DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MAR. 16 - For the second straight day, a mechanical problem knocked three-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes out of the race and for a second straight day his rivals took full advantage of it. This time it was Martin Cardenas taking victory, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider battling with Hayes for the lead when Hayes’ Monster Energy Graves Yamaha expiring in turn one at the start of the 12th lap.
That left Cardenas to run alone to the finish, the Colombian earning the second AMA Superbike win of his career and his first dry-weather victory. By the end of the 15 lapper, Cardenas had 11.453 on the battle for second.
And that battle went to the bitter end. Yesterday’s winner Josh Herrin was in the battle at the front, but he ran straight in turn one on the 10th lap and that cost him dearly. When he re-entered the track, he had Foremost Insurance’s Larry Pegram on his back wheel and Pegram was determined to stay there. The two battled for the rest of the race with Pegram coming up .034 of a second short of Herrin at the stripe. It was Pegram’s second third-place finish of the weekend and a solid start to the season for the veteran from Ohio and his new Yamaha R1.
Fourth place went to National Guard Suzuki’s Roger Lee Hayden, the Kentuckian bouncing back from his first-lap crash in yesterday’s season opener to barely hold off his Michael Jordan Motorsports teammate Danny Eslick by .068 of a second. Eslick was slowed early when he botched the start.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark wrapped up his Daytona with a sixth-place finish to go with his fifth from yesterday. He beat Robertino Pietri’s Team Moto Venezuela’s Kawasaki by half a second.
Chris Fillmore rode the factory KTM to eighth – 1.7 seconds behind Pietri and well clear of ninth-placed Chris Ulrich and the GEICO Honda CBR1000RR. Bernat Martinez rode his Suzuki to 10th place, the Spaniard riding mostly alone to the spot.
All the EBR-mounted riders struck trouble with Aaron Yates pitting for a front tire while Geoff May was knocked out with a clutch problem.
Superbike Race 2
1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
3. Larry Pegram (Yamaha)
4. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki)
5. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)
6. Chris Clark (Suzuki)
7. Robertino Pietri (Kawasaki)
8. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
9. Chris Ulrich (Honda)
10. Bernat Martinez (Suzuki)