The 2010 Daytona SportBike championship ended with Martin Cardenas as the class champion and Josh Herrin and Danny Eslick as bitter rivals. For 2011, we can expect more of the same.Herrin signed with Team Graves Yamaha last week and today Eslick was announced as the rider for the GEICO Powersports RMR Suzuki GSX-R600 in 2011. Both will remain in Daytona SportBike, while Cardenas may move to the American SuperBike class."I'm excited to be working with my same team and crew again next year," the 24-year-old Oklahoman said. "Richie (Morris) has been great and I really want to ride the new 2011 GSX-R600, too. It sounds and looks like a great bike and certainly has a lot of potential. We've had a super run so far and hopefully we'll be able to continue our momentum and do well again next year. This season we had a fantastic year defending the championship but came up just short against some great riders and teams. It was a blast with a lot of good battles on the track, but we're looking to get the job done and win back the number one plate again. My career really took off when I joined the team and that was a big part of my decision to stay. It's been a big step forward for me and we'll continue to work together and build on the experience we've gained. One thing I know is that when I show up at the track, my guys have taken care of everything and that it's up to me to go for it."Eslick won last year's inaugural Daytona SportBike championship on a Buell for the Richie Morris team. With Buell mostly folding its tent at the end of last season, when Harley-Davidson pulled the plug, the team switched to Suzukis. Eslick was in the top five in 17 of 18 races this season and was in the championship hunt until the final weekend, which wasn't one of his best. A front tire issue hurt his chances on Saturday and on Sunday he seemed more concerned about battling Herrin than beating Cardenas. There was bumping and banging, with Herrin getting the worst of it-he was sent off the track once and crashed after a second incident-and the pair exchanged barbed words afterwards."I think we've got a good thing going for next season with the same sponsor, team, and rider, along with a new and improved bike," said team owner Richie Morris. "Danny has always had the talent and I think we just have a package that works. There are a lot of good riders and teams returning next year so it should be a dogfight up front in AMA Pro Daytona SportBike. Stay tuned!"

AMA Pro Racing Headlines

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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