Round 2 Race Report: Infineon AMA Pro Daytona SportBike, Race 2

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin seemed to return with a vengeance on Sunday; having sat out AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Race 1 while serving a one-race penalty incurred at Round 1, he wasted no time when the track went green for Race 2’s Infineon Raceway event.

Though Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo didn’t let Herrin have it easy, Herrin sailed into the lead off the start, with Jake Holden (Jake Holden Racing) hot on DiSalvo’s rear wheel.

Holden, too, had company, as GEICO Powersports RMR Suzuki’s Danny Eslick was immediately gunning for third, and while DiSalvo and Herrin diced for the lead, Holden targeted the position ahead. The first big lineup-change came when DiSalvo tried the inside of Herrin, only to be sent wide when Herrin shut the door, DiSalvo’s trip leaving the way wide open for both Holden and Eslick.

The top four now covered by less than a second, Holden set out after Herrin and made a desperate grab for the lead when Herrin went wide, holding it while the Yamaha rider raged behind. With Eslick watching from third position, Herrin continued to put pressure on Holden until Holden slid out of the lead, ceding the frontrunner position to Herrin and being left on the sidelines with his head in his hands.

With just four laps elapsed, DiSalvo, and Eslick-trailed by dueling riders Cory West (Vesrah Suzuki) and PJ Jacobsen (Celtic Racing/Fast by Ferracci)-began a back-and-forth contest for second position that was suddenly halted by a weather-induced red flag, as several corners began reporting wet track surfaces.

The riders retook the grid just under thirty minutes later, Herrin again commanding the holeshot with DiSalvo in hot pursuit. Through the next handful of laps the top three diced for position, each taking over the lead temporarily until DiSalvo did so with authority on Lap 11 and dropped his head, dedicated to the all-important task of building a buffer between himself and the chase pair. Immediately laying down the quickest lap the race had seen thus far, DiSalvo proceeded to do just that, soon putting a second between himself and Herrin-a gap he proceeded to stretch through the remaining laps.

Herrin, meanwhile, proved unable to sustain under Eslick’s onslaught; following some back-and-forth swapping of position, Eslick finally made it stick and set out after DiSalvo. All the action at the front, meanwhile, was complemented by a forced rippling up through the ranks behind, as young-gun Jacobsen had climbed as high as fourth and spent the remaining handful of laps chipping away at the gap between himself and the Yamaha rider, who seemed to be flagging as the race wound down.┬áBeaubier, Aquino, and Westby, meanwhile, were all gunning to take over the fifth-place position held by West, who in the end managed to hold it by just a few tenths.

The top-ten order at races end was DiSalvo, Eslick, Herrin, Jacobsen, West, Beaubier, Aquino, Westby, Knapp, Allison.

Herrin, 3rd: “The first start was really good for us, we were running really well. Then the red flag came out because of the rain, and the restart was good start again, and I just tried to stay out there. I had a feeling once we let Jason go by it was going to be hard to keep up with him, and it was. Trying to keep the pace he was running, I kind of overcooked my tires a little bit … [but] I’m just really excited to get out of here with some points. Real grateful we got to ride, and just glad to put [Daytona] behind us.”

Eslick, 2nd: “I think we made a good call in taking a little break and restarting [the race]. After the restart we were all going back and forth and running around and just trying to figure out who was doing what, so it was pretty fun. It was nice to throw a little bit of excitement in there … [but] I just didn’t have anything for Jason today. He was riding great and the bike was working good for him, so it was all we could do to hang in there. It’s gonna be a tough season.”

DiSalvo, 1st: “I was strong a couple places on the brakes today, so I thought I could make some passes. But from yesterday, too, all my experience for the twenty-two laps of yesterday’s race was leading out at the front, and that’s what I was used to seeing. I wasn’t used to having Josh and Danny blocking my sight in a couple corners, and I wasn’t able to get some visual references to kind of see where I was going. So once I got out in front, got in that rhythm, got in that zone, I just kept chugging away-pulling laps, keeping my head down, and riding hard.”

The AMA Pro Road Racing Series next travels to Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park for the “Big M Weekend,” where it will run alongside the World Superbike series in a combined May 28-30 event. For tickets and information, visit

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