AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike played out in dramatic fashion, with Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas notching his second professional SuperBike win by a wide margin over the rest of the field. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin held to second after a dramatic, late race battle with third-place finisher, Larry Pegram of Pegram Racing. Herrin’s teammate and defending SuperBike champion, Josh Hayes, had another day of bad luck, pulling out of competition with mechanical issues for the second day in a row after holding the lead for the first half of the race.
Race 2 kicked off with a fierce battle between Herrin, Hayes, and Cardenas in the lead pack. The three riders quickly distanced themselves from the other competitors and Hayes was stalwart out front. Herrin trailed the Mississippi native as he did in Race 1, following Hayes’ lines as closely as possible and Cardenas, too, couldn’t be shaken. By the second lap, the Colombian rider was challenging Herrin for the runner-up spot.
Nearing the mid-point, Cardenas found an opening when Herrin took a turn too wide, slipping past into second. Soon after, he was able to pull a tight turn to pass Hayes for the lead, but a few corners later Hayes answered back and regained the front.
Herrin, then in third, kept on Cardenas’ rear tire and looked poised to make a pass, but he made a small mistake while entering a turn and had to stand the bike up, losing valuable time on the lead pack. Herrin was able to circle back and re-enter competition, keeping his third-place spot, but had Pegram to contend with following his run off track.
“I just didn’t shift, didn’t pull up hard enough on the lever going into Turn 1 and I went into neutral,” said Herrin. “I was lucky and was able to save it and hold of Larry to the end.”
Hayes’ misfortune came soon after, and at that point the two riders were well over 10 seconds ahead of the field. Cardenas assumed the lead easily and remained steady to the checkers.
“I didn’t expect it (his first race win of the season) to come this soon in the season,” said Cardenas. “If Hayes didn’t have his problem, he probably would have been first because he was a little bit faster than me today, but I’ll take it. The race was pretty good for us, I just tried to hang with the two Yamahas then four laps or five from the end Hayes had his mechanical trouble. I just tried to keep a good pace and not make mistakes.
Cardenas offered his thoughts on the significance of his race win when asked whether it was the most important of his career.
“At the moment, yes, because the other win I had was in the wet. This one, with Hayes out, isn’t the way everyone would have wanted to, but it’s much better than the one I had in the wet. For now this one is the most important.”
Pegram and Herrin duked it out in an intense battle for second, with Pegram making a pass during the final laps. Herrin was able to answer back soon after, and he crossed the line half a bike-length ahead of Pegram.
National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden finished the day in fourth followed by his teammate, Danny Eslick, in fifth. Cardenas’ teammate, Chirs Clark, finished in sixth with Team Moto Venezuela’s Robertino Pietri in seventh and KTM’s Chris Fillmore in eighth. M4 Broaster Chicken’s Chris Ulrich and Team TJA Valencia’s Bernat Martinez took ninth and 10th respectively.
Herrin holds the overall points lead by a single point over Cardenas. Pegram is third overall, followed by Eslick in fourth and Clark in fifth.
AMA Pro SuperBike Daytona Race 2 Results 2013:
1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
2. Josh Herrin (Yamaha)
3. Larry Pegram (Yamaha)
4. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
5. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)
6. Chris Clark (Suzuki)
7. Robertino Pietri (Kawasaki)
8. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
9. Chris Ulrich (Honda)
10. Bernat Martinez (Suzuki)
11. Reese Wacker (Suzuki)
12. Trent Gibson (Suzuki)
13. Rodolfo Ramirez (Kawasaki)
14. David Anthony (Suzuki)
15. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
AMA Pro SuperBike Championship Points 2013:
1. Josh Herrin, 56
2. Martin Cardenas, 55
3. Larry Pegram, 42
4. Danny Eslick, 34
5. Chris Clark, 31
6. Robertino Pietri, 29
7. Chris Fillmore, 24
8. David Anthony, 20
9. Bernat Martinez, 20
10. Geoff May, 19