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DAYTONA BEACH, FL (March 14, 2011) – The 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing season opener at Daytona International Speedway was a wild one for Richie Morris Racing, featuring extremes of emotion, incredible highlights, and difficult misfortune. Kyle Wyman and Chris Fillmore made it a one-two victory in the XR1200 Class while Danny Eslick challenged in the Daytona 200 before an unfortunate crash.
'09 Daytona SportBike champion Danny Eslick entered the Daytona 200 as one of primary players. Having won the pole for the race last season, the Oklahoman was blisteringly quick again this season, securing a place on the front row after qualifying third best for the historic race aboard his GEICO RMR Suzuki GSX-R600 at 1:50.796 seconds.
Eslick, also backed by Lucas Oil and Millennium Technologies, got away with the lead group and amazed by routinely out-braking three and four of his rivals at a time to take the lead entering Turn 1 during the opening stint.
However, shortly after stopping for a tire change it all went wrong. Eslick suffered a bizarre 160mph crash after losing the front coming off the banking in Turn 4.
After Eslick's crash, the race was soon stopped and the entire field was mandated a front tire change.
"Off the start we were good -- everyone was running together," Danny explained. "We came in for the stop, put a new front on it. I had a couple little moments in the first one where my front tire was tucking. I don't know what the deal was but they said it was pretty tore up. Generally we don't change the front tire -- any time I've run the 200 we've never changed the front tire. Our whole plan was no front tire change but they made the call and we changed it. It was all right at first but a few laps into the stint I lost the front.
"I just lost the front in NASCAR 4 wide open at 170mph. At least it was there and not the middle of 3 and 4 where I would have went into the wall or something else.
"It's hard to describe. I've had a little bit of time to regroup to think about it. I was coming back off the banking, and the front was sliding, sliding and sliding, and then that was it."
The RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing Revolution Performance squad had an equally dramatic weekend in the Vance & Hines XR1200 season opener but with a considerably different outcome.
Due a mishap receiving their equipment, the crew had to work flat-out just to get the bikes on track for the weekend's first practice. But in the end, all of the hard work paid off as Kyle Wymanand Chris Fillmore logged a 1-2 for the team following a heavyweight tilt of four riders going back and forth for the entire distance.
Wyman nipped his teammate Fillmore by a scant 0.016 seconds at the checkered flag. Meanwhile, Michael Corbino made it three RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing Revolution Performance Harley Davidsons in the top ten with his ninth-place result.
For Wyman, it was a fitting triumph after a Daytona crash threatened to derail his promising career. Wyman said, "It's amazing. The last time I was here I ended up going to the hospital, but I was able to put it out of my mind. We were just down to the wire between my dad and the crew and the service guys from Bruce Rossmeyer's to get the bikes on track and it's incredible to be 1-2 after fighting through all of this adversity. "
Fillmore added, "We literally thrashed all weekend to get going. The mechanics worked pretty much 20-hour shifts just to get us out on track. We were behind the eight ball all week long so to finish second is a great result. It was a great race and I'm happy."
RMR Racing will be back in action for Round 2 of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing season on May 13-15 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA.
GEICO RMR Suzuki is sponsored by GEICO, Lucas Oil, Suzuki, Millennium Technologies, Vortex Sprockets, EBC Brakes, and Pilot.
RMR's AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Class program is sponsored by Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona, Revolution Performance, GEICO, Lucas Oil, EBC Brakes, and Pit Bull.
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