Press release issued by Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A
From a press release issued by Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A.:
TEAM YAMAHA ROLLS INTO DAYTONA READY TO WIN
Daytona Beach, Florida, March 7, 2006 — When the flag drops for the 65th Daytona 200, Yamaha hopes to add one more to its record number of 18 Daytona 200 wins. Following three days of fine-tuning the all-new YZF-R6 during last weekend’s regional Championship Cup Series (CCS), both the riders and the team feel prepared. In fact, during the 600cc class CCS races, rider Jason DiSalvo on his race-tire equipped R6 was able to lower his fastest winter tire test time (made on a qualifying tire) to the low 1:41’s. DiSalvo could become the first rider to break the 1:40 barrier in Thursday’s pole qualifying.
Many believe the 22-year-old New Yorker is the early favorite for the 200 win, which would make him part of an elite Yamaha family: World Champions Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Scott Russell, Giacomo Agostini, Steve Baker, Johnny Cecotto, Graeme Crosby, and the late Jarno Saarinen all enjoyed victory in the March classic aboard Yamahas.
Also gunning for a win will be Eric Bostrom, a veteran of five Daytona 200s. Bostrom’s best finish was a second in 2001, the year he won the Supersport Championship. Since then, the 29-year-old from Temecula, California has concentrated on the Superbike class. Now he’s back on a 600, logging invaluable seat time to be ready for a return to the longest race on the American calendar.
Jamie Hacking, the third member of the team, will spearhead Yamaha’s assault on the Supersport Championship, while joining his teammates in pursuit of the Superstock title. After he broke both of his elbows in a bicycle accident last year, cutting short his 2005 season, Hacking has worked his way back to near peak fitness. He’ll certainly need it with Superstock and Supersport races running back to back on Thursday.
Here’s what the riders and Team Manager Tom Halverson had to say:
Jason Disalvo, #40
It’s been a big help to get out here and get laps and get comfortable with the place. The R6 is feeling really good. It was pretty close when we brought it here. So we just fine-tuned a little bit. For the CCS weekend, we didn’t have our strong motors in. I’m running the oldest spec motor that we have available just because I wasn’t gelling with the transmission that’s on the stronger motor. We’re going to pick up quite a bit of power coming into the AMA weekend. I ran in one CCS race with the big bikes and I passed almost all the 1000s. Our bikes are really fast. I’m excited, I can’t wait, I wish it was tomorrow.
Eric Bostrom, #32
“Honestly, I want to win this race really bad…Yamaha wants to win this race really bad. It’s just that we’re on a new bike and, had we not been here at the CCS, we wouldn’t be prepared for one week from now in the 200. I wanted to have one more test just to say, ‘Yes, we’re ready to go.’ And this turned out to be it. We’re going in the right direction. These R-6s are really potent on top speed.”
Jamie Hacking, #2
“We’re trying to sort out a set-up. We’ve been working on set-up with the 600 since it’s a completely new motorcycle. It’s been hard work, but every bit of track time we can get is valuable for the 600 race. Everybody knows the race is all down to who’s got the fastest motorcycle. Other than this test, it’s about getting seat time. And shaking things down.
“For me it’s been a long off-season. It actually feels good to get back in the groove. When I tested here in December, I wasn’t in that great shape. Since then, I’ve been training hard and I’m in excellent shape now.”
Tom Halverson, Road Race Team Manager
“It’s been a long time since we’ve done the Daytona 200. Along with that, we’ve got a new motorcycle. But the new R6 has been an incredible tool to work with to get dialed in for this race. Doing the CCS races was a great opportunity to confirm a lot of things we’ve been working on the last couple of months.
“We know from experience that a team has to be very prepared for the 200. This place can bite you if you’re not. It’s a 200-mile race…everything has to go right, but then you’ve got to plan for everything to go wrong, because anything can in this race.
“I think we’ve definitely got the set-up more dialed in, especially when we get late into the session. You know what the tires are going to do, how the bike is going to react. I think the riders are more comfortable with that. This is going to be a great race and we are looking forward to it!”