M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas held off teammate Jason DiSalvo to win his fourth Daytona SportBike final in a row on the hottest race day of the season, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.The win, his fifth of the season, gives Cardenas a 24 point championship lead, 203-179, over Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking, who crashed twice, yet still finished 13th.The field was bunched up at the start before attrition, both mechanical and rider error, took its toll. Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin led the first lap from DiSalvo and Herrin’s teammate Tommy Aquino, with Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Chaz Davies next in front of Hacking and Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke. Cardenas was next and on the move.Cardenas was up to fifth on the fourth lap, then fourth a lap later, and third on the sixth lap, the same lap that Hacking first crashed in turn seven from third place. By then Davies was out with a mechanical problem in turn one.On the seventh lap Cardenas went up the inside of DiSalvo entering turn seven to take second from his teammate and begin to hunt Herrin.Cardenas made an aggressive move on Herrin in turn seven of the 13th lap, sending both of them wide and letting Zemke briefly into second. By the time it was sorted out it was DiSalvo, Cardenas, Zemke and Herrin.As the pair got to the bottom of the runway run to turn nine, Cardenas took DiSalvo on the brakes into the hard braking right-hander. Herrin was third from Zemke and Aquino.For the final 10 laps Cardenas was under pressure from DiSalvo, who had one final move in the last corner, but it didn’t work. Cardenas had the win by .104 secs.Next came Herrin at nearly five secs. with Aquino fourth after passing Zemke on the final lap.Bazzaz Performance’s Steve Rapp finished sixth a day after finishing third at his home track.There was a gap to Erion Honda’s Chris Peris who just held off Bobby Fong.Daytona SportBike:1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)2. Jason DiSalvo (Suzuki)3. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)4. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)5. Jake Zemke (Honda)6. Steve Rapp (Yamaha)7. Chris Peris (Honda)8. Bobby Fong (Yamaha)9. Taylor Knapp (Buell)10. Damian Cudlin (Yamaha)
Four in a Row for Cardenas
Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor
Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.