DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MAR 4: Geico Powersports RMR Suzuki's Danny Eslick will take a Rolex Daytona Chronograph back to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma after taking the pole position for Friday night's 69th running of the Daytona 200 with a blistering lap on a chilly night at Daytona International Speedway.Eslick set his best time about halfway into the session, held in 51 degree weather from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m., and with help from Monster Energy M4 Suzuki's Martin Cardenas. The two Suzuki riders worked together to mutual benefit, with Eslick just a tick quicker. Eslick moved to the top of the order with a lap of 1:50.085 mins. near the halfway point, but within seconds Cardenas nearly topped him. Instead he missed out by .002 secs., a difference that would stand up to the end."I don't know what to say right now," Eslick, the defending Daytona SportBike champion, said. "I'm on the pole for the 200. Wooooo!"Eslick thanked his team, his sponsors, and Cardenas."Daytona's big on drafting here and we kinda talked a little bit before the session and wanted to hook up and do some dancing out there," he said.Eslick was on the opposite side of the ledger last year when he missed out on Superpole to Graves Motorsports Yamaha's Ben Bostrom by .2 secs. Bostrom's 2009 Superpole time was about a second faster than Eslick's pole lap.Graves Motorsports Yamaha teammates Tommy Aquino and Josh Herrin filled out the front row. Herrin was riding with a shoulder he injured when he tucked the front end in the chicane during morning practice."Definitely had more traction tonight," Aquino said. "People were falling down everywhere this morning."

Daytona SportBike Qualifying:

1. Danny Eslick (Suzuki) 1:50.085

2. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:50.087

3. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha) 1:50.166

4. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:50.294

5. Steve Rapp (Ducati) 1:50.713

6. Dane Westby (Yamaha) 1:50.958

7. Josh Day (Yamaha) 1:51.184

8. Brett McCormick (Suzuki) 1:51.431

9. Cory West (Suzuki) 1:51.493

10. Kev Coghlan (Yamaha) 1:51.820

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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