AMA Racers Test Repaved Daytona Track

New racing surface gets positive reviews

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 21, 2010
AMA Pro racers got a chance to try the newly repaved surface at Daytona International Speedway in a two-day test.

Automobile racers from NASCAR, GRAND-AM and ARCA have already driven on the new racing surface and select riders from AMA Superbike and Daytona Sportbike classes got their opportunity Dec. 19-20 to prepare for the 2011 season opener. Racers that took part include defending Superbike Champion Josh Hayes, his Graves Yamaha teammate Josh Herrin, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden and Blake Young, Foremost Insurance Pegram’s Larry Pegram, Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West and Celtic Racing’s P.J. Jacobson.

Daytona International Speedway’s tri-oval, pit road, skid pad and apron were repaved in July, only the second time the circuit has been resurfaced. Riders tested the 2.95-mile road course with positive feedback.

Josh Herrin Josh Hayes Graves Yamaha

“The race track has done a fantastic job with the paving job and Dunlop has done a real good job showing up with tires that are safe,” says Hayes. “We are all going around the race track having fun and have nothing but good things to say so far. I’m looking forward to coming back in January (to test) and then coming back and racing in March.”

Hayes says he will have to change his approach to the Daytona round after riding on the new surface.

“Quite honestly, it’s so smooth that it’s kind of changed the game plan,” says Hayes. “Honestly the track feels smaller to me. It feels like it’s about  80 percent of the size that it use to be because we get around there a little bit quicker, a little bit smoother and a little more time to relax. I’m sure for the guys riding in the Daytona 200 on the 600s, it’s going to be a whole lot better.”

Herrin, the 2010 Daytona 200 winner, agreed with his teammate’s assessment.

“It’s nice and smooth,” says Herrin. “It’s easy to see now. There [are] no bumps and it’s going to be make the 200 miles a lot easier up on the banking not being so bumpy. The chest isn’t sore today. It’s usually sore from all the bumps but it’s been really good.”

AMA Pro Racing will return to Daytona Jan. 17-18 for another tire test before the 2011 season opens with Daytona 200 Week, March 5-12.