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Mar 10, 2001

Final Superbike Qualifying From Daytona

Although the front row of Sunday's 60th Daytona 200 By Arai was locked in during Thursday's qualifying, Friday afternoon's final qualifying sessions gave the rest of the riders in the Superbike field an opportunity to improve their times and grid positions. The front-row qualifiers used the final qualifying sessions as another practice session to work on race set-up. <BR><BR>During the two 40-minute timed qualifying sessions—one each for odd-numbered and even-numbered riders--three riders improved their times and starting spots from Thursday. Competition Accessories Ducati's Larry Pegram bettered his time from Thursday's 1:50.006 to 1:49.224. Pegram moved from the ninth spot--on the third row of the grid--to the number six position, on the second row of the grid. <BR><BR>Pegram's teammate Aaron Slight also improved his time, from 1:51.382 to 1:50.610. The 0.77-second improvement moved three-time Suzuka 8-hour race winner Slight from the 13th grid spot--on the fourth row--to the 11th starting slot, on the third row.<BR><BR>Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom went 0.6-second quicker on Friday, dropping his best lap time from 1:51.425 to 1:50.859, but given the improvements made by Pegram and Slight, Bostrom's effort only moved him up one position on the grid--from 14th to 13th, fastest, still on the fourth row.<BR><BR>The improved positions earned by Pegram, Slight and Bostrom did bump other riders back on the grid. Tommy Hayden got bumped from 6th to 7th. Miguel Duhamel dropped from 7th to 8th. Steve Rapp got bumped off the second row, going from 8th to 9th. Scott Russell moved from 11th to 12th. Finally, Doug Chandler was bumped from his 12th fastest spot on row three to start from the fourth row, 14th.<BR><BR>Rules required that all riders in the field turn a lap time no slower than 112% of the fastest qualifying time, which meant that the cut-off time for making the field was 2:01.435, making this the toughest-ever Daytona 200 grid to qualify for. There were 65 riders who qualified, although many of the qualifiers were 750cc Supersport racers using the long qualifying sessions for extra practice with no intentions of running the 57-lap race. Such was the case with fastest privateer qualifier Lee Acree, who recorded a 1:53.095 for 16th fastest, on the fourth row. Acree's time bumped factory Harley-Davidson VR1000 pilot Mike Smith to the fifth row of the grid.<BR><BR>The final top-20 qualifying results for the Daytona 200 follow:<BR><BR>1. Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSXR750, 1:48.424<BR>2. Anthony Gobert, Yamaha YZF-R7, 1:48.663<BR>3. Nicky Hayden, Honda RC51, 1:48.765<BR>4. Aaron Yates, Suzuki GSXR750, 1:49.139<BR><BR>5. Kurtis Roberts, Honda RC51, 1:49.196<BR>6. Larry Pegram, Ducati 996, 1:49.223<BR>7. Tommy Hayden, Yamaha YZF-R7, 1:49.384<BR>8. Miguel Duhamel, Honda RC51, 1:49.485<BR><BR>9. Steve Rapp. Ducati 996, 1:49.708<BR>10. Jamie Hacking, Suzuki GSXR750, 1:50.148<BR>11. Aaron Slight, Ducati 996, 1:50.610<BR>12. Scott Russell, Ducati 996, 1:50.843<BR><BR>13. Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki ZX-7, 1:50.859<BR>14. Doug Chandler, Kawasaki ZX-7, 1:51.357<BR>15. Pascal Picotte, Harley-Davidson VR1000, 1:51.821<BR>16. Lee Acree, Suzuki GSXR750, 1:53.095<BR><BR>17. Mike Smith, Harley-Davidson VR1000, 1:53.145<BR>18. Mike Ciccotto, Suzuki GSXR750, 1:54.759<BR>19. Brian Parriott, Suzuki GSXR750, 1:54.843<BR>20. Jason Pridmore, Suzuki GSXR750, 1:54.920<BR>
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