AMA XR1200 Report
The first practice round of the inaugural AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Motorcycle Racing Series season kicked off at 2:50 p.m. local time Friday, during the first day of competition for the Suzuki SuperBike Doubleheader weekend at Road America.
AMA Pro Daytona SportBike points leader Danny Eslick showed his confidence aboard the big-bore machine by topping the practice charts with a time of 2:40.310 (90.904 mph) around the 4.05-mile natural road course.
Danny Eslick says: "I hadn’t ridden one until this weekend so I didn’t know what to expect but it was super fun," said Eslick. "I had a blast riding around out there with Jake [Holden]. The whole time I had a big smile on my face just sliding that thing around."
The reigning Daytona SportBike champion has had a busy week, competing in last weekend’s AMA Pro Flat Track Springfield TT event and doing double duty this weekend by racing in both the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL division and the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series, but the Oklahoman clearly enjoys the extra work.
"I’ve been riding a Harley on the street so I’m used to it," Eslick commented on the Harley-Davidson XR1200. "I think the trick is not getting too tense and just letting it do its thing."
Regular National Guard American SuperBike competitor Jake Holden is also wearing multiple hats this weekend and turned the second fastest time of the XR1200 practice session at 2:42.050 (89.928 mph).
In addition to turning laps on the Harley-Davidson XR1200, Holden is also riding the No. 3 M4 Monster Energy Suzuki in SuperBike in place of John Hopkins, who is recovering from wrist surgery.
Third fastest was Travis Wyman, who posted a time of 2:43.198 (89.925 mph) with his brother Kyle Wyman right on his tail, the older brother posting the fourth fastest time of the session at 2:43.515 (89.122 mph).
Local riders Shawn Conrad, of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., Paul James, of Waukesha, Wis., and Aaron Frank, of Milwaukee, Wis., all showed constant improvement, each lowering their laptimes over the course of the session as they worked out the kinks in the new race machines.
The first qualifying session for the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series begins at 8:40 a.m. local time tomorrow, with final qualifying scheduled for 4:50 p.m. Sunday will see a rider autograph session at 10:50 a.m., a fan grid walk at 11:30 a.m. and the inaugural XR1200 Series race beginning at 12:30 p.m.
SPEED will be broadcasting highlights of the race in same-weekend coverage.