Martin Cardenas claimed his second career AMA SuperBike win on Saturday. Martin Cardenas claimed his second career AMA SuperBike win on Saturday. Photo courtesy AMA Pro Racing

Cardenas scores Daytona SuperBike victory

Written by  on Monday, 18 March 2013 08:27

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Any residual sense of inevitability hanging over the paddock as a result of Josh Hayes' all-conquering 2012 campaign was promptly shattered in the opening weekend of the 2013 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season at Daytona International Speedway. Hayes' improbable Friday DNF disaster was doubled up on Saturday, and the three-time defending champ now finds himself in an early hole in his pursuit of a fourth consecutive crown.

In contrast, Martin Cardenas celebrated a spectacular victory in his first weekend with the storied Yoshimura Suzuki squad, one-upping his Friday runner-up. He earned the win on Saturday after pushing Hayes deep into the race before the Mississippian's Yamaha expired shortly after the two took the stripe for the 12th time in the 15-lapper.

Hayes leapt into the lead at the green light, but was again unable to shake his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, who again tucked right in behind on his #2 R1.

Cardenas too got away with the leading Yamahas but appeared to be just barely clinging on to the front, fading to just over a second behind by lap five. In danger of losing the lead draft, the Colombian summoned a remarkable 1:36.835 lap from his #36 GSX-R1000 (the only '36 of the weekend) to close right back in on the escaping Yamaha pilots, apparently setting the stage for a race-long dogfight to the checkered flag.

The factory Suzuki man used that building momentum to fight his way up to the lead momentarily on lap eight, but Hayes and Herrin displaced him to third once again on the following lap.

However, Herrin bowed out of that battle on lap 10, running off in turn one. He re-entered the fray nearly 10 seconds back -- still in the top three but joined by the chasing Larry Pegram on the Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.

Hayes managed to eke out a small bit of padding over the subsequent laps but his hard work proved for naught when smoke began to pour out from beneath his machine's fairing and he moved aside, allowing Cardenas to power into the lead and ultimately race home to the second AMA Pro SuperBike victory of his career.

The triumphant Cardenas said, "I didn't expect a win to come this soon in the season. If Hayes didn't have a problem I think he would have ended up first because he was a little bit faster than me today. I'll take it anyway -- anybody can have problems in each race.

"I'm very happy. I want to thank very much Yoshimura Suzuki for giving me the opportunity to ride for them. This team is awesome."

Some 11 seconds back, Herrin narrowly fended off Pegram to finish second and take an early one-point championship lead over Cardenas.

"I felt really good today compared to yesterday in the beginning of the race," Herrin said. "I felt really comfortable sitting behind him. He'd gap me coming out of the chicane but I'd be able to close back up to him every time going into turn one. Whenever Martin started dicing it up with us it got pretty crazy. It was fun, it went from just sitting there to having to think about it and be real smart.

"I just didn't pull up hard enough on the lever going into turn one and went into neutral. I was lucky I was able to save it and regroup and hold off Larry to the end."

Pegram leaves Daytona with a pair of thirds, his first two trips to the podium since the 2010 season.

Pegram said, "It was pretty uneventful today until the end; I had a lot of fun racing with Josh Herrin. I'm not looking forward to the (angry) Josh Hayes that will show up at Road America. We can say whatever we want, but he was the guy to beat in both races and had some bad luck. I'm sure when we show up at Road America he'll be fighting. But hey, we'll take it."

National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Hayden bounced back from Friday's DNF with fourth after edging new Jordan Suzuki teammate Danny Eslick to the stripe.

Cardenas' Yoshimura Suzuki teammate, Chris Clark, beat Team Moto Venezuela PC 4x4 Kawasaki's Robertino Pietri for sixth, while Chris Fillmore finished eighth after earlier running in a pack with Clark and Pietri. That pack also included M4 Broaster Chicken Racing's Chris Ulrich, who ultimately finished a bit further back in ninth, and Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing's David Anthony, who ran into troubles late and finished a lap down in 12th.

Spaniard Bernat Martinez rounded out the top 10 on the Team TJA Valencia Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Triple champ Hayes leaves Daytona with just two points to his name, one for pole and one for leading the most laps on Saturday. Meanwhile, Herrin boasts 56 and Cardenas 55.

