Monday, May 16, 2011

Jason DiSalvo Goes 2 For 2 at Infineon Raceway West Coast Moto Jam Round of the AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series

Jason DiSalvo hammers the throttle on the #40 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA/Graves Motorsports-sponsored Yamaha YZF-R1LE during qualifying for the AMA Pro Road Racing Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series event at Road America in June of 2006.  The AMA Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader Weekend round at the Elkhart Lake, WI. facility has been a regular stop on the AMA Pro Road Racing Series schedule since the 1980 season, and historically has been one of the best-attended events on the series' schedule over the years.  Jason's first win in AMA Pro Road Racing competition came at Road America in June '02 in the Superstock (750 SuperSport at that time) class.

DiSalvo has started the season in what is looking to be a career year in his return to the AMA Pro Road Racing paddock in the 2011 season, having now won the first three events in the Daytona SportBike Championship Series.  After what started as an extremely controversial win in the Daytona 200 due to a combination of an extended red flag, tire problems for the entire Dunlop-supplied field, DiSalvo/ Team Latus' engine switch-out during the red flag, and the eventual 15-lap sprint race that turned the race into the Daytona 147, the 27-year-old that calls New York State his home showed up at Infineon Raceway with his potent Team Latus Motors Racing Ducati 848 EVO ready to show what he is capable of on a real race track. 
And show he did, taking wins in both races over the weekend under varying circumstances, to put his stamp on what looks to be a Ducati stronghold for the series in the 2011 season.  In Saturday's race one action, DiSalvo jumped to the lead from the pole spot, only to be challenged by Jake Holden on the #59 Roberson/Holden Racing Ducati 848 EVO.  Holden made a choke move that put him in the grass and he fought for the next 18 laps to get back to the front. 
From there DiSalvo jetted home with virtually no problems to win over Holden by 7.623 seconds after Jake came back from his off-track excursion to ride like a man possessed.  Danny Eslick, the '09 AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Champion, fought hard all race long to cruise home third on his #69 Richie Morris Racing Suzuki GSX-R600, 23.255 seconds back of DiSalvo and just 1.918 seconds ahead of 4th place man P.J. Jacobsen on the #9 Celtic/Ferracci Ducati. 
Race two action on Sunday saw DiSalvo have to work a little harder, or at least appear so, by fighting with early leader Josh Herrin on the #8 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R6.  But DiSalvo went wide and dropped a few spots, only to fight his way back through the field to finish 4.534 seconds ahead of Eslick and 14.143 seconds over Herrin, while leading the most laps in the 22 lap race.  Jacobsen again finished 4th in race two, 17.303 seconds in arrears.  Unfortunately, Holden crashed out early in race two or things may very well have turned out different for all with the way he rode all weekend.
DiSalvo and the Team Latus Motors Racing Ducati team now head to Miller Motorsports Park for round three over the Memorial Day Weekend with a 37 point lead over Cory West on the Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600, 93-56.  Eslick sits third in the championship with 46 points, three races and two rounds into the 2011 season with plenty of racing to go. 

Scuttlebutt heard around the internet and race reports over the weekend is the possibility of AMA Pro Road Racing putting some extra weight on the Ducati's to help level the playing field for what is starting to look like a runaway this year in the Daytona SportBike Series.  Many are comparing it to Eslick's season in 2009 aboard the Buell 1125R in the same class.  With DiSalvo having been away from the paddock for a couple of years in AMA Pro Road Racing it might not matter even if they tied an anchor to his Duc 848, the man is definitely on a mission, and it's great to see him running so well.  Of course, we don't want the season over in the middle of summer with a runaway by anyone. 

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

SONOMA, CA (May 16, 2011) - 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. Beaubier, 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.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson

AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series Infineon Raceway podium featuring double event winner Jason DiSalvo.  AMA Pro Road Racing photo by Brian J. Nelson.

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

To learn more and be a part of AMA Pro Racing, please visit and join us via,, and
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at .

For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,

Round 2 Race Report: AMA Pro Daytona SportBike, Race 1

SONOMA, CA (March 15, 2011) - Team Latus Motors Racing's Jason DiSalvo took his second consecutive 2011 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike win Saturday, but for many fans and spectators, the hero of the twenty-two laps was second-place finisher Jake Holden. Holden, who began the 2011 season with an East Coast-based team, showed up at Infineon Raceway's Round 2 under the Jake Holden Racing banner, a grassroots-funded effort supported mainly by friends, family, and small, individual sponsors.

"We're little under-funded," said Holden, after taking Friday's provisional pole, "but I've got some great friends and sponsors. I'm living a dream. I get emotional thinking about how everyone is helping."

