Nicky Hayden on Daytona Pole

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 7, 2002) – Nicky Hayden, 20, ofOwensboro, Ky., shattered Daytona International Speedway's motorcycletrack record in Thursday's qualifying for the 61st anniversary of theDaytona 200 by Arai.Hayden clicked off a lap at one minute, 47.174 seconds (119.581 mph) onhis Honda RC51. It marked the first Daytona 200 pole for Hayden and thefirst pole for Honda in the prestigious race since 1987.

After setting the record Hayden crashed in the closing minutes of thequalifying session, but no other riders were able to better his time. Hewas treated and released from the track's infield care center."All things considered I feel really good," said Hayden after coming outof the care center...

"I don't know if you saw that on TV, but it was sobig (the crash), I can't believe I'm OK. I went into the chicane and assoon as I tipped it back right the thing came around and threw me over.The guy (EMT) asked me what day it was and I told him, 'Up to nowit was the best day of my life.' To be on pole is really cool, but nowI'm just hoping I can ride and am looking forward to the race."

Only the top four starting positions are locked in. Hayden will bejoined on the front row by Honda teammates Miguel Duhamel and KurtisRoberts as well as Yamaha's Anthony Gobert.

Duhamel, a three-time winnerof the 200 from Montreal, clocked a 1:47.259 at 119.486 mph to qualifysecond.

Roberts, son of former Daytona winner Kenny Roberts, will start thirdwith a time of 1:47.527 (119.189 mph). Australian Gobert will start onthe out side of Row 1 with a time of 1:48.083 (118.576 mph).

The top sixqualifiers for Sunday's race ran under last year's track record of1:48.424 (118.203 mph) turned by Mat Mladin.Mladin, the three-time and defending AMA Superbike champion, qualified adisappointing sixth. The Aussie is trying to become the first rider towin the Daytona 200 three-times in a row.

Tickets for all motorcycle events at the Speedway, including the Daytona200 By Arai and the Daytona Supercross By Honda, are available online at or by calling the Speedwayticket office at (386) 253-7223.

Pro Honda Oils Supersport Qualifying1. Nicky Hayden, No. 69 Honda, 113.065 mph;2. Tommy Hayden, No. 22 Kawasaki, 112.970;3. Damon Buckmaster, Yamaha 112.877;4. Miguel Duhamel, No. 17 Honda, 112.839;5. Eric Bostrom, No. 32 Kawasaki, 112.609;6. Kurtis Roberts, Honda 600, 112.538;7. Aaron Gobert, No. 96 Yamaha, 112.452;8. Anthony Gobert, No. 16 Yamaha 112.364;9. Aaron Yates, No. 20 Suzuki, 112.336;10. Roger Lee Hayden, No. 95 Honda, 112.233.Buell Pro Thunder Qualifying1. Kirk McCarthy, No. 306 Ducati, 110.765 mph;2. Dave Estok, No. 2 Buell, 110.283;3. Mike Ciccotto, No. 13 Buell, 110.185;4. Shawn Higbee, No. 214 Buell, 109.417;5. Thomas Montano, No. 1 Ducati, 108.982;6. Michael Barnes, No. 22 Buell, 108.787;7. Carlos Macias, No. 301 Ducati, 106.442;8. Ricky Lundgren, No. 8 Ducati, 106.231;9. Thomas Fournier, No. 50 Ducati, 105.903;10. Tripp Nobles, No. 87 Buell, 104.868.Daytona 200 By Arai Qualifying (Top four locked in)1. Nicky Hayden, No. 69 Honda, 119.581 mph;2. Miguel Duhamel, No. 17 Honda, 119.486;3. Kurtis Roberts, No. 80 Honda, 119.189;4. Anthony Gobert, No. 16 Yamaha, 118.576;5. Pascal Picotte, No. 21 Ducati, 118.427;6. Mat Mladin, No. 1 Suzuki, 118.326;7. Aaron Yates, No. 20 Suzuki, 118.139;8. Eric Bostrom, No. 32 Kawasaki, 117.459;9. Jamie Hacking, No. 92 Suzuki, 116.272;10. Michael Barnes, No. 34 Suzuki, 112.565.Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock1. Steve Rapp, No. 318 Suzuki, 113.994 mph;2. Jordan Szoke, No. 101 Suzuki, 113.657;3. Michael Barnes, No. 124 Suzuki, 113.563;4. Larry Pegram, No. 172 Suzuki, 113.351;5. Jimmy Moore, No. 1 Suzuki, 112.817.
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