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Mar 13, 2002

DiSalvo Team's Version Of What Happened At Daytona, With Reaction From Two Thoughtful Readers

From a press release:<BR><BR>DAYTONA VICTORY ELUDES DISALVO<BR><BR>Batavia, New York rider Jason DiSalvo's brave bid to win the AMA 250cc race at Daytona was cruelly thwarted by a slower rider in the MBNA 250GP race at the International Speedway in Florida today.<BR><BR>The 18-year-old - riding with a broken right foot, the legacy of a crash on his 750cc 4-stroke on Wednesday - was leading the race at a third distance and involved in a titanic scrap with the two time national 250 champion when they came upon a slower rider exiting the infield.<BR><BR>"Everything was going as planned and my race strategy was working well and the next thing I knew I was in the dirt. It's very disappointing as I felt I had every chance of winning that race," said DiSalvo, who set pole position by winning a tough heat race on Friday.<BR><BR>Despite his AMA disappointment DiSalvo had enjoyed success at Daytona following a successful test at the Jennings circuit in North Florida where he set the outright lap record. The Team America rider also won both the 250 Lightweight and 600 Middleweight races in the CCS championship the previous weekend at Daytona.<BR><BR>The new team consisting of 250cc 2-stroke tuner Ian Emberton, mechanic Oliver Hutchinson, telematrist Mark Bull, 4-stroke mechanic Mike Earnhardt, and coach Jeff Haney have Jason and the bikes well prepared to win at Daytona. "We really could have done with points today and this is just what we didn't need. But we'll pick ourselves up and start again at Fontana in a couple of weeks time," said team owner, Jim DiSalvo.<BR><BR><BR><BR>This reaction just in, from a reader:<BR><BR>Hey guys,<BR> <BR>I read your material everyday and you do a spectacular job. I just read the Disalvo's version of what happened at Daytona and it says nothing about the very talented and young although experienced Jason taking out a lapped rider who was indeed holding his own line. The article does do a fantastic job of promoting Jason as a racer. How about the consequences to the rider who was cruelly taken out and is probably an under financed privateer? <BR> <BR>Bottom line is that Jason should apologize to the other rider and remember that once upon a time he also was a slower rider.<BR> <BR>How did Nicky win the 200 doing 30 more laps with twices as many slower riders? It's called maturity and being a true sportman.<BR> <BR>Thanks for keeping us up on the racing world.<BR> <BR>Mike Foster<BR><BR><BR>Another reaction, from another reader:<BR><BR>A key difference between Nicky and Jason negotiating traffic: The slowest guys in Superbike qualified at 112% of 1:47 or around 2 minutes flat. That means the slowest guy out there is still haulin'.<BR><BR>There were people out in the 250 race hanging around 2:20-2:30 (on what, a bicycle?). (If Oliver had been out there several people would have had to refinish their bikes to replace the paint that had been sucked off when he went by.)<BR><BR>IMHO, it looked like Jason was caught out by a "swooper". The rider started way outside and swooped to the inside to a very early apex. At the start of the pass it looked like Jason had/left plenty of room and suddenly he had nowhere to go. I'm not sure anyone was particularly at fault. Then again, perhaps Jason should have been suspicious of a guy that slow using that much track.<BR><BR>BTW, throwing your gloves anywhere in the vicinity of a live racetrack is a stupid thing to do. I guess that's where the "he's only 18" stuff comes in.<BR><BR>Donald Beck