BRASELTON, GA, APRIL 18: M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas swept the Daytona SportBike races with a late runaway in an otherwise compelling race on a Sunday afternoon at Road Atlanta.By winning both Saturday’s and Sunday’s races, Cardenas made history; for the first time all three classes were swept by the same rider. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young won both American SuperBike races and Rockwall Performance Yamaha’s J.D. Beach swept the SuperSport class. Of the three, Cardenas’s wins were the most conventional. Young was given the win when Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes was assessed a 21.4 secs. penalty after winning Saturday’s Superbike race. And Beach had to endure three red flags to get his two wins.Sunday’s SportBike race was competitive from the start. Cardenas was among seven riders who spent the entire race swapping positions, with most of the changes coming on the brakes into Turn 10, the hard-braking downhill left at the end of the back straight that begins the sequence for the run to the finish line.Cardenas made his pass for the lead on the 18th of 20 laps, moving Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin to second and Project 1 Atlanta’s Dane Westby to third, and by the end of the lap Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West was second, but at a gap of .922 secs. Any chance the pack would have to catch Cardenas ended right there.Ending the 18th lap, Geico Powersports/RMR Suzuki’s Danny Eslick slipped up the inside of Westby in the final corner, a hard braking right. Westby ran wide and off the track, falling slowly, and his pursuiers had to check up. When Cardenas crossed the line the next lap his lead was nearly two seconds. A lap on and he’d won by 1.683 secs.Herrin moved from fourth to take second on the last lap, with West holding onto third.Eslick ended up fourth in front of Team Graves Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino. Team Latus Motors Racing’s Steve Rapp (Duc), who’d led on and off until the 12th lap, finished as the last rider in the lead pack.Herrin continues to lead the championship with 117 points to 111 for Eslick after five of 18 races. Cardenas is third with 103.Results:1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)3. Cory West (Suzuki)4. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)5. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)6. Steve Rapp (Ducati)7. Clinton Seller (Yamaha)8. Chris Fillmore (Suzuki)9. Jake Holden (Ducati)10. Bobby Fong (Ducati)
Cardenas Times Two in Atlanta
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.