant seventh after overshooting turn five on the final lap.After five of 15 races, DiSalvo still leads the championship, but his margin has been reduced from 35 points over Cory West prior to this race, to six points over Herrin. West sits third with 99 points.

Daytona SportBike Results:

1. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)

2. Cory West (Suzuki)

3. PJ Jacobsen (Ducati)

4. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)

5. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)

6. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)

7. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)

8. Dane Westby (Suzuki)

9. Jason Farrell (Kawasaki)

10 Fernando Amantini (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.