Wednesday Update From Daytona

Calvin Kim
by Calvin Kim
Shocker: Oliver is Only Second Fastest in MBNA 250 GP PracticeRoland Sands turned the fastest lap in MBNA 250 Grand Prix practice onWednesday. Sands turned a 1:55.895, while four-time 250 GP champ RichOliver was second with a 1:55.928 on his Yamaha.Former AMA Horizon Award winner Jason DiSalvo was third at 1:57.569 onthe Cruise America Honda.

Go Roland!

Read more for quotes from Bostrom, Hacking, Hayden, Mladin,Pegram, Rapp, Roberts, Russell and Slight.

Roland Sands credits his strong showing at Daytona to the recent track time he got with us at our 600 Shootout. Well, we'd like to think so, anyway. Scott Russell, rider of the No. 4 HMC Racing Ducati 996
"I think we're doing OK. You want to always be the fastest guy, but Irealize we got some more to do and I've got more time than anybody onthis particular bike. I was about fourth or fifth fastest so we're right there in the hunt. I know what it takes to win on Sunday. Today, I'll take it for what it's worth and learn from it and come back tomorrow."

On winning the Rolex watch...
"I'm going for it, for sure. We got a little bit of work to do so I'mready to put it on the line. Hopefully in the morning practice we'll get there and the afternoon, we'll get the watch."

Eric Bostrom, rider of the No. 32 Kawasaki
"I'm pretty disappointed right now. Things aren't really going our way. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a new day. We've got to change a bunch of things on the bike basically. I just had some things that basically didn't agree with me."

Larry Pegram, rider of the No. 72 Competition Accessories Ducati 996
"This morning went well, but this afternoon kind of stunk. I crashedthis afternoon. We're kind of fighting the setup. We're trying to findthe setup like everybody else. I just [lost the] front in Turn 1."

How bad was the damage?
"Nothing we can't fix. Just some body work."

Chances for the pole?
"Our chances for the pole are good. It went good this morning rightaway. We got a good setup, we just got to get it a little better."

Steve Rapp, rider of the No. 82 HMC Racing Ducati
"We can defintely go faster than that. As soon as you put on qualifying tires, you can pretty much take a second off on most tracks. Everybody does it. It depends on the conditions. We need another day to set things up and we should be good."

How's your confidence at Daytona?
"The more you ride, the more confident you get. But also we're working off the same bike this year. I didn't have to start over again like last year. When you're not sure, it creates not confident. I feel confident on the bike and I making more decisions and I^Òm confident that they're the right ones."

Tommy Hayden, rider of the No. 22 Yamaha
"I'm real happy. We had two different bikes with two different setups.We're kindof just sorting through that and through some tires. I feelright now we've got a pretty good setup. There's still some other stuff we're going to try to work through. We're sitting third and it'sdefinitely good for the first day."

Chances for the pole?
"We'll get through the morning and try to learn some more stuff. Forsure, I'm going to go for it."

Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbikes Aaron Slight, riding the No. 73 Competition Accessory Ducati 996
Aaron Slight is racing at Daytona for the first time since 1993. The long-time World Superbike competitor is working on learning a new motorcycle and re-learning the Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course.

He spoke after his first session on the track Wednesday.
"Well, always when you come to Daytona it's very daunting, it's a verydifferent track. I struggled this morning. The thing is you got to have a very different set-up so we^Òre going to change the whole bike this afternoon and it should be a lot better. And you just need track miles. I finished fourth here in 1993 so it's been a long time ago."

"The track is about the same, but it does seem to be a little bumpierthan it was the last time I was here, but it's the same track and youhave to use hard tires so knowledge is the answer here and the one'swith the knowledge go fast here."

When asked if he'd made a decision yet on whether or not to race inAmerica the rest of the season:
"We're going to discuss my future plans here this weekend and decidewhat I'm going to do. The rest of the year."

Jamie Hacking, riding the No. 92 Suzuki GSX-R
"This morning Superbike went really well then things changed and itwarmed up a bit and we had to change rubber around and we lost a goodbit of grip. Overall I don't have too much time on this bike yet. I'll get it figured out. We tried a good bit of stuff this session so there's something somewhere that we're missing. I just need more time on the bike. I have no idea what the bike does."

Nicky Hayden, riding the No. 69 Honda RC51
"We're struggling a bit. We're a little bit off where we need to be, but we're going to make some changes for tomorrow and just keep going."

On his penchant for not qualifying well, yet doing well in the race,Does he think that will be the case this year?
"I sure hope so. It's a little bit different at this track since we doso much testing we should already have it figured out or be close bynow."

Kurtis Roberts, riding the No. 80 Erion Racing Honda RC51
"We got a brand new bike here we haven't even ridden up until today. This morning I was trying to take it easy and get my mental things together. This afternoon was a little better. Matt's quite a bit ahead of us right now and we've got to catch that back up. We've got to at least get a half a second a lap better to have a chance to beat him here. Overall for my first 200 it's going pretty good."

On the recent testing in Japan
"We were just doing some wind-tunnel testing, but nothing I feel willhelp us win the race here. We worked on some riding positions that mayhelp on the final lap. You can't ride like that every lap, but maybe on the last lap well have a little advantage."

Mat Mladin, riding the No. 1 Yoshimura Suzuki GSXR750
"We're doing the sort of times we did here in December (testing), we've made a few improvements on the bike and we can get some more out of yet. We know we're going in the right direction so that's the main thing. We'll probably do 47s. We could have done some last year, but we couldn't get a lap in on a new tire."

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