Scottish rider Kev Coghlan finished Friday's 69th Daytona 200 AMA Sportbike event in an impressive fifth place - despite falling on the last lap.
This event was Coghlan's first time at Daytona and he was one of only five riders to lead the race on his Aussie Dave Racing Yamaha R6. The race was won by Josh Herrin (Yamaha).
“This was my first time racing in the U.S. and I really had a great time,” said Coghlan. “Everything was fairly late in getting put together so I have to say a big thanks to David Anthony and all the guys at Aussie Dave Racing for getting the bike built so fast and for putting such a good package together for me.
“Racing at Daytona was definitely a new experience, running the high banking was incredible and made for a lot of drafting in the race, and the slippery infield was fun too, until I launched it on the last lap....
“In the race I really enjoyed running in the lead pack in the first stint, and to lead the race before my first pit stop was great. We lost touch with the leaders after the first stop, not because of any problem but just because the factory teams were better equipped for really fast stops.
“For the rest or the race I just got into a good rhythm and counted the laps down. The second stop also went well and for the last stint I had a good 30 second gap which went up to about 36 seconds by the end of the race. I did however manage to crash out on the final lap…
“I'm still not sure what happened, the rear just seemed to let go without much warning and next thing I knew I was being thrown up over the bars and landing with a bang. Having thought I had thrown it all away on the final lap I was relieved to find out that because I was the last rider still on the lead lap, I would still be awarded the fifth place.
“I was really pleased with the result, having never seen the track, bike or team before arriving at the circuit and not having rode since November I really couldn't have expected anything better. The Aussie Dave Racing team were great, all the guys worked really hard all week and I have to credit them for the great job they did.”
Coghlan, who won the Spanish and European Supersport titles last year, is hoping to secure the sponsorship needed for some wild-card appearances in the new Moto2 class this year, including at his home British Grand Prix.
A video of the last-lap highside can be seen below...