Saddlemen

May Takes Daytona 200 Pole by .005 of a Second

| 14 March 2015 2:25 pm

Daytona 200 ASRA American SportBike Racing Association Race
Daytona International Speedway

Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MAR. 13, 2015

Geoff May is 34 years old, and he is in the middle of a professional motorcycle racing career that, in his words, has “gone up and down.”

Friday was up.

Way up.

Geoff May at speed at Daytona.

Geoff May at speed at Daytona.

Riding the number-99 Yamaha, May captured the pole position for Saturday’s 74th annual Daytona 200 ASRA American SportBike Racing Association race at Daytona International Speedway by a scant five-thousandths of a second over number-two Meen Motorsports Yamaha rider Josh Herrin on the 3.51-mile road course. When Friday’s two qualifying sessions were complete, May’s best lap time was one minute and 50.636 seconds, compared to Herrin’s one-minute-and-50.641 second time. Rounding out the top four were Stefano Mesa, on the number-11 Yamaha, and defending Daytona 200 Champion Danny Eslick, on the number-69 Suzuki.

May posted his fastest lap late in the second session.

“I knew it was a good lap,” he said. “When I saw my number go to the top of the boards, I was happy. I knew I had [the pole]; with the amount of time left [in the session], nobody was going to best that. I’m over the moon!”

May, who hails from Gainesville, Georgia, is out to prove a point this week. And he’s doing it the hard way – as in bare bones, budgetwise. Much of May’s effort has been funded by fans, via an on-line campaign he initiated.

“We don’t even have a trailer,” he said. “We stuffed as much in a van as we could and rolled down to Daytona to give it our best shot. This reminds me of my privateer days. But I’ve done it before. That’s how I earned my way into the AMA paddock.

“This is my 16th year coming to Daytona,” he added. “Overnight, I’ve become a veteran. I’m out of a job racing right now; I wanted to come down to Daytona to remind people I’m still a top rider and I do deserve a job… I feel like I do have a place. I feel like I’m at the peak of my ability, fitness and knowledge. I’m not ready to quit. I came down here to put a stamp on things.”

Geoff May captured the pole position for Saturday’s 74th annual Daytona 200 ASRA race by a scant five-thousandths of a second.

Geoff May captured the pole position for Saturday’s 74th annual Daytona 200 ASRA race by a scant five-thousandths of a second.

Eslick, who hails from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, started on the pole last year en route to winning the Daytona 200. His strategy is simple and, based on last year, a recipe for success.

“Be there at the end,” Eslick said. “It’s a long race. You have to stay out of a first-turn pileup [early] when everybody’s antsy and trying to be a hero. Hopefully just hang tight and be there at the end.”

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The 57-lap/200-mile Daytona 200 is set for 1 p.m. ET Saturday. For more information and tickets, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 800/PIT-SHOP.

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