2011 AMA SportBike
GEICO Suzuki rider Danny Eslick knew he had some catching up to do at this weekend’s West Coast Moto Jam and the 2009 Daytona SportBike champion delivered with a pair of podium finishes highlighted by Sunday’s runner-up result at Infineon Raceway.
A third-place finisher in Saturday’s Sportbike race, Eslick and the rest of the pros had to deal with a light rain at the beginning of Sunday’s 22-lap race.
The Oklahoman shook off the cold drizzle and was one of the early SportBike leaders until the rain picked up and officials were forced to halt the proceedings.
Danny Eslick (GEICO Suzuki GSX-R600 SportBike) says: “We got off well and everyone kind of settled in. I felt good but then the rain really started coming down. They came out with the red flag and I pretty much agreed with it because this is not a track to mess with. There are places where you can get into some serious trouble so I think they made a good call by stopping the race when they did.”
After a 20-minute rain delay and some expert work by the safety crew, the Infineon track was deemed ready for action.
Eslick was quick again on the restart and battled leader Jason DiSalvo for the top spot for most of the remainder of the race, a nice change of pace from Saturday’s SportBike race where DiSalvo raced away for an easy victory. In the end, DiSalvo took the checkered flag with Eslick crossing four seconds later.
Danny Eslick says: “After the restart we all kind of fell back into the same place as when we stopped. We were going back and forth, running around and trying to figure out where we were all going. It was a lot of fun because yesterday was a pretty boring race for me since I was by myself for most of it.”
As the defending Sportbike event champion, Eslick really wanted to earn back-to-back victories in the Wine Country but DiSalvo was simply too sharp this weekend.
Danny Eslick says: “It was nice to throw a little bit of excitement in there. We just didn’t have anything for Jason. He’s riding well and their bike is working well for them. It was all we could do to hang in there. I felt I had him a couple times but it just didn’t happen for us this race.”
The Richie Morris Racing crew made a few adjustments to Eslick’s GEICO Suzuki before Sunday’s race. Eslick credits them and the fact he felt more comfortable on the track for his improved finish.
Danny Eslick says: “We made a few changes. Plus I think I just rode better. I was able to keep him in site all day and it always pushes you harder when you have a carrot to chase.”
After a DNF at the season opener in Daytona, Fla., which left him with zero points, Eslick jumped all the way up to third place in the championship chase with his impressive weekend in the Wine Country.
Danny Eslick says: “It’s going to be a very competitive season. It’s always tough racing these guys, no matter where we are. I’m just glad we doubled up on the podium, it really helped us with in the points but we still have a lot of making up to do.”
The next round of AMA Daytona SportBike racing will take place May 28-30 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.