Buell have hardly covered themselves in glory in their previous attempts to race at the D200. Their last bike was touted as a potential winner but never even saw the leaders all day, and their pit crews were frankly amateur hour. Whilst I know that everyone gave their time freely and that they were volunteer dealer teams blah blah, that doesn't cut it at the sharp end of professional racing. Pit stops are one essential part of Daytona and the buell pit stops were a shambles.
Either run a professional 'factory' team (although the XBRR at Daytona were actually factory bikes anyway, despite Buells strenuous denials) or get off the pot, because it only makes Buell look bad when the inevitable mistakes happen and the bikes fail to finish.
The AMA have gone to great pains in order to allow the buell to race against the 600 IL4 Jap bikes in the 'Daytona Sportbike' class, which is a poison chalice for Buell if only they could see it.
If they win, then people will say 'Of course they were going to win, they were racing an 1125 Superbike against castrated 600 supersports bikes!'. If they lose, then the cry will be 'Can't even beat a bumch of castrated 600 supersports bikes with a superbike'.
Either way Buell looks bad and gains no credibilty at all.
If you look at the performance of the 1125 against 'true' Superbike (or actually superstock spec) bikes then it doesn't look quite so rosy unfortunately.
This is the result of the 'American Superbike' race and the only Buellto finish is in 25th place 1lap down of the leaders after just 15 laps!.
AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike Presented by Parts Unlimited
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
March 5, 2009
Provisional Race Results (2.91-mile course, all on Dunlop tires):
1. Mat Mladin (Suz GSX-R1000), 15 laps
2. Neil Hodgson (Hon CBR1000RR), -1.027 seconds
3. Tommy Hayden (Suz GSX-R1000), -1.028
4. Larry Pegram (Duc 1098R), -10.117
5. Blake Young (Suz GSX-R1000), -16.008
6. Ben Bostrom (Yam YZF-R1), -16.213
7. Aaron Yates (Suz GSX-R1000), -16.363
8. Josh Hayes (Yam YZF-R1), -28.358, ran off track
9. Michael Laverty (Suz GSX-R1000), -28.433
10. Geoff May (Suz GSX-R1000), -31.584
11. Jeff Wood (Suz GSX-R1000), -47.201
12. Aaron Gobert (Hon CBR1000RR), -57.270
13. Hawk Mazzotta (Suz GSX-R1000), -58.857
14. Chris Ulrich (Suz GSX-R1000), -58.950
15. Jeff Tigert (Hon CBR1000RR), -58.970
16. Scott Jensen (Suz GSX-R1000), -67.586
17. Barrett Long (Duc 1098R), -67.622
18. Scott Greenwood (Suz GSX-R1000), -67.942
19. Shane Narbonne (Suz GSX-R1000), -68.046
20. Mark Crozier (Yam YZF-R1), -71.556
21. Brett McCormick (Suz GSX-R1000), -77.907
22. Brad Hendry (Duc 1098R), -79.440
23. Dean Mizdal (Suz GSX-R1000), -93.973
24. Reno Karimian (Suz GSX-R1000), -93.944
25. Shawn Higbee (Buell 1125R), -1 lap
26. Johnny Rock Page (Yam YZF-R1), -1 lap, 17.135 seconds
27. Josh Graham (Yam YZF-R1), -1 lap, 27.725
28. David Loikits (Suz GSX-R1000), -1 lap, 41.847
29. Davie Stone (Hon CBR1000RR), -2 laps
30. David Anthony (Suz GSX-R1000), -7 laps, DNF
31. Taylor Knapp (Suz GSX-R1000), -11 laps, DNF, mechanical
32. Jake Holden (Hon CBR1000RR), -12 laps, DNF
33. Ryan Elleby (Suz GSX-R1000), -13 laps, DNF
I would love to see Buell do well, but until they jump in with both feet and run a full on factory team they are almost doomed to failure. Unfortunately H-D management are haunted by the VR1000 debacle to allow another full factory team involvemnet in top class racing methinks
It's truly a "No Win" scenario for Buell no matter what happens. I'm sure they'll advertise the hell out of it if they win, but anyone who really knows will be chuckling and shaking their head. Sure, Buell got Rotax engines now, so they should be able to go the distance, but if they can't beat the 600's then there won't be chuckling... There will be outright laughter.
Ducati can make a 1200 twin run right with 1000cc Jap and European fours. It will be a sad day indeed if an 1125cc, water-cooled, four-valve-per-cylinder, literally state-of-the-production-art V-Twin CAN'T polish off 600cc production-based fours.
But worst of all... Daytona, the moronic AMA, and the equally idiotic folks at DMC have devalued the Daytona 200 so much that nobody really even cares any longer. First they emasculate the track, they they pull the Superbikes and start running 600's in the 200... Ridiculous.
I can remember when even GP level bikes, not to mention some really wild-assed stuff like the Honda FWS's, ran in the 200, and the very best riders in the world came and rode in it. Hailwood, Agostini, Spencer, Lawson, Smart, Rainey, Roberts, etc., etc., etc. all would make sure they raced in the Daytona 200... Now it gets some great American young guns, but not anything like a truly international field of the very best riders out there.
