LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 15) – GEICO Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas salvaged a fourth-place finish Sunday in the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike series during the Buckeye SuperBike weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Cardenas, who finished second in Saturday’s race at Mid-Ohio, led during the early stages of the 21-lap race, but just after halfway, the bike developed a chatter on some sections of the course, which put Cardenas into conservation mode.
“It became very difficult to maintain the pace of the front guys,” Cardenas said. “I had to back off a little bit and concentrate on not getting passed by Tommy Hayden. I had to conserve the fourth place and that just proved to be the best I could do today.”
Cardenas got a solid start and led the first laps before getting passed, settling into third and biding his time. The race was then red-flagged on Lap 5 due to rain and some safety equipment repairs.
The GEICO Suzuki jumped back into the lead on the ensuing restart and Cardenas led until Lap 12 when the troubles began. The 29-year-old Colombian tried to keep pace with the lead pack, but the chatter became too difficult to overcome and Cardenas turned his attention to getting the best finish possible for maximum points.
“A bad day for us has been fourth or fifth,” said Cardenas, who has won six times this year. “That’s really good in the bigger picture. This season we’ve been strong. The team is great and they’ve been working awesome with me since the start of the year.”
Cardenas retains his series points lead, which shrinks to 40 points over Dane Westby. Cardenas said the team will turn its attention to getting back to the top of the podium at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, July 27-29, at Laguna Seca.
“I like Laguna,” Cardenas said. “It’s a good track for me. I think we’ll get better results than we got here this weekend.”