2011 AMA Pro Racing
GEICO riders Danny Elsick and Chris Fillmore are so close to winning AMA Road Racing titles they can almost taste the champagne, but neither pro is quite ready to celebrate on the eve of the final race of the year.
Eslick currently holds a 45-point lead over Monster Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin in the Daytona SportBike class.
Danny Eslick (GEICO Suzuki GSX-R 600) says: “Everyone’s been telling me ‘Congratulations’ and sending me e-mails saying ‘Way to go,’ and I’m like, ‘Hold on, I haven’t won anything yet.’ I’m not taking anything for granted. We still have two races left and anything can happen.”
Eslick’s edge over Herrin is far more comfortable than the one Fillmore has over Steve Rapp in the AMA Vance & Hines XR1200 class, which stands at 12 points. But Fillmore only races his Harley-Davidson once this weekend. The most points a rider can earn in a single race is 32.
Chris Fillmore (Harley XR1200) says: “I have never been in this position before so its kind of going to be a learning experience for me,” Fillmore said. “On the one hand you think maybe you should ride defensive and just play it safe. But then you think that the way you’ve been riding all year is what got you into this position so you don’t want to change that.
“Once I pull that helmet on I’m probably going to try my hardest to win. If I do that, nothing else matters. I’ve done my best riding when I’m out front; that’s the way we’ve won four races, so I’ll probably go for it.”
Should Eslick win, it would be the third title in a row for the Oklahoman. He captured the SportBike crown in 2009 and followed that up by winning the XR1200 class in 2010, while also taking second in SportBike. He started this year with a spectacular wreck and a DNF at the Daytona 200 but has come on strong since then, winning three times and finishing on the podium at eight races.
Fillmore, who hails from Michigan, has four victories and has finished on the podium in all but one race. Rapp is the only racer with a chance to catch him.
Also riding for GEICO and Richie Morris Racing this weekend will be Kyle Wyman and Michael Corbino, who ride identical Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing/Revolution Performance machines in the XR1200 class. Wyman enters the final race in fifth place with one win in two podium finishes, while Corbino holds down seventh. Corbino hasn’t reached the podium but has finished in the top 10 at every event.