MotoAmerica: Escalante Breaks Lap Record During Daytona 200 Q1 (Updated)

MotoAmerica: Escalante Breaks Lap Record During Daytona 200 Q1 (Updated)

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts. brings you the results of this weekend’s events.


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Richie Escalante earned provisional pole position during MotoAmerica Daytona 200 Qualifying One Thursday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway.

Riding his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R750, the Mexican rider lapped the 3.51-mile infield road course in 1:47.833, which surpassed his own Daytona 200 Lap Record of 1:48.133 from 2023.

Escalante’s teammate Tyler Scott was second-best with a 1:48.045, but on Scott’s next lap he crashed at high-speed in the chicane. Scott was taken to the infield medical care center, but according to Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki Vice President of Operations Chris Ulrich, the 18-year-old is relatively uninjured and expected to ride later in the weekend.

Hayden Gillim was third-quickest with a 1:49.045 on his Vesrah Racing Suzuki GSX-R750.

Josh Herrin, winner of the 2023 Daytona 200, did the fourth-fastest lap at 1:49.302 on his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Panigale V2.

Bobby Fong rounded out the top five with a 1:49.372 on his Wrench Motorcycles Suzuki GSX-R750.

Xavi Fores, the 2023 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion, earned the final spot on the provisional second row (sixth) with a 1:49.859 on his Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha.

Former British Superstock 1000 Champion Richard Cooper finished the session seventh with a 1:49.933 on his PHR Performance Triumph Street Triple 765 RS.

Two-time Daytona 200 winner Brandon Paasch was eighth with a 1:49.938 on his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki.

Stefano Mesa did a 1:49.947 on his Boulder Motor Sports Ducati and ended up ninth.

Four-time Daytona 200 winner Danny Eslick completed the top 10 provisional qualifiers with a 1:50.156 on his TOBC Racing Triumph Street Triple 765.







More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:

Escalante Takes Provisional Pole For 82nd Running Of The Daytona 200
Aussie Rookie Troy Herfoss Fastest King Of The Bagger, Rodio Quick In BellissiMoto Twins Cup And Tyler O’Hara Leads Super Hooligan National Championship Qualifying


Richie Escalante (54). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Richie Escalante (54). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.


DAYTONA BEACH, FL (March 7, 2024) – Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante took a big step towards making up for last year’s crash from the lead in the Daytona 200 by earning provisional pole position on a sunny Thursday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway.

Escalante’s lap of 1:47.833 is a new record and he was the only rider in the 68-rider strong field to lap in the 1:47s. The Tizayuca, Hidalgo, Mexico resident did his best time at the very end and modestly gave credit for the lap to a two-rider draft. Escalante, however, had earlier done a 1:48 lap by himself so his quick pace is obvious.

Escalante hasn’t forgotten last year when he was in a battle with Josh Herrin when the two came together in turn one and Escalante crashed. He’s hopeful of this being a redemption race and he’s determined to make that happen.

“For sure I’m really happy to be back,” Escalante said. “I feel great and the first day was amazing – P1.  I made an amazing lap and I’m happy again to be racing in the 200. After last year I really want to come back and battle for the win again. Now I will keep working for the race. So, thanks to my team, Vision Wheel M4 Suzuki, and to all the fans.”

Escalante’s teammate Tyler Scott, meanwhile, ended up second, just .212 behind Escalante, but his session came to a painful conclusion with a crash in the chicane on his final lap. Scott was in the low 1:48s, with a 1:48.045.

Vesrah Racing’s Hayden Gillim gave the Suzuki GSX-R750 a sweep of the provisional front row with Gillim and his 1:49.301 the third fastest time of the session.

Defending Daytona 200 Champion Josh Herrin was fourth fastest on the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Panigale V2 and just .001 of a second from the front row.

Next up was Wrench Motorcycle’s Bobby Fong in fifth, followed by Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Xavi Forés, Brit Richard Cooper, two-time Daytona 200 winner Brandon Paasch (on another Vision M4 ECSTAR Suzuki), Boulder Motor Sports’ Stefano Mesa and four-time Daytona winner Danny Eslick rounding out the top 10 on the TOBC Triumph.


Troy Herfoss (17). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
Troy Herfoss (17). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Mission King Of The Baggers – A Quick Study

Just a session after his first go at Daytona International Speedway, Australian Troy Herfoss went from “I’ve never been more scared in my entire life” to an impressive effort in the first qualifying session to earn provisional pole position.

Herfoss and his S&S/Indian Motorcycle-backed Challenger not only earned provisional pole, but he also set a new Mission King Of The Baggers lap record at Daytona International Speedway with his 1:50.017 besting Kyle Wyman’s lap of 1:50.563 from a year ago.

Harley-Davidson Factory Racing’s Kyle Wyman ended up second after leading most of the session, just .180 of a second off Herfoss’s lap. Herfoss’s teammate Tyler O’Hara completed the provisional front row and was the last rider to lap in the 1:50s with his 1:50.599 also under the lap record.

Harley-Davidson Factory Racing’s James Rispoli, RydFast Racing’s Kyle Ohnsorg and Saddlemen/Harley-Davidson’s Travis Wyman rounded out the top 10 on Wednesday.

BellissiMoto Twins Cup – Rodio All Day

Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering’s Gus Rodio picked up where he left off from his three-win 2023 Twins Cup season that netted him second place in the championship behind Blake Davis on day one at Daytona, with the New Jerseyan earning provisional pole.

