SuzukiScoopFans Sportbike TrackGear.com M4 Suzuki’s Elena Myers claimed her second career AMA Pro victory in sensational fashion on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Her win was also the first by a woman in a professional motorsports event at the fabled venue.
The 19-year-old AMA Pro SuperSport title hopeful got her revenge for Friday’s race in which she fought for the win but got shuffled back in the draft on the contest’s final lap. On Saturday, she altered her strategy, putting her GSX-R600 at the front of a four-rider lead pack as they raced up onto the banking for the final time.
Myers tucked into the cockpit and made herself as small as possible in the sprint to the checkered flag. The decision paid off as her rivals proved incapable of drafting by her at the stripe, with Myers scoring the win by 0.240 seconds.
“These guys were super-fast all weekend and they ran a great race — I was just trying to stay with them,” Elena said. “Yesterday I got the short end of the draft and I was happy today there were only four of us up in the lead pack instead of eight.
“It was good just to have a few of us up there, just going back and forth. It was a phenomenal race. I stayed up there and led a little bit, then stayed behind just to see how much I could be behind and still catch up. Everyone’s bikes were really fast but mine was too.
“I just can’t thank my team enough for giving me such a great bike this weekend. They put just the greatest machine under me. I’m so happy to get a win for them. It’s a great feeling and nothing compares to it. That’s why come here and do what we do — to stand on the top of the box.”
M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki’s Dane Westby overcame adversity to secure a top-five finish in the 71st running of the legendary Daytona 200.
The Oklahoman showed remarkable speed in the race, leading laps aboard his GSX-R600 Daytona SportBike machine during his opening stint. He further impressed by tracking down the leaders from several seconds back to arrive in the lead once again prior to his second pit stop.
However, the team encountered an issue during his second stop, a setback that ultimately hurt his chances for the win. Dane continued to fight and eventually came home in fifth position at the conclusion of the arduous 57-lap contest.
Dane showed remarkable speed throughout, which bodes well for his chances to return to the top of the AMA Pro podium in 2012.
“I was really happy with the pace I could run. I was able to make up a lot of the deficit and I think I’m gaining a lot of knowledge and confidence,” said Westby.
M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki’s Chris Ulrich enjoyed a second positive outing in AMA Pro Superbike competition during the weekend.
Still returning to peak form following an injury-hit 2011 season, Ulrich battled for a top ten position and claimed a close 12th position in the 15-lap affair.
“It was another positive race,” Ulrich said. “We got to dicing in there during the race. We’ve now got two races and 30 race laps under our belts. We banked two races and picked up some points and we’ll build from there. I’m looking forward to going to Atlanta and continually improving and going forward the way we should be. Last year if I would have left Daytona with a 11th and a 12th it would have been the end of the world but this year I’m quite pleased.”
Team Venezuela’s Robertino Pietri, with assistance from Team Hammer Contract Services, earned strong results in both AMA Pro Superbike races in Daytona. ‘Tino was an impressive eighth on Friday and followed up with another top ten on Saturday.
Next week Homestead-Miami Speedway will host an official AMA Pro Road Racing test, and a month later on April 20-22, the ’12 championship will resume with Round 2 at Road Atlanta.