Throwback Thursday: Fast Freddie’s Third Straight Daytona Superbike Victory

Larry Lawrence | January 25, 2018
1984 Daytona Bell Superbike 100 podium
The 1984 Daytona Bell Superbike 100 podium with Sam McDonald (second), winner Freddie Spencer and third-place John Bettencourt. (Henny Ray Abrams photo)

In this week’s Throwback we wind back the clock to 34 years. Van Halen’s “Jump” topped the charts and Freddie Spencer was in a class all his own during the 1984 Daytona Bell Superbike 100 race. It all started in qualifying where Spencer set a Superbike lap record with a 2:05.892. His time was so strong it would have put him on the second row of the Daytona 200! Another example of how dialed Spencer was, is the fact that second-place qualifier Fred Merkel, on another factory Honda Interceptor, was three-and-a-half seconds slower in his qualifying run.

Merkel led the first two laps before Spencer took over the lead. Once out front, Spencer simply walked away from the field. In the end Spencer had a half-lap lead, this after backing off his pace in the closing laps. Meanwhile McDonald and Bettencourt had an epic battle for second. McDonald held of Johnny B by about three bike lengths at the checkered flag.

The photo shows Spencer center, with McDonald on the left and Bettencourt on the right.

The victory marked Spencer’s third Daytona Bell 100 win in a row. He would make it four straight the next year.

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