After months of preparation leading up to the opening race of the 2011 AMA Superbike series, four riders went down before the 24-rider grid could even make it around the 2.9-mile Daytona course for the first time.
The first two to go down on lap 1 were the BMW S1000RR superbikes ridden by Iron horse BMW’s Chris Peris and Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram.
Then, the Australian rider Chris Trounson aboard the ADR Fly Racing GSX-R1000 collided with Cycle World Attack Kawasaki’s Eric Bostrom, sending both riders to the pavement.
This first-lap melee brought out the red flag, causing a restart. All four riders remounted, Eric Bostrom on a B bike.
When the lights went out for the second start of Race 1 in Daytona, it was the man on the pole that got the holeshot, charging his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 to the front, immediately placing over a half-second on the field behind.
Josh Hayes was followed by Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammates Blake Young and Tommy Hayden. Also getting a great start was the No. 54 Natiaonal Guard Michael Jordan Suzuki rider Roger Hayden, who was right behind his brother Tommy. Roger’s teammate Ben Bostrom was also in tow in fifth.
But by the end of lap 2, these top five riders were evenly spaced. This order up top remained for the first half of the 15-lap race, until Young and Tommy Hayden passed Hayes.
The three-way battle went on till the very end, with Hayes getting into first a few times before the last lap. Before the finish line, Young and Hayden went nose to nose towards, but Young took the win by 0.26 of a second. Hayes finished ??? behind Hayden. Taking the fourth and fifth was ???, respectively.
Blake Young (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000) says: "It feels fantastic to end last year the way we did and get the win today. The race started out pretty good for me, Josh jumped out there and set up a really good pace, and in all it was really good.
"I just really wanted to try to get a feel for how fast everybody’s motorcycle was around the banking; I didn’t know if Tommy was back there or not, but when he did come by with about five to go I just said, ‘Here we go, let’s see what he’s got,’ and the race played out the way it did.
"I came out of the chicane on the last lap and thought to myself, ‘I really lost this thing’ because I thought Josh was far out enough to give Tommy a really good tow. Tommy rode really good…. I tried to come around but it was really surprising-a big gust of wind hit the front to of my bike like a wall, but when I gave way a little bit it seemed like bike started going forward again, and I won."
Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000) says: "Obviously it’s a good solid start to the season, a lot better than starting on the ground or a DNF, but when you’re right there and you feel like you have a good chance, it’s frustrating to lose a close one.
"But like I said, the bike was good, I was in a good position, and it could have easily went either way. I try not to get too bummed out about it because it’s just the nature of the track. I don’t know what I could have done different…. I think about some things, but you never know how it’s going to turn out [here].
"When you come off NASCAR 4 there, you just get in the best position and hope for the best. I just didn’t time the draft real well, and even if I had-sitting second with Blake behind me on the same motorcycle-it would have been a hard thing to beat.
Josh Hayes (Graves Yamaha YZF-R1) says: "I got to the front, but I don’t know how much of a gap I ever had at any time. It’s just really hard to put together perfect laps, and I knew if I didn’t do that, these guys as a group were going to run me back down. I probably got a little complacent because I made it from the chicane to the start-finish line so many times.
"Then when they caught up to me I kind of got a second wind and started to ride a little better, and I knew my best chance was if I could do it just right, I could maybe win it from the front. Tommy’s mistake was kind of a gift, since I was going to find my way to the front anyway if I could. I knew it was kind of a gamble, but … last year I would have done just about anything for this position, so I’m happy with that.
"You don’t hear them [coming], but you definitely feel it. In fact, I couldn’t believe how much my bodywork was moving around in the draft, probably two inches from side to side. It’s incredibly powerful when you get in there with a bunch of guys, but it’s exciting racing-that’s Daytona."
2011 AMA Superbike: Daytona Race 1 Results:
|1.||79||Blake Young||Rockstar ·Makita ·Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||15 Laps||WINNER||1:38.083||0|
|2.||22||Tommy Hayden||Rockstar ·Makita ·Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||0.026||0.026||1:38.167||0|
|3.||1||Josh Hayes||Monster Energy Graves Yamaha||Yamaha R1||0.051||0.025||1:38.377||0|
|4.||23||Ben Bostrom||Jordan Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||0.502||0.450||1:37.657||0|
|5.||54||Roger Hayden||National Guard||Suzuki GSX-R1000||2.664||2.161||1:38.022||0|
|6.||36||Martin Cardenas||M4 Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||14.423||11.759||1:39.132||0|
|7.||72||Larry Pegram||Foremost Insurance ·Pegram Racing||BMW S1000RR||26.669||12.245||1:39.400||0|
|8.||57||Jeremy Toye||San Diego BMW Racing Powered by Lees Cycle||BMW S1000RR||32.795||6.126||1:39.675||0|
|9.||18||Chris Ulrich||M4 Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||40.617||7.822||1:40.550||0|
|10.||25||David Anthony||ADR Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||44.109||3.491||1:40.674||0|
|11.||2||Chris Clark||Yamaha Extended Service, Pat Clark Sports, Graves, Yamaha||Yamaha R1||59.294||15.185||1:41.655||0|
|12.||64||Shane Narbonne||DASPerformance.com||Suzuki GSX-R1000||59.686||0.392||1:41.570||0|
|13.||9||Eric Haugo||Viking Moto||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:21.501||21.815||1:43.066||0|
|14.||33||Jordan Burgess||ADR Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:22.033||0.531||1:43.304||0|
|15.||41||Eric Pinson||Go 4 One||BMW S1000RR||1:35.751||13.718||1:43.821||0|
|16.||74||Bostjan Skubic||Inotherm Yamaha Racing Team Slovenia||Yamaha R1||1:36.610||0.859||1:44.007||0|
|17.||46||Jeffrey Lampe||Kissimmee Motorsports Kawasaki||Kawasaki ZX-10||1:36.644||0.034||1:43.471||0|
|18.||12||Trent Gibson||Seven Sports||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1:37.331||0.686||1:43.724||0|
|19.||269||Johnny Rock Page||ADR Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||6 Laps||9 Laps||1:44.612||0|
|20.||99||Geoff May||Erik Buell Racing||Buell 1125R||4 Laps||2 Laps||1:44.506||0|
|21.||63||Skip Salenius||Run 1 Racing Motorsports||Yamaha R1||59.165||59.165||1:45.422||0|
|22.||8||Chris Peris||Team Iron Horse BMW ·ESP||BMW S1000RR||DNF||DNF||-no times-||0|
|23.||10||Eric Bostrom||Cycle World Attack Performance||Kawasaki ZX-10||DNF||DNF||-no times-||0|
|24.||26||Chris Trounson||ADR Fly Racing||Suzuki GSX-R1000||DNF||DNF||-no times-||0|