Britain's Tristan Palmer looking to upset in Daytona

Published: 26 February 2008

Superbike star Tristan Palmer is looking to cause an upset as he heads out to the Daytona 200.

The British Superbike Cup champion is taking on the grueling 200 mile endurance race and is fully aware of the task awaiting him.

Tristan Palmer said: “It’s been the biggest track race in the world for a long time and is one of the main races of the year.

“There will be a lot of big teams and riders with bigger bikes there, but we’ve got a good bike so we could do well.”

The 25-year-old traveled out to Daytona last year to compete in the superstock race, but this time he is going for the main event.

Palmer added: “Last year we did well, but this time we wanted to go for the main race.”

Tristan Palmer is heading to Daytona for the March 8, 2008 race with a seven strong team, which has been put together by team leader Paul Gaskin.

Paul Gaskin said: “Last year just me and Tristan went out there, but with the 200 there’s more chance of things going wrong so we’ve put a great team together.

“Once we’d decided to have a real go at it this year everything has just snowballed and came together so quickly.”

Palmer will be riding a Suzuki GSX-R600, which was bought from Vivaldi Racing and has been kitted out specifically for Daytona.

Gaskin added: “The bike is about as good as you can get and we’ve customised it to suit this race.

“Tristan tested it out at Mallory, the first time he’d ever ridden a 600, and he took to it really well.”

The race, which has never been won by a British rider, will see Palmer battle it out with around 60 other competitors over 68 laps of Miami’s Daytona International Speedway track.

Past winners include former World superbike champion Scott Russell and 2006 MotoGP winner Nicky Hayden.

Paul Gaskin, who has backed the trip with his own money, is realistic on his team’s chances of clinching an historic victory.

Gaskin said: “For us a top ten finish would be like winning the Grand Prix.”

A specialist crew has been put together to give Palmer the best chance of success, including mechanic Garry Elliott, whose attitude epitomises the excitement and optimism surrounding the team.

Garry Elliott said: “This is just a fantastic opportunity and something that I jumped at, as I will never get the chance to do again.”

The team is upbeat and enthusiastic at the prospect of making waves in a race which is traditionally dominated by America and Canada.

Carl Fogarty came painfully close to notching up a British win back in 1995, but he was pipped into second place by five times winner Scott Russell.

Moving outside of Great Britain only three Europeans have triumphed in the races 71 year history, but the team remains confident that they could cause an upset.

Garry Elliott added: “We’ve got a great team, a great bike and a great rider so it all just depends on the day.

“If we have a good day who knows what will happen.”