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Danny Eslick Makes History with 2009 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Win in California.
Danny Eslick turned in a dominating performance in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL race on the No. 9 Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing/RMR Buell 1125R and gave the American-made manufacturer its first major victory in international motorcycle racing competition.
Eslick qualified second behind polesitter Jamie Hacking (No. 88 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R) but quickly took control of the race at the start and never looked back. He led all 21 laps and his winning margin of victory of 2.510 seconds was one of the smallest gaps of the race, but only because Eslick road a wheelie across the start/finish line.
"I was all by myself," Eslick said. "I kept waiting for Jamie and these guys to come up and move me out of the way but fortunately the Bruce Rossmeyer’s/RMR Racing Buell 1125R just kept us up there. To celebrate I just did a big wheelie all the way down the front straightaway. It was awesome, the Dunlop tires were working great the whole race. It was just unbelievable."
Eslick joined the Rossmeyer/RMR team just weeks before the start of the season.
"Three weeks before Daytona I got a phone call asking if I wanted to ride it and I said ‘Hell yeah, I want to ride it,’" Eslick said. "From here on out it’s been good and it’s the first win for Buell and Bruce Rossmeyer’s/RMR Buell team and everybody involved. All we can do is go forward from here."
Hacking fell as low as sixth but battled with eventual third-place finisher Martin Cardenas (No. 36 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600) and several other top riders to finish second.
"I had a blast, it was unbelievable," Hacking said. "My race was pretty much uneventful, just battling back there with everybody and trying to finish as high as possible as we could. Toward the end, the guys ahead of me got in there and bumped each other around and I just snuck up the inside, managed to put in some good laps and finished second."
Cardenas was in second with three laps to go and held on to the final podium spot despite getting passed by Hacking.
"It was a good race, very tough," said Cardenas. "I started in 10th and began working my way up and it was tough passing all those guys, then they would pass me back again. I thought that I could finish second but two laps from the end Hacking passed me again and I couldn’t do anything from then on. I tried my hardest, but it wasn’t possible today so we’ll see tomorrow."
The historic win for Eslick and Buell was part of a strong run of parity in Saturday’s Daytona SportBike race. The three different motorcycles in the top three were part of an overall run of six different bikes in the top eight finishers. The top trio of Buell, Kawasaki and Suzuki were joined by the Honda CBR600RR, Yamaha YZF-R1 and Aprilia RSV1000R.
Auto Club Speedway race two for AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL is Sunday at 2:30 p.m. local time.