Eslick on Provisional Pole at Mid-Ohio

Henny Ray Abrams | July 8, 2011

LEXINGTON, OHIO, JULY 8 – RMR Geico’s Danny Eslick (Suz) earned the provisional pole with a series of fast laps at the end of Daytona SportBike qualifying on a hot day at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.On the track where Eslick holds the overall DSB fast lap of 1:27.853 mins., run in the second race of his double-header sweep on the Buell in 2009, the Oklahoman wasn’t able to match the time, but he was able to finish with a lap of 1:29.723 mins. which was fastest by .314 sec.

“From this morning’s session it was…progressively as the session went on this morning the track got better and better and Superbike and Supersport went out after us,” the DSB championship leader said. “The track definitely got way better as the day went on.”For us the track was good when we got out for qualifying. We went out on some older tires in the beginning of the session and just tried to work on a good solid set-up. There about halfway through we threw some tires at it and tried to go out and throw a good lap in.”As to why a two-year-old lap time was faster than today, he was at a loss.”I have no idea,” he said. “Me and some of the mechanics were talking about that. That’s kind of been the case at several places that we’ve gone to. The track’s in good shape. I just don’t know if some of the grip’s not there with the surface of the track or the rubber. I don’t really know it is, but everybody, definitely slower than what we’ve been in the past. I don’t really know what the deal is with that.”

Jake Holden Racing’s Jake Holden finished second on the Ducati in his return from an injury-plagued season. Other than finishing second in the first race at Infineon Raceway, Holden has scored only a single point.Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo (Duc) finished with the third fastest time as he tries to fight his way back into championship contention. The New Yorker won the first three races of the season, but fell on hard times, and on the ground more than once, in the next races. He’s now third in the championship, 20 points behind leader Eslick.Herrin, who’s second in the championship and four points behind Eslick, finished two-tenths behind DiSalvo at the end of the provisional front row.

Daytona Sportbike Qualifying:

1. Danny Eslick (Suzuki) 1:29.723

2. Jake Holden (Ducati) 1:30.037

3. Jason DiSalvo (Ducati) 1:30.199

4. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:30.398

5. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha) 1:30.720

6. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:30.838

7. Dane Westby (Suzuki) 1:31.093

8. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki) 1:31.099

9. Cory West (Suzuki) 1:31.102

10. Paul Allison (Yamaha) 1:31.259


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.