Herrin Does the Double at VIR
NEWS August 16, 2009
ALTON, Va. (August 16, 2009) - Josh Herrin (No. 8 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) went two-for-two and earned the title of Big Kahuna for sweeping the weekend's races at Virginia International Raceway (VIR). In another AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL thriller, Herrin withstood a late charge from a resurgent Danny Eslick (No. 9 GEICO Powersports/RMR Buell 1125R), who crossed the finish line 1.874 seconds behind the winner. Herrin's teammate Tommy Aquino (No. 6 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) rebounded from a spill in yesterday's final to finish third.
"That was a real fun race," Herrin said. "As soon as I heard the Buell coming I just tried to hold him off for a couple more laps so I could run away. It ended up working out exactly how I wanted to. My pit board said there were three laps left, and there were four laps left, so I actually had to make an extra lap. It was a really good race, everybody rode a good race, it was clean and lots of fun."
After an uneventful ride to seventh place yesterday, Eslick returned to form on Sunday and charged to the front from 12th on the grid. On Lap 19 alone he moved from fifth to second, taking the final spot in a daring move by Herrin in the dirt. Herrin took the spot back later in the lap but both riders were battling for first place the lap after that when leader Roger Hayden (No. 95 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R) over shot a corner.
"I guess I forgot about the championship for awhile, I don't know," Eslick said. "I didn't really think about it too much, just tried to ride a good, hard race and go forward. We made some changes overnight to the bike, nothing real major. We knew it wasn't anything real big that was holding us back, just made some adjustments on the shock and changed the gearing a little bit. Just those two small things made all the difference. We were able to run the pace there at the beginning or at least stay consistent and not let the guys get too far away, just run good laps. I knew I had something going I just didn't know I was going to be that strong at the end."
Aquino, who has hit the podium at least once per weekend in the last three events, had high praise for his Team Graves Yamaha crew that worked on his bike until the early morning hours last night.
"My team did such a great job," Aquino said. "They put a lot of work in. I did buy a big Band-Aid magnet at the store to bring some humor to it. They made the bike to almost perfectly how it was yesterday. I felt really good yesterday, just where I was today. The race was crazy. I was at the back, at the front. The race was just really hard, it was hot out there."
Pole-sitter Taylor Knapp (No. 54 Latus Motors Racing Buell 1125R) also recovered from a Saturday lowside to finish fourth while Hayden, who led a race-high 14 laps, completed the top five. Knapp led the opening lap of the race and the only other leader was Jake Zemke (No. 1x Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR), who ended up seventh after running up front for three laps.
Martin Cardenas (No. 36 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600) finished 11th as he struggled with a broken right hand sustained in Friday's practice session. That result and a ninth place finish in Saturday's Daytona SportBike final has seen him lose 17 points to championship leader Eslick after coming into the race tied at the top of the standings. Eslick now has 357 points, Cardenas has 340 markers and Herrin further improved in third with 321 points.
Sunday's race was red flagged and completely restarted after an opening lap incident in Turn 1 that saw riders Melissa Paris (No. 13 MarkBilt Yamaha YZF-R6) and Brent Lyskawa transported to Danville Regional Medical Center (DRMC). Paris suffered a tibia/fibula fracture of her right leg. Lyskawa's precautionary CT scan was negative.
Later in the Daytona SportBike race, Jason DiSalvo (No. 40 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600) was treated at the track medical facility after his right knee hit a curb at speed while running third. DiSalvo rode his bike off course and retired after the incident. He was examined and released by the VIR Medical Staff after X-Rays were negative. DiSalvo has a deep bruise on his right knee.
Sunday's action from the Big Kahuna will air in a two-hour show on SPEED tonight at Midnight ET (9 p.m. PT).
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