- Written by webmin
Bike week officially started last Saturday for the partiers and snowbirds looking for a bike-related spring break from this difficult winter. But the big event of the week is taking place Saturday afternoon at the Daytona International Speedway with the running of the historic Daytona 200. Practice begins this morning at the track, with sessions for National Guard Super Bike, Daytona Sport Bike, Super Sport and XR-1200 Harley Davidson classifications, and qualifying continues on Friday morning. Race 1 for Super Bike and Super Sport as well as the only race for the XR-1200s will be Friday afternoon, with Race 2 for the Super classes running on Saturday morning before the start of the actual Daytona 200 for Sport Bikes.
The Daytona 200 was first run in 1937, starting on a 3.2-mile course on the beach before moving to Daytona International Speedway in 1961. The current course configuration is 3.5 miles and is mostly run on the infield of the track.
Notable riders such as Floyd and Don Emde, Ed Kretz, Kenny Roberts, Matt Mladin, Scott Russell and Miguel Duhamel have all visited victory lane in the last 70 years (no races were run between 1941 and ’47). The Big 4 Japanese manufacturers – Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki – have owned the race since the early Seventies; the last non-Japanese bike to win at Daytona was a BSA in 1971.
Last year’s winner, Josh Herrin, and regular Tommy Aquino, both atop Yamaha superbikes, are the projected early favorites in a field of over 50 riders attempting to qualify.