Eslick Takes Daytona SportBike

Paul Carruthers | July 24, 2011

MONTEREY, CA, JULY 24 – Danny Eslick won a red-flag shortened Daytona SportBike class at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca today while his main rival for the championship, Josh Herrin, failed to finish as his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha coasted to a smoky stop on the ninth lap.

Eslick’s win didn’t come easy and we’ll never know what the outcome would have been had the race gone the full distance. Cameron Beaubier was impressive and he and early leader Jason DiSalvo were both within striking distance of Eslick when Raul Alzate crashed his LTD Yamaha in the Corkscrew on the 11th lap, bringing out a red flag and ultimately a race stoppage. AMA Pro Racing reverted back to the order after 10 complete laps and it was Eslick in front of Jake Holden Racing’s Cameron Beaubier by .236 of a second. DiSalvo was third, just .646 of a second behind Eslick.Fourth place went to Y.E.S. Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino, the Californian almost two and a half seconds ahead of Cory West’s Suzuki GSX-R600. West, in turn, had 2.8 seconds on Team M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby, the Oklahoman barely ahead of Australian Kevin Goghlan at the end of 10 laps. Taylor Knapp was also with those two, the trio almost seven seconds ahead of ninth placed Fernando Amantini.Tyler Odom rounded out the top 10 finishers.The race was red-flagged twice. The first came almost immediately when Jake Holden and Westby touched in turn two and Holden crashed and ended up in the gravel trap.

On the restart, pole sitter DiSalvo took off, but he couldn’t get away from Herrin who was hounding him right until his R6 failed, on lap seven. Beaubier took up the challenge at that point, closing in on DiSalvo until making a pass in turn 11 at the end of lap seven. But it was Eslick who made the biggest move, passing DiSalvo on the run to turn one and then backing it in past Beaubier on the entrance to two. From there the three went at it until the red flag came out a few laps later, ending what would have likely been a thrilling finish.With just the New Jersey doubleheader remaining, Eslick leads the non-finishing Herrin by 45 points, 244-199. DiSalvo is third with 195 points.Daytona SportBike Final

1.                  Danny Eslick (Suzuki)

2.                  Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)

3.                  Jason DiSalvo (Ducati)

4.                  Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)

5.                  Cory West (Suzuki)

6.                  Dane Westby (Suzuki)

7.                  Kevin Coghlan (Yamaha)

8.                  Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)

9.                  Fernando Amantini (Yamaha)

10.                  Tyler Odom (Honda)


Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.