M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas took over the Daytona SportBike points lead with his third win in a row, and fourth of the season, on a blazingly hot afternoon at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.Not long after the start a multi-rider crash brought out the pace car to bunch up the field while the track was cleaned and the damaged bikes removed.The safety truck pulled off at the end of the sixth lap with the field approaching the line for a single file re-start that didn’t go smoothly. Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking mistakenly took the wrong the entrance into turn one. Hacking went up the inside that’s always used for standing starts, rather than taking a wider line that incorporates a false corner that slows the riders to a ninety degree left. But Hacking caught his mistake and let the others by before mounting a charge.M4 Suzuki’s Jason DiSalvo was flying in the lead and had 2.3 secs. in hand when he crashed in the final turn 11 hairpin right-hander at the end of the tenth lap.That put Bazzaz Performance’s Steve Rapp (Yam) in the lead for three laps until he was run down by Cardenas on the 13th lap. Cardenas made the pass by going up the inside of Rapp in turn seven, and then he was gone.The Colombian quickly built a lead that would grow to nearly three seconds before he backed off to win by 2.158.The win gives him 173 points to 171 for Hacking and 159 for Danny Eslick, fifth today on the Bruce Rossmeyer Racing/RMR Buell.Hacking passed Rapp in the turn 9, 9A chicane for second on the final lap, with Rapp, who grew up in the East Bay, taking third, his best of the season.Hacking’s second was his fourth of the season.Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Chaz Davies, who’d been second on the 10th lap, was third until he was passed by Hacking on lap 19, finishing fourth.Eslick was fifth just in front of Team Graves Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino. Josh Herrin, Aquino’s teammate, pulled off less than two laps from the end with a smoking R-6. The cause may have been rocks in the radiator.Erion Honda teammates Chris Peris and Jake Zemke were seventh and eighth, respectively.Daytona SportBike:1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)2. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)3. Steve Rapp (Yamaha)4. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)5. Danny Eslick (Buell)6. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)7. Chris Peris (Honda)8. Jake Zemke (Honda)9. Roger Hayden (Kawasaki)10. Chris Fillmore (Yamaha)
Three 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.