Yoshimura Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas scored the Race FuelZ Pro Superbike win in the opening round of the 2014 GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Cardenas crossed the line a fraction of a second ahead of second-place finisher Cameron Beaubier. The Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider was in turn followed by his teammate, Josh Hayes, who rounded out the podium an additional four seconds back.
Hayes was a long-time leader in the race but during the final laps the Mississippi native got stalled by some lappers, forcing him to detour briefly off track and dropping him down to fifth position. Beaubier took over the front after Hayes’ incident and Cardenas followed closely behind, the two riders battling back and forth through the final laps to the finish. In the end Cardenas gained a slight advantage, finishing just eight-hundredths ahead of the Yamaha ace.
“It was a good race,” said Cardenas. “I got a good start on the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and I made a move with two laps to go and I was able to hold the position until the end. It was a very fine weekend and it was nice to race at Fontana again after several years.”
“Martin and I had a great battle just like we used to in Sportbike,” said Beaubier afterward. “He was doing a good job blocking the inside line, so I tried to go on the outside and square him up. It was a fun race, and I wished I’d won, but I’m happy to get second today.”
Hayes recovered quickly from his late-race set-back, charging up the ranks into podium position during the final lap where he passed Cardenas’ teammate, Roger Hayden, just before the line.
“Overall, I feel pretty good about my day,” said Hayes. “I had about five guys come right up the back of me with only about three laps to go in the race, and I went off the track. I fought back and, on the last lap, got a really good drive coming onto the front straight. I passed Rog right at the stripe, so I’m really glad to get on the podium for my team.”
ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony finished in fifth-place followed by KTM/HMC Racing’s Chris Fillmore in sixth and Hayden’s teammate, Chris Clark, in seventh.
Yamaha SoCal Nationals Race FuelZ Pro Superbike Results 2014
1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki)
2. Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha)
3. Josh Hayes (Yamaha)
4. Roger Hayden (Suzuki)
5. David Anthony (Suzuki)
6. Chris Fillmore (KTM)
7. Chris Clark (Suzuki)
8. Chris Ulrich (Honda)
9. Daytona Anderson (Suzuki)
10. Mathew Orange (BMW)
11. Sebastio Ferreira (Kawasaki)
12. Marcel Irnie (BMW)
13. Johnny Rock Page (Suzuki)
14. Jeremy Armitage (Kawasaki)