Cardenas in Control at Road America

Henny Ray Abrams | June 2, 2012

ELKHART LAKE, WI, JUNE 2 – Geico Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas stretched his championship lead with a decisive victory, his fifth in the last six races, in the Subway Superbike Doubleheader Daytona Sportbike race at Road America.

Cardenas didn’t start well. On the start, when he let out the clutch lever it didn’t engage and the bike wheelied twice. “Then I lost the momentum there. The first turn there was like 100 bikes, so it was a little bit sketchy,” he said.

Cardenas ended the first lap in 11th and the second lap in seventh. He finished the third lap in fourth and the fourth lap in third, joining a four-rider breakaway.

The sixth lap would be the most important. Cardenas passed second placed Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Castrol Triumph) early in the lap, then took leader Cameron Beaubier (Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha) into Canada Corner. Cardenas wouldn’t relinquish the lead, though the others kept it close for a while.

On the 11th lap Cardenas added nearly a second to his lead to put the race away. He’d win by 1.368 secs. with Beaubier second and DiSalvo third.

By winning for the fifth time this year, and for the 21st time in his DSB career, the Colombian stretched his points lead to 41, 175 to 134 over DiSalvo after seven of 19 races. M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby, who was in second until well into the 12th lap before falling to fourth place, is now third with 127 points. Tommy Hayden had come into the race in second place, but finished 12th on the Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha, and fell to fourth in the championship.

Road America Daytona Sportbike Results:

1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)

2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)

3. Jason DiSalvo (Triumph)

4. Dane Westby (Suzuki)

5. Bobby Fong (Yamaha)

6. Jake Zemke (Ducati)

7. Cory West (Suzuki)

8. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)

9. JD Beach (Yamaha)

10. Huntley Nash (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.