AMA Daytona Sportbike: New Jersey Preview
AMA Pro Racing
This year’s AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Presented by AMSOIL season has been a back and fourth battle between three of the sports most talented and personable stars.
Points leader and reigning Daytona SportBike Champion Danny Eslick is as fun and vibrant person as you’ll ever meet. He gushes with enthusiasm and energy and rides as if every lap is the last lap of qualifying.
Fun to watch and also to talk to, Danny is a pure racer through and through. And his three pole positions and two wins aboard his GEICO Powersports RMR Suzuki prove it.
In contrast to Eslick, Team Graves Yamaha rider Josh Herrin is quietly confident. When he speaks, one should listen because Josh says what he means and means what he says.
His riding speaks for itself and after winning the season opening Daytona 200, Josh has gone on to post four more wins. He is confident in his abilities and rightly so, he is not only fast as his two pole positions prove, he is also very resilient as well. Josh has the ability to respond to pressure and challenges and just when you think he is down, very quietly puts himself right back on the top of the podium.
The third member of the championship battle is the very charismatic Colombian rider Martin Cardenas. Martin had the championship in his hands last year but lost it at the last possible moment due to injury.
This year, Martin and his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki team have stamped their mark on the championship battle with a series high six wins.
Martin is very thoughtful and when it comes to his racing, he races with a high degree of intelligence. His racecraft is very impressive, he exhibits patience in the races but when it is time to go, he goes. He can make his charge from the middle of the pack or run up front, but when it counts, he’s always there and his six wins prove it.
Right behind these three are a number of riders that have featured heavily this season but with the exception of Bobby Fong who took his career first AMA Pro Racing win at the last race in Virginia, all have yet to post a race win in the ultra competitive Daytona SportBike series this year.
Leading this group is Steve Rapp. Steve has won the Daytona 200 and has other wins in other AMA Pro classes but he is yet to win in Daytona SportBike. And it’s not through lack of trying, Steve has four second place finishes and throw in another three third place results and you can see that Steve is knocking loudly on the race win door.
Steve and his close knit Team Latus Motors Ducati racing team have quietly gone about the business of racing from the very first race of the year, a win just has to be on the cards!
Cory West is another rider that has been a big part of the mix week in and week out. At the last race in Virginia, Cory ran right up front on his Vesrah Suzuki and he has put together a very solid season with second and third place finishes at Road Atlanta earlier in the year.
Herrin’s Team Graves Yamaha teammate Tommy Aquino is another rider who has been knocking on the door for a win. Tommy has taken the top qualifying spot three times this year and runs up front every weekend. He led again at the last race and one of these days he will grace the top step of the podium, he has too much talent not to.
P.J. Jacobson and his Celtic Racing Suzuki team are ready to break out too. He led the first lap and ran in the top five until an untimely fall ended his day in the first race at VIR and then rebounded nicely with a fourth place finish in the second race at VIR just two weeks ago.
Another important part of the upcoming AMA Pro Racing SuperBike Championship at New Jersey Motorsports Park is the effort being put into the weekend by Carrie Aquino, mother of the aforementioned Tommy Aquino.
Any fans signing up for the NJMP Fan Laps activity will make an important contribution to the Rett Syndrome Research Trust and be eligible to win some neat prizes including a signed Ben Bostrom Shoei X-Twelve B-Boz TC-8 Replica Helmet as worn by Ben Bostrom.
Of the $20.00 cost for the NJMP Fan Laps, $5.00 will be donated to the Rett Syndrome Research Trust. Please visit the New Jersey Motorsports Park website for further information (www.njmp.com) or stop by the NJMP Program Kiosk located in the racetrack paddock by the Media Center.
Practice and qualifying begin on Friday, Sept. 3. Don’t miss the weekend’s doubleheader races in the three AMA Pro Road Racing categories and also on Sunday, the exciting Vance & Hines XR1200 race featuring the legendary Harley-Davidson XR1200 motorcycles.
Fans are also invited to enjoy the Pit Lane Fan Walk and Autograph session on Saturday and Sunday. Please visit the New Jersey Motorsports Park website for the latest ticket and schedule information.