The Daytona 200 is one of few AMA races that relies so heavily on the quick work of a team's pit crew. When the Daytona 200 was shortened to a 15 lap sprint this weekend, some people complained that it was taking the pit crews out of the equation. Jason DiSalvo, who gave Ducati its first Daytona 200 this weekend, would argue otherwise.
"That was probably the greatest pit stop in motorcycle history," DiSalvo said after the race.
So why was Team Latus Motors Ducati team's effort such an impressive display of mechanical excellence? Because Team Latus did more than just swap out tires. During the delay, DiSalvo's team changed out an entire engine.
The Daytona 200 was red flagged after riders were experiencing trouble with their front tires. The red flag was good news for DiSalvo who was having engine trouble. When DiSalvo returned to the pits, it was decided that for him to continue, they would have to swap the engine.
"It's really unbelievable," DiSalvo said. "Those guys worked so hard to get that bike put back together and ready to rock, on time to start. It's just amazing. I'm almost a little bit speechless . I don't think it has sunk in yet."
When DiSalvo returned to the pits, he wasn't sure if the AMA would let him continue. But the pit crew went to work anyway, just in case the AMA gave them the OK to re-enter the race. When the AMA gave them the go-ahead, the Latus Motors Ducati team was ready to go.
"I have to thank a couple people aside from the team," DiSalvo said. "One is the AMA officials for letting us restart the race. I know there was some question about whether we would be able to restart, but when we were given the go-ahead.... I want to thank them for that. And again, the crew. It's just unbelievable what they did."
The 2011 Daytona 200 didn't go off as planned, and riders weren't required to make all of the scheduled pit stops. But that doesn't mean that the hard work of the pit crews was taken out of the equation. If anything, DiSalvo won because of his team's effort.