RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Jumps in the Deep End at Daytona
NEWS March 17, 2012
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Courtesy of RoadRace Factory:
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 2012) - Friday was overwhelmingly positive for RoadRace Factory/Red Bull at the Daytona International Speedway. Jake Gagne and J.D. Beach both qualified inside the top ten for the 71st Daytona 200 and Tomas Puerta and Hayden Gillim scored nice finishes in their first AMA Pro SuperSport race of the season.
Gagne qualified sixth in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike and was the top rookie in the field. The Californian found a quicker pace in the morning to rocket up the charts. "We're sixth, so I'm fairly happy," he said. "The first session was good and we had some issues in the second so I couldn't improve my time. I was slow yesterday but we figured out some stuff with the bike big time. So I'm pretty happy with where we start and I want to improve on that some more in the race." Jake's best time was 1:50.895.
J.D. Beach will start the race in ninth position with a time of 1:51.280, a solid mark considering he faced traffic issues in both sessions and never set an ideal lap. "I kept getting stuck behind a few guys and it was hard to get a clean lap in," he said. "I felt I could have gone a little faster. I don't think I've gotten a draft all weekend, even though I have pulled a few people. The bike is working well, so the race should be good. Ninth is not bad and it's a long race."
The AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport contest saw both RoadRace Factory/Red Bull teammates fight hard in the 10-lap race. Puerta was able to charge to fourth, just 0.697 seconds back. "It was a hard race for me," said Tomy. "I couldn't be in the draft early. I started from the third row but I made up some positions. I struggled a little on the banking but I kept at it. I couldn't make the passes I needed to get the lead and we came up a little short for the podium but we will try hard tomorrow."
Hayden Gillim was eighth but showed remarkable toughness. He chose the wrong gearing but maximized his event to gain as many points as possible and finished just 2.374 seconds back. "It was pretty good but could have been better. Our gearing was off just a little bit," said Hayden. "I couldn't run with the leaders on the front straight like I wanted and it held us back some. Once we got to the Kink, it hurt. Tomorrow's a different story and we hope to run at the very front."
Manager Danny Walker said the team performed to his expectations on Friday. "We're excited. Our vision is longer than just this race. We did what we wanted to do today," he said. "Of course we wanted to win and to do well, but the important thing is to be competitive and be smart with our young riders and that's where we are at right now at the first race. We're going to be a force to be reckoned with. All four riders put in good performances today. The SuperSport race was awesome. I think Tomas rode his butt off. We've worked on getting his confidence up and it is working. Hayden had some issues with his gearing but he earned some valuable points. In Daytona 200 qualifying, Jake and J.D. showed they will be factors in the race and they have done the right things so far. I'm proud of the riders and the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull crew."
Saturday will see both the second SuperSport race of the weekend as well as the Daytona 200.