MONTEREY, CA, JULY 25 - A persistent Martin Cardenas never gave up in the Daytona SportBike final today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the Columbian fighting through from as far back as seventh to record his sixth win of the season on an overcast morning in Monterey.With Cardenas steadily marching his way through the field and going from fifth to second in one lap - the 12th - Bobby Fong seemed to have things in hand at the front, the Ducati rider leading on lap 12 by almost three seconds. But Cardenas was on the move and that lead was whittled down to 1.9 a lap later. And then Fong hit traffic and Cardenas was suddenly on his back wheel, the pair knifing through backmarkers to complete the 14th of 23 laps just .3 of a second apart. A lap later and Fong's lead was down to .090 of a second and then all hell broke loose for the Californian as he crashed out of the lead in turn two.From there Cardenas was able to maintain a two-second cushion to the war being waged behind him between Graves Motorsports Tommy Aquino, Clinton Seller and veteran Steve Rapp.That battle went to the end with the two Yamaha riders drifting wide in turn two on the 22nd lap and allowed Rapp to slide underneath. That was all the Ducati rider needed and he held the spot from there to the flag, topping the two Yamahas by over half a second as they fought to the end. Seller ended up third for his first-ever AMA podium with Aquino missing out on the final podium spot by just .049 of a second.Defending class champion Danny Eslick was next on the Geico-backed Suzuki with Graves Motorsports Yamaha's Josh Herrin, his championship rival coming into Laguna, a spot behind him. Herrin was at the head of the battle for second early on before he ran straight at the top of the Corkscrew.Cory West, Chris Fillmore, Michael Beck and Fernando Amantini rounded out the top 10.

Daytona Sportbike

1.                  Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)

2.                  Steve Rapp (Ducati)

3.                  Clinton Seller (Yamaha)

4.                  Tommy Aquino (Yamaha)

5.                  Danny Eslick (Suzuki)

6.                  Josh Herrin (Yamaha)

7.                  Cory West (Suzuki)

8.                  Chris Fillmore (Yamaha)

9.                  Michael Beck (Yamaha)

10.                  Fernando Amantini (Yamaha)

 

AMA Pro Racing Headlines

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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