Herrin Takes Championship Lead With Win at Road America

Henny Ray Abrams | June 5, 2011

ELKHART LAKE, WI, JUNE 5 – The Daytona SportBike championship was turned upside down this weekend, with previous points leader Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Ducati) crashing out of both races, and once in practice, while Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin had a near perfect weekend to score a pair of wins, and three in a row going back to last weekend at Miller Motorsports Park, to seize the points lead after six of 15 races.Herrin was in the doldrums after being forced to miss the first race at Infineon Raceway as a penalty for aggressive riding at the Daytona 200. But rather than sulk, he was motivated and the results are clear.Following a third in his return in the second race at Infineon, when he didn’t have the benefit of the first race to shake the rust off and set his bike up properly, Herrin has been unstoppable.

DiSalvo’s year has been the complete opposite. He began so strongly, winning the first three races, that the AMA penalized him and all the other Ducati 848 riders, slapping on a five lbs. weight penalty. That didn’t affect him greatly at Miller, where he missed his set-up completely, nor here, where he seemed to struggle with front end issues. Today he crashed in the Bend, a tight left-right combination, on the third lap. The race had to be stopped while an ambulance took him to the medical center. Nothing is known about his condition.So at the end of the weekend, Herrin is the new championship leader with 127 points to 115 for Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West, fifth today, second at 115. DiSalvo remains in third with 110.The race was twice stopped for red flags. The first was for DiSalvo, the second for another crash. The race began at 2:15 p.m., was re-started the first time at 2:42 p.m., and began the final 11 lap run at 3:00 p.m. The wait was worth it.The race had all the hallmarks of a DSB race, with multiple lead changes and near endless position swaps.Herrin led across the stripe for the start of the final lap from M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby, Eslick, and a few others who were within striking distance.Eslick took the lead with a deep braking move into turn five, with Herrin still in front of Westby and Cory West running wide to drop back to fifth.The order stayed the same into the last corner, turning Eslick into a sitting duck. Herrin lined him on the run up the hill and sped by, winning by .092 sec. Westby was a close third with Tommy Aquino (Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Motorsports) fourth and West fifth.The top five were covered by .802 sec.

Daytona SportBike Results:

1. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)

2. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)

3. Dane Westby (Suzuki)

4. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)

5. Cory West (Yamaha)

6. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)

7. Fernando Amantini (Kawasaki)

8. Tyler Odom (Honda)

9. Paul Allison (Yamaha)

10. Tyler OHara (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.