Cardenas Gets First Superbike Win at Wet and Wild Barber

Henny Ray Abrams | June 18, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, AL, JUNE 18 – Something about Barber Motorsports Park works for Martin Cardenas.The M4 Suzuki rider swept both races of last year’s season-ender to win the Daytona SportBike title. And today, in a race interrupted by rain early on and finished on a partially wet track, Cardenas won his first Superbike race in a season in which he’s struggled to adapt to the larger bike.Jordan Suzuki’s Ben Bostrom had his best result of the season by finishing a close second, with Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young third in front of championship leader Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha).The unpredictable outcome kept Hayes in the points lead with 210 to 202 for Young. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden, who started strongly before slipping down to seventh, is 20 points behind his teammate with 182.The podium sweep by Suzuki was the first since the second race at Road Atlanta in 2009 when Mat Mladin beat Young and Geoff May. It also marked the first time a single brand had swept the podium in both the Superbike and Daytona SportBike races. Earlier in the day, Danny Eslick beat Dane Westby and Cory West in the DSB final, held on a dry track.

One more distinction; Colombian Cardenas became the first non-native English speaker to win a Superbike race since Italian Alessandro Gramigni won at Brainerd on July 14, 1996.The Superbike race began on a dry track, but by the start of the seventh lap rain was falling and the red flag was thrown. Scoring reverted to the end of lap five.On the re-start, Young got out quickly but with little comfort. The lead pack was six strong with no one’s position secure.National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden led for the first time this year when he took advantage of heavy traffic to pass Young on the 11th of 21 laps. His reign at the top lasted only a lap before Cardenas took over. From the end of the 12th to the end of the race he was solid.  A number of riders came at him, but he was resolute, especially on the final lap.It was then that Ben Bostrom tried him in the final right-left sequence leading onto the front straight. Bostrom tried an inside move in the final left, but Cardenas beat him to it and Bostrom didn’t get the drive he’d need to take the win. Instead it was Cardenas getting his first. Bostrom was a close second, with Young third.Hayes had a moment on the final lap that cost him ground, but not a position. He finished fourth.Foremost Insurance’s Larry Pegram had his best ride of the year in fifth, with Roger Lee Hayden fading to sixth, one better than his brother.Cycle World/Attack Performance’s JD Beach ended a string of bad luck to finish eighth, a career Superbike best.

Superbike Results:

1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)

2. Ben Bostrom (Suzuki)

3. Blake Young (Suzuki)

4. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)

5. Larry Pegram (BMW)

6. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki)

7. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)

8. JD Beach (Kawasaki)

9. Trent Gibson (Suzuki)

10. Jeremy Toye (BMW)


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.