DAYTONA BEACH , Fla. (Dec. 3, 2007) – After Dunlop tires completed a three-day tire test on Sunday, Pirelli tires got their opportunity to prepare for the Feb. 28 – March 8 Daytona 200 Week By Honda on Monday as they kicked off a two-day test with their riders and teams.
Among the many riders and teams in attendance include 2007 Daytona 200 By Honda winner Steve Rapp (Attack Kawasaki), Chaz Davies (Attack Kawasaki), Chris Ulrich (Roadracingworld.com Suzuki), Robertino Pietri (Roadracingworld.com), Cory West (M4 EMGO Suzuki), Martin Cardenas (M4 EMGO Suzuki) and Shawn Higbee (Richie Morris Racing).
R app returned to DIS for the first time since winning the 2007 Daytona 200 By Honda – one of the biggest upset wins in the history of the race.
It isn't the first time I've been back, Rapp said. I did not (not) like Daytona but I didnt have anything special about it. When I was driving in from Orlando, I was driving pass the Speedway and I got excited again. It was a pretty special feeling.
In the 2007 Daytona 200 By Honda, Rapp first took the lead on Lap 20, and with the exception of pit sequences, held onto the point for the rest of the 68-lap event and took the checkered flag with a 21.951-second margin of victory.
R app’s victory was Kawasaki’s first win in the prestigious race since 1995 and it was also the first time a non-factory rider won the Daytona 200 By Honda since John Ashmead in 1989.
“It was just a good feeling,” said Rapp, whose previous best result in the 200 was fifth in 1999. “To have set a goal and accomplish it, it just makes you feel good.”
R app says the only way he could top his Daytona 200 By Honda victory is to repeat in 2008.
“We’re doing the 200 again,” said Rapp, who will also compete in the Supersport class. “It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a lot of competition. I feel good. I think we’re going to have a better setup and a better package. We came in last year, it was my first year on the Kawasaki, my first year on the Pirellis, my first race
(with new team). It was a lot of new stuff.
“Now we have a year together. The bike I think is set up better. I think I’m riding better and the tire should develop a little bit too. I think it has the potential to be a great Daytona again.”
Pirelli motorcycle tire testing continues through Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway and is open to the public with free access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of The Daytona 500 Experience.