2011 Daytona 200: Jake Zemke on Pole

Daytona 200 Qualifying Results

While competing on the Michael Jordan Suzuki in the 2010 AMA Superbike series, Jake Zemke doubled at the round, giving the team their first official SBK class wins.

But when the rider’s shuffle began, and various contracts were getting signed for the 2011 American Superbike series, Zemke was left on the sidelines.

The 2006 Daytona 200 winner’s talent never went unnoticed, and soon a one-race deal was struck with the Project 1 Atlanta team. The Californian Zemke was set to pilot the No. 98 Yamaha YZF-R6 in the 70th Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway.

From the first few laps on the all-black, unsponsored Yamaha Zemke looked comfortable. This comfort soon turned into pure speed towards the end of qualifying for the Daytona 200, and Zemke found himself capturing the pole for the race, along with the desired Rolex watch.

Zemke posted a 1:49.775, averaging 95.103. His best lap time came near the end, and he just snagged the position from Jason DiSalvo on the Latus Team Ducati 848 EVO. Finishing the front row for the famed Daytona 200 on Saturday are GEICO RMR Suzuki’s Danny Eslick and Cycle World Attack Kawaski’s JD Beach.

Jake Zemke, winner of the 2006 Daytona 200, says: "That last lap kind of worked out well. It really didn’t feel overly special. I really didn’t think I got to a .50 flat. I thought Jason got the pole. I came around the signal area and saw my pit board and it said .49 and (position 1). I thought, ‘No way’ and then there’s the agony of riding around the last cool off lap looking at the board the whole time waiting to see who’s still out there. Luckily, it stuck."

Jason Disalvo says: "I’ve had Miguel (Duhamel) to do it to me twice. It’s not a new experience for me. Maybe we can win the race and I can make (last year’s pole winner) Danny (Eslick) an offer to buy his. It seems like that’s the only way I’m going to get one of those things."

Jake Zemke says: "It’s pretty nice to get that watch. It’s something that I definitely wanted for a long time. It feels good to get it. As good as it is to get the watch, the race is a little bit more important."

Since Project 1 has no factory support or sponsors, Zemke is hoping him and the team can follow the pole-winning strength of the R6 with a good performance in Saturday’s race; this may open the door for additional sponsorship so the team/Zemke can run for the rest of the season.

Jake Zemke says: "I’ll be happy when I get 100 percent out of the bike. I still haven’t got it yet. The bike is really good. Those guys have been working non-stop since January to get here today in March. We’re an unsponsored team with no money. We’re pretty happy to be here right now. It’s going to pay off dividends if we can do well in the 200. Hopefully that can bring us sponsorship to get us through the rest of the season."

2011 Daytona 200: Top 10 Qualifers:


1Jake ZemkePJ1 AtlantaYamaha1:49.775
2Jason DiSalvoTeam Latus Motors RacingDucati

848 EVO
3Danny EslickRichie Morris RacingSuzuki GSX-R6001:50.070
4JD BeachCycle World Attack PerformanceKawasaki ZX-6R1:50.912
5Eric BostromCycle World Attack PerformanceKawasaki ZX-6R1:51.304
6Jake holdenRoverson MotorsportsDucati

848 EVO
7Cory WestVesrah SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R6001:51.609
8Josh HerrinMonster Energy Graves YamahaYamaha YZF-R61:51.674
9PJ JacobsenCeltic RacingDucati

848 EVO
10Dane WestbyM4 SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R6001:52.129