Mar 2, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Riding a Todd Fenton-tuned GSX-R600, Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki's Tom Kipp broke Lee Acree's Formula USA Sportbike (600cc) lap record during qualifying at Daytona Saturday despite modifications to the chicane that many racers said added 0.5 to 1.0-second to lap times. Kipp used one pair of Michelin Pilot Race 2 race tires and worked alone against swirling winds to turn a 1:56.812 to better Acree's mark of 1:56.842 set during qualifying for the October 2001 F-USA Sportbike event.<BR><BR>Kipp did his time even though traffic cones were placed on the inside of the left-hand portion of the chicane exit, decreasing riders' exit speed from the series of switchbacks. Despite some controversy, the cones were put in place Saturday morning, and left in place all day, to prohibit riders from running over an area of the chicane that gets exceptionally slick when wet. On the other hand, the Sportbke class' horsepower limit has been increased from 112 horseppower in 2001 to 115 horsepower in 2002. In dyno testing, Kipp's machine made 109 horsepower.<BR><BR>Larry Pegram qualified second in his first outing on his Pirelli-equipped GSX-R600, lapping at 1:57.165 to lead the even-numbered qualifying session. Kipp's teammate Josh Hayes turned a 1:57.188 for the third-fastest time. Completing the front row, Arclight Suzuki's Acree turned a 1:57.965 with what he said was a less-than-perfect set-up, on Pirelli tires.<BR><BR>Unofficial Sportbike Qualifying Times:<BR><BR>1. Tom Kipp, GSX-R600, 1:56.812<BR>2. Larry Pegram, GSX-R600, 1:57.165<BR>3. Josh Hayes, GSX-R600, 1:57.188<BR>4. Lee Acree, GSX-R600, 1:57.965<BR>5. Owen Weichel, ZX-6R, 1:58.085<BR>6. Michael Barnes, GSX-R600, 1:58.351<BR>7. Scott Greenwood, GSX-R600, 1:59.146<BR>8. Matt Wait, CBR600F4, 1:59.575<BR>9. Craig Connell, GSX-R600, 2:00.309<BR>10. Jim Lester, CBR600F4, 2:00.392<BR>11. Andrew Nelson, 2:00.555<BR>12. Larry Denning, 2:00.734<BR>13. Ty Howard, GSX-R600, 2:00.782<BR>14. Shaun Harris, 2:00.946<BR>15. Jeff Wood, GSX-R600, 2:01.716<BR>16. Raymond Bowman, 2:02.154<BR>17. Leo Venega, 2:02.332<BR>18. Matt Furtek, 2:02.607<BR>19. John-O Bowman, GSX-R600, 2:03.200<BR>20. Brian Salazar, 2:03.864<BR>