Photography by Larry Lawrence
DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MARCH 13 — Testing made all the difference. That’s what Castrol Triumph’s Jason DiSalvo said after leading the first Daytona 200 practice session Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. DiSalvo ran a 1:51.016 on his Triumph Daytona 675, having over 7-10ths of a second in hand in front of Garrett Gerloff (1:51.743) on the factory Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy Yamaha R6.
DiSalvo said he got some help during his fast lap.
“I had a very good draft on my quick lap,” DiSalvo said. “I had some decent laps on my own, but I had a pretty good draft off of (Garrett) Gerloff on my fast one.”
The Triumphs seem to have good speed this season.
“Top speed-wise I think we’re close,” said DiSalvo in comparing his Triumph to the factory Yamahas. “But it’s not going to be a runaway and hide situation. We don’t have so much horsepower that we’re going to overly confident.”
An illustration of just how good the Triumphs are across the board came in the form of Danny Eslick in his return to DSB after a year on Superbikes. Eslick showed he hasn’t missed a beat. The former DSB champ clocked the third fastest time aboard the Riders Discount Racing Triumph with a 1:52.334.
Dane Westby (1:52.578) was fourth fastest on the Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha, followed by Jake Gagne (1:53.248) on the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha.
Missing from the leaderboard was M4 Motorcycle Road Racing’s Joe Roberts. Roberts is making his highly-anticipated DSB debut, but his Honda sprang an oil leak and sat trackside most of the session. New rules in DSB dictate the teams can only use one bike, so Roberts had no opportunity to get back on the track in that session.
Daytona 200 practice session – Thursday, March 13, 2014
1 40 Jason DiSalvo Batavia, NY Triumph Daytona 675 1:51.016
2 8 Garrett Gerloff Spring, TX Yamaha YZF-R6 1:51.743
3 69 Danny Eslick Broken Arrow, OK Triumph Daytona 675 1:52.334
4 00 Dane Westby Tulsa, OK Yamaha YZF-R6 1:52.578
5 32 Jake Gagne San Diego, CA Yamaha YZF-R6 1:53.248
6 79 Blake Young Waunakee, WI Yamaha YZF-R6 1:53.636 1
7 85 Jake Lewis Princeton, KY Yamaha YZF-R6 1:53.790
8 12 Tomas Puerta Medellin, Colombia Yamaha YZF-R6 1:53.914
9 33 Kyle Wyman Macedon, NY Yamaha YZF-R6 1:54.322
10 50 Bobby Fong Stockton, CA Triumph Daytona 675 1:54.342