Cardenas Wins, Title Fight Tightens

Henny Ray Abrams | September 25, 2010

LEEDS, ALABAMA, SEPT 25 – Nine points separate the top three riders in the Daytona SportBike championship with only Sunday’s race remaining at Barber Motorsports Park.M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas led the most laps and won his eighth race of the year, to take 31 points, the biggest haul of the day. Project 1 Atlanta’s Clinton Seller (Yamaha) finished a career best second and only .127 sec. behind, pressuring Cardenas the entire race. The South African made a few feints at passing, and briefly got in front, but couldn’t make it stick.Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin finished a distant third. Herrin had closed to under two seconds in the final few laps, then watched the gap expand. Yet he was still able to take over the points lead with the fifth place finish by previous points leader Danny Eslick. Eslick had an off day after crashing in the morning qualifying.So at the end of the day Cardenas was the points leader with 375, Eslick has 372, and Herrin drops to third with 366.The first attempt to start the race was red flagged. The re-start followed shortly.Cardenas got away quickly with Seller, while the order behind continued to shuffle. While those two were breaking away, Herrin was trying to get past Eslick, and it wasn’t easy. They went back and forth for a few laps until the third lap when mistakes shuffled them behind a few others. Meanwhile, Herrin’s teammate Tommy Aquino moved into third.Aquino crashed out on the sixth lap, by which time Herrin had moved into third, by 2.643 secs. behind Seller. The gap stayed constant for most of the race before Herrin closed it up to under two seconds on lap 17. But he could make no further inroads, and when he hit a group of traffic late in the race he was sentenced to third.But Eslick had an even tougher race and might have gotten sixth had Cory West, who was hard on him much of the race, not crashed three laps from the end. That allowed Eslick to cruise home by 6.8 secs. behind fourth place finisher Dane Westby (Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha).

Daytona SportBike Results:

1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)

2. Clinton Seller (Yamaha)

3. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)

4. Dane Westby (Yamaha)

5. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)

6. Kyle Wyman (Yamaha)

7. P.J. Jacobsen (Suzuki)

8. Kris Turner (Suzuki)

9. Michael Beck (Ducati)

10. Russ Wikle (Suzuki)


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.