Westby Gets His First

Henny Ray Abrams | July 9, 2011

LEXINGTON, OHIO, JULY 9 – M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby won his first AMA pro sprint race with a series of bold moves in the closing laps of the Daytona SportBike final at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.For the first half of the race it appeared to be a battle among RMR Geico’s Danny Eslick, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin, and Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo (Duc). And on the ninth of 21 laps Cameron Beaubier (Yam) set the fastest lap of the race, putting ground between himself and sixth-placed Westby.But as the second half started Westby began to make his move. He made two passes on lap 11, first on Beaubier in turn 11, then Tommy Aquino (Yam) in the Carousel.Now he was in fourth and closing on the leaders, who were squabbling among themselves. Mostly it was Eslick in the lead after taking it from DiSalvo on the sixth lap. Herrin passed DiSalvo for third on the 15th lap and a lap later Westby also passed DiSalvo in the hard braking turn six right at the end of the back straight. Now he was set for a podium finish, but he wasn’t done.

On lap 17 Westby made the pass of Herrin in turn six and set out for Eslick, who he also passed in turn six. Eslick fought back, but Westby held him off over the next several corners.Eslick used the same corner to take the lead on the 19th lap, but it wouldn’t stick. Westby went up the inside in turn four, at the head of the back straight to take the lead early on the 20th.Eslick made one final charge into the turn eight right on the final lap, but he couldn’t get a wheel in and Westby kept control.For the final handful of corners Westby didn’t put a wheel wrong and sped to his first win, which he punctuated with a wheelie.The margin of victory was .139 sec.Herrin passed Eslick in turn 11 on the final lap to take third. The pass was significant for the championship, which is now a tie between Eslick and Herrin with 183 points. Fourth place finisher DiSalvo is third with 159.Behind the lead four, all of whom finished within .357 sec. of each other, came Aquino on the Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Sports’ Yamaha, and Beaubier on the Jake Holden Racing Yamaha.Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West was a safe seventh in front of teammate Taylor Knapp.Daytona SportBike Results:1. Dane Westby (Suzuki)

2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)

3. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)

4. Jason DiSalvo (Ducati)

5. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)

6. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)

7. Cory West (Suzuki)

8. Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)

9. Kyle Wyman (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.