SONOMA, CA, MAY 6 - Latus Motors Racing Castrol Triumph's Jason DiSalvo ran flag to flag to take his first Daytona Sportbike win of the year by a wide margin at Infineon Raceway.
DiSalvo flew out of the gate and quickly left the field behind. The second place rider changed hands a few times, but each time DiSalvo seemed to pull away. His gap continued to grow to over ten seconds before he backed off to cross the line by 9.531 secs.
Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha's Tommy Hayden finished second to strengthen his chances of staying with the team for the rest of the year. Hayden had been running second before being passed by Geico Suzuki's Martin Cardenas on the 11th of 22 laps.
It was clear from his riding that Cardenas wasn't going to settle for second. He had a number of close calls before his race finally came to an end. It happened on the 18th of 22 laps when he lost the front at the exit of the turn eight esses, his bike sliding down the track, then cartwheeling over the hay bales and fence, before finally landing on a hill. Cardenas limped away, but was otherwise fine.
The bigger damage was to his championship lead. The Colombian had come into the race with a yawning 33 point lead, which was much smaller when the day ended. Cardenas now has 113 points to 101 for Hayden.
Hayden has been told he'd likely stay with the team for the next two races, Miller Motorsports Park and Barber Motorsports Park, when it was expected Garrett Gerloff would be fit to return to the paddock. But if Hayden remains in championship contention Yamaha will certainly have to consider keeping him for the remainder of the year.
Daytona 200 winner Joey Pascarella was a distant third ahead of a thrilling three-way battle for fourth that went to the final corner. Vesrah Suzuki's Cory West came under attack, but held firm to take fourth. Road Race Factory/Red Bull's JD Beach (Yam) passed Bobby Fong (Meen Motorsports Racing Yamaha) in the final corner to take fifth.
AMA Daytona Sportbike Results:
1. Jason DiSalvo (Triumph)
2. Tommy Hayden (Yamaha)
3. Joey Pascarella (Yamaha)
4. Cory West (Suzuki)
5. JD Beach (Yamaha)
6. Bobby Fong (Yamaha)
7. Dane Westby (Suzuki)
8. Jake Zemke (Ducati)
9. Michael Beck (Yamaha)
10. Benny Solis (Suzuki)