Race to Gagne, Title to Cardenas

Henny Ray Abrams | September 23, 2012

HOMESTEAD, FL, SEPT 23 – Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha’s Jake Gagne was the rain master in the wet Daytona Sportbike race that crowned Geico Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas as the 2012 class champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Gagne chased early leader Dane Westby (M4 Suzuki) until passing him on the 10th of 23 laps of the race which was delayed for one hour, 43 minutes by a combination of rain, lightning, and television snafus.

With clear track ahead, Gagne quickly pulled away to win his first Daytona Sportbike race by 7.126 secs.

Westby then found an attack coming from Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier, who made up considerable ground and was on Westby’s rear wheel until the 19th of 23 laps when he began to lose touch. Beaubier had been the fastest rider on the track at one point, setting the race’s fast lap on the 13, but at the cost of rear tire life. Beaubier dropped back to finish a solid third.

Behind him came Cardenas, the Colombian adding the 2012 Daytona Sportbike title to the one he’d won in 2010. Having won seven races, mostly in the first half of the season, Cardenas arrived at Homestead with a points lead of 83 on Westby. He finished with a 76 point lead, 415 to 339, to clinch the crown. Beaubier is third with 317 points.

The race was mostly processional well down the order, which, surprisingly, saw no one crash. Kneedraggers.com/Triple Crown Industries’ David Gaviria was fifth, Turners Cycle Racing’s Kris Turner (Triumph) was sixth, and Huntley Nash (LTD Racing Yamaha) in seventh.

Daytona Sportbike Results:
1. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
2. Dane Westby (Suzuki)
3. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
4. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
5. David Gaviria (Yamaha)
6. Kris Turner (Triumph)
7. Huntley Nash (Yamaha)
8. Austin Dehaven (Yamaha)
9. JD Beach (Yamaha)
10. Joey Pascarella (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.