Floridian Sean Dylan Kelly used a Dunlop-shod M4 ECSTAR
Suzuki GSX-R600 to record the fastest lap time, a 1:49.064, during qualifying Friday at
Daytona International Speedway, earning the pole position for the 78th
running of the Daytona 200.
And at age 16 years and 302 days, Kelly also became the
youngest pole-sitter for the race, according to Daytona 200 historian and
former race winner Don Emde.
(Above) Sean Dylan Kelly (right), age 16, being interviewed by former racer and Daytona International Speedway public address announcer Richard Chambers (left). Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
“Talk about being excited, I’m absolutely stoked to be on
pole here!” said Kelly. “I didn’t really expect it coming into the weekend.
That wasn’t the first thing in my mind.
“I knew that after [winning] the [ASRA] Team Challenge in October
 this would be something similar but at the same time completely
different. There’s a whole lot more competition. There’s a lot of good riders this
year running the 200.
“I was just coming in from a solid week of testing with the team,
and it was my first time officially with them, and everything has gone super
well from that moment. Today, was just working step by step with my crew chief
Jeremy [Toye], and my whole team was working step by step. We saw that every
time out we were improving, and the feeling was good. It definitely helps to
have a really good bike, a really good crew, and everything was just going
“Again, I’m really stoked on this pole, and I definitely
believe the most important [part] is tomorrow. So we will just concentrate for
tomorrow and try to get the job done.”
Kelly said he did his fastest lap while riding alone late in
the 35-minute session on the same Dunlop tires he started the session with and
only benefitted from the slipstream of one slower rider, indicating he has a
strong race pace.
Early in the qualifying session (the third of three sessions on Friday), Kelly
worked together with his teammate Bobby Fong, who was quickest in qualifying session one and two, but the two riders got split up in slower traffic.
Fong was unable to improve on the 1:49.354 he did in the
second qualifier, but that time was good enough to earn the second starting
spot on the grid for the Californian.
Claiming the third and final spot on the front row was 2017
MotoAmerica Superstock 600 Champion Jason Aguilar, who like Kelly was riding at
Daytona International Speedway for only the second time in his young career.
Aguilar, who lives in Placentia, California, did a 1:49.706 on his Dunlop-equipped
Team Lexin/CL Auto Yamaha YZF-R6.
The 57-lap Daytona 200 is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.
Eastern Time on Saturday, March 16. It will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv.
We will update this post with a complete list of qualifying
times when they become available.
78th Daytona 200
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
Combined Qualifying Results:
1. Sean Dylan Kelly (Suz GSX-R600), Dunlop, 1:49.064
2. Bobby Fong (Suz GSX-R600), Dunlop, 1:49.354
3. Jason Aguilar (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:49.706
4. Kyle Wyman (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:49.814
5. Tyler O’Hara (Kaw ZX-6R), Dunlop, 1:50.217
6. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:50.312
7. Geoff May (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:50.334
8. Danny Eslick (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:50.364
9. Jason Farrell (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:50.597
10. Brandon Paasch (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:50.760
11. Ryan Jones (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:50.854
12. Max Angles (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:51.046
13. Cory West (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:51.114
14. Jason DiSalvo (Yam YZF-R6), Michelin, 1:51.390
15. Jody Barry (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:51.985
16. Christian Miranda (Yam YZF-R6), 1:52.334
17. Armando Ferrer (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:52.370
18. Carl Soltisz (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:52.644
19. Ross Patterson (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:52.711
20. Joseph Giannotto (Yam YZF-R6), 1:52.846
21. Wayne Reyne Veras (MV Agusta F3 675), 1:53.575
22. Joseph Blasius (Tri Daytona 675R), Michelin, 1:53.592
23. Gwen Giabbani (Suz GSX-R600), Dunlop, 1:53.763
24. Darren James (Yam YZF-R6), 1:53.845
25. Alen Gyorfi (Yam YZF-R6), 1:54.271
26. Max Flinders (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:54.324
27. Bailey Cox (Kaw ZX-6R), Dunlop, 1:54.379
28. Tony Storniolo (Kaw ZX-6R), Pirelli, 1:54.429
29. Barrett Long (Duc 848), Dunlop, 1:54.523
30. Pat Mooney Sr. (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:54.931
31. Anthony Fania Jr. (Yam YZF-R6), 1:55.991
32. Justin Holderman (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 1:56.391
33. Kristofer Knopf (Yam YZF-R6), 1:56.796
34. Tyler Wasserbauer (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:57.895
35. Alex Arango (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:57.992
36. Alexander Guilbeault (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:58.193
37. Adam Wingard (Yam YZF-R6), Michelin, 1:58.227
38. Daniel Spaulding (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:58.389
39. Ryne Snooks (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:58.394
40. Alejandro Rei (Yam YZF-R6), 1:58.435
41. Timothy Wilson (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:58.743
42. Daniel Weems (Yam YZF-R6), 1:58.823
43. Johnny Rock Page (Yam YZF-R6), 1:59.045
