YOUNG EARNS DAYTONA SUPERSTOCK PODIUM
Published: March 06, 2008
Blake Young’s debut AMA race as a member of Team M4 EMGO Suzuki was a
magnificent performance as the 20-year-old earned his first career AMA
podium result in Thursday’s Superstock final at Daytona International
Young didn’t wait long to prove to the field that he was a serious
contender, grabbing the holeshot aboard his Pirelli-shod GSX-R1000 from
the outside of the front row and leading the race’s opening six laps.
The Wisconsin native later showed his resiliency by tracking Aaron
Yates down after the former class champion made a breakaway attempt.
Young narrowly missed scoring his first win, pulling into Yates’ draft
and posting the fastest lap of the race on the final circulation,
falling a scant 0.112 seconds short of the victory at the flag.
After claiming the runner-up result and earning the bonus point paid
for leading the most laps, Young said, “I knew if I was going to do
anything to get close I needed to get into the kink and get a good
drive off onto the banking and make sure I didn’t spin the rear tire
too much. As soon as I came out of the kink I looked up and saw that he
had a lapper there to get a draft. Maybe if he wasn’t there we would
have had a chance.”
He continued, “Our Pirelli tires were great and I can’t say enough
about my bike and my new crew. All the guys at M4 EMGO Suzuki worked
really hard for me this weekend. It feels great. I’m glad to get my
first podium out of the way and I look forward to doing it a whole lot
more this season.”
Young, along with Team M4 EMGO Suzuki teammate Martin Cardenas, also
featured heavily in the afternoon’s Supersport contest aboard their
GSX-R600s. Young again challenged for the lead early while Colombian
Cardenas held down the eighth and final spot in the leading eight-bike
The two came together as the race settled in, making up half of a
four-rider struggle for fourth position. Young earned his second
top-five of the day with his fifth-place result, taking the checkered
flag just 0.053 seconds behind fourth and a similarly slim 0.055
seconds ahead of sixth-placed Cardenas.
The team’s third Supersport contender, Cory West, bounced back from an
early crash suffered while running in the top ten to charge all the way
up from 40th position on the fourth lap to 19th by the conclusion on
the 22-lap affair.
Final qualifying for the prestigious Daytona 200 also took place at the
track on Thursday. Michael Barnes, who finished third in last year’s
200, qualified on the second row aboard his Team M4 EMGO Suzuki
GSX-R600, posting the day’s seventh fastest lap at 1:40.431. Cardenas
qualified on the inside of the third row, clocking the ninth best time
The team will have Friday off as the Daytona Supercross takes center
stage before returning to the track on Saturday for the Daytona 200.
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