Photography by Larry Lawrence
Jake Lewis saved his best for last. He followed Jake Gagne most of the way in Mid-Ohio’s first Daytona Superbike race. On the final lap Lewis made his move to take over the lead and held it to the end to bring the championship even between to two. Danny Eslick came out on top of a great battle for third to keep himself squarely in the championship hunt.
“This one is pretty huge,” said Lewis, who with the win tied Gagne in the standings. “Last week was my first win and I came in with a lot of confidence. When I was following Jake it looked like his tire was falling off so I waited to the end to make my move. We’ll keep fighting and chasing wins.”
Mid-Ohio Early on there was a six-rider breakaway with Lewis working his way into the lead by the third lap. It was Gagne coming to the front and taking the top spot on lap six. At that point the top six were separated by just 0.185 seconds.
As the field took the halfway flags the first break of the lead pack developed with Gagne and Lewis, the top two riders in the standings, opening some breathing room on Eslick in third. On lap nine it was Westby moving past Eslick for third, but the pack was still stacked up behind him and the next lap Eslick got it back.
It came down to the final lap with Lewis making the pass into turn six and making it stick. He held off Gagne the rest of the laps to win by 0.125 seconds.
Daytona SportBike Results, Mid-Ohio, Race 1
1. Jake Lewis (Yam)
2. Jake Gagne (Yam) -0.125
3. Danny Eslick (Tri)
4. Garrett Gerloff (Yam)
5. Dane Westby (Yam)
6. JD Beach (Yam)
7. Jason DiSalvo (Tri)
8. Bobby Fong (Tri)
9. Blake Young (Yam)
10. Jake Zemke (Hon)