Team Suzuki Press Office - March 18.
Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki riders Danny Eslick and Roger Hayden raced to strong top-five finishes at the opening round of the 2013 AMA Pro National Guard Superbike Championship at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida at the weekend.
Although Eslick admittedly struggled in qualifying, he pulled out all the stops when it came race time. In the weekend's two 15-lap Superbike events, the Jordan Suzuki rider put his head down and overcame less-than-stellar starts to finish in the top five. In race one, Superbike rookie Eslick finished fourth and he brought home fifth in race two.
Said Eslick: "The Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 was running great at Daytona. I felt like I was knocking some of the cobwebs off from the winter. In the second race, 'Rog' and I ran around by ourselves for the last half of the race, but that's good in its own way because we're learning stuff riding with each other. Hopefully, at Road America we'll come out and fight for a win."
National Guard Jordan Suzuki team mate Hayden shined brightly in Daytona qualifying and picked up a front-row position on the starting grid. Unfortunately, he suffered a minor get-off in race one and was unable to finish. In race two, however, Hayden turned in a solid performance, dicing back and forth with Eslick and eventually finishing fourth.
"Danny and I had a pretty good race and we struggled with the same things," said Hayden. "Fourth isn't where we want to be and we need to be a little stronger for the next one. But we got out of here with some points and we'll move on. We're a lot better than fourth; we had the speed in practice and qualifying, and we just had some bad luck in the races. Hopefully, we got all of that out of the way and I can't wait for Road America."
MJM's 600cc contingency also enjoyed a strong showing at Daytona. In the AMA Pro SuperSport class, National Guard Celtic Racing's Corey Alexander piloted his Suzuki GSX-R600 to an impressive podium finish, while team mate James Rispoli picked up a seventh-place result in the Daytona SportBike class. The latter marks the first time that MJM has raced the prestigious Daytona 200.
"We started off this weekend not really sure what was going to happen," said Alexander of SuperSport. "The National Guard Celtic Racing Suzuki GSX-R600 was good all weekend but we didn't have a good qualifying effort to put us up on the front row. I'm happy with third, especially after making my way up from 11th."
Of his performance in the Daytona 200, where he ran in a podium position for several laps during the lengthy race, Rispoli added, "I'm really happy. For the first 19 laps, we were all battling and it was really fun to race with those guys. The National Guard Celtic Racing Suzuki GSX-R600 was running really strong and we were right there drafting with the boys up front. Now I'm looking forward to Road America. I've done really well there in the past."
In the 2013 AMA Pro National Guard Superbike Championship series rider point standings, Eslick sits in fourth place and Hayden is 12th. In AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike, Rispoli is seventh while Alexander is sixth in AMA Pro SuperSport.
The Michael Jordan Motorsports team's next event of the 2013 AMA Pro National Guard Superbike Championship series is at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI, the weekend of May 31-June 2. Daytona Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS Daytona Superbike Race 1:
1. Josh Herrin (Yamaha), 2. Martin Cardenas (Yoshimura Suzuki), 3. Larry Pegram (Yamaha), 4. Danny Eslick (Jordan Suzuki),
5. Chris Clark (Yoshimura Suzuki), 6. Robertino Pietri (Kawasaki), 7. Geoff May (EBR), 8. David Anthony (Suzuki), 9. Taylor Knapp (KTM), 10. Chris Fillmore (KTM). Daytona Superbike Race 2:
1. Martin Cardenas (Yoshimura Suzuki), 2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha), 3. Larry Pegram (Yamaha), 4. Roger Hayden (Jordan Suzuki), 5. Danny Eslick (Jordan Suzuki),
6. Chris Clark (Yoshimura Suzuki), 7. Robertino Pietri (Kawasaki), 8. Chris Fillmore (KTM), 9. Chris Ulrich (Honda), 10. Bernat Martinez (Suzuki). 2013 Superbike Standings: CLICK HERE