For the second-straight year, Geoff May has earned the pole position for the Daytona 200. The 35-year-old Georgian earned the pole for the 75th running of the Daytona 200 aboard the Project Mayday/Sportbike Track Time Yamaha YZF-R6 donning Dunlop tires.His best time around the 3.51-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway was a 1:50.627 with an average speed of 114.222 mph.
Joining Mays on the front row ahead of Saturday’s Daytona 200 are two additional Yamaha R6 pilots – Michael Barnes (1.50.621/114.083) and Stefano Mesa (1.50.810/114.033), both from Boca Raton, Florida.Last year at the 2015 Daytona 200, May finished third behind Yamaha’s Josh Herrin and the winner, Suzuki’s Danny Eslick; as for Danny, he was suspended from this year’s Daytona 200 due to an assault incident downtown during Daytona Bike Week.Speaking of his pole, which was earned during the Friday morning qualifying session, May says: “It was polar opposites, last year and this year. Last year we did everything right. We staged it, got out there with a dancing partner, got a heckuva draft and just pulled it off. This year we filled the tank up, went out and just kept running. Honestly, this time I just got lucky to be honest.”Barnes also commented: “With a 200-mile race it’s really just about getting into the show. I didn’t plan on trying as hard as I did that session but I kind of got caught up in the excitement. I didn’t find any dancing partners out there, do I didn’t have any big drafts. That just makes me more confident that we have a strong, strong [bike] for the race.”All together, 48 riders have qualified to race at Daytona; following are the top 10:
2016 Daytona 200 Qualifying, Top 10
1. Geoff May, Yamaha YZF-R6 2. Michael Barnes, Yamaha YZF-R6 3. Stefano Mesa, Yamaha YZF-R6 4. Shane Narbonne, Yamaha YZF-R6 5. Wyatt Farris, Yamaha YZF-R6 6. Cory West, Honda CBR600R 7. Jason Farrell, Kawasaki ZX-6R 8. Mark Heckles, Yamahaa YZF-R6 9. Barrett Long, Ducati 848EVO 10. Bruno Silva, Yamaha YZF-R6Catch the Daytona 200 LiveThough there’s no TV coverage, FansChoice.TV will broadcast the 2016 Daytona 200 live; the race goes green at 1 p.m. ET.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!