From the drop of the green flag until the last lap, the opening round of the 2010 AMA Pro Racing SuperSport Championship provided non-stop action during the opening day of racing during the Daytona 200 Week. AMA Pro Racing rookie Cameron Beaubier took his first victory by an amazing 0.001 of a second, just beating Joey Pascarella as they battled side by side all the way to the finish line.
Also taking advantage of the furious drafting on the final lap was Jake Gagne who took third, setting an all-Yamaha YZF-R6 podium in the kick-off race for the 2010 AMA Pro Road Racing season at Daytona International Speedway.
Under clear but cool conditions, the field was led by Pascarella, J.D. Beach, Beaubier and Gagne. Tomas Puerta, Hunter Nash, Elana Myers and Daniel Guevara made up the second row and all soon joined in a seven-bike train after the start. Pascarella fell back momentarily but by the end of lap one he was back into the lead. A furious battle then continued as Pascarella, Beach and Beaubier swapped the lead back and forth. Lap after lap, one would be leading as they crossed the start-finish line and another would take the lead going into turn one under fierce braking.
On lap four, with with the lead pack in a tight draft, Beach shot into the lead and looked like a real contender for the win. Puerta got a huge draft and took the lead on lap eight, leading until Pascarella regained the top spot while the group literally battled inches apart on the high banks of Daytona.
By lap 10, the first five started to break away from the pack as Myers and Guevara continued their impressive runs just behind the lead group. On the penultimate lap, Gagne missed the chicane and drove through with no gain or loss of position, rejoining the battle as the group ran back up the banking into the tri-oval for the last lap. Pascarella dove into the lead going into the last lap, and he and Beaubier fought it out.
As they came into sight of the finish line, the duo were side by side for a photo finish. Each thought that the other had won and ultimately, the margin of victory for Beaubier was 0.001 seconds, the closest finish in the history of AMA Pro Racing. Review of the high-speed photo finish camera system showed what appeared to be less than two inches difference.
Joyous in victory lane, Beaubier’s was still amazed that he had earned his first AMA Pro Racing victory. Pascarella was gracious in defeat, losing by 0.001 of a second isn’t all bad and he has every right to be pleased with his performance after starting from pole position. Gagne also took advantage of the draft and took a well deserved third place, a testament to his perseverance after his miscue in the chicane.
Beach took fourth followed by Puerta, Huntley Nash and an excellent sixth place for Elena Myers on her Suzuki GSX-R600. The first five riders were all on Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycles.
A great start to the 2010 season and for the AMA Pro SuperSport class, Friday is sure to see another exciting race on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway. Highlights from both SuperSport races can be seen during the AMA Pro American SuperBike presented by National Guard broadcasts on SPEED this Saturday night.