SONOMA, CA, MAY 5 - Latus Motors Racing's Jason DiSalvo (Tri) will start this weekend's Daytona Sportbike races from the pole position after no one, not even DiSalvo himself, could improve on his provisional qualifying time in final qualifying on Saturday morning at Infineon Raceway.
DiSalvo laid down a qualifying lap record of 1:38.159 mins. to take provisional pole on Friday. The time was never under threat on Saturday; even DiSalvo couldn't approach his time.
"I think yesterday, just from a riding standpoint, my lap was just a little bit cleaner," DiSalvo said. "Everything was a little more spot-on. We spent a good bit of this morning's session, as short as it was, actually, just working on a few more little changes trying to get the most out of the Triumph 675R and I think those will pay off in the race, but as a result of that we didn't really capitalize, we didn't focus the whole session on just going fast, just going out there and going as fast as we could.
"So, at the end I put in a couple of laps, but just made some mistakes out there on my flying lap and it wasn't quite as good as yesterdays. But I feel like the track had the times in it, I think it had a 37 in it hanging out, hiding out there somewhere, I just couldn't find it this morning."
The only rider to approach DiSalvo's time was Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha's Cameron Beaubier, the Californian who was returning to racing after missing the Road Atlanta round with injuries suffered in a scooter accident. Beaubier rode on Monday at a track day at Thunderhill Raceway to test the knee. He said it "was a little tired there, loosened up throughout the week. I was resting it and icing a lot. Yeah, I think it'll be good."
On the physically demanding Infineon Raceway layout, Beaubier was forced by the knee injury to use his "upper body a little more, just because I can't really press on the footpegs as much as I want to, but it's really not too bad. I'm struggling a little bit in the esses, but everywhere else it's pretty good."
Beaubier had the best lap of the session, a 1:38.217, but it wasn't enough to steal the pole.
Next to Beaubier is Daytona 200 winner Joey Pascarella (Yam). Pascarella improved on his Friday time to take third on the grid, dropping Martin Cardenas (M4 Geico Suzuki) to fourth. Cardenas wasn't able to improve on his Friday time.
Jake Gagne was. The Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha rider moved up to fifth on the grid, one spot in front of Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha's Tommy Hayden. Hayden is riding in place of the injured Garrett Gerloff, who should be fit to return to the team at the next round of the championship at Miller Motorsports Park in three weeks time. Gerloff has been out since breaking his right femur early in practice for the Daytona season-opener.
M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki's Dane Westby is seventh with JD Beach eighth on the Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha.
Daytona Sportbike Qualifying
1. Jason DiSalvo (Triumph) 1:38.159
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:38.217
3. Joey Pascarella (Yamaha) 1:39.288
4. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:38.593
5. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:39.325
6. Tommy Hayden (Yamaha) 1:39.106
7. Dane Westby (Suzuki) 1:40.007
8. JD Beach (Yamaha) 1:40.021
9. Jake Zemke (Ducati) 1:40.033
10. Bobby Fong (Yamaha) 1:40.148