Let's Go To Work: RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Kicks Off Daytona
NEWS March 16, 2012
Photo Provided by RoadRace Factory
Release Courtesy of RoadRace Factory:
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (March 15, 2012) - The RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team began the 2012 season on Thursday at Daytona, with J.D. Beach and Jake Gagne taking on the field for the 71st Daytona 200 and Hayden Gillim and Tomas Puerta battling in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport action. Months of hard work by the entire organization paid off as the new team saw all four riders take to the track at the first AMA Pro event of the year.
Beach impressed in the first practices for this year's installment of the Daytona 200. After running near the vanguard in last year's race, Beach hopes to do the same this year. He was seventh in practice on Thursday afternoon. "I was able to run up front last year, so I got a chance to see what it takes to go 200 miles here, and be competitive." said J.D. "We kinda struggled in the morning but by the afternoon, the bike was starting to work really well. We kept the same tire on the whole time, so we could have gone faster but we wanted to learn some things. Come race time, we should be sitting good."
Jake Gagne was also riding very hard in the two sessions. Jake was ranked 11th in the timing chart in the afternoon, an admirable effort in his first US action in a couple of seasons after his foray into European racing. "It was my first time back here at Daytona in a couple of years. We have a couple of things to work out to improve the bike before tomorrow, but we'll get it working," said Gagne. "I'm definitely not happy as to where we ended up but we'll keep improving as the weekend goes on."
After setting fast time in flat track qualifying, Hayden Gillim hustled back to the high banks and got down to business in his roadracing duties. Gillim was fourth and on the provisional front row in Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport. "I was really happy," said Gillim. "We figured some things out with suspension and gearing. We worked our way forward. It's looking good. I am off by a second but what I did not have was a draft buddy to improve my times in the last segment. The goal was to ride around without drafting anyone to see how strong we were. I think things are looking quite good for us so far. As soon as I get a draft buddy, I'll be right there fighting for pole."
Tomas Puerta won in Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport at Daytona last year and qualified a strong seventh, but the Colombian wasn't quite satisfied. "I didn't like the qualifying today," said Puerta. "We had three red flags and it made things tough. We're struggling a little bit but last year was somewhat the same. I want to get up on the front row, then go for it in the race."
"Holy cow, the first day for the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team at Daytona was spectacular," said manager Danny Walker. "It actually was, considering where we started, great. We're a competitive group and we want to win but we're going to have a good time as well. We want to win and we'll keep improving but it was important for us to get out there today and have a really good day. It was a huge success. J.D. won't be happy unless he's fighting for the pole and the win. Jake has never ridden on these tires or this configuration. We have a couple of things to figure out with his bike but we think he can be up in the top five also. Hayden kept getting more and more aggressive as the session moved on. That's good because we wanted him to work up to speed and he did. With Tomy, we've decided to go to his "B" bike in the morning and see how that goes. He was still pretty competitive but he's won here and he wants to win again. Our philosophy is to be competitive and have fun and we think today was a real success."