Arai Racers Dominate Daytona Racing—AGAIN!


Podium sweeps in both SuperBike finals, a sweep in H-D 1200,
and more, make it another Bike Week to remember for Arai
Arai racers again dominated Daytona Bike Week racing. Just like they’ve done repeatedly, they demonstrated once again that the best and the fastest continually choose Arai Helmets over the rest in the field.
The week’s biggest hits came in the two AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike finals, with Arai sweeping the podium in both! Same three racers on both days, just shuffled around bit in the standings. Reigning SuperBike champion Josh Hayes and his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha R1 turned race one into a runaway as he disappeared from the field as soon as the flag dropped en route to his first SuperBike win at Daytona (he finished second in both races last year), winning by over eight seconds! Josh’s intense off-season training, purpose-driven to get him as light and streamlined as possible on the bike in 2012, saw him lose eight pounds of body weight, not a small amount when calculating a rider’s effect on his bike’s total weight. Second place in race one went to last season’s double Daytona winner and championship runner-up, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Young. Roger Lee Hayden and his National Guard Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 took the third step on the box.
In the second Superbike final on Saturday, Young and Hayes swapped positions, as they did for most of last season, with Young taking the win by a hair’s-width .002 seconds. Once again, Roger Lee Hayden was third.





Other Arai Daytona 2012 SuperBike racers of note included Geoff May and his Team Amsoil/Hero Eric Buell Racing EBR 1190RS who took sixth and a DNF respectively; his teammate, and defending Daytona SportBike class champion Danny Eslick compiled a DNF and a ninth; Team Venezuela's Robertino Pietri with an eighth and a 10th; Racing's “Aussie Dave” Anthony, a 10th and 11th; and’s Chris Ulrich, still recovering from his 2011 season injuries, recorded impressive 11th and 12th place finishes.







Arai’s third podium sweep, in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series season opener, came via a last lap drafting battle, the kind that has determined so many Daytona International Speedway races. At the stripe, it was Arai’s Kyle Wyman on his Kyle Wyman Racing/Vesrah Harley-Davidson just getting past Bartel's Harley-Davidson teammates Tyler O'Hara and Michael Barnes. It was Kyle’s second consecutive Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race win at Daytona.







The 71st running of the Daytona 200 saw Arai’s 2011 race winner Jason DiSalvo taking second place on his specially-themed Latus Motors Racing Triumph 675R. Both DiSalvo and the bike were adorned in special livery honoring famed Triumph racer Gary Nixon, with DiSalvo even replacing his standard #40 race number with Nixon’s #9 plate.  Longtime Arai racer, and 2010 Daytona SportBike champion, Martin Cardenas brought his GEICO Suzuki home in fourth, and M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki rider Dane Westby led another tightly-packed group across the line in fifth. Veteran racer and former champion Tommy Hayden, left without a fulltime ride in 2012, filled in for an injured racer on the Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha to take seventh place.


Although both AMA Pro SuperSport races had their share of excitement, everything was scooped by Arai racer Elena Myers and her history-making victory in the second race. (See separate story.)




This year’s fabled Daytona Short Track saw another first-time winner. Arai’s Johnny Lewis and his Honda started everything off on Thursday night with his first-ever Daytona Flat Track victory. He didn’t sneak into it either, leading every one of the 25 laps in the 18-rider field. Yamaha’s Sammy Halbert, a double winner last year, now in his first year with Arai, took third place. In round two on Friday night, Brad Baker, Kenny Coolbeth Jr., and Halbert gave Arai a third, fourth and fifth respectively in the main event.

Images by Andrea Wilson