Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Mar 17, 2017

Daytona 200: Defending Champ Michael Barnes Earns Pole Position At Daytona International Speedway (Updated)

Defending Daytona 200 Champion and 2017 pole-sitter Michael Barnes (left) with Prieto Performance's Sean Prieto (right). Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Michael Barnes, the defending Daytona 200 Champion, earned the pole position for the 76th Daytona 200 during qualifying Friday at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Riding his Prieto Performance Yamaha YZF-R6 on Pirelli tires, Barnes, age 48, lapped the 3.51-mile infield road course in 1:49.487 to top the field of 69 riders.

“When I went back out [after getting a new rear tire] I don’t know…I was just feeling it. I just pressed it and pressed it. I couldn’t believe I kept on seeing 1:49s,” an emotional Barnes told “I’m just proud. I’m proud of these guys, this crew that I put together last year. And we’ve got the exact same crew plus some more. We’ve picked up a couple of more sponsors, but I’m still footing this whole bill myself. I went through that cash [purse and contingency money] so fast last year. (laughs) Let’s see if we can’t do it again.”

Not only was Barnes’ time the fastest of the day, it was also the fastest Daytona 200 qualifying time since Danny Eslick got the pole position with a 1:49.292 on his Triumph in 2014, the last year the race was run as a round of the AMA Pro Racing National Championship.

For his efforts, Barnes also won a one-of-a-kind, custom-painted Arai Corsair X helmet.

Daytona 200 rookie Valentin Debise put in a late charge in the final qualifying session, but his 1:49.526 on his Dunlop-fitted M4 The 22 Project ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600 came up just short of Barnes’ time. Debise, however, said he did his best time without the benefit of another rider’s draft, giving him confidence for Saturday’s race.

Two-time Daytona 200 winner Eslick was unable to improve on his time from the second of three qualifying sessions, but his lap of 1:49.746 on his Dunlop-backed TOBC racing Yamaha YZF-R6 secured the third and final spot on the front row of the grid.

Cory West got out of the pits late at the start of the final qualifying session, but some experienced moves allowed him to latch onto a pack of top riders, do a 1:49.854 on his Pirelli-supported Trackside Suspension & Engineering (TSE) Yamaha YZF-R6 and qualify fourth.

Former Moto2 World Championship rider Robertino Pietri qualified fifth with a time of 1:50.088 on his Pirelli-shod Hairy Kiwi Racing by Prieto Performance Yamaha YZF-R6.

Jason Farrell bounced back from a crash in the second qualifying session to earn the final spot on row two (sixth overall) with an effort of 1:50.801 on his Pirelli-tired Farrell Performance/U.S. Chrome Kawasaki ZX-6R.

Geoff May, the pole position winner of the last two Daytona 200s, had to settle for the seventh spot on the grid courtesy of his best lap time of 1:51.032 on his Dunlop-supported Project MayDay/Bock's Concrete Inc. Yamaha YZF-R6.

A promising day for Kyle Wyman ended on a sad note when he crashed his Dunlop-fitted M4 The 22 Project Suzuki GSX-R600 in the final qualifying session. Wyman’s time of 1:51.170 from the second qualifying session ended up being his best of the day and the eighth-best overall.

Barrett Long claimed the final spot on row three by stopping the clocks at 1:51.587 on his Dunlop-backed Longevity Racing Ducati 848EVO.

Kaleb De Keyrel rounded out the top 10 qualifiers with a time of 1:51.660 on his Pirelli-shod Anderson Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.

Benny Solis has withdrawn from the event because his Heyser Cycle Honda CBR600RR kept experiencing technical problems Friday, he said, preventing him from getting in any significant time on the track.

The 57-lap Daytona 200 starts at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. It will be steamed live on

76th Daytona 200

ASRA Championship Series Sanctioned by AMA

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida

March 17, 2017

Combined Qualifying Results (3.51-mile course):

