Podium Finish Evades Points Leader Cardenas in Second Ohio Race

LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 15) – GEICO Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas salvaged a fourth-place finish Sunday in the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike series during the Buckeye SuperBike weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Cardenas, who finished second in Saturday’s race at Mid-Ohio, led during the early stages of the 21-lap race, but just after halfway, the bike developed a chatter on some sections of the course, which put Cardenas into conservation mode.

“It became very difficult to maintain the pace of the front guys,” Cardenas said. “I had to back off a little bit and concentrate on not getting passed by Tommy Hayden. I had to conserve the fourth place and that just proved to be the best I could do today.”

Cardenas got a solid start and led the first laps before getting passed, settling into third and biding his time. The race was then red-flagged on Lap 5 due to rain and some safety equipment repairs.

The GEICO Suzuki jumped back into the lead on the ensuing restart and Cardenas led until Lap 12 when the troubles began. The 29-year-old Colombian tried to keep pace with the lead pack, but the chatter became too difficult to overcome and Cardenas turned his attention to getting the best finish possible for maximum points.

“A bad day for us has been fourth or fifth,” said Cardenas, who has won six times this year. “That’s really good in the bigger picture. This season we’ve been strong. The team is great and they’ve been working awesome with me since the start of the year.”

Cardenas retains his series points lead, which shrinks to 40 points over Dane Westby. Cardenas said the team will turn its attention to getting back to the top of the podium at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, July 27-29, at Laguna Seca.

“I like Laguna,” Cardenas said. “It’s a good track for me. I think we’ll get better results than we got here this weekend.”

Points Leader Cardenas Runner-up In First Mid-Ohio Race

LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 14) – GEICO Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas and stable-mate Dane Westby had been dueling for 20 laps in Saturday’s AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race at the Buckeye Superbike Weekend on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and Cardenas had a plan to bring home the win.

Unfortunately things didn’t unfold the way Cardenas expected.

“I was in the lead that last lap, and my plan was to block him in a few spots where I thought he’d come,” Cardenas said. “On the backstretch we caught (a lapped rider), and I had to go a little bit wider than I should have. That’s where he caught me on the inside.”

Westby went on to make the last lap pass and deny Cardenas his seventh win of the season, but Cardenas came home with a second-place finish (.223 seconds behind) and a solid points day.

“It was a good race with Dane the whole way,” Cardenas said. “There were a lot of passes for the lead. My plan didn’t work like I wanted to, but Dane was tough today, so congratulations go out to him.”

Although he wasn’t able to finish the race on the top step of the podium, its fiercely competitive nature kept Cardenas’ blood pumping throughout the race.

“Races like this are exciting for me,” he said. “In races when you are out front all alone, you are more likely to make a mental mistake. This is the kind of race you really enjoy.”

Cardenas led 11 of the 21 laps and earned an extra point for leading the most laps. The 29-year-old Colombian started the race from the fourth position.

Coming into the day, Westby and Jason DiSalvo were 51 points behind Cardenas in the standings. DiSalvo crashed with five laps to go, finished 22nd and slipped into fourth place. Cardenas now leads Westby by 47 points with another race at Mid-Ohio left on the schedule.

“We’ll make some changes on our GEICO Suzuki overnight and be ready to improve tomorrow,” Cardenas said.

The GoPro Daytona SportBikes will have a 20-minute warm-up session starting at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday with the race rolling off at 2:15 p.m. SPEED TV will air the race live.