Cardenas Makes it Three in a Row

Henny Ray Abrams | May 5, 2012

SONOMA, CA, MAY 5 – GEICO Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas broke open a tight battle with Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo (Tri) to win his third race in a row and stretch his championship points lead on windblown sunny day at Infineon Raceway.

Cardenas and DiSalvo chased early leader Cameron Beaubier (Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha) for most of four laps before they both passed the Yamaha rider. DiSalvo got him in turn seven, Cardenas on the brakes into turn nine.

Cardenas first took the lead when DiSalvo ran wide in the final turn 11 ending lap seven, Beaubier hanging onto third but not able to join the fight for the win.

Turn 11 was the site of DiSalvo’s revenge, the pair nearly coming together as they accelerated on the exit with Cardenas getting the worst of it.

Two laps later it was Cardenas again in the lead after taking advantage of traffic heading out of the Carousel and into turn seven. But his lead wasn’t secure. Cardenas ran wide in the same turn seven on the 17th lap, DiSalvo scooting by on the inside.

The final pass would come on lap 20. Cardenas went around the outside of DiSalvo in the turn six, downhill Carousel, a corner where DiSalvo was strong throughout. DiSalvo stayed on him for a lap, but on the last of 22 laps Cardenas seemed to find another gear and pulled away to win by 1.460 sec.

The win was not only the third in a row for Cardenas, but his Daytona Sportbike class leading 19th overal

Beaubier dropped well off the pace to finish a secure third in his first race since breaking his kneecap in a March scooter accident.

M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki’s Dane Westby held off Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s Tommy Hayden for fifth.

Sixth was fought among four riders, with Cory West (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) winning the battle over Bobby Fong (Meen Motorsports Racing Yamaha), JD Beach (Road Race Factory Red Bull Yamaha), and Joey Pascarella (SGA Racing/Yamaha Champions Riding School), the Daytona 200 winner who ran near the front early, then faded at the end.

After five races, Cardenas leads with 113 points to 80 for Westby and 76 for Hayden.

Daytona Sportbike Results:

1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)

2. Jason DiSalvo (Triumph)

3. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)

4. Dane Westby (Suzuki)

5. Tommy Hayden (Yamaha)

6. Cory West (Suzuki)

7. Bobby Fong (Yamaha)

8. JD Beach (Yamaha)

9. Joey Pascarella (Yamaha)

10. Jake Zemke (Ducati)

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.