Cardenas in Last Lap Thriller Over DiSalvo

Henny Ray Abrams | May 27, 2012

TOOELE, UTAH, MAY 27 – Geico Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas won a thrilling last lap battle over Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo to take the victory in the Daytona Sportbike race at Miller Motorsports Park.

DiSalvo led from the start and built up an advantage of 1.216 secs. over Cardenas on the 10th of 16 laps. Then on the next lap it came down and would continue to until the 14th lap when Cardenas was right on DiSalvo.

The final lap started with the two nose-to-tail and Cardenas looking for a way through. His first move came on the inside in the double left Black Rock Hairpin, though DiSalvo closed the door on the exit and stayed in front. They exited the next pair of corners, Right Hook and Knock Out, side by side, with DiSalvo continuing to stay in front. Further up the road there was traffic looming.

DiSalvo kept the lead through the Attitudes, a three corner sequence that leads to the final left Tooele Turn before the track heads back to the finish line. Cardenas drafted alongside DiSalvo in the left hand Clubhouse Corner, DiSalvo counter-attacked in the next looping right Wind Up but to no avail. In the final corner (Release) Cardenas went under the lappers who’d been looming and who did DiSalvo no favors. All that was left was the short drag race to the stripe, which was won by the Colombian by .100 sec.

The win was the fourth in five races for Cardenas, who extended his championship points lead over Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s Tommy Hayden. Hayden had problems from the start and finished ninth.

Cameron Beaubier, Hayden’s teammate, took back third from Ducshop Racing’s Jake Zemke (Duc) on the penultimate lap. Beaubier had pressured DiSalvo in the early going before being passed by Cardenas on the eighth lap. Zemke made his move early on the 14th lap, losing it to Beaubier on the next lap.

Bobby Fong (Meen Motorsports Racing Yamaha) finished well behind the lead four and by himself. M4 Lucas Oil Suzuki’s Dane Westby was next, with JD Beach (Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha) and Benny Solis ( Yamaha) close behind.

Daytona Sportbike Results:


1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)

2. Jason DiSalvo (Triumph)

3. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)

4. Jake Zemke (Ducati)

5. Bobby Fong (Yamaha)

6. Dane Westby (Suzuki)

7. JD Beach (Yamaha)

8. Benny Solis (Yamaha)

9. Tommy Hayden (Yamaha)

10. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)

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.