Tomas Puerta won Saturday's AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race Two at Daytona International Speedway. Puerta was strong all 10 laps and was able to earn a gap on the final time around the famed circuit, putting his stamp on a race that saw as many as 10 riders take part in the draft battles at the front.

The RoadRace Factory pilot topped CJ Weaver on the Napa Auto-sponsored Yamaha. Corey Alexander on the National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki team took third.

Polesitter Puerta was disappointed with how the first Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race ended on Friday. After running near the front, the Colombian found himself shuffled back in the field when the last lap ended and took fifth.

On Saturday, he seemed more determined to lead and for his efforts earned his second career AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport victory. He put his head down in the final laps and earned a one-second gap as he turned his fastest lap the final time around.

"I made a mistake on the last lap yesterday," said Puerta. "I [took the wrong line] on the banking on the last lap and couldn't get back to the front. Today, the bike ran great and I can't thank my team enough. This race was much better. Today, I wanted to be in the lead as much as I could. I tried to put in a perfect lap and push to the finish line."

Twenty-year-old Weaver climbed from a 13th starting position to second place (and his first top-10 finish in the class.) "I crashed in the warm-up, but I kept moving forward in the race," said Weaver.

The battles behind the top two required photo finish equipment to determine which rider would take the remaining step on the podium, with eventual third-place finisher Alexander taking the spot.

Jeffrey Tigert was fourth on his CM Motorsports machine. Harv's H-D pilot Travis Wyman was fifth, followed by David Sadowski, Jr on his Yamaha. Friday winner Stefano Mesa was seventh on the MotoSport.com Yamaha.

SuperBike Race Results

Race Time: 24:31.586
Margin of Victory: 11.453
Best Race Lap: Martin Cardenas (1:36.835)

 

Pos

No.

Rider(s)

Team

Bike

Interval

Gap

Best Lap

Points

1

36

Martin Cardenas

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

15 Laps

WINNER

1:36.835

30

2

2

Josh Herrin

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha

Yamaha R1

11.453

11.453

1:37.271

25

3

72

Larry Pegram

Pegram Racing

Yamaha R1

11.487

0.034

1:38.170

21

4

54

Roger Hayden

National Guard Jordan Suzuki

Suzuki GSX-R1000

17.510

6.022

1:38.338

18

5

23

Danny Eslick

Jordan Suzuki

Suzuki GSX-R1000

17.578

0.068

1:38.332

16

6

6

Chris Clark

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

36.972

19.393

1:39.310

15

7

88

Robertino Pietri

Team Moto Venezuela PC 4x4 Store

Kawasaki ZX-10

37.553

0.580

1:38.989

14

8

11

Chris Fillmore

KTM/HMC Racing

KTM RC8R

39.295

1.742

1:39.775

13

9

18

Chris Ulrich

M4 Broaster Chicken Racing

Honda CBR1000RR

49.476

10.181

1:40.056

12

10

76

Bernat Martinez

Team TJA Valencia

Suzuki GSX-R1000

1:05.551

16.074

1:40.257

11

11

78

Reese Wacker

Pilot Travel Centers/Wacker Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

1:08.866

3.315

1:42.037

10

12

17

Trent Gibson

Seven Sports

Suzuki GSX-R1000

1:23.455

14.589

1:42.786

9

13

35

Rodolfo Ramirez

AR Motorsports

Kawasaki ZX-10

1:23.524

0.069

1:40.734

8

14

25

David Anthony

Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing

Suzuki GSX-R1000

14 Laps

1 Lap

1:39.942

7

15

1

Josh Hayes

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha

Yamaha R1

11 Laps

3 Laps

1:37.176

7

16

99

Geoff May

Team Hero

EBR 1190RS

10 Laps

1 Lap

1:39.444

5

17

44

Taylor Knapp

KTM/HMC Racing

KTM RC8R

9 Laps

1 Lap

1:42.345

4

18

13

Cory West

Team RSRacecraft EBR II

EBR 1190RS

8 Laps

1 Lap

1:41.331

3

19

20

Aaron Yates

Team AMSOIL/Hero

EBR 1190RS

7 Laps

1 Lap

1:41.057

2

20

68

Dustin Dominguez

Team RSRacecraft EBR

EBR 1190RS

DNS

DNS

-no times-

--From AMA Pro Racing

{fcomment}
Read 845 times

John Hopkins

/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

back to top