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Mar 8, 2001

Inside Info From Daytona

<BR><BR>Nicky Hayden is riding with his broken left wrist and hand taped.<BR><BR>In the first 600cc Supersport practice session on Wednesday, Doug Chandler and Aaron Yates both highsided while exiting the International Horseshoe, in separate incidents. Yates slightly injured toes on one of his feet and Chandler was "just sore." Both riders were out and riding in the morning Superbike practice session.<BR><BR>Just prior to coming to Daytona, Kurtis Roberts, Miguel Duhamel, and Nicky Hayden went to Japan for wind-tunnel tests with the RC51 Superbike. "We were learning how to tuck (in)," said Roberts of the test. Roberts' Crew Chief, former racer David McGrath, added that the team experimented with windscreen shapes. <BR><BR>In Wednesday practice on his RC51, Miguel Duhamel used a Zero Gravity "Double Bubble" screen on his RC51 while Roberts' had a normal tall windshield on his Superbike. Nicky Hayden had a different windscreen on each of his two RC51s. Hayden's RC51s also featured a billet, six-piston rear brake caliper.<BR><BR>Tommy Hayden's works Yamaha YZF-R7 Superbike features new Nissin radial-mount six-piston calipers and a Nissin clutch master cylinder. Hayden said he loved the new brakes and went on to turn his personal fastest-ever lap at Daytona, a 1:50.88, which made him third-fastest on the day.<BR><BR>One of Anthony Gobert's Superbikes had a cover in place where a Suzuka style headlight would normally go.<BR><BR>Most riders ran with either padding on their fuel tank or in the front of their leathers, to avoid chest bruises caused by banging against the fuel tank on the banking.<BR><BR>In 250cc Grand Prix practice, Rich Oliver was immediately in the low 1:57s, a pace that has won the last several 250cc GP races at Daytona. Oliver was joined in the 1:57 bracket by Performance Machine's Roland Sands. Corbin Racing's Jimmy Filice was still going through tech inspection when the first 250cc practice session went out on the track. During that session, defending 250cc Champion Chuck Sorensen's GP Tech Yamaha suffered a mechanical problem when water leaked into one of this bike's cylinders, due to a blown head-sealing O-ring.<BR><BR>In the afternoon 250cc practice session, Roland Sands and Rich Oliver both recorded times in the 1:55 range. Oliver's 1:55.92 was fast, but Sands' 1:55.896 may be the fastest a 250 rider has ever lapped Daytona since two-time AMA 250cc Champion Jimmy Filice did a mid-1:55 back in 1994. Sands, meanwhile, said that he did his time with used tires, running on a front tire that had about 50 laps it and a rear tire that had two full practice sessions on it.<BR><BR>Anthony Gobert and Mat Mladin have had grip tape applied to the rear of the fuel tank on their racebikes. Gobert said that the material helps him maintain his body position on the bike while leaned over. <BR><BR>At the Wednesday riders' meeting, AMA Pro Racing Road Race Manager Ron Barrick said that former Superbike racer Dale Quarterley, who now races stock cars, will be driving the official Pontiac Aztec pace vehicle. Miguel Duhamel pointed out that there hadn't been a pace car situation during a Daytona 200 in a while and that he had forgotten how it worked. Then Duhamel pointed out that many of the Superbike racers were not present to hear the information being given out. This prompted Barrick to do a role call to see who was missing at the meeting. Of the 78 riders pre-entered for the Daytona 200 approximately 28 were present. Riders who missed the meeting included:<BR>Larry Pegam<BR>John Ashmead<BR>Rich Alexander<BR>Eric Bostrom<BR>Mike Smith <BR>Scott Russell<BR>Doug Chandler<BR>Anthony Gobert<BR>John Hopkins<BR>Jason Pridmore<BR>Mike Ciccotto<BR>Pascal Picotte<BR>Jordan Szoke<BR>Chris Ulrich<BR>Brian Stokes<BR>Vincent Haskovec<BR>Aaron Slight<BR>However, many of the missing riders entered Superbike for practice only; most 750cc Supersport riders do so, most with no intention of actually running the Daytona 200.<BR><BR>Attack Suzuki's Jason Pridmore said, "We're having a lot of little problems. It's a new team, new bikes, and it's Daytona." Pridmore said that Attack may simplify its program at Daytona with Rich Alexander dropping his entry in 600cc Supersport and Pridmore himself electing to not run in 750cc Supersport. Pridmore and Alexander win the AMA 750cc Supersport Championship in 1997 and 1998, respectively.<BR><BR>Meanwhile, Valvoline EMGO Suzuki had already decided to concentrate on Ben Spies in 750cc Supersport with John Hopkins and Grant Lopez running 600cc Supersport only. The team had orginally planned on running all three riders in 750cc Supersport. <BR><BR>One of Dave Estok's Tilley Harley-Davidson Buell Pro Thunder racers was sporting an on-board camera in Wednesday afternoon practice. Tuner Don Tilley said that the bike would be used to shoot footage for ESPN with former AMA Superbike Champion-turned-TV-commentator Thomas Stevens riding. Stevens, who won his Championship with Yamaha in 1991, said that Yamaha had declined to provide a photo bike for the filming, so he asked Tilley. According to Stevens, when the footage airs, there will be no mention of make, model or team. Stevens would simply be narrating his lap with a voice over. <BR>