Vesrah's Cory West Podiums With a Second-Place Finish in Daytona 200
NEWS March 14, 2011
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (March 13) – Cory West on his Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R 600 ran at the front of the 2011 Daytona 200 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race leading several laps and ended up second at the draft to the finish by .029 of a second. The weekend did not start well for Cory with only one practice session on Thursday and a crash in initial qualifying on Friday morning. Cory rebounded to take a second row qualifying spot and was in the top 10 as the race started. After several delays and the eventual shortening of the race Cory was able to battle in the lead pack taking the lead multiple times. Cory was a hero on the brakes into the chicane using the late braking capabilities of his Vesrah racing brake pads. At the run to the line the Vesrah Suzuki 2011 GSX-R 600 was right there with Cory taking 2nd place and a trip to the podium.
Taylor Knapp took some time to come to terms with his 2011 GSX-R 600 but was able to latch onto the tail end of the lead group as the laps wound down and was looking for a top 5 finish when disaster struck within sight of the finish line with another competitors machine crashing and Taylor being unable to avoid the situation. Taylor had a horrifying crash at top speed in the tri-oval but somehow was able to walk away unhurt and was credited with finishing 14th.
In the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class Corey Alexander in his first trip to Daytona worked learning a new track and motorcycle. He overcame a DNF in the Friday race to rebound with a top 10 in eighth place in the Saturday race.
Mark Junge – Team Owner Vesrah Suzuki
“I’m glad that Vesrah Suzuki was able to put the new 2011 Suzuki GSX-R 600 on the podium in the bikes first AMA Pro Racing event and proud of all of my riders and crew for their performances during the 2011 Daytona event. I wish that we would have gotten to do more than 1 pit stop per rider as I know my team can do some of the quickest pit stops out there.”
Cory West – Vesrah Suzuki #57
“My weekend started kind of rough, finishing 13th in the first practice and then having a huge 3rd gear high-side in the first qualifying session. We bounced back with a second row qualifying spot with 7th and that got the ball rolling. The race was tough but we had a good pace and a great first pit stop. We were a comfortable 5th before the red flag came out for the tire issues. When everything got going again, it was down to a 15-lap sprint race. I wanted to stay close to the front and it paid off in the end. I made a bold pass around the outside of everyone going into turn one on the last lap and led all the way to the chicane. Two riders passed me but overshot the entrance and I retook the lead heading into NASCAR 3 & 4. I had a lapper to draft that helped me a bunch but I got passed on the run to the line. I almost passed the leader back at the stripe, but I got beat by .029 of a second. 2nd place is okay though; we have good points and great momentum going into the next round!”
“Thanks to Mark, Tony, and the whole Vesrah crew for their hard work during the weekend and the off-season. The new Suzuki GSX-R 600 is amazing and I can’t wait to put it on the top spot of the podium. Another thanks to my personal sponsors Shoei, Pilot, Held, and Gaerne. See you in California!!
Taylor Knapp – Vesrah Suzuki #44
“It was shaping up to be such a good race for me right up until the very end. It started off a little slow in qualifying, as we didn’t have the bike quite right for me until the end of morning warm up due to the lack of time on the track and not a lot of settings to go off of on the new bike. We made a small change to the bike in the right direction and decided to gamble and go more that way coming into the race.”
“For the race I didn't get the best start so I just slowly worked my way forward. At the red flag it was a fresh start and it was going to be a 15-lap sprint race to the end. I knew I had a motorcycle that could win the 200 all I had to do was get a good start and not lose the draft of the lead group. I found myself a few seconds back and I knew it was time to make a charge. I put my head down and caught the lead group with just a few laps to go. I knew I had a good spot to be at the tail end of the group coming out of the chicane on the last lap. I caught a huge 4-person draft and as I was about to pull out and move into 3rd place two competitors came together and all I saw was a rear wheel in the air, which was the last thing I remember before endoing off the bike at 170 mph. I have to give a huge thank you to Alpinestar and Arai for keeping me safe in the absolute worst crash that could have happened.”
“I have to thank Mark Junge, Thom Godward and everyone else on the team. The pit stops were amazing and the team gave me a bike capable of winning the Daytona 200. I know it’s going to be a good season and I am already looking forward to round two.”
Corey Alexander – Vesrah Suzuki #5
“We had a rough weekend to start off not having been to Daytona before and dealing with some crashes. My all new Suzuki GSX-R 600 pulled through for us and we were able to finish the weekend with a top ten finish all the way back from 22nd. The Vesrah guys built a great bike and I am looking forward to the rest of the season!”
Vesrah Suzuki wants to thank all of their sponsors for their support for the 2011 season – Vesrah, American Suzuki, Rockstar Energy Drink, Nielsen Enterprises Suzuki, Penske Racing Shocks, Traxxion Dynamics Fork Components, Yoshimura, Catalyst Racing Composites, Sudco Int., Bazzaz, Factory Pro, Maxima Racing Oils, Vortex, DID Chain, GPR Stabilizers, Trek Bicycles, GP Tech, Active & Road Rage Designs
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