Video: A Recap Of Martin Cardenas’ AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Race Win At Miller

GEICO Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas Earns Dramatic Win in Utah

TOOELE, Utah (May 25) – Martin Cardenas made a bold move for the lead with just three corners left in Sunday’s GoPro AMA Daytona SportBike race at Miller Motorsports Park’s BigM Weekend and then held off Jason DiSalvo to pick up his fourth victory of the season.

Cardenas said DiSalvo was a tough rider to contend with all afternoon.

“At first it was DiSalvo and me up front and Beaut (Cameron Beaubier),” Cardenas said. “We were all packed up in front. Jason DiSalvo put his head down and got past me to the lead, about three seconds ahead of me. I realized I needed to start pushing as hard as I could and catch up to DiSalvo but he was very fast.

“I gave 100 percent to try and stay with him.”

The two riders spent most of the race playing cat and mouse. DiSalvo would stretch his lead then Cardenas would reel him back in. Lap after lap, the two riders’ times were rarely separated by more than a tenth of a second or two.

With the 16 lap event winding down, Cardenas knew he needed to be aggressive if he was to get around DiSalvo.

“During the last two laps we were battling back and forth for the lead,” said Cardenas whose margin of victory was .101 seconds. “Some of my maneuvers did not work out trying to get around DiSalvo, so I thought that that was the end.

“We caught up to lappers towards the end, DiSalvo was faster but I got a very good drive on the last lap, we went side to side and on the next corner I broke past DiSalvo for the win. The plan worked out but it was not the original plan.”

The win is a big boost toward Cardenas’ goal of winning the Daytona SportBike title because the championship’s second-place rider, Tommy Hayden, finished ninth Sunday and fell to 31 points behind Cardenas.

Earlier in the day, Cardenas wrapped up his third No. 1 qualifier of the year.

“The track was pretty wet but it was nice not having the wind factor today,” he said. “I treated this qualifying today as more of a practice, to loosen up and get ready for my main race.”

Cardenas and the GEICO Suzuki team will get two chances next weekend to claim victory at the June 1-3 Subway SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis

GEICO’s Cardenas Quickest Early On at Miller Motorsports Park

TOOELE, Utah (May 26) – Daytona SportBike points leader Martin Cardenas continued his roll by grabbing the provisional pole Saturday on his GEICO Suzuki at Miller Motorsports Park.

Cardenas has qualified first twice and won three races thus far in the 2012 AMA GoPro Daytona SportBike series. He was second-fastest in Saturday’s first practice but then surged to the top of the chart with a lap of 1 minute, 56.5 seconds in qualifying.

“The qualifying runs went well,” Cardenas said. “The wind was blowing pretty strong though. I waited for a couple of minutes for the track to dry out and we put a fresh new tire on the bike. The last 10 minutes we went out, and I was able to grab a spot on the pole.

“I hope the conditions improve a little for tomorrow so we go out again for Qualifying 2.”

Sunday’s forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of rain for Qualifying 2, which is slated for 8:50 a.m. MDT. The 29-year-old Cardenas could hold on to the pole should Sunday’s qualifying be run in the rain.

Saturday started with a torrential downpour for most of the morning, making the track wet and slick. High winds were also added to the equation making it difficult to control the bikes.

“It was very windy out there,” Cardenas said. “Even on the straight you were feeling the strong wind push you to the side. I had to put a lot of weight on the front tire and be a little cautious. On some of the corners, the front wheel wanted to come up. Turn 2 and a couple other corners were still a little wet along with the wind which made it difficult.”

Miller’s 15-turn, 3.05-mile course is one of Cardenas’ favorites, and he’s been plenty fast during the BigM Weekend.

“I like this track a lot, the layout is great.” Cardenas said. “The track has some good tight corners which I like. I got on the podium back in 2007, and 2008 I did not come here because I was injured. Last year I did well here until I crashed, but I do love this place. It is one of the best tracks in the U.S.”

The 16-lap GoPro Daytona SportBike main event is slated for 4:10 p.m. MDT Sunday, and SPEED will provide coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

Points Leader Cardenas Loves Wide-Open Road Racing Action at Miller

TOOELE, Utah (May 24) — Martin Cardenas likes to go fast on his GEICO Suzuki Daytona SportBike, as witnessed by his three victories and three No. 1 qualifier positions in the first three stops of the 2012 AMA Road Racing season. So it’s no surprise that the 29-year-old Colombian champion says Miller Motorsports Park is one of his favorite racetracks in the world.

“I think this is the best racetrack for me,” Cardenas said of the 3.05-mile, 15-turn course. “And I am very excited to return for this weekend’s race.

“I like to ride wide-open and you can really do that here. There are great straight-aways, the big turns are very high speed and even the sharper corners are middle to high speed, so you can get into a nice, fast flow. You don’t have that stop-and-go feeling like some of the other tracks. It suits my style very well.”

The BigM Weekend schedule calls for just one, not the usual two, main events, so Cardenas knows there is no room for error. Although he’s led the GoPro Daytona SportBike championship points after four of the first five races, he gave away some of his cushion when he crashed out of the last race earlier this month in Sonoma, Calif. His lead over Tommy Hayden was ultimately cut to 12 points.

“Sure, I want to rebuild the lead we had,” Cardenas said. “We have just one chance this weekend to do that so we want to be prepared. I have great confidence in my team and my bikes.

“I was a little sore after the crash and could feel it in my muscles for a few days but I am 100-percent fit now,” Cardenas said. “The guys replaced the frame and the front suspension on the bike that was damaged, but really both of the bikes we have are the same. That’s not always the case but this year we are lucky in that regard. I have ridden them both this year multiple times. It will not be a factor.

“We will continue to race as we have all year. It’s been a great start and there’s no reason to think we won’t have another good outing. I’m excited to see the World Superbike guys race and also to show them what we do in our class.”

Action begins for Cardenas with a practice session at 8:55 a.m., Saturday, with the first qualifying round scheduled for 1:30 p.m. later that day. The second qualifying session, which will set the field, begins at 8:40 a.m., Sunday, with the 16-lap main event kicking off at 4:10 p.m. The race will be shown on SPEED TV.