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AMA: Russell Turns in Record-Setting Performance at Daytona

6 March 1998

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In his quest to become the first man in history to win the "World's Greatest Motorcycle Race" five times, defending champion Scott Russell took the initial step by grabbing the pole position for Sunday's 57th Daytona 200 By Arai Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

Russell guided his royal blue No. 4 Yamaha 750 to a record-breaking performance, touring the 3.56-mile road course in 1:48.840 seconds for an average speed of 117.751 mph. The lap eclipsed the existing track record of 1:48.999 seconds (117.468 mph) set by Russell during qualifying for last year's event.

"Our team charts showed that Anthony (Gobert) did the fastest lap," said Russell, who won his fourth Rolex watch symbolizing his run for the pole. "But I guess he just got off the throttle too soon. He won't do that next year, I'm sure. I think we're going to have a good race Sunday.

"The fourth watch is nice and I think winning the pole is the first step to a fifth win. I honestly didn't think we would be as strong this year as we were last year down here. Yamaha has done an excellent job of putting together a strong bike and my team has really made my job easy.

"I knew we needed about a 48.8 (1:48.800 lap) to have a shot at the pole," said two-time Daytona 200 By Arai champion Miguel Duhamel, who qualified second for Sunday's event. "I think our bike has the speed, but it's still disappointing to not be on the pole because this is such an important race. Scott (Russell) just had too much. He's already got a couple of these watches, you'd think he'd let us have at least one."

Only the front row for Sunday's event, the first four grid positions, were secured in Thursday's qualifying. Joining Russell and Duhamel on the front row will be three-time AMA Superbike champion Doug Chandler (1:49.118 seconds/117.451 mph) and Austrailian Anthony Gobert (1:49.131 seconds/117.437 mph).

Daytona 200 Week continues today at the Speedway with the Teamline 750 SuperSport and the 36th Elf Race Fuels International Lightweight 100k.

Daytona 200 Week 1998 concludes this weekend with it's three marquee events. Championship Dirt Track racing including the 600cc Hot Shoe Series and the AMA Grand National Kickoff will take place Friday and Saturday night at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium. The premier round of the AMA Supercross Series, the 28th Daytona Supercross By Honda, is Saturday while the 57th Daytona 200 By Arai will get the green flag at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

For Daytona 200 Week event tickets, call the Speedway Ticket Office at (904) 252-BIKE. Selected tickets for the weekend's racing activities will be available at the gate.

