A runner-up to the AMA GoPro Daytona SportBike championship in 2012, rising star Dane Westby arrives at the 72nd annual Daytona 200 intent on making a statement on his brand-new GEICO Honda CBR600 RR.Westby and team owner Chris Ulrich are fashioning a bit of road racing history this weekend as they bring Honda back into the paddock for the first time since 2009.After a career season where he won a race and reached the podium 10 times on a Suzuki, Westby understands the trepidation most people have about Honda’s return, but off-season testing already has allayed all of his fears.Dane Westby (GEICO Honda CBR600RR SportBike) says: “My questions were answered after about three laps. I love the motorcycle. I was out there riding and just settled in right away. It was like, ‘all right cool. It’s going to be good.’ I mean, it’s a Honda. It’s what we all expect.“This crew worked so hard and everyone gets along so well that it has made this transition very easy. There was a lot to do but they handled it like pros. I know that everyone is questioning why we made the switch but I believe they’ll get an idea of how we’re going to run this year in Daytona. We are ready for this fight.”A track day at JenningsGP in North Florida Monday yielded impressive lap times, many of which were considerably quicker than Westby posted on last year’s bike.Dane Westby says: “I was half a second quicker right out of the trailer. There were no SportBikes there but the KTM Superbikes were on track and I was able to run around with them. The CBR600 was just silky smooth. It’s so easy to ride. I can’t wait for Thursday to get here so I can get out there with everyone else.Chris Ulrich says: “We had good tests and our level of confidence is high. We’re all very excited to start this new adventure with Honda. Many of the guys on this team got their starts with Honda so this was familiar territory for them. Everyone is pumped up about this season.”Aside from the new equipment, Westby has accepted the pressure of representing a company as large as GEICO, which has fielded road racing champions for four straight seasons. GEICO also serves as title sponsor to the entire AMA Road Racing Series.Dane Westby says: “I know how big this is for my career and how important this race team is for the entire series. I’m meeting the challenge head-on and I’m really excited and honored that I’ll be carrying the GEICO flag this year and beyond.”The Daytona SportBike class will begin practicing for the 200 with two sessions at 12 and 3:55 p.m., Thursday. Qualifying rounds are scheduled for 8:45 a.m. and 1:10 p.m., Friday, with the 200 slated to start at 1 p.m., Saturday. SPEED TV will air the event in its entirety.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends, the weekly podcast brought to you by Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by Yamaha. You can check out the amazing YZF-R7 at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com. The YZF-R7 is an amazing supersport machine that is comfortable too!
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams takes the smallest BMW ADV bike on an urban adventure in Los Angeles. The BMW G 310 GS is a full size motorcycle with a modest engine, so of course we wonder if it is a little too underpowered and might struggle. Don put it through its paces and gives us his take.
In the second segment, Neale Bayly and Kiran Ridley have returned from the Ukraine to Paris where Kiran is based.
Kiran is an award winning photojournalist, and as an accomplished documentarian, he has covered stories as diverse as drug smuggling around the Mexican border, to the devastation of the Australian Bush Fires, to the tragedy of the Mediterranean migration crisis. Neale and Kiran reminisce about their motorcycle adventure in the Ukraine, and their observations and experiences with the incredibly resilient people of Ukraine, who have been put through such brutal hardship.