Josh Herrin, currently the 2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike by AMSOIL championship points leader, will be heading back to a track where he won convincingly in 2009. The Suzuki White Lightning AMA Pro Nationals Presented by Foremost Insurance will take place this weekend at the picturesque Virginia International Raceway. The doubleheader Daytona SportBike races will be run this weekend, August 13 through 15 at the 2.25 mile natural terrain road course in Alton, Va.
Herrin won both races last year on his Team Graves Yamaha but had to withstand a late-race charge from his championship rival this year, Danny Eslick. Eslick, who rides the GEICO Powersports Suzuki, is just one point behind Herrin in his bid to repeat as Daytona SportBike Champion, and he loves the Virginia track.
"It is like a couple of our tracks where you have to be aggressive to make passes and I like that type of race track," said Eslick. "The track has a nice rhythm to it and that suits me just fine."
Herrin has four wins and Eslick two but it is M4 Monster Energy Suzuki rider Marin Cardenas that holds the honor of having the most race victories in 2010 with six. But if not for two DNF's, Cardenas could be a long way out front but he is only 12 points behind Herrin and there is plenty of racing left in the 2010 season.
One could say that any series with a tightly contested three-way championship battle would be fortunate but in fact, with a little bit of luck, 2007 Daytona 200 winner Steve Rapp and his tidy Team Latus Motors Ducati team could also be right in the hunt. Rapp is only 37 points behind Cardenas and only 49 behind points leader Herrin and the way his Ducati has been running, anything is possible. Rapp has been knocking on the door for a win and he has finished second three times including the last race at Laguna Seca. He has finished third on three other occasions giving him six podium finishes in twelve races.
Joining Rapp on another Ducati is Bobby Fong. Fong has really raised his game in the last few races and looked a sure winner at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca until an unfortunate fall dashed the hopes of Fong and his DNA Energy Drink Ducati team. Fong took a pair of sixth place finishes at VIR last year and with his current form, he could be a major threat this year. Fong's teammate, Michael Beck, took ninth at Laguna and the CNR Motorsports team is on the move and the direction is up.
Vesrah Suzuki rider Cory West has put together a nice solid season, West has had 11 top ten finishes out of 12 races. He had a great weekend at Road Atlanta where he finished second and third in the weekend's two races and he took a fourth place finish later at Road America. VIR should suit West just fine.
A rider who has led the field from pole three times this year and is coming off of a strong run at Laguna Seca is Herrin's Team Graves Yamaha teammate Tommy Aquino. Aquino can deliver a very quick lap and when he puts together a complete race, he will be in victory lane, his speed is evident and his natural ability is clear, keep your eye on the number six Yamaha, he will be near or at the front all weekend.
Last year's AMA Pro SuperSport race winner will be back this year in the Daytona SportBike class, Josh Day, who took the pole position and won last year in dominant fashion will be riding the Toyota Lucas Oil Yamaha for the Four Feathers Racing team. One of the Wyman brothers, Kyle Wyman, will be riding double duty this weekend as he races his Harv's Harley-Davidson www.revisionmusic.com Yamaha in the Daytona SportBike class and also his Harv's Harley-Davidson XR1200 in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 class on Sunday.
The action begins on Friday, August 13th with practice and first round qualifying. Saturday, August 14th will see final qualifying and the first of two races in the three road racing classes and Sunday, August 15th will have the second round of races and also the Vance & Hines XR1200 race. There will be Fan Walks both Saturday and Sunday and the AMA Pro Autograph session on Sunday. Also look for the Second Annual MRO VIR Food Drive to Benefit God's Storehouse in Danville, VA. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org. God's Storehouse can be contacted via their website godsstorehouse.org or by calling 434-793-3663. Motor Racing Outreach's website is go2mro.com. Please visit virclub.com for ticket and event information and www.amaproracing for series information.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.