MEDIA CONTACT: Speedway PR, (904) 947-6782 3/5/98 ama.398

1. Scott Russell, Conyers, Ga., Yamaha, 117.751 (new track record)
2. Miguel Duhamel, Canada, Honda, 117.577.
3. Doug Chandler, Salinas, Calif., Kawasaki, 117.451.
4. Anthony Gobert, Australia, Ducati, 117.437.
5. Pascal Picotte, Canada, Harley-Davidson,117.325. 
6. Mat Mladin, Australia, Suzuki, 116.466. 
7. Mike Hale, Carrollton, Texas, Ducati, 116.454. 
8. Thomas Stevens, Woodstock, Ga., Ducati, 115.874.
9. Rich Oliver, Fresno, Calif., Yamaha, 115.639.
10. Jamie Hacking, England, Yamaha, 115.602. 
11. Aaron Yates, Milledgeville, Ga., Suzuki, 114.995.
12. Tom Kipp, Chardon, Ohio, Ducati, 114.811.
13. Steve Crevier, Canada, Suzuki, 114.042.
14. Larry Pegram, Baltimore, Ohio, Suzuki, 113.997. 
15. Ben Bostrom, Granada Hills, Calif., Honda, 113.921. 
16. Jamie James, Marshall, N.C., Harley-Davidson, 113.726.
17. Chris Carr, Fleetwood, Pa., Harley-Davidson, 113.389.
18. Rad Greaves, Ann Arbor, Mich., Suzuki, 112.052.
19. Michael Barnes, Boca Raton, Fla., Harley-Davidson, 112.038.
20. Tommy Hayden, Owensboro, Ky., Kawasaki, 111.851.
21. Tom Wilson, Oregon, Ohio, Harley-Davidson,111.771. 
22. Jason Pridmore, Ventura, Calif, Suzuki, 109.668. 
23. Eric Moe, Spring Lake, Mich., Kawasaki, 109.614.
24. Mike Ciccoto, Sebastien, Fla., Suzuki, 109.213.
25. Michael Taylor, Canada, Kawasaki, 109.108.
26. Dale Kieffer, Las Vegas, Suzuki, 108.959.
27. Eric Wood, Mansfield, Mass., Kawasaki, 108.951.
28. Jamie Bowman, Tequesta, Fla., Suzuki, 108.893.
29. Mike Sullivan, Centralia, Wash., Suzuki, 108.480.
30. Daniel Fischer, Arlington Heights, Ill., Kawasaki, 108.267.
31. Mario Duhamel, Canada, Suzuki, 108.160.
32. Jamie McNaughton, Ann Arbor, Mich., Suzuki, 107.772.
33. Jeffrey Voss, Holland, Mich., Kawasaki, 107.718.
34. John Ashmead, West Palm Beach, Fla., Kawasaki, 107.393.
35. Paul Harrell, Canyon Country, Calif., Suzuki,107.337.
36. Ricky Orlando, Lafayette, Colo., Kawasaki, 107.282.
37. Jimmy Moore, Eugene, Ore., Suzuki, 107.241.
38. John Jacobi, Noblesville, Ind., Suzuki, 106.836.
39. Dean Thomas, England, Suzuki, 106.812.
40. Brian Gibbs, Stockbridge, Ga., Suzuki, 106.736.
41. Jesus Rodriguez, Mexico, Ducati, 106.708.
42. Benoit Pilon, Canada, Suzuki, 106.648.
43. Scott Ruehle, St. Cloud, Minn., Suzuki, 106.473.
44. Dean Mizdal, Huntington Beach, Calif., Suzuki, 106.312. 
45. Tim Bemisderfer, Greencastle, Pa., Suzuki,106.281.
46. Keith Marquez, Totowa, N.J., Suzuki, 106.162.
47. Mike Walsh, Canada, Yamaha, 106.137.
48. Richard Shaw, Princeton, Fla., Yamaha, 106.044.
49. Brett Ray, Lakeworth, Fla., Suzuki, 106.000.
50. Ricardo Rodrigues, Brazil, 105.930.
51. Luke Yarbrough, Winston Salem, N.C., Suzuki, 105.628.
52. Jimmy Shelton, Marcos Island, Fla., Suzuki, 105.413.
53. Rick Narup, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Kawasaki, 105.234.
54. Roger Bell, Lexington, Ky., Suzuki, 104.926. 
55. Joseph Capicotti, Jupiter, Fla., Suzuki, 104.755.
56. Brian Boyd, Midleton, Wis., Suzuki,104.638.
57. Chris Steele, Marietta, Ga., Suzuki, 104.589.
58. Sean Ninneman, Hubertus, Wis., Suzuki, 104.329.
59. John Hendricks, Minneapolis, Minn., Suzuki, 104.318.
60. Thomas Fournier, Brockton, Mass., Ducati, 104.311.
61. James Romero, Tempe, Ariz.,104.031.
62. Jeffrey Jennings, West Chester, Pa., Ducati,103.981.
63. John Spitulski, Clermot, Fla., 750, 103.912.
64. Jeffrey Heino, Daytona Beach, Fla.,103.877.
65. Luis Carlos Cerciari, Brazil, Suzuki, 103.871.
66. John Blessed, Gainesville, Fla., Suzuki, 103.854.
67. Daniel Bailey, Mansfield, Ohio, Suzuki, 103.449.
68. Sam Fleming, Silver Spring, Md., Suzuki, 103.020
69. Patrick Weekley, Pompano Beach, Fla., Suzuki, 102.019
70. Devin Battley, Rockville, Md., Yamaha, 101.802.
71. Richard Alexander, Carmel, N.Y., Suzuki, 101.667.
72. Stephen Tuel, Forest Park, Ga., Suzuki, 101.575. 
73. Richie Morris, Daytona Beach, Fla., Kawasaki, 101.468.
74. Kurt Liebmann, Bergenfield, N.J., Ducati, 100.101.
75. Shane Gonyea, Altamont, N.Y., Suzuji, 100.053.
76. Carlos Fabian, Hollywood, Fla., Kawasaki, 99.808
77. Kathleen Coburn Head, Canada, Suzuki, 99.608.