Triumphant Triumph at Daytona 200 MotoAmerica Motorcycle Race

What the Daytona 500 is to NASCAR, the Rolex 24 is to sports cars, and what Indy is to the NHRA and IndyCar, the Daytona 200 is to motorcycles.

The classic 200-mile race has been held in Florida every spring for 80 years. The motorcycles first raced on a dirt road in Savanah, Georgia, and moved around a bit before settling into the sands of Daytona Beach. Like cars, bikes migrated to the high banks of the Daytona International Speedway in 1961, a few years after cars hit the pavement.

The bikes race over a modified mix of inside turns and high banks for 57 laps, taking nearly two hours to complete the 200.7-mile race.

Brandon Paasch on his TOBC Racing Triumph Triple RS.

Brian J. Nelson MotoAmerica

As is often the case in endurance racing – because 200 miles of road racing on a motorcycle is endurance – getting pole position doesn’t mean quite as much here. Indeed, poleman Josh Herrin riding the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC Panigale V2 took pole for the race. Herrin was leading in the early stages, but the team misjudged how much fuel the bike would use in the first stint and Herrin ran out of it, heading into his first pit stop and costing him valuable track position.

This led to a tight field of leaders at the front of the pack, with TOBC Racing Brandon Pasch lurking in the back of this bag all day. And because no one remembers who was leading during the race, that suited Paasch. During his final pit stop, Paasch’s team decided to go fuel-only, opting to leave the Triumph rider on his same tyres.

Burnout

Brian J. Nelson MotoAmerica

The New Jersey rider dove low on the bank after coming out of the final chicane on the final lap and finished his Triumph Triple RS in fourth place with a long, wide section of Daytona bank to go. If you’ve ridden or driven there you know the bend, it’s flat all the way through the bend to the finish line. Paasch then executed a double pass from rivals Cameron Petersen and Sheridan Morais at the finish line to earn his second straight Daytona 200 victory by a snap of 0.007 seconds.

“This one is awesome, to be honest,” Paasch said. “Herrin was on Instagram saying I was out of his league and then coming here and beating him was really good for me.”

Herrin finished 10th.

Daytona 200

  1. Brandon Paasch (Triumph)
  2. Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
  3. Sheridan Morais (Yamaha)
  4. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
  5. Richie Escalante (Suzuki)
  6. Danny Eslick (Triumph)
  7. Harry Truelove (Yamaha)
  8. Geoff May (Suzuki)
  9. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
  10. Josh Herrin (Ducati)

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