AMA Daytona SportbikeTo say GEICO Suzuki rider Danny Eslick is looking forward to this weekend’s season-opening Daytona 200 would be a huge understatement.
As the runner-up in last year’s AMA Daytona SportBike championship, Eslick feels as though it’s been far too long since he’s challenged for a trophy and he’s anxious to get back to racing. Danny Eslick says: "I’m ready to get going. It’s been a long offseason and I’m just looking forward to getting back on my bike and getting after it."The Oklahoman feels especially confident heading into the opening round in Daytona since his Richie Morris Racing team spent some time at the historic facility in the offseason.Danny Eslick says: "We’ve tested there and the bike felt pretty good. I’m just looking forward to the first race and hopefully getting through there without any problems and leaving with some good solid points."The 2009 Daytona SportBike champion isn’t letting any first race jitters get in the way of his goals for the season. He’s ready to run a great race at Daytona and hopefully set the tone for the year. Danny Eslick says: "It would be great to ride a solid race and get on the podium. I’ve had some great Daytona races in the past. I’d like to win it but I won’t be disappointed with anything on the podium. I’d like to leave Florida in the top three. That would be a great start to our season."The opening race at Daytona is different than any race of the season because it’s length requires teams to execute multiple pit stops to get through the race. This is a challenge Eslick recognizes but also appreciates because of the unique dynamic it creates within the team and between the riders.Danny Eslick says: "It’s the only race we have with pit stops so it throws a curve ball at everybody. It’s cool though, it’s definitely neat to have a long race. A lot can happen in 200 miles of racing."Eslick is hoping the marathon event will work in his favor. He believes his veteran crew will work well together in the pit stops.Danny Eslick says: "We haven’t won Daytona before but we’ve had some good finishes. We’ve had okay weekends here, but we’ve never been completely flawless. It would be nice to have one of those perfect weekends with good pit stops where we just click."Eslick’s goals may sound simple, but he knows they’re going to take a lot of work, and he’s ready to get started in Daytona. Danny Eslick says: "Daytona is a great place to kick off the season with it being bike week and everything. My goal is just to win races this season and I hope I am able to start that goal off right by running well here in Daytona."Riders will practice at noon and 3:55 p.m. Thursday, qualify at 8:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Friday, and race the Daytona 200 at 1:15 p.m. Saturday. SPEED TV will carry all of the action.