LEXINGTON, OHIO, JULY 14 – Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo took his third Daytona Sportbike pole of the season after a slippery track prevented most riders from improving on their Friday times. And if it rains, which appears unlikely according to local forecasts, the races will likely be postponed.
Friday’s sunshine and heat was replaced by overcast and a very light rain well into the session, which, combined with the slippery surface and track patches, kept most riders from going faster than they had on Friday.
DiSalvo wasn’t able to match his Friday lap of 1:29.172 mins. His best today was 1:29.345 mins.
The second fastest rider overall, and fastest on Saturday morning, was Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier. Beaubier clocked two fast laps towards the end of qualifying, the first of which was his best of the weekend, a 1:29.319.
M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki’s Dane Westby, who won here last year, was third fastest at 1:29.351 mins., with Geico Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas filling out the front row at 1:29.429 mins.
As for the rain, DiSalvo said the “AMA policy is, really, I think it’s up to us, what we feel the track is going to be capable of once the rain starts to fall, if the rain starts to fall. So for me, this place can get pretty slippery pretty fast.
“I think we’ll just have to wait and see. I want to give it an honest chance, but, you know, it’s really going to be a rider consensus thing. I think if we’re mid-race and it starts to come down, it’ll probably be among us four guys in the lead group to kinda say, ‘Y’know, yeah, we’re not comfortable with this’ or ‘We’re just gonna keep on keeping on,’ so we’ll kinda play it by ear.”
Asked if he was comfortable with DiSalvo’s assessment, Cardenas said, “Yes, in a way, but I think in the rain here I don’t think it’s possible,” which DiSalvo agreed with.
“I feel the same way, but I want to give it a shot first,” he said. “I at least want to give it its fair shake. But, you know, if I had to say one way or another right now, probably not.” Then he added, “Extended fan walk.”
Row two is Ducshop Racing’s Jake Zemke (Duc), Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s Tommy Hayden, Meen Motorsports Racing’s Bobby Fong (Yam) and JD Beach on the Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha.
Mid-Ohio Daytona Sportbike Qualifying:
1. Jason DiSalvo (Triumph) 1:29.172
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:29.319
3. Dane Westby (Suzuki) 1:29.351
4. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:29.429
5. Jake Zemke (Ducati) 1:29.585
6. Tommy Hayden (Yamaha) 1:29.895
7. Bobby Fong (Yamaha) 1:29.974
8. JD Beach (Yamaha) 1:30.044
9. Huntley Nash (Yamaha) 1:30.450
10. Michael Beck (Yamaha) 1:30.525