DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MARCH 11 - Latus Racing's Jason DiSalvo (Duc) narrowly improved his fastest time overnight to take the provisional pole for Saturday's Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway.DiSalvo was fastest in Thursday practice, held late on a warm, overcast afternoon. Friday's first qualifying session was held in sunny, chilly conditions, with the temperature around 47 degrees.DiSalvo lapped the 3.51-mile Long Course in 1:51.422 mins., just .033 sec. faster than he'd gone in practice. Now DiSalvo has to keep the pressure on in this afternoon's final qualifying for the 200, which will be held in much warmer conditions."For sure I want to go out there and improve my time this afternoon and get that Rolex," DiSalvo said about the Rolex Daytona Chronograph awarded to the pole winner for the 200. "I've been close a couple of times and hopefully I can go out this afternoon and get that first one."Project 1 Atlanta's Jake Zemke (Yam) greatly improved his Thursday practice ime to take the second spot on the provisional front row. In his one-off ride on the Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha, Zemke was at or near the top of the order for the entire session. His best lap of 1:51.991 mins. came on his 14th and final lap.Jake Holden had a late burst of speed on the Roberson Motorsports Ducati 848EVO to take third fastest time. Holden made a big jump with his final lap, which was 1.4 secs. faster than his previous best.Geico Suzuki's Danny Eslick turned in his best lap late in the session, but not at the very end. His best of 1:52.454 mins. came on the fourth of an eight lap run that he ended the session with.The provisional second row was led by Celtic Racing/Fast by Ferracci's PJ Jacobsen. The Ducati 848EVO-mounted New Yorker went nearly a second slower than he had when he was second fastest to DiSalvo on Thursday, but he can be expected to be a factor in final qualifyingThe fastest bike on the track qualified sixth. Cycle World Attack Kawasaki's JD Beach, like Zemke in a one-off ride, was .029 sec. slower than Jacobsen. Beach's Kawasaki ZX-6R topped out at 180.26 mph. Teammate Eric Bostrom's Kawasaki was second fastest at 179.39 mph. Bostrom was 12th fastest.The rest of the second row was Fernando Amantini (Kaw) and Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Herrin.

Daytona SportBike Qualifying

1. Jason DiSalvo (Ducati) 1:51.422

2. Jake Zemke (Yamaha) 1:51.991

3. Jake Holden (Ducati) 1:52.387

4. Danny Eslick (Suzuki) 1:52.454

5. PJ Jacobsen (Ducati) 1:53.270

6. JD Beach (Kawasaki) 1:53.299

7. Fernando Amantini (Kawasaki) 1:53.356

8. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:53.440

9. Dane Westby (Suzuki) 1:53.445

10. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha) 1:53.746

 


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Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.

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