Guyanese Elliot Vieira impresses at Daytona 200
The Bridgestone Canadian Superbike duo of Ben Young and Guyanese Elliot Vieira completed their Daytona 200 weekend in opposite spirits on Saturday, as Josh Herrin won a controversial 62-lap feature at Daytona International Speedway.
While Vieira finally exercised his mechanical demons in warm-up on Saturday morning, specifically fixing the braking issues that plagued him all week, it was Young who found brake problems of his own aboard his Bridgestone-backed BPM Yamaha.
Hoping to just manage their machines to the end, both enjoyed strong starts to the historic 200-mile endurance race, with Young putting himself 13th after the first batch of pit stops and Vieira up eleven spots to 21st.
Despite a slower second pit-stop for Vieira, the duo continued their momentum into the second stage of the race, with Young climbing just outside the top ten and with a stronger pace than some ahead of him while Vieira settled into 25th.
However, the worst-case scenario struck for the BPM Yamaha team with just five laps to go, when a late red flag produced a ten-lap restart.
The all-out pace of the restart meant the lesser-powered machines of Young and Vieira were mismatched against the heavyweight teams up front, who carried as much as 15-20 extra horsepower.
Desperately fighting to stay inside the top-15, Young ultimately pushed beyond his machine’s limits as he crashed out with just six laps remaining, running in a strong 12th at the time. Vieira, meanwhile, found consistent pace on fresher tires right when he needed it, scrapping his way through the pack to finish an excellent 15th in the end.
It was a sensational result for Vieira, who had completed only a handful of clean laps prior to Saturday amidst his mechanical issues and ultimately found a way to put himself in the top-15 in his first ever Daytona appearance.
While Young’s crash was a frustrating end to an even more frustrating weekend, the reigning Bridgestone CSBK champion proved that a sensational result was possible under different circumstances.
Both riders will now have a few days off to soak in their first Daytona 200 appearance together, before returning to Bridgestone CSBK action on Tuesday for the official Winter Test in nearby Jennings, FL. (insidemotorcycles)