Subway SuperBike Doubleheader Recap: AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
NEWS June 7, 2012
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 7, 2012) - 2010 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike champ Martin Cardenas did nothing at Road America but help his chances of winning another crown. Cardenas won both races at the 4.05-mile track and now has a commanding lead in the championship. The GEICO Suzuki pilot leads by 47 points over on-track rival Jason DiSalvo of Team Latus Motors Racing Triumph.
With the three-race stretch held in a little over a week, Cardenas has rallied nicely from his Sonoma crash by taking three wins and three bonus points to curtail any damage done by that mishap.
GoPro Daytona SportBike racing is always tight by nature, but Cardenas has found a way to get ahead on the last lap time and time again in his tenure in the class. Two wins by a little over a second each time out in Wisconsin ... the all-time class wins leader described it as a "perfect weekend," even though it was hard to shake his rivals.
"I just tried to push, get in a good rhythm, and see if somebody comes with me or not," said Cardenas. "A lot of guys were really close behind me. I knew the last two laps were going to be really important. When the time came, I pushed very hard."
DiSalvo earned the podium twice and made a good charge through the field to get there on Sunday. Afterward, the New Yorker said it reminded him of his 2010 Moto2 race at Indy.
"That last lap was really incredible. It was everything I had, that's for the whole race. The whole race I was hammer down trying to make up positions," DiSalvo said. "We just got a bad start and got buried back at the back of the lead group. It was a couple of laps before the field started to thin out. I noticed every time someone started to drop off the pack, it would be like they would lose a little bit of the draft that'd allow me to get around them and then close the gap back up to the lead group. As the lead group got smaller and smaller, I just worked my way up into it. At the end, we found ourselves sort of in contention until the end when stuff started going sideways with Cameron (Beaubier) and J.D. (Beach). We were all battling really hard. It let Martin get away a little bit, but no regrets. Second place feels like a win."
Cameron Beaubier (Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha) ran strong once again and took second on Saturday and looked to repeat on Sunday before a last lap crash put him out of the event.
That elevated J.D. Beach and RoadRace Factory/Red Bull to their first GoPro Daytona SportBike podium.
"We've just been working really hard and moving forward, improving race by race, not trying to do anything crazy and crash. It was good race, it was really good battle being up front. All of those four guys are really fast," Beach said. "It was cool to be racing with Martin (Cardenas), Jason (DiSalvo), Cameron (Beaubier) and Tommy Hayden and everybody, because when I was in SuperSport I was watching them and trying to learn from them. Now I'm racing against them."
Dane Westby took fourth on Saturday riding the M4 Suzuki and garnered sixth the second day. Westby has shown great speed in the races this year, but once again didn't get the starts he wanted in Wisconsin. He left himself with too much work to contend for the win. "I need to go to a drag strip or something," said Westby.
Tommy Hayden's weekend changed when the team switched motors in his Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6. Hayden had a rough go at Miller and in Road America Race One, but an engine change saw him jump up on the speed chart and in the results table. He was in the lead pack Sunday and is optimistic for Barber Motorsports Park, although the team has not officially extended his deal yet as he replaces the injured Garret Gerloff.
Upstart Bobby Fong took fifth on Saturday for Meen Motorsports and was in a similar position on Sunday when he came together with Jake Gagne in turn five mid-race. Fong still managed tenth.
Jake Zemke, riding the Ducshop Ducati, carved another solid weekend with sixth and fifth place results.
Cory West was the fastest of the Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki competitors, earning seventh and eighth.
LTD Racing's Huntley Nash was a rider with a breakthrough weekend in Wisconsin. Nash ran as high as third in Saturday's race and ran extensively with the lead Daytona SportBike pack for the first time in both races. He took 10th and seventh. "I learned a lot," said the 20-year old.
Gagne had a disappointing weekend by his standards with eighth and ninth place finishes. The Californian brought home a wounded bike on Sunday, his RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6 receiving damage from a collision with Fong. "I didn't have much brake pressure," said Gagne.
Cardenas is the class of the field, but the GEICO Suzuki GSX-R600 pilot isn't leaps and bounds ahead. Will someone chasing him find a way to unseat the Colombian at Barber Motorsports Park?
Top 10 Finishers from Road America Race 1:
Top 10 Finishers from Road America Race 2:
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Point Standings (After Round 5):
Year-End Award Updates
Jake Gagne has reclaimed the points lead for the $5,000 Saddlemen Rookie of the Year award program. Dane Westby has now logged 1488.68 miles in 485 laps and leads the chase for the $5,000 Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award.
Current Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award Standings After Round 5:
AMA Pro Road Racing heads to Birmingham, Ala. for the Triumph Superbike Classic at the highly-acclaimed Barber Motorsports Park June 22-24. Tickets can be purchased at barbermotorsports.com.
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