It was a lot of firsts for Petersen at the 80th running of the Daytona 200 – his first race with the new team, first time racing at the legendary speedway, first endurance race, and the first time racing a Yamaha R6 – but the South African impressed straight away. He set provisional pole on Thursday and had a solid overall qualifying result in sixth with limited track time.
Petersen got a good start from the second row of the grid and was in the mix with the lead group. He was third when the red flag was drawn on Lap 7, so he lined up on the front row for the restart. Petersen got another good start, put in some consistently fast laps, and kept his cool as riders jostled for position and exchanged the lead multiple times. After a quick second pit stop, he found himself with an over four-second lead, but in the final laps, the competition closed the gap. It came down to the wire with an exciting drafting battle to the finish line, with Petersen crossing the line .007 of a second shy of the win.
His teammate Gagne had a good qualifying effort in third to put the Attack Performance Yamaha R6 on the front row of the grid. Unfortunately, it was a rough start to the day for the defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion, who crashed during the practice session after his pit stop. He lined up for the race to try for a good result but was just too sore and withdrew from the race before the red flag.
The team now has its eyes set on another Superbike crown as they head to the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, on April 8-10, for the MotoAmerica season opener during the Grand Prix of the Americas.