The Daytona International Speedway has just had some new pavement laid down around the track. NASCAR, Grand-Am, and ARC racers have all gotten their chance to try out the new surface, and this weekend the motorcycle riders got their turn on the new track.
Only a few teams from the AMA Pro Racing series got the chance to participate in the two-day Dunlop tire test. Josh Hayes and Josh Herrin of Graves Yamaha were at the test, as well as Yoshimura Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden and Blake Young, Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram, Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West, and Celtic Racing’s P.J. Jacobsen.
“The race track has done a fantastic job with the paving job and Dunlop has done a real good job showing up with tires that are safe,” said Hayes, the 2010 AMA Pro SuperBike champion. “We are all going around the race track having fun and have nothing but good things to say so far. I’m looking forward to coming back in January (to test) and then coming back and racing in March.”
The Daytona International Speedway will host the 70th Daytona 200 AMA Pro Racing Daytona Sportbike event during Daytona 200 week, which is also the start of the AMA Superbike season.
“Quite honestly, it’s so smooth that it’s kind of changed the game plan,” Hayes said. “Honestly the track feels smaller to me. It feels like it’s about 80 percent of the size that it use to be because we get around there a little bit quicker, a little bit smoother and a little more time to relax. I’m sure for the guys riding in the Daytona 200 on the 600s, it’s going to be a whole lot better.”
The Daytona International Speedway was repaved after the Coke Zero 400 in July for only the second time in its history. All of the motorcycle racers who rode last weekend commented on the smooth surface, and the faster track speed.
“It’s definitely different,” Hayden said. “It’s way smoother, the bike moves around a lot less and it has a lot more grip.”
The Daytona 200 is going to be a great start to the 2011 AMA season.
Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com