Runner-Up Finish Draws Cardenas Within A Breath Of 2012 Championship
Published: September 22, 2012
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Sept. 22) — GEICO Suzuki pro Martin Cardenas put a
virtual stranglehold on the 2012 GoPro Daytona SportBike championship
Saturday with a strong second-place finish in the first of two GEICO
Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing races this weekend at Homestead-Miami
The 29-year-old Cardenas, who won the Daytona SportBike class in
2010, finishes the day 83 points ahead of Dane Westby, the only rider
left with a mathematical chance of winning it all. Saturday’s winner,
Cameron Beaubier, was officially eliminated from championship
“I had a great start, got the holeshot, and led the first two laps,”
Cardenas said. “Cameron got around me and just pulled a gap. He was very
good, especially early in the race. I tried to keep on his pace but I
“I began focusing on the guys behind me. Bobby and Dane were both on
my rear wheel at various times. My pit board seemed to say 0.0 (gap)
every time I went by so I knew I needed to ride perfect laps. I think
maybe once or twice I made small mistakes but it didn’t hurt me.
“Towards the end I put my head down and increased the pace a little. I
picked up a small gap, maybe one second or so on Bobby, and just
concentrated on finishing strong in this race.”
The main goal of the day was to finish ahead of Westby, Cardenas’
teammate at Team Hammer. Westby started the day 76 behind Cardenas and
lost seven more points with his fourth-place result. The maximum number
of points that a single rider could earn this year is 94.
“We wanted to increase the points lead today, if possible, to get us
closer to the championship,” Cardenas said. “We didn’t expect to clinch
it this race because of the points difference but maybe tomorrow. The
main thing is that we improve a little on today’s performance and try to
give Cameron a challenge.”
Cardenas has a class-leading seven victories and 12 podium finishes this season.
The second race of the Triumph Big Kahuna Miami is scheduled for 2:15 p.m., Sunday. SPEED TV will air all of Saturday and Sunday's action.
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