Monday, March 14, 2011

Jason DiSalvo Wins Controversial Daytona 200

Jason DiSalvo pours it on coming out of turn 8 at Road America on the #40 Yamaha Motors Corp/Graves Motorsports-backed Yamaha YZF-R1LE during qualifying for the AMA Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series in June of 2006. Jason went on to qualify fourth behind team mates Eric Bostrom on the #32 and Jamie Hacking on the #2 Graves Yamahas, with Aaron Yates on the #1 Yoshimura American Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the third spot.
Yates went on to win the main event, Hacking came home third .158 seconds behind, and DiSalvo rounded out the podium in third 2.328 seconds behind Double A-ron. At the end of the year, Hacking, Yates and DiSalvo finished 1-2-3 in the championship in the Superbike Lite Series.
After competing in the U.S. AMA Road Racing Series until the end of the '09 season, DiSalvo signed to ride the Triumph Daytona 675 Triple in World Supersport competition for the 2010 year with the BE1 Racing team. As a team mate to former U.S. competitor Chaz Davies, DiSalvo didn't feel the love and he and the team split after the Miller round in Utah at the end of May. Managing to hook up with the GP Tech Moto2 team and well-known crew chief Al Ludington, the New York State rider put in a thrilling ride at his one-off race at the Indy Red Bull MotoGP round of the Moto2 series, coming home in a very respectable 9th place. During the off-season, Jason signed with the Latus Motors Ducati team to ride the all-new for 2011 Ducati 848EVO in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Road Racing Series.

He got 2011 off to a pretty good start on Saturday, in spite of ALL the tire and engine problems on the day, and all of the criticism that has been echoing out of Daytona since late that afternoon.
In what will surely go down as one of, if not THE most controversial finishes in the 50 years that the Daytona 200 has been running at Daytona International Speedway, Jason DiSalvo on the Latus Motors Ducato 848 won the 'Daytona 147' in what turned into a final 15-lap sprint race to bring the spring classic at the massive Sunshine State to a critical close. Amid all of the Dunlop spec-tire problems, DiSalvo's team being allowed to change his engine during the overly lengthy red flag at what should have been the mid-point of the race, Jason and the Latus Ducati team fought a strong race on the track to give the Italian V-Twin it's first sip of champagne on the top step of the box in the Daytona 200.

With tire problems plaguing the overall outcome and finish of the season opening AMA Road Racing Series, and the ensuing 2 hour 30 minute red flag that shortened the race from 200 miles to 147, this race will be remembered more for the problems associated with it than for it's wild and crazy finish. With several riders coming together and two crashing out just behind the #40 Latus Ducati as it was crossing the stripe to take the checkered flag after 14 wild and wooly laps, all hell broke loose on AND off the track after the melee was cleaned up and the riders involved miraculously walked away. Scoring officials were at odds initially as to who actually finished where, and when the dust and parts had settled, Cory West on the #57 Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600 and former winner Jake Zemke on the #98 Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha YZF-R6 rounded out the box in victory circle after what was surely the longest day's journey into 'almost' night.

Not a very good representation of what was once considered the Classic North American road race at Daytona, but nonetheless, we congratulate Jason on his win as well as his return to the U.S. Series and look forward to seeing more of what he can really do once the series resumes on real road race circuits at Infineon Raceway in May in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Series!
Paul Carruthers at Cycle sifts through the spillage of what was originally the Daytona 200, and instead ended up being the 2011 '147':

Here is the official story from the sanctioning body, AMA Pro Road Racing, on Saturday's Daytona 200:

And thanks again to AMA Pro Road Racing for these results of Saturday's endurance race:

Speed has this review video of the day's events at the Daytona '200':
Here's another short video, thanks to, from a fan that caught the race-ending melee through the fence. Take a look and then also turn up your speakers for the carnage. It also shows the riders walking away (thankfully!) after their get together:
Larry Lawrence of The Rider (who was in Indy over the weekend covering the Indy Supercross race for Cycle has a pretty strong case here for why AMA Road Racing should possibly start considering lever guards for front brake levers on road racing machines:

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