44. Gabriel Wingard (Yam YZF-R6), 1:59.055
45. Rick Lind (Yam YZF-R6), 1:59.286
46. James Barry (Yam YZF-R6), 1:59.543
47. John Ashmead (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:59.693
48. Bradley Moser (Kaw ZX-6R), 2:00.282
49. Darrin Klemens (Kaw ZX-6R), 2:00.599
50. David McPherson (Yam YZF-R6), 2:00.940
51. Russ Intravartolo (Yam YZF-R6), Pirelli, 2:01.179
52. Antal Halasz (Suz GSX-R600), 2:01.372
53. Andrew Abel (Suz GSX-R600), Pirelli, 2:01.560
54. Chris Sullivan (Yam YZF-R6), 2:01.784
55. Patrick Ryan (Kaw ZX-6R), 2:01.793
56. R. Scott Briody (Kaw ZX-6R), 2:02.215
57. Mikal Pechota (Suz GSX-R600), 2:02.343
58. Zoltan Nemes (Suz GSX-R600), 2:02.784
59. William Finnerty (Tri Daytona 675), Pirelli, 2:03.660
60. Dorsey DJ Birch (Suz GSX-R600), 2:03.801
61. Roosevelt Wright Jr. (Yam YZF-R6), 2:04.134
62. Christopher Dove (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 2:04.721
63. Bob Berbeco (Suz GSX-R600), 2:04.896
64. David Moser (Duc 848), Bridgestone, 2:05.066
More, from a press release issued by Daytona International Speedway:
Sean Dylan Kelly, 16, Becomes Youngest Pole Winner in DAYTONA 200 History
· Defending and 4-Time Champion Danny Eslick Qualifies 8th
· 78th DAYTONA 200 on Saturday at 1 p.m.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 15, 2019) – Suzuki rider Sean Dylan Kelly, a 16-year-old making his DAYTONA 200 debut, became the youngest pole winner in the race’s 78-year history on Friday, posting a fast lap of 115.859 mph at Daytona International Speedway.
On Saturday, tradition will be renewed on the 3.51-mile DIS road course with the green flag at 1 p.m. (ET) for the 57-lap/200-mile event that will wrap up the 78th Bike Week At DAYTONA. Leading the three-abreast field will be a front row of Kelly, second-fastest qualifier Bobby Fong on a Suzuki (115.551) and third-fastest Jason Aguilar on a Yamaha (115.181). Noted motorcycle historian – and former DAYTONA 200 champion – Don Emde confirmed Kelly’s age was a record for a polesitter.
Sanctioned by the American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA), the DAYTONA 200 is an integral part of Daytona Beach’s rich racing history, dating to 1937 when it was held on the Daytona Beach-road course that utilized both the Atlantic Ocean shoreline and State Road A1A. It quickly became a companion to the course’s stock-car races that were first held in 1936. The DAYTONA 200 moved from the beach-road course to the speedway in 1961, the facility’s third year of existence.
Kelly posted the pole-winning lap during the last of three Friday qualifying sessions. His M4 Ecstar Suzuki teammate Fong led the first two sessions with top speeds of 115.204 and 115.551.
While Kelly is racing in the DAYTONA 200 for the first time, he is familiar with the “World Center of Racing.” Last October he won the ASRA Team Challenge at the speedway.
“I’m so, so happy to get this [pole],” said Kelly, from Hollywood, Florida. “But the important thing is [Saturday]. It will be a long, long race – but I will sleep well tonight.
“Talk about being exciting. I am absolutely stoked to be on the pole. I didn’t really expect it coming into the weekend. It wasn’t the first thing in my mind. I knew after the Team Challenge that this would be something similar but at the same time completely different. There’s a whole lot more competition and a lot of good riders this year running the 200. I was coming in after a solid week testing and today was just [about] working, working, step-by-step with my crew chief and whole team in general. Every time out we were really improving. Everything was just going really solid.”
When you’re talking history these days regarding the DAYTONA 200, Danny Eslick is invariably central to the discussion. A four-time (2014-15, 2016-17) champion of the event, Eslick qualified eighth on a Yamaha. The Tulsa, Oklahoma rider is attempting to become the third five-time DAYTONA 200 champion. Scott Russell (1992, ’94-95, ’97-98) and Miguel Duhamel (1991, ’96, ’99, 2003, ’05) share the all-time record for DAYTONA 200 victories.
Tickets for the DAYTONA 200 and all speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can 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.
More, from a press release issued by Team Hammer:
KELLY AND FONG QUALIFY 1-2 FOR THE DAYTONA 200
Team Hammer has locked down the top two spots on the grid for Saturday’s 78th Daytona 200. Pitted against a deep field of contenders boasting a stack of national titles and Daytona 200 victories, Team M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammates Sean Dylan Kelly and Bobby Fong showcased spectacular speed on Friday afternoon to qualify on pole and in second position, respectively.
Teenager Kelly has been blazing fast at Daytona International Speedway, and threw down a best time of 1:49.064 in the third and final qualifying session. In doing so, he became the youngest pole winner in the prestigious race’s nearly-eight decade history, at 16 years and 302 days old.
Kelly has impressed not only with his rapid pace, but also his rapid adaptation to the team and its Suzuki GSX-R600 Supersport racebike following three seasons riding what is essentially a Moto3 250cc racebike in the MotoGP Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
About Team Hammer
The 2019 season marks Team Hammer’s 39th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 70 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 202 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 135 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles, and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running “Methanol Monster” GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won four F-USA Championships.