Rodio did a fastest lap of 1:56.257 to best Giaccmoto Yamaha Racing’s Dominic Doyle with the South African .342 of a second behind Rodio and .256 ahead of 2023 Junior Cup Champion Avery Dreher and his TopPro Racing Team.

RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki’s Rocco Landers ended up fourth on the day in his debut on the new GSX-8R. S.E. Composites Racing’s Ed Sullivan rounded out the top five, the crew chief for former Westby Racing Superbike rider Mathew Scholtz.

Mission Super Hooligan National Championship – The Champ’s Day

Last year, Tyler O’Hara won five of eight races en route to the Mission Super Hooligan National Championship and he looks like he’s ready to double down on that. O’Hara and his S&S/Indian Motorcycle FTR1200 was over a second quicker than his closest competition while earning provisional pole position on Friday afternoon at the Speedway.

O’Hara’s 1:52.781 put him over a second ahead of the Saddlemen/Harley-Davidson Pan America ridden by Cory West with O’Hara’s new teammate Troy Herfoss ending up third on his first day at Daytona International Speedway.  West’s two teammates, Travis Wyman and Jake Lewis, were fourth and fifth, respectively.

About MotoAmerica

MotoAmerica is North America’s premier motorcycle road racing series. Established in 2014, MotoAmerica is home to the AMA Superbike Championship as well as additional classes including Supersport, Stock 1000, Twins Cup, Junior Cup, and King Of The Baggers. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership including three-time 500cc World Champion, two-time AMA Superbike Champion, and AMA Hall of Famer Wayne Rainey; ex-racer and former manager of Team Roberts Chuck Aksland; motorsports marketing executive Terry Karges; and businessman Richard Varner. For more information, please visit and follow MotoAmerica on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. To watch all things MotoAmerica, subscribe to MotoAmerica’s live streaming and video on demand service, MotoAmerica Live+ 




More, from a press release issued by Rahal Ducati Moto:



Thursday’s on-track activities marked the first official sessions of the Rahal Ducati Moto Supersport campaign. Daytona International Speedway saw clear skies, providing excellent conditions to work on the mechanical and electrical foundations of the bikes, and service any issues that could arise within a new program.

Tomorrow’s schedule hosts Qualifying 2 with all three Rahal Ducati Moto riders competing in Group A. The session will be green from 10:10 AM to 10:40 AM with the fastest 12 riders combined from both groups advancing to the Time Attack round. Time Attack will be held from 1:15 to 1:30 PM, concluding the qualifying efforts and setting the field for Saturday’s 57-lap race.



PRACTICE: P35 (No Time Recorded) – GROUP A

QUALIFYING 1:: P24 (1:51.839) – GROUP A

NOTES: Issue with bike transponder in FP1 resulted in failure to record a lap time, requiring Jacobsen to return to the pits to fix // Upon exit, the No. 15 suffered a technical issue leading to contact with the track and significant damage to the racing machine // The XPEL crew was successful in getting the Ducati back in race condition in time for the first qualifying session.

WHAT HE’S SAYING: “For Practice 1, we went out there and ran some laps, but unfortunately we had a mechanical problem. I high-sided myself and slid up the banking. I found out after the practice when I looked through the electronics that it was something out of our control, which really upset our day.

“I still don’t feel that great [after Qualifying 1]. I think that there’s a lot of work to be done on our side of things so I’m hoping we can figure things out this evening, regroup, and positively focus on a better tomorrow, because honestly, today’s been a negative start for us. We’ll take some time to go over some things, figure out tomorrow, and try to move the No. 15 XPEL Ducati forward to the front”.



PRACTICE: P30 (1:54.965) – GROUP A

QUALIFYING 1:: P28 (1:53.154) – GROUP A

NOTES: Ran her first-ever laps on the Daytona track in preparation for the Daytona 200 // Struggled with gearing issues, resulting in minimal track time // Also suffered minor electronics issues, a setback the team is confident will be solved by Qualifying 2

WHAT SHE’S SAYING: “Today was pretty eventful. It was the first day at this track on the new bike, with a new team, and new sponsors – so a lot of new for me, but we made the best of it. We had some small issues today that hopefully can get worked out for tomorrow. I think overall the day went pretty well, track-learning-wise, but we are definitely looking for a little bit more. We’re hoping for a good Q2 and to make a big step in the morning. Hopefully, some of the changes will buy us some time on the track and a good starting position for the No. 19 XPEL team.”



PRACTICE: P29 (1:54.910) – GROUP A

QUALIFYING 1:: P30 (1:54.689) – GROUP A

NOTES: Drove a clean FP1 and Q1 earning quality time on the Roller Die + Forming bike ahead of the first race // Led the Rahal Ducati Moto team through FP1

WHAT HE’S SAYING: “It was a good first day on the Roller Die + Forming Ducati! We had bikes that ran so that was positive, and with no major mechanical issues overall. We need to make some big steps for the rest of the weekend, but we will do some homework tonight and have a better day tomorrow.”



WHAT HE’S SAYING: “Today was another day of testing for us. It wasn’t an easy day, but we did learn a lot. We had a setback with PJ’s crash, which was not his fault, as he had a small issue with the bike and luckily he’s okay. We have a lot of things to work on tonight, and if we can put it all together for tomorrow and the race, I think we can still start clawing back through the field. We definitely had a rough first day but those happen in racing and we just have to get through it”.

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