Daytona Sportbike: Friday Road Atlanta

AMA Sportbike Road Atlanta

Today, a rider broke a run of bad luck and hopefully put his season back on track where it belongs. Team Graves Yamaha rider Tommy Aquino has had a number of unfortunate setbacks in the early part of the 2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL season.

But he hasn’t let it dampen his or his team’s spirits and today, he showed why he is one of the most highly regarded riders in the sport by putting his Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 on provisional pole position with a time of 1:29.497/102.574 MPH for the Road Atlanta AMA Pro Daytona SportBike doubleheader race weekend.

Showing the strength of Team Graves Yamaha, Daytona 200 and Daytona SportBike points leader Josh Herrin showed good speed right off the bat during the morning practice and continued the trend with a solid second position running. Third up was Martin Cardenas, who captured his first AMA Pro Racing win here last year on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki.

Local team Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha gave the Georgia fans something to cheer about (as did Dublin, GA’s Herrin) as Clinton Seller jumped up the time sheets on his 17th lap of the 50 minute qualifying session to take fourth. Fifth was Seller’s Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha teammate Dane Westby, followed by Steve Rapp, who continues his strong 2010 form on his Team Latus Motors Racing Ducati.

Vesrah Suzuki rider Cory West was next up in seventh ahead of Daytona 200 pole sitter Danny Eslick riding his GEICO Powersports Richie Morris Racing Suzuki. Also continuing his steady progression up the charts is DNA Energy Drink CNR Motorsports Ducati rider Bobby Fong, who ran quick in practice but slipped to ninth in qualifying.

Rounding out the top ten was Chris Fillmore on the second Vesrah Suzuki. Local favorite and Gainesville rider Geoff May also had a solid day on his GMR Suzuki, finishing up 12th.

Aquino, who likes the flow and rhythm of the 2.56-mile Road Atlanta permanent road course looks forward to tomorrow’s final qualifying session and race one of two on this double header Road Atlanta Suzuki SuperBike Showdown weekend.

Flag-to-flag coverage of this weekend’s AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL doubleheader can be in seen in same-day delay broadcasts Saturday and Sunday evenings on SPEED. Check your local listings for broadcast times.

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).