Daytona 200 Sees Lots of Changes

. By Jessica Lee
By Jessica Lee

Over the past few months, we’ve all heard about and seen the changes being made as Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG) gradually took over AMA Roadracing. Not only that, but it was very nerve wracking to see a few of the major factory teams pull out of the series and hear news of past champions without a ride. No-one was quite sure how it all would work out until race day. Between this year's new AMA, and the first ever 200 run at night, it was a very historic race.

This year’s Daytona 200 saw many memorable moments and historic firsts like the new SportBike Class getting billing as the main class. For the first time, there were pro road race bikes with brake lights! A number of major rider changes were seen, with Miguel Duhamel switching from long time team Honda to Blackfoot Suzuki from his home country, Canada. Josh Hayes switched from Honda as well to join the Yamaha team alongside Ben Bostrom and Josh Herrin. There were also a few women like Melissa Paris (Josh Hayes’ wife) competing in the 200. I wonder how Josh felt about competing against his wife!

A rolling start is normally used for car racing, but for the bikes that was another big change this year, and the first time for the 200. Mid race, when the red flag was called after a few of the huge track lights shut off, they took it a step further and used a single file restart!

Before the red flag, Josh Hayes was the leader by far, running lap times in the minute forties. After the restart, Hayes did pretty well until about lap 52 when he had an unfortunate crash that made way for Ben Bostrom to take the top spot along with Josh Herrin and Jason Disalvo behind him.

Hayes’ get-off wasn’t the only crash of the race. Unfortunately this race saw some jaw dropping high sides, low sides, flips and slides. Triumph’s Justin Filice went down as well, almost loosing a finger.

This year’s race was more eventful than any I have seen for sure. It was so great to see all the changes taking place, some good and some bad. Keep an eye out this season to see who kicks butt! The next race will be in Fontana, California.

Source: Bikeland

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