Photography by Andrea Wilson
In a nail-biting 16-lap final there was a different leader almost every lap and anyone of three riders had a chance for the victory, but in the end Sunday’s Daytona SportBike final went again to the king of the DSB Cameron Beaubier. It marked his ninth win in ten races. That ties the single season win record for the class set by Martin Cardenas.
Sunday’s contest was a test of nerve and it was Beaubier who never flinched.
In the closing laps it was all about who could remain mistake free while running their bikes and tires beyond the limit. Both Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach had their moments. They showed on any given lap they could run with Beaubier, but on the last lap when it really mattered, Beaubier was solid as a rock and held off Gerloff and Beach by a few bike lengths. The margin of victory was 0.176 seconds in a race that was an instant classic in DSB history.
All race long Beaubier and Gerloff traded the lead, mostly drafting and braking late into turn one. The pattern happened lap after lap and it appeared almost certain one of the Yamaha Extended Services riders would win. Then on lap 13 Beach suddenly got in the mix with his RoadRace Factory Yamaha, moving into the lead for the first time with just a few laps to go.
In the end both Beach and Gerloff pushed their bikes past the limits and paid the price, losing precious ground. Beaubier made very few, if any mistakes and on the last lap when Gerloff had a high-speed slide, Beaubier took the lead for the final time and held it to the flag.
Three seconds behind the leading trio was Jake Lewis in fourth. Lewis had been in the lead group for the first half of the race, but gradually fell back. Then there was a massive gap back to Jake Gagne in fifth, the second-ranked rider having the worst weekend of the season.
First non-Yamaha rider was James Rispoli in sixth on his National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki. Rispoli held on after a good battle with Jason DiSalvo and Bobby Fong.
“It’s really been a dream season for me,” Beaubier said after the win. “Everything has been going really good so far… We struggled a bit with race pace this weekend. I honestly thought I was going to be faster going into yesterday’s race. I can’t tell you how happy I am to get the double here.”
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike results from Miller Motorsports Park, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013
1 6 Cameron Beaubier Roseville, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 16 Laps
2 8 Garrett Gerloff Spring, TX Yamaha YZF-R6 +00.176
3 95 JD Beach Philpot, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 +00.439
4 85 Jake Lewis Princeton, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 +03.010
5 32 Jake Gagne San Diego, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 +20.758
6 43 James Rispoli Londonderry, NH Suzuki GSX-R600 +22.764 1
7 40 Jason DiSalvo Batavia, NY Triumph Daytona 675 +23.033
8 50 Bobby Fong Stockton, CA Triumph Daytona 675 +23.222
9 5 Dane Westby Tulsa, OK Honda CBR600RR +42.321
10 7 Fernando Amantini Caracas, Venezuela Yamaha YZF-R6 +47.888