Mr Daytona returns


Ru$$ell on the start line
Motorcycle Hall of Fame

Recent reports have Mr. Daytona, the legendary Scott Ru$$ell (he replaced the "s" on his leathers with $ signs), back in the saddle at Daytona Beach in March.

Russell, who has in his pocket five Daytona 200 wins, a victory at the Suzuka 8-Hour, three AMA Supersport titles, an AMA Superbike title, and a World Superbike title, plans to return in the Superstock class (very similar to Canadian-spec superbikes) on a Yamaha R-1 prepared by Jamie James Productions (James being another former AMA star who’s been off track for several years).

That means he won’t be chasing a sixth Daytona 200 victory, since that race is now run for Formula Xtreme machinery (for all intents and purposes, 600 cc four-cylinder superbikes with a few oddball twins and the like tossed into the mix).

Russell retired after a start-line accident at Daytona in 2001 when his Ducati stalled on the line and he was hit at high-speed by a bike farther down the grid. He has publicly stated that a condition of his insurance payout was that he never race again, so this return is something of a surprise.

The deal is for the one event, says James, although he leaves the door open for more events if all goes well. "[Scott] wants to be competitive for sure but he wants to approach it as a group of friends who just want to have fun … we’ll go in low key and take it one race at a time and if he feels good at the end we’ll surely be going to Barber — we’ll take it one race at a time." 

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