M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas took his sixth win of the year in the Daytona SportBike class at Road America. Here he leads the field coming into Turn 5.
M4 Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas won Sunday’s Daytona SportBike Race 2 at Road America over Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke. Today’s win would be his sixth this year and give him another boost in this year’s championship.
At the start of the 13-lap race it was the M4 Suzuki’s of Cardenas and teammate DiSalvo out in front. Early on yesterday’s race winner, Chris Peris, looked like he was going to have something for the Suzuki riders and after briefly dicing with the leaders he faded back slightly unable to keep the same pace as the other guys in front of him.
Meanwhile Zemke steadily worked his way up from a so-so start catching and passing first DiSalvo, then setting his sights on Cardenas. Zemke kept pushing forward eventually catching up and passing Cardenas for the lead. But the Colombian rider wouldn’t give up and stayed within a few bike lengths of him.
The two riders continued to battle back and forth opening up a significant gap on DiSalvo who was running his own race by himself.
“We had a good start the first opening laps were pretty exciting. We were all dicing around,” said DiSalvo. After the opening laps my bike lost a little bit of power. I had trouble holding the draft. It was kind of a lonely race. I had a great view of the battle up front though. I’m just happy to get another podium.”
Further back the Buell motorcycles of Danny Eslick, Michael Barnes, and Taylor Knapp we’re making their way towards the front. Eventually finish fifth, sixth, and seventh behind Peris who finished in fourth.
It was Zemke out in front on the final lap but Cardenas would push his Suzuki GSX-R600 side by side with Zemke’s Honda and the two continually traded position on the back half of the racetrack. Zemke would continue to hold the lead going into the final turn but Cardenas would shove his motorcycle to the inside and motor off to the flag winning the race.
“It was a good last lap,” said Zemke, whose finish today was the best this season.” I was expecting Martin to make a last pass on me. It was a great race. It came down to the last 4 corners we were side by side in all of them.”
“The first plan I had was to pass him and make a good lap and win,” said the winner. “I tried to pass him again in the chicane and he passed me back in the next turn. We went side by side for the last half of the racetrack. He was protecting the inside and I made a good run and it turned out and I won. My bike was very fast today. I just went for it and gave it my everything to try and win it.”
Erion Honda’s Chris Peris had a great start in Daytona SportBike Race 2 but faded as the laps wound down. He finished fourth.
Daytona SportBike Race 2 Results:
1. Martin Cardenas, Suzuki GSX-R600
2. Jake Zemke, Honda CBR600RR
3. Jason DiSalvo, Suzuki GSX-R600
4. Chris Peris, Honda CBR600RR
5. Danny Eslick, Buell 1125R
6. Taylor Knapp, Buell 1125R
7. Michael Barnes, Buell 1125R
8. Chaz Davies, Aprilia RSV1000R
9. Jamie Hacking, Kawasaki ZX-6R
10. Chris Fillmore, Yamaha YZF-R6
11. Roger Lee Hayden, Kawasaki ZX-6R
12. Steve Rapp, Yamaha YZF-R6
13. Josh Herrin, Yamaha YZF-R6
14. Bobby Fong, Yamaha YZF-R6
15. Ricky Parker, Yamaha YZF-R6