Race fans shared in that emotion Saturday, as Holden started the race by putting an immediate pass on then-second Danny Eslick (GEICO Powersports RMR Suzuki) and setting out after DiSalvo, refusing to be shaken from the latter's rear wheel as the two built a steadily increasing gap on the rest of the field. While a ten-bike freight train snaked through the turns behind them, Holden repeatedly tried the inside and outside of DiSalvo's every turn, until a mistake sent him into the grass at Turn 4 with more than half the race remaining.

Having stayed upright, Holden blended back into the field in seventh and began methodically picking off the riders ahead, first dispatching GP Bike Parts Racing's Cameron Beaubier and Vesrah Suzuki's Cory West, then Y.E.S./Pat Clark/Graves Motorsports' Tommy Aquino, and Celtic Racing/Fast by Ferracci's PJ Jacobsen. The next in line-Danny Eslick-put up significantly more of a fight, but in the end was left in the dust as Holden dove around the outside and put three bike-lengths on the GEICO rider before Eslick had a chance to react.

DiSalvo, at this point, was a full eight seconds ahead of second place, but with Holden laying down blazingly quick laps and eleven laps still remaining, the math pointed to the possibility of a dramatic last few laps.

As the laps ticked down, so too did the gap under Holden's unrelenting assault. DiSalvo's lead narrowed from eight seconds to just a few tenths over four seconds in a handful of laps, but there DiSalvo was able to stop Holden's charge, ramping up his own laptimes enough to maintain the cushion. Though Holden eventually had to cede to the value of a second-place finish vs. throwing it all away, the hard riding had carried the pair a whopping 15.6 seconds ahead of third-place Eslick by the finish.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson

AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series race action featuring winner Jason DiSalvo on the #40 Team Latus Motors Ducati 848 EVO leading runner-up Jake Holden on the #59 Roberson Racing/Holden Motorsports Ducati 848 EVO in race one action at Infineon Raceway.  AMA Pro Road Racing photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Eslick, 3rd: "I got a good launch right from the get-go and settled into second, then Jake went by. I had those guys to chase for the first few laps ... but that was a tough race; once those guys took off, it was pretty much uneventful. Hats off to those guys, they rode a heck of a race. I think I might need a twelve-gauge with a three-and-a-half-inch magnum to catch these ducks."

Holden, 2nd: [Going off-track] was just a stupid mistake. I got a little too close to Jason trying to settle in with him maybe get a rhythm going; got too close and ran wide. I got back on, but by that point I was pretty pissed off at myself because my crew working so hard to get this program together and I didn't want to let them down. So I just put my head down and went, didn't really pay attention to anything. [Finishing second] is great; I mean, we would have liked to win, but second place is good, and I think it's well-deserved for our team. I'm just a small piece of this puzzle; everybody from management to friends from the Northwest have helped out and made this successful."

DiSalvo, 1st: "At the beginning I felt like we were running a pretty good pace.... I was just trying to run a pace I could run for 22 laps. I think I know the lap that Jake ran off, because I could hear his bike behind me-it got real loud, and then it went away. Once that happened, that reflected immediately on my pit board, so knew I had a big gap. I kind of put my head down for a couple laps, extended it out to six seconds, then let up for a little bit and just started managing the gap that we had. Then all of a sudden it started to shrink, rather quickly. I looked over and saw Jake was in second ... all I knew is that I needed to ride harder. I put my head down and was able to keep Jake at bay and keep the gap pretty solid, but I definitely think tomorrow's going to be a dog fight again."

For tickets to or information about today's Round 2, Day 2, at Infineon Raceway, visit To learn more and be a part of AMA Pro Racing, please visit  and join us via,, and

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at

For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,

Race reports from Infineon Raceway round two of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series Championship.

Here's the race report on race two action for the AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series at the West Coast Moto Jam held over the weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA.  Thanks to Henny Ray Abrams at Cycle for the great coverage:

And again thanks go out to Henny Ray Abrams at Cycle for coverage of race one action in the AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series at Infineon Raceway from this last weekend:


Here is the list of complete results for the AMA Pro Road Racing West Coast Moto Jam held at Infineon Raceway over the weekend for the AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series races.

AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series race one results (standard version):

DSB race one results (PDF version):

AMA Pro Road Racing Daytona SportBike Series race two results (standard version):

DSB race two results (PDF version):


Here's a mix of some great shots from Saturday's races at Infineon Raceway thanks to Dean Adams' and keen photographer Tim Huntington:

And here are some shots of Sunday's races at Infineon Raceway, again thanks to Dean and Tim at

Video highlights courtesy of

DSB Infineon race two:

DSB Infineon race one:

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