SONOMA, Calif. (May 5) — Following a pitched back-and-forth battle for the lead throughout Saturday’s 50-mile race at Infineon Raceway, Martin Cardenas managed to collect his third victory in a row in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike class aboard his powerful GEICO Suzuki GSX-R600.
Cardenas and rival Jason DiSalvo swapped the lead multiple times during the 22-lap race around the 2.32-mile, 11-turn road course. But it was Cardenas pouring it on in the end, taking a 1.460-second victory over DiSalvo in the first of two GoPro Daytona SportBike races scheduled for this weekend’s Great Clips West Coast Moto Jam.
“Today was a pretty tough race but it was good for me,” Cardenas said. “Cameron (Beaubier) and Jason were very fast. I made a good start, got the third position, and made my way up to the front from there.
“DiSalvo and I exchanged positions many times throughout the race. I was able to push hard and get past him for the lead towards the end and I kept a decent gap between us from there. My last few lap times were fast, which helped me keep the lead.”
This was Cardenas’ 20th career AMA Pro victory and 19th in the Daytona SportBike class. His win total represents the AMA record for all-time SportBike wins. The win pads Cardenas’ championship lead to 33 points over Dane Westby.
“It’s a good result,” Cardenas said, “although I think we are all very tired from this race. The track was very physical and demanding. Towards the end I was definitely feeling tired and sore in my hands. It’s a good tired, though.”
A quick warm-up at 9:30 a.m. begins Sunday’s action with Race 2 slated to begin at 2:15 p.m. SPEED TV will air the action.