AMA Pro SuperSport Recap: Daytona International Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 21, 2014) - The AMA Pro SuperSport class undergoes a state of flux each season. The field consists of a huge grid and no one knows which contestants will rise through the pack. Other racers finding success often graduate to AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike or AMA Pro SuperBike, creating a vacuum at the top. Every season is different.
At this year's AMA Pro SuperSport races at Daytona, Corey Alexander impressed mightily in his opportunity. The Celtic/HVMC Suzuki pilot not only won pole position, but also led every lap and dominated both race finals. The New Yorker put on a rare show at Daytona International Speedway. He busted out early and then expanded his lead with hard riding on a clear track. Every rider would like to win this way at Daytona but few have the speed advantage to actually get it done.
Alexander was good last season, strong enough to win two races and the Eastern divisional crown. He showed his skill at Road America and then again in New Jersey with his epic battle with Hayden Gillim for the championship. Now it certainly appears Alexander has markedly improved in the offseason. Even Alexander was surprised there wasn't more opposition. He was able to run his races to strategically break away with precision.
"The bike has been amazing right out of the truck. The race... I wasn't really expecting that," said Alexander. "I thought maybe they'd latch on. I knew I was strong in the second segment so I had to really pull a gap on them there before we got onto the banking so they couldn't draft."
And that is exactly what happened each time. Alexander was able to pull away on the first lap and held a sizable lead onto the banking as the riders came around to complete the opener. Even a holeshot by Miles Thornton on Sunday couldn't slow Alexander for long.
Alexander's perfect weekend netted him a big championship lead, a ten-point margin over teammate Wyatt Farris. Alexander heads from strength to strength, as the next round at Elkhart Lake, WI, saw him win both races last year.
"My goal was to win the National championship. That's why I came back," said Alexander.
Farris impressed as well. His two second-place finishes were hard-fought battles in the traditional Daytona pack. The Calistoga, CA resident improved throughout 2013 but Daytona showed he has kicked it up another level.
On Saturday, Farris and Celtic/HVMC Suzuki beat Yamaha mounted Dustin Dominguez of Houston Superbikes to the line by just 0.2 after ten laps of jockeying.
On Sunday, Farris earned just enough of a margin on the final lap to solidify second, this time by 0.7.
Farris said," That just shows how good the Suzukis are and how good Celtic is this year. It's good to get a 1-2 again. The first few laps weren't the greatest and Corey got away again. I was like, here we go -- get to play the drafting war again. My bike is super fast and got me to the line so it's good."
Dominguez, a past AMA Pro SuperSport winner, clearly was competitive, earning a podium on Friday and fighting in the pack for second but getting shuffled back in the waning moments on Saturday. Those positions might have been even better if he'd had a better qualifying. Dominguez started on the third row of AMA Pro's new three rider grids and that meant he was battling through the pack on the opening laps.
"I made it a little hard on myself by crashing during qualifying so I had to start part-way back," said Dominguez, who made sure he thanked his wife in the podium press conference. "The Yamaha is working really great this weekend and I can't thank the team enough. The bike is working great and hopefully you'll see me on the podium more often."
On Saturday, Hayden Gillim finished third and had the fastest race lap at 1:52.906. Another AMA Pro SuperSport race winner, Gillim made it a Suzuki sweep of the podium in his first event for TOBC Racing Suzuki. "Yesterday did go as well as we wanted it to. I just kind of got shoved down at the end. But today was a hard race," said the Kentuckian who finished seventh on Friday. "I didn't get the greatest start and kind of got caught up in traffic a little bit, but right there at the end there were dicing and I was able to get up there to them. I was hoping to maybe get second but Wyatt took off as we were dicing. Corey ran two amazing races. I wish I could have run with him. I have to thank the whole TOBC team for taking me on this year."
Venezuela's Armando Ferrer is tied for fifth in points by virtue of his solid weekend. He earned fifth and fourth place results in Daytona on board his Racersprice.com Yamaha.
Ferrer is tied with Macedon, NY's Cody Wyman, the youngest of the racing Wyman brothers. Wyman and his Harv's Harley-Davidson-sponsored entry's results were the opposite of Ferrer, with fourth on Friday and fifth on Saturday.
Class regular Miles Thornton had an eventful weekend of in the opener. Thornton was in the eight-rider pack fighting for second on Friday and took sixth. On Saturday, Thornton led the race into turn one but a bike problem meant retirement for the D&D Cycles/Triumph/Castrol pilot.
Jason Aguilar and Mark Miller, Jr., traded eighth and ninth on the weekend. Tuned Industries' Aguliar won the battle in race one, with Mar Del Racing's Miller, Jr., taking the battle on Saturday.
JC Camacho improved from 12th to earn seventh on Saturday with his House of Paints Designs Yamaha.
With the initial two rounds of the series in the books, it is clear the AMA Pro SuperSport field is chasing Corey Alexander. The next round at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI May 30-June 1 is the next chance for up-and-coming stars and fast club racers to find AMA Pro Racing success.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
About AMA Pro Road Racing
AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.