During the 2016 Daytona 200, age was a factor, considering the iconic endurance race was in its 75th running. But age also played a huge part in the winner.At 47-years old, Michael Barnes piloted his Pirelli-shod Palm Beach Police Foundation/Prieto Performance Yamaha YZF-R6 to victory. The Boca Raton, Fla., rider, became the oldest rider to ever win the Daytona 200.
Barnes, who came out of retirement after the 2014 AMA Pro Racing season, beat the record of oldest rider to win the Daytona 200, the former being Dick Mann, who won in 1971 at the age of 36.Barnes, who completed his 13th entry into the Daytona 200, was joined on the podium by pole sitter Geoff May and Wyatt Ferris, both also on a Yamaha R6. As for the man who won the past two Daytona 200 races, Danny Eslick was suspended from the race after getting arrested on Main Street during the equally iconic Daytona Bike Week.After securing his Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch, Barnes said: “I’m kind of speechless and fumbling for words,” said a tearful Barnes during Gatorade Victory Lane ceremonies. “All of the people who helped me … you know who you are. I just can’t thank everybody enough. This one is for quite a few people.”As for the 36-year-old May aboard his Project Mayday/Sportbike Track Time Yamaha YZF-R6 donning Dunlop tires, who took his second-consecutive pole at the Daytona 200, he finished 10.084 seconds behind Barnes: “It’s awesome for him to come out of retirement and put a whuppin’ on all of us,” May said. “‘Barney’ had the pace today; he was getting after it.”Rounding out the top eight were all Yamaha R6 pilots: Shane Narbonne, Bostjan Skubic, Stefano Mesa, Bruao Silva and Marke Heckles. Ryan Jones finished ninth aboard a Kawasaki ZX-6R, followed by yet another Yamaha YZF-R6 pilot Darren James.The AMA reports that John Ashmead of Palm City, Fla., set a DAYTONA 200 By Victory record for career miles completed. Ashmead finished 20th in the event on a Kawasaki, running 53 laps, in the process breaking the record previously held by Ricky Orlando. Prior to the race, Ashmead participated in a well-received fan autograph session with two all-time greats: five-time DAYTONA 200 By Victory champion Scott Russell and three-time champion Dick Klamfoth.“I took it real easy in the beginning of the race, didn’t want to take any chances and fall off or get hit by somebody,” Ashmead said. “[Later] I got on the gas. I had a great ride.”Arthur Kowitz of Ormond Beach, at the age of 66 believed to be the oldest rider in the event’s history, finished 41st on a Yamaha, completing 41 laps.“I did pretty well [although] we had an electrical problem in the middle of the race that stranded me on the backstretch,” Kowitz said. “I had to push the bike back from the chicane to the pickup spot, and that put me back a bit. But when I got back on the bike it didn’t take long to get back in the groove.”
2016 Daytona 200 Results, Top 10:
1. Michael Barnes Yamaha YZF-R6, best time: 1:50.791 2. Geoff May, Yamaha YZF-R6 3. Wyatt Farris, Yamaha YZF-R6 4. Shane Narbonne, Yamaha YZF-R6) 5. Bostjan Skubic, Yamaha YZF-R6) 6. Stefano Mesa, Yamaha YZF-R6 7. Bruno Silva, Yamaha YZF-R6 8. Mark Heckles, Yamaha YZF-R6 9. Ryan Jones, Kawasaki ZX-6R 10. Darren James, Yamaha YZF-R6
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.