Wyman Wins Bagger Opener At Daytona

featured photo of Kyle Wyman and James Rispoli by Scott Odell

Harley-Davidson Factory Racing’s Kyle Wyman won a game of cat and mouse with S&S Cycle/Indian Motorcycle’s Troy Herfoss in Friday’s Mission King Of The Baggers battle at Daytona International Speedway with Wyman crossing the finish line just .018 of a second ahead of the Daytona first timer. The win was the 13th of Wyman’s Mission King Of The Baggers career, which extended his mark as the winningest rider in the class.

Herfoss, meanwhile, finished second not long after earning his first MotoAmerica victory in the Mission Super Hooligan National Championship race earlier in the day. In that one, Herfoss successfully broke away from the pursuing pack in the infield and held on to the finish line. In the Baggers race, Herfoss couldn’t get away and he led going into the chicane. At that point, Herfoss slowed his pace dramatically, forcing Wyman and his teammate James Rispoli to check up. The move almost worked with Wyman just managing to draft past the Aussie and his Indian.

Rispoli looked to have lost the draft to the first two in the closing stages, but a quick last lap brought him back to the draft. He was slowed a little on that final lap when Herfoss’s S&S Cycle/Indian Motorcycle teammate Tyler O’Hara crashed in front of him. Still, Rispoli was able to work himself into the draft on the backstraight and into the chicane where the Herfoss/Wyman battle baulked in front of him.

Troy Herfoss leads Hayden Gillim, photo by Scott Odell

Rispoli was just .137 behind his teammate Wyman as the three crossed the finish line in formation. Fourth place, and less than a second behind, was RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson’s Hayden Gillim, the defending series champion blowing turn one late in the race to lose the draft of the top three.

Fifth place went to Gillim’s new teammate Rocco Landers with the 19-year-old making his King Of The Baggers debut.

“I’ve never really been in that kind of game exactly like that here, and I always wondered how it would go and how stressed I would be,” Wyman said. “The last two laps were pretty slow. I was just trying to sit there and wait and preserve the tire. I was worried that he was going to slow it down enough that we were going to have a four-rider group again, and anything can happen at that point. I was like, ‘just go just enough so we can at least make it a one-on-one fight here.’ It kind of turned into that. I was just playing off of Troy (Herfoss) at that point. Wherever he’s going to go, I’m going to try to get a run somewhere, somehow. When he went into the chicane on the last lap, we were going 15 mile an hour slower down the back straightaway than we were the rest of the race. I just refused to go by. He parked it so hard in the chicane that I thought I was going to have to take another downshift to be able to get out of there. I just kind of timed where I thought he was going to end up and try to get a run where he kind of got out of my way as soon as I went by. I might have touched the dirt on the inside there, but I think at that point that was just the only chance I had, and fortunately it was the right one. We all know you can do all the right things here and lose, and sometimes do a lot of things wrong and win. I’m just happy to be on the right side of this one. Try to keep it going. I’ve never won the first race of the year, so it’s a big deal for me to start off the season like this. I’ve always left the first round on the back foot, whether we came here and had mechanicals or had a problem at the first Atlanta race. It just feels amazing to get the win to start the year.”

Mission Super Hooligan National Championship – Rookie Herfoss Gets It Done

Troy Herfoss photo by Brian J. Nelson

Three-time Australian Superbike Champion Troy Herfoss wasted no time getting down to business in his very first visit to Daytona International Speedway. The S&S/Indian rider beat his teammate Tyler O’Hara in Mission Super Hooligan National Championship race one to record the first MotoAmerica road racing victory of his career.

O’Hara, who started from the pole, crossed the finish line just under half a second after Herfoss, with Saddlemen/Harley-Davidson’s Cory West rounding out the podium in third.

“First of all, thanks for having me,” Herfoss said, “It’s an honor to be here in this championship. I’ve been trying for a long time to come to the States again and road race. It’s a real treat to be out here racing with you guys. It’s easy to learn a track when you’re comfortable on a motorbike, but you can’t buy that experience of riding around the banks of Daytona. In the race, I worked on seeing how much of a gap I would need to get to the finish line. By the sound of it, a lot of stuff went my way with the fight in the background. I watched all the videos last year, and it was Tyler (O’Hara) and Jeremy (McWilliams) a lot of the time. This year, I’m like, ‘Where are all these other guys coming from?’ A lot of guys have stepped up this year, and it looks like everyone’s teams have put in a big effort. Maybe that helped me in the end. It was exciting for us. I can’t explain how happy I am to be here, to be able to compete at the front of the race in America.”

BellissiMoto Twins Cup – Rodio Dominates

Gus Rodio photo by Brian J. Nelson

In the season-opening BellissiMoto Twins Cup race, Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering, Aprilia rider Gus Rodio put in a dominating performance. Rodio, who also won the first Twins Cup race at Daytona last year and was runner-up in last year’s Twins Cup final standings, took the checkered flag on Friday at Daytona with a gap of nearly 12 seconds over second-place finisher Dominic Doyle.

Doyle put in an heroic performance just to make the start of the race let alone finish on the podium. The Giaccmoto Racing Yamaha rider crashed in Mission Super Hooligan National Championship race one just prior to Twins Cup race one and dislocated his shoulder. But he recovered and was declared fit to race just in time to make the Twins Cup start.

Third place went to TopPro Racing Aprilia rider Avery Dreher, who made his 2024 debut in BellissiMoto Twins Cup at Daytona after winning last year’s Junior Cup Championship.

“We were contemplating moving up to Supersport this year, and so far, this weekend, I have been doing double sessions, so I’ve had double the track time as these guys,” said Rodio. “This morning, I went out on the Twins Cup bike at 9:30 and then get in at 10:00 and right back out on the V2. Don’t even have time to take your helmet off. The V2 is really like taking me for a ride. I’m just struggling on that thing. It’s all new and we’re jumping right into the biggest race of the year. So, I’m just kind of trying to figure that thing out. I think that’s helped me with the Twin a little bit, because I get on the Aprilia and everything feels like it’s in slow motion, and when stuff is in slow motion, you can kind of focus a little bit more and put the clean laps together. So, I knew I was going to have a lot of work this weekend with both classes, but I kind of thought coming into the weekend it might mess me up on the Twin a little bit, but it seems to have helped me a little bit. I’m honestly really happy. It was the perfect race for me.”

Daytona 200 Time Attack – Great Scott

Tyler Scott photo by Brian J. Nelson

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott will start Saturday’s Daytona 200 from pole position with the 18-year-old lapping at 1:48.047 during Friday afternoon’s Supersport Time Attack.

Scott showed little effects of his high-speed crash from Thursday in the chicane to not only lap faster than anyone else, but do so alone and without the aid of another rider’s draft.

Boulder Motor Sports’ Stefano Mesa will start the 200 from the middle of the front row after lapping at 1:48.147 with Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong set to start the race from the outside of row one.

Row two will consist of Vesrah Racing’s Hayden Gillim; Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin, the defending race champion; and Attack Performance Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Xavi Forés will make up row two

story courtesy of MotoAmerica

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