Photography by Larry Lawrence
Jason DiSalvo took an unexpected victory in Sunday’s Daytona SportBike race two. The Castrol Triumph rider moved past Jake Gagne with four laps to go and then withstood the pressure by RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Gagne the rest of the way to earn his first DSB victory in two years. Garret Gerloff rounded out the podium finishers on his YES Yamah R6.
“It’s such cool deal to get these guys a win,” DiSalvo said of his Triumph team. “We’ve been developing this bike for so long. I rode my heart out. The new Dunlops were awesome. I felt like I could go hard the whole race. We knew the Triumph 675 was a special bike and today we got a chance to showcase it.”
Gagne credited DiSalvo with a great ride.
“We definitely wanted to get that win,” said Gagne, who took back the championship lead. “but Jason was hauling out there. I’m happy to finish the race second and we’ll give it another shot at the next race.”
Gagne was leading the original start over DiSalvo and Lewis when Dane Westby’s went down followed by Danny Eslick and Jake Zemke also down in the same turn. The red flag stopped the race. At first it was thought that Westby’s bike had blown, but his team worked on it and was able to get it back in the restart. It was later reported that a radiator hose on his bike had blown.
On the restart it was Gagne over Lewis, DiSalvo, Beach and Gerloff in a five-rider break.
On lap 10 DiSalvo, who’d been pushing hard to move forward and gotten by Lewis, moved up to pass Gagne and take over the lead.
On lap 12 Lewis’ bike seemed to be moving around and Gerloff was pressuring. Finally the two made contact in turn five and Gerloff took over third. Meanwhile up front DiSalvo was pushing his Castrol Triumph to the limits and was trying desperately to score his first victory of the season. Gagne was right there keeping him honest.
On the final lap DiSalvo guarded the passing lanes well and Gagne, perhaps understanding that DiSalvo wasn’t in the championship battle, didn’t put all that much pressure on him. He lined up for a possible pass into five and then again in eight, but never made a whole-hearted effort. From there DiSalvo cruised home to a 0.638 second victory over Gagne. Gerloff took third, about three seconds back.
Lewis was able to manage whatever handling issue he had to come home fourth, just holding off Bobby Fong. Former Suzuki factory Superbike rider Blake Young took sixth, matching his best result of the year.
Second place gave Gagne back the series lead by seven points over Jake Lewis.
Daytona SportBike Results, Mid-Ohio, Race 2
1. Jason DiSalvo (Tri)
2. Jake Gagne (Yam)
3. Garett Gerloff (Yam)
4. Jake Lewis (Yam)
5. Bobby Fong (Tri)
6. Blake Young (Yam)
7. Kyle Wyman (Yam)
8. JD Beach (Yam)
9. Tomas Puerta (Yam)
10. Dane Westby (Yam)