The Daytona 200 is one of the most famous motorcycle races held around the world, with speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour set over 200 miles on the banked-oval, course located at Daytona Beach in Florida.
For 2024 there is plenty of British interest with no less than potentially six riders from our small shores taking part, so BikeSocial felt it only right to create a handy one-stop shop with all the need-to-know information about the event.
The 82nd running of the Daytona 200 will take place from March 7 – March 9. With the main Daytona 200 race getting underway on Saturday March 9 at 1:10pm US time (+5hours GMT).
Celebrating its 82nd birthday in 2024, the Daytona 200 bodes a vast amount of history and has been won by many recognisable names from the motorcycling world. The first race was held in 1937, originally as a beach race on dirt bikes, but after the event grew it then moved to the International Speedway in 1961, after the circuit was opened two years prior.
The switch to the Daytona International Speedway also saw a switch from dirt bikes to grand prix racing motorcycles, which then led to what we now know as the Daytona 200. The infield circuit was also built during this time amidst safety concerns of motorcycles using the 31-degree banking.
Concerns for the circuit, mainly the banking were then heightened after Barry Sheene’s world-famous accident in 1975, where his rear tyre failed at over 170mph. As speeds of Grand Prix motorcycles started to increase the race organisers took the decision in 1985 to only allow superbikes to take part.
2009 would then also see a shift in the event, as superbikes would then be removed from the event, with competitors only allowed to race supersport machines over the 200-mile distance and these rules continue to the current era.
As you would imagine most of the winners of the Daytona 200 have been American or Canadian, with Scott Russell and Miguel Duhamel amassing the most victories at the 3.5-mile course, both tying with five victories.
Jarno Saarinen was the first non-American winner of the race back in 1973, at the time he was the reigning 250cc World Champion, with Giacomo Agostini taking victory the next year in 1974.
Other notable winners of the event are Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Kenny Roberts Snr, Eddie Lawson, Freddie Spencer, Graeme Crosby, Nicky Hayden and Matt Maladin.
In its 82-year history there has been only winner from the United Kingdom, with Chaz Davies being victorious back in 2008.
The defending Champion heading into 2024 is American Josh Herrin, who took the victory last year by just 0.070 onboard his Warhorse Ducati 959 from Josh Hayes after a two-part race due to a red flag.
There are four separate classes that will take to the track at Daytona, the main Daytona Supersport class, BellissiMoto Twins Cup, Roland Sands Mission Super Hooligan and the Mission King of the Baggers.
The Daytona Supersport class is the main race, the big boys if you like, so supersport machines up to 955cc’s are eligible. There are set to be a vast choice of machines on the grid, with Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph and Ducati all being represented in 2023.
The BellissiMoto Twins Cup will see twin machines such Yamaha’s R7, Aprilia’s RS600, Kawasaki’s Ninja 650 and possibly Suzuki’s GSX-8R battle it out.
The Super Hooligan class features 750cc machines and up, air- or water-cooled, 2 cylinders, 125 horsepower or less, minimum weight of 420lbs, no bodywork, stock frames, high-handlebar motorcycles. Electric motorcycles are also eligible for competition.
And finally, the Mission King of the Baggers class needs no introduction, we all know what that’s about. Harley Davidson Glide’s and Indian Challenger’s weighing 620lbs battling it out on the banking. This is one class you certainly don‘t want to miss. Notable names in this race will be MotoGP legend Jeremy McWilliams, former Bennetts BSB star James Rispoli and a host of MotoAmerica challengers.
Since Chaz Davies’ victory in 2008 British interest in the Daytona has been varied, with just a handful of BSB stars making the trip over the pond to take on the challenge. However, for 2024 that interest has increased, and BikeSocial understands at least six Brits will travel to Florida to take part in the 82nd running of the ‘200’.
Two confirmed runners will be Matt and Harry Truelove who British racings fans will be familiar with. Harry Truelove has been a regular visitor to the podium in the British Supersport Championship, but after a nightmare season in 2023 where his dream of racing on the World stage ended after just a handful of rounds with the PTR Triumph team, he took a step back from action. However, after a wildcard at Cadwell Park in 2023 onboard a Suzuki GSXR-750 he returns to the track in 2024 at Daytona, after making his debut in 2022 and achieving a seventh-place finish.
Elder brother Matt will return to Florida for a second year after a successful campaign in 2023 where he broke the top ten onboard a Yamaha R6. Matt is also a regular within the Bennetts British Superbike paddock, racing for the TAG Honda team in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship for a second season in 2024. He will line-up in the Truelove Brothers Racing squad on a second Suzuki GSX-R750.
Fan favourite Lee Johnston will also line-up on the grid for the 82nd running of the event, making it his first racing event since his North West 200 crash. It is yet to be revealed which machine ‘The General’ will battle it out on, but we’ll agree it’s great to see Lee back out on track.
TT hero Peter Hickman will also travel across the pond to Daytona with his own PHR Performance team, running the official Triumph outfit, with Richard Cooper returning to the event for the first time since 2008 as his teammate.
Hicky will make his debut at Daytona after a winter of testing the 765 Street Triple, the same machine he’ll contest the 2024 Supersport TT on. ‘Coopes’ makes a return to the event after a fifth-place finish back in 2008 on board a BMW, and he too has had a winter of testing the PHR Triumph out in Spain. So, expect this team to be a force to be reckoned with during the race.
We’re expecting a host of other names to be announced within the coming days, so check back later on to find out which riders will join Hicky, Coopes, Matt, Harry and Lee on the banking.
If you’ve never seen the Daytona 200 then it’s a race you don’t want to miss, it’s certainly a spectacle to kick-start the racing season, and you can catch all the action live from wherever you may be.
Streaming of the event is live via MotoAmerica Live+, however this will come at a cost. Prices are yet to be confirmed, and will most certainly be in US dollars, but from previous experience you can pay via a credit card and enjoy all the action. Once prices have been revealed we’ll make sure this is updated so you know exactly what to do.
However, if you don’t want to pay to watch the action then patience is key. The full race will be uploaded to the MotoAmerica YouTube channel for you to catch up on, but we can’t say for sure when that will be. The 2023 race can be found here.
Want to know what exactly what is happening and at what times, so you never miss a minute of the action? BikeSocial has you covered and below is the full schedule.
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