Eslick took control early in race one, jumping ahead of polesitter Jamie Hacking of Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki. Eslick’s Buell 1125R led all 21 laps to win by 2.510 seconds. He celebrated his first AMA Pro Road Racing win with a wheelie across the finish line.
“I was all by myself,” says Eslick. “I kept waiting for Jamie and these guys to come up and move me out of the way but fortunately the Bruce Rossmeyer’s/RMR Racing Buell 1125R just kept us up there.”
Hacking finished in second after pushing his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R past Team M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas with two laps to go.
Race two saw another flag-to-flag victory for Eslick, but Hacking forced the Buell rider to gun it right through to the end.
Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke was Eslick’s main challenger early in the race. Eslick pulled away from Zemke towards the middle of the race but that’s when Hacking began his march back toward the front after falling behind earlier.
Hacking continued to chip away at Eslick’s lead but ran out of laps as the Buell rider crossed the finish line first by 0.099 seconds.
“We went out with a new setting that we hadn’t ridden on,” says Hacking. “It took me awhile at the beginning to figure out what the bike was doing, which is why I fell back a little bit, but once I got settled in I managed to put in some good laps and managed to catch Danny (Eslick). I was thinking about everything I could possibly do. The ZX-6R ran as well as it could but it just didn’t have it today.”
Cardenas and M4 Suzuki teammate Jason DiSalvo vied for the final podium spot with DiSalvo coming out ahead by 0.031 seconds.
“It was an awesome race, everyone battled so hard,” says DiSalvo. “I pulled up alongside Martin (Cardenas) down the back straight and made the pass for third on the lap to the white flag, and then on the last lap he wouldn’t let me make it stick. It was M4 versus M4. I don’t know if my engine was a little tighter or what. I tried to get a drive on him, timed the draft just right and it worked.”
After two runner-up finishes, Hacking’s weekend took a turn for the worse in the post-race press conference. Hacking and Eslick were talking while DiSalvo answered questions from the media. The conversation seemed to bother DiSalvo who stopped several times. The two exchanged words and the situation grew heated before the moderator calmed things down.
AMA Pro Racing later issued Hacking an indefinite suspension for conduct detrimental to the sport of professional motorcycle racing. AMA Pro Racing says Hacking used a string of profanities while leaving the press area. Hacking’s behavior during the press conference was also listed as a factor behind the decision.
“No premier sporting organization would tolerate, whether it be motorsports or major league stick and ball sports, the level of disrespectful, profane and vulgar language in a public forum as demonstrated by Jamie Hacking this weekend at Auto Club Speedway,” says Colin Fraser, managing event director of AMA Pro Road Racing. “His behavior was totally disrespectful to the media, his competitors and the sport of motorcycle racing in general.”
Hacking will be suspended from at least one AMA race weekend. AMA Pro Racing will consider reinstating Hacking pending a public apology and payment of a $4,000 fine. The fine will be donated to Camp Boggy Creek, a Paul Newman Hole in the Wall Camp in Eustis, Fla. and the Roadracing World Action Fund.
|2009 AMA Daytona Sportbike: Fontana race one top five results|
|1st||Danny Eslick||Buell 1125R||-|
|2nd||Jamie Hacking||Kawasaki ZX-6R||+2.510|
|3rd||Martin Cardenas||Suzuki GSX-R600||+2.795|
|4th||Jason DiSalvo||Suzuki GSX-R600||+4.554|
|5th||Jake Zemke||Honda CBR600RR||+5.240|
|2009 AMA Daytona Sportbike: Fontana race two top five results|
|1st||Danny Eslick||Buell 1125R||-|
|2nd||Jamie Hacking||Kawasaki ZX-6R||+0.099|
|3rd||Jason DiSalvo||Suzuki GSX-R600||+8.000|
|4th||Martin Cardenas||Suzuki GSX-R600||+8.031|
|5th||Josh Herrin||Yamaha YZF-R6||+8.200|