Quotes From Daytona

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Following this weekend's races at the front end of Daytona Bike Week, here are a number of interesting quotes from some of the top finishers, starting off with Expert Middleweight SuperSportRace winner Jeff Wood (No. 9 Penguin Racing Suzuki):

"Scotty (Greenwood)finally really got on the pace and got by me going into the(International) Horseshoe. I was a little worried because he stretched itout a little bit there, but fortunately it wasn't enough. It was classicDaytona...

"I just stayed glued to his rear tire and drafted back by him atthe end."

Amateur Speedscreen Unlimited Grand PrixRace winner Nathan Kern (No. 60 Suzuki) "I got a terrible launch at thestart. The bike almost stalled and I went from the second row to almostlast. I worked my way to the front and on the last lap I made sure that Ididn't over cook the chicane. It's really bad over there because of therain this morning and a cone was knocked out on the track. I went aheadand started weaving a bit just in case someone was trying to draft me."

Formula USA Timed Qualifying Lockhart-Phillips SuperbikeLarry Pegram (No. 72 Hooters Suzuki) "I kept catching guys in the wrongspot. On the lap when I had a really good lap going I caught a guy in thechicane and I think he was eating a sandwich or something. The team isworking so hard and we didn't do what we thought we could. I'm not realhappy right now, but we'll get after it."

Michael Barnes (No. 34 Hooters Suzuki) "I was just looking for someone tohook up with and maybe get a few more miles an hour on the banking. I'msure some of the other guys were working together. I was all by myself.I'm really happy with my times considering the conditions. We'll see,we'll just hope for better weather tomorrow."

Shawn Higbee (No. 1 KWS Racing Suzuki) "The track conditions were a lotdifferent then what we've had this weekend. The rain this morning createda damp track for us. The F-USA officials changed the configuration of thetrack around some wet sections in the chicane, so it made the course alittle slower, but everyone had to deal with it. I'm real happy with thepole position. I know we've got some fast new riders in the series. It'sgreat to have that type of competition. It's going to make me fight forit to try anddefend the championship."

(On his pole-winning lap)"I was out there by myself the whole time and actually got held up acouple of times by some slower riders. In the end it wasn't too bad. Iwould have gone out for a few more laps, but it started raining and itdidn't look like anyone was going to challenge our time."

NRRS SportBike timed qualifying

Michael Barnes (No. 34 Hooters Suzuki) "I think some of the other ridersmight have been running qualifying tires. We were running a total raceset-up so I'm sure we'll be right there in the final."

Larry Pegram (No. 72 Hooters Suzuki) "It was really, really windy outthere. It's feels like the highest winds I've ever felt here. It wasactually slowing my bike down on the straight. And there are cones in thechicane so it slowed us down a lot. I was just trying to get a lap were Ididn't have to deal with lappers, it was pretty crowded out there."

Lee Acree (No. 84 Arclight Suzuki) "We've been to get everything dialedin all weekend. The weather has been real cooperative, but we're gettingreal close. The bike is great, now it's up to me to figure out how to getthat optimum lap in. We're right there; it's just a matter of who's inthe lead group tomorrow. It will be a drafting battle - it always is."

Josh Hayes (No. 3 Valvoline/EMGO Suzuki) "I had some pretty good laps. Ithought I could put together some good laps getting a tow from Lee Acree,but it just didn't work out. Tom (Kipp) and I turned in some of the besttimes because we have the best bikes. I'd like to try to run this racefrom the lead tomorrow. I think it's going to be a good show."

Tom Kipp (No. 5 Valvoline EMGO Suzuki) "We've been struggling with tiresthe last couple of days. We got some new stuff that came in today andit's made a bit of a difference. I'm finally starting to settle intoriding the bike. I haven't been racing 600s all that much over the lastfew years and I'm just really pleased with the team. Josh and I areworking together and it just a good atmosphere. No real strategies forSunday. We're really just using this weekend for testing, but I'lldefinitely go for the win tomorrow."

Heavyweight SuperbikeRace winner Nathan Kerns (No. 60 Hooters Suzuki) "I wasn't reallyoptimistic about the Suzuki 750 with the way it handled in the firstrace. We just made a couple of adjustments to the front end because itwas a little schizophrenic. I was just trying to be consistent with thelaps because I knew Walker was coming. He is a heckuva good rider."

Expert Lightweight SuperbikeRace winner Steve Keener (No. 2 Speedwerks Suzuki) - "It was a greatbattle. I noticed yesterday when we had the wind with us my engine washitting the rev limiter. With the way the wind was today it was justright."

Third-place finisher Jerry Wood (No. 3 Ducati) - "That's CCS racing atits best. We had a two-stroke twin a four-stroke twin and a littlesingle-cylinder and you could have thrown a blanket over the three of us.You just don't get racing like that, it was a dynamite race."

Buell Lightning QualifyingMichael Barnes (No. 1 Kosco Harley-Davidson Buell) - "I wish everythingcould run this smoothly. The team atmosphere is really great and theseguys have done a great job. I'm just hoping that the rain holds offtomorrow. As good as I am in it, I really don't relish the thought ofriding in the stuff."

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