AVONDALE, LA, OCT 6 – Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier won his seventh Daytona Sportbike race of the year by outdueling 2012 class champion Martin Cardenas, the Geico Suzuki rider who crashed just over two laps from the end while in the lead at NOLA Motorsports Park. M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby was a distant second having beaten back JD Beach (Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha) and Kneedraggers.com/Triple Crown Industries Tommy Aquino (Yam).
The first attempt to run the race ended on the third lap with a horrific crash. Meen Motorsports Racing’s Bobby Fong (Yam) ran into the back of pole-sitter Jake Gagne (Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha) with both riders being hurled through the air and serious damage to Gagne’s motorcycle. Gagne was up quickly, while Fong took time to come to his senses. Once he did, he rode his heavily damaged Yamaha briefly before parking it and taking an ambulance ride.
Cardenas led off the start and broke out to a lead of over two seconds as Beaubier worked his way through the pack. It was the tenth of 18 laps when Beaubier caught Cardenas and the race was on. Beaubier passed Cardenas in the right kink Turn 8 on the 14h lap and held the point until the 16th, when the Colombian drafted by on the inside into Turn 1.
Cardenas was just in front of Beaubier when the front end washed out in the penultimate Turn 15, the beginning of a looping double-right that feeds onto the front straight.
Then Beaubier was home free, winning the race by 4.782 secs. Beaubier and Cardenas are now tied for wins on the season with seven.
Westby, Beach, and Aquino spent most of the race swapping spots, with little among them. It was only in the final laps that the gaps grew. Westby finished with 2.1 secs. on Beach, who had two secs. on Aquino.
Then came Ducshop Racing’s Jake Zemke, 9.56 secs. later and 2.87 in front of fellow veteran Jason DiSalvo on the Latus Motors Racing Triumph.
Though he won the race, Beaubier didn’t get the points bump he was hoping for. With only Sunday’s race remaining, he trails Westby 364 to 347 in the fight for second overall.
AMA Daytona Sportbike Results:
1. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
2. Dane Westby (Suzuki)
3. JD Beach (Yamaha)
4. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)
5. Jake Zemke (Ducati)
6. Cory West (Suzuki)
7. David Gaviria (Yamaha)
8. Cory West (Suzuki)
9. Austin Dehaven (Yamaha)
10. Tommy Hayden (Yamaha)