It's become a sad parody of itself... No more than a joke.
Just my two cents... YMMV.
p.s. I honestly don't think the Buell is a "smoking POS", but I do think it will be a "laughing stock" for the reasons above, so I had to vote that choice...
Interesting stuff fellas! I feel torn. As a former Buell racer part of me wants them to do really well. But as a motorcycle racing fan I feel that bike should NOT be in the same class as a 600! To me that is the joke. Buell claims the bike is a Superbike! But they race it against 600's. Complete joke.
Right on with the "Damned if you do, damned if you don't". Classic no win situation.
It reminds me of NASCAR, if you can build a better mousetrap, then build it and win. American stock cars are not even platformed on stock cars anymore, remember when Richard Petty's Charger was still a Charger?
Thats what is great about motorcycles, you can actually buy something pretty close to Rossi's Yamaha.
AMA Pro Racing
68th Daytona 200 by Honda/AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Presented by AMSOIL
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
March 6, 2009
Provisional Results (3.51-mile course, all on Dunlop tires):
1. Ben Bostrom (Yam YZF-R6), 57 laps
2. Josh Herrin (Yam YZF-R6), -0.551 second
3. Jason DiSalvo (Suz GSX-R600), -0.624
4. Jamie Hacking (Kaw ZX-6R), -4.745 seconds
5. Shawn Higbee (Buell 1125R), -12.949
6. Barrett Long (Yam YZF-R6), -14.408
7. Chaz Davies (Apr RSV1000R), -22.899
8. Dane Westby (Yam YZF-R6), -23.022
9. Martin Cardenas (Suz GSX-R600), -24.000
10. Leandro Mercado (Kaw ZX-6R), -25.642
It would be interesting to see why the other Buells failed to finish , but I would suspect brake failures to feature high on the list, as that has been the main problem with teh racing 1125's here in Europe. Most of the teams campaigning them over here have switched to more 'traditional' twin front discs with radial mount calipers, and this seems to have cured the problem suffered with teh ZTL front end, namely front rotors wearing out in a ridiculously short space of time (one team went through 6 front rotors and pads in a 6 hour race!).
The US teams seem to have stuck with the stock looking setup (although Buell do suply a 'race' rotor and pads which is designed to be longer lasting), although some have put 'dry break' brake lines in so they can change both wheels and calipers during pit stops!
Well it would appear that the problem that affected Eslicks lead Buell wasn't brakes after all, but loose bodywork. Buell are 'blaming aftermarket bodywork mounting details' although it appears to be that somebody just didn't fasten it properly. When he came in to get it fixed in the pits the crew were *****footing around with tie wraps and things trying to fix it, but Eslick ran over and grabbed some duct tape to fix it himself eventually.
What was it I said earlier about pit stops?
I congratulate Shaun Higbee on his 5th place, and it is great to see a Buell in the top 5. Unfortunately for all the hard luck stories and 'if only' going on on the Buell forums, the sad hard facts will show that the best finishing 1125 got beaten by 4 Jap 600cc bikes, and the only real fact that will be remembered outside of Buell enthusiasts will be that Bostrom won the race riding a Yamaha R6.
I have also just learned that not only were the rules written to allow Buell to race against the 600's in the first place, but that Buell (and only Buell) were given a special dispensation to run 20kg lighter than all the other twins in the class, even though the other twins (Aprilia and Ducati) were smaller capacity machines!
Next year I predict the rules will be changed to allow the Buell to have a 20 lap head start!
I enjoyed the race...except for the yellow flags, red flag, and restart...
Eslick looked great until his fairing let go....it was funny when he hopped off and grabbed the duct tape .... He was pissed! I expected him to be disqualified after that....riders arn't allowed to work on the bike in the pits....I guess they figured "no harm-no foul".
I thought Josh Hayes had a shot at Bostrom but his "get off" happened so quick....it just spit him off!
Good race though....Bostrom said he'd win every race last year.....he may have been a year early in his prediction.
Like my old baseball coach used to say, "You can't win 'em all if you don't win the first one!"
I'm looking forward to James Stewart winning todays Supercross! 
Matt, I think the rules state that you have to run the stock front end. I could be wrong it maybe that way for the superbike class only! But I ran into the same problems with my Buell. That ZTL brake blows!
Just to add insult to injury (although the Buell guys are all saying that Daytona has been a great result of course), Eslick has been disqualified for overtaking under a full course caution, not once but on multiple occasions!
This guy has been racing since Pontius was a pilot, so should really have known better.
Beginning of the race was pretty close and exciting. The Buell was looking pretty good for awhile, and it seemed to have a big advantage in the straights, but then lost a bit in the corners. The yellow and red flags were frustrating...and very confusing. I still swear that Ben Bostrom had his last pit under the yellow, and then was somehow ushered to the front of the field when he should've been at the back. I guess it doesn't matter all that much since that red flag came at a bad time right in the middle of all the final pits, really mixing up the order.
I had a seat up above the start\finish. Interesting racing on the banking, and being up that high I could see about 2/3rds of the track....a lot more than I've been able to see at other road racing tracks I've been to.
Watching all the racing and checking out all the bikes just made me more anxious to finally get my XR next Tuesday!