1. Michael Barnes (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:49.487

2. Valentin Debise (Suz GSX-600), Dunlop, 1:49.526

3. Danny Eslick (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:49.746

4. Cory West (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:49.854

5. Robertino Pietri (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:50.088

6. Jason Farrell (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:50.801

7. Geoff May (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:51.032

8. Kyle Wyman (Suz GSX-R600), Dunlop, 1:51.170, crash

9. Barrett Long (Duc 848), Dunlop, 1:51.587

10. Kaleb De Keyrel (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:51.660

11. Shane Richardson (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:52.236

12. Taylor Knapp (MV Agusta F3 675), Dunlop, 1:52.546

13. Shane Narbonne (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:52.892

14. Dustin Apgar (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:53.104

15. Jody Barry (Kaw ZX-6R), Dunlop, 1:53.419

16. Tony Storniolo (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:53.674

17. Bostjan Skubic (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:54.096

18. Ryan Jones (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:54.186

19. Ryan Kerr (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:54.382

20. Darren James (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:54.514

21. Max Angles (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:54.856

22. Kevin Heil (Yam YZF-R6), 1:55.526

23. Jason Edmonds (Yam YZF-R6), 1:55.570

24. Joseph Giannotto (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:55.647

25. Robert Fisher (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:55.662

26. John Ashmead (Kaw ZX-6R), Dunlop, 1:56.004

27. Jeremy Kolewski (Kaw ZX-6R), Michelin, 1:56.028

28. Mark Rhoades (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:56.089

29. Carl Soltisz (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:56.237

30. Benny Solis, Jr. (Hon CBR600RR), Dunlop, 1:56.355

31. Jordan Strange (Suz GSX-R600), Pirelli, 1:56.588

32. Seth Starnes (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:56.596

33. Justin Holderman (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:56.804

34. Chuck Ivey (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:57.013

35. Max Flinders (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:57.191

36. Kristofer Knopf (Yam YZF-R6), Michelin, 1:57.743

37. Anthony Fania, Jr. (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:57.945

38. Bailey Cox (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:58.092

39. Joel D. Lenk (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:58.439

40. David McPherson (Yam YZF-R6), 1:58.762

41. Matthew Gendron (Yam YZF-R6), 1:59.465

42. Daniel Spaulding (Kaw ZX-6R), Dunlop, 1:59.585

43. Alexander Guilbeault (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:59.842

44. Norman Pomerleau (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 2:00.067

45. Mark Dickerson (Kaw ZX-6R), 2:00.114

46. Patricia Fernandez (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 2:00.182

47. CJ LaRoche (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 2:00.586

48. Darrin Klemmens (Yam YZF-R6), 2:00.902

49. Chris Sullivan (Yam YZF-R6), 2:01.104

50. Antal Halasz (Suz GSX-R600), 2:01.292

51. Eric Helmbach (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 2:01.612

52. Andrew Abel (Suz GSX-R600), Pirelli, 2:01.729

53. Alex Arango (MV Agusta F3 675), Dunlop, 2:01.885

54. Marcelo Paladini (Yam YZF-R6), Bridgestone, 2:01.926

55. Russ Intravartolo (Yam YZF-R6), Michelin, 2:02.689

56. Roosevelt Wright. Jr. (Yam YZF-R6), 2:02.767

57. Arthur Kowitz (Suz GSX-R600), Pirelli, 2:02.861

58. Aaron Stein (Yam YZF-R6), Bridgestone, 2:03.147

59. Harry Wilson (Yam YZF-R6), 2:03.329

60. Salvatore Ruffino (Yam YZF-6), 2:03.358

61. Gino Angella (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 2:03.555

62. Richard O'Conner (Duc 749), 2:03.857

63. Patrick Ryan (Kaw ZX-6R), 2:04.366

64. Dustin Ducote (Tri Daytona 675), 2:04.790

65. Kevin Coughlin (Yam YZF-R6), 2:09.692

66. Josh Geradot (Kaw ZX-6R), no time recorded

67. Stefano Mesa (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, no time recorded

68. Jamie Bishop (Yam YZF-R6), no time recorded

69. Christian Cronin (MV Agusta F3 675), Dunlop, no time recorded

More, from a press release issued by Daytona International Speedway:

Defending Champion Michael Barnes Wins DAYTONA 200 Pole

Edges Valentin Debise by 0.04 Seconds

Two-Time Champion Danny Eslick Qualifies 3rd

Barnes Trying to Become 8th Rider to Win DAYTONA 200 in Consecutive Years

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 2017) – Defending champion Michael Barnes won the pole position for the DAYTONA 200 on Friday at Daytona International Speedway, with a fast lap of 1 minute, 49.487 seconds (115.411 mph) on a Yamaha 600 during the third and final qualifying session.

The DAYTONA 200, being held for the 76th time, will take the green flag at 1 p.m. Saturday on the Speedway’s 3.51-mile road course.

Barnes, riding for Prieto Performance, edged Valentin Debise of France (M4 The 22 Project Ecstar Suzuki 600) by 0.04 seconds. Two-time (2014-15) DAYTONA 200 champion Danny Eslick (TOBC Racing Yamaha 600) qualified third.

Barnes, of Boca Raton, came out of retirement last year to make his 13th start over a two-decade span in the DAYTONA 200. He became the race’s oldest winner at the age of 47. This year, Barnes is trying to become the eighth rider to win the race in consecutive years.

“All I can say is I have a tremendous crew behind me,” Barnes said. “Now we just have to go get some carbs in us, wake up in the morning and see if we can do this again.

“I just attacked it; I attacked every single corner. This bike works so well. I couldn’t be happier. Sitting on the pole for the DAYTONA 200 … it’s a little surreal, after winning the race last year at my age.”

Sanctioned by the American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA), the iconic DAYTONA 200 holds a unique place in the racing history of Daytona Beach, a history that runs parallel to that of stock cars and the two old Daytona beach-road courses. The first DAYTONA 200 was held in 1937, only one year after stock cars first raced on a course that utilized both the Atlantic Ocean shoreline and State Road A1A. In 1961 the DAYTONA 200 moved to Daytona International Speedway, two years after the Speedway opened and the first DAYTONA 500 was held.

DAYTONA 200 riders compete for an overall purse of $175,000, with the champion also receiving a steel-and-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch.

In addition to the DAYTONA 200, a variety of other fan-friendly activities are rounding out Bike Week At DAYTONA.

The GEICO Bike Show will take place on Saturday adjacent to Harley-Davidson Thunder Alley. Registration is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with a $20 entry fee per bike. The awards presentation will be held at 5 p.m. on the Harley-Davidson Thunder Alley Stage. Trophies will be awarded in 10 categories and a $1,000 and $500 cash prize will be given to Best in Show and Judge’s Choice, respectively.

The Hot Leathers Fashion Show and Bikini Contest, located in Harley-Davidson Thunder Alley, is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.

Tickets for all 2017 Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay up to date on the latest news by using #BikeWeek and #DAYTONA200. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.

Top 5 This Week