Superbike Quotes From Daytona

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
What follows are quotes from the top-seeded riders for the Daytona 200 by Arai. Of interest are Gobert and Mladin talking about chunking qualifying tires within one lap and Yates and Nicky Hayden talking about struggling with bike set-up...

Aaron Yates, rider of the No. 20 Yoshimura Suzuki:
"Qualifying for me went pretty good. I'm up here on the front row. TwoSuzukis up here it really looks pretty good for us. We started out inqualifying trying some things to make the bike better. A few thingsworked and then we started trying a different shock and then we decidedto go back to the other one when it was time for the qualifiers. We werekind of running out of time so we're like let's change the shock andlet's change the tires and everything. So we got it all done and we gotout there and had a pretty good lap going. I was coming up on (Larry) Pegram and I was like, "Yeah, this is going to be perfect. I'm going toget me a good draft down around 3 and 4 and the front straight. But wegot up on the chicane and run up on a guy and just blew that lap andthat was aggravating. Anyway we got back around there and I had a realgood lap going and I come out of the chicane and the thing startedsputtering and running out of gas. I managed to get down and tuck in andI got back in and got some fuel. There was three minutes left. I had togo pretty hard to get around and make that extra lap. I've been having aproblem with grip all week. We stuck that qualifier in there and it gaveme what I needed. It's definitely taken some pressure off being lockedin on the front row. Tomorrow we can concentrate on a few more thingsthat we need to get the bike set up."

Anthony Gobert, rider of the No. 16 Factory Yamaha:
"I knew that somebody would beat it (the track record). As it turnedout, Mat only just got it. When Mat did that time, it put the pressureon a bit. Unfortunately we didn't really beat Mat today. It's a positionthat we weren't really expecting to be in. It's a good surprise for meand a confidence builder for the team. It's just a shame that we didn'thave a tire because I felt that we could have held the record. Tomorrow,we're just going to concentrate on trying to find a race tire. Tireshave put me out of a bunch of races here. I would like to at leastfinish a race and finish on the podium."

Nicky Hayden, rider of the No. 69 Factory Honda RC51
"We've been getting better as the week goes on. Our bikes are basicallybrand new. They never turned a wheel on the track. It took us a littlebit to get going, but defintely we're getting better each session. Iwish we could've qualified a little bit better. I thought our bikeworked really good with qualifying. Last year, I qualified third, thesame place this year. I wanted try to improve on that. We went almost afull second (faster) this year than last year. That's something I'm pretty happyabout."

Mat Mladin, rider of the No. 1 Yoshimura Suzuki:
"It was a good lap for us. We did OK. The last two years -- last yearand this year -- we haven't been able to get a full lap on a singlecompound qualifier (tire). Things just come apart on the last bankingthere. It doesn't matter how slow you go for the first lap out of thepits. They just seem to come apart. The dual compound qualifiers arepretty good, but they're not the same. They still spin off a little bit.It's pretty hard to do a pole lap on a dual compound qualifier. It wasgood to get it (the pole). I fully expected Anthony to give it a run. Iknow he does a good job in that department. It worked out good for us inthe first race for the new Suzuki 750. We're looking forward to therace. We expected to get more (speed). Every one always expects to getmore. These guys will tell you the same. It's hard to get more out of atire that's not actually round for the last part of a lap."

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Brent Avis
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