The hottest rider in AMA Pro Road Racing today might very well be Martin Cardenas, riding for M4 Suzuki and taking two wins in the Daytona SportBike class at the Barber Motorsports Park round of the series.
The quiet Colombian, Cardenas, is showing himself as both fast and smart, making the most of his Suzuki GSX-R600, outfitted with the latest Öhlins TTX rear shock and fork kits, the same that are available to all racers. In Saturday’s Daytona SportBike race Cardenas led the most laps on his way to the win, battling teammate and pole winner Jason DiSalvo, who was racing him hard all the way to the checkered flag. On Sunday, the win was again hard earned, with Cardenas stalking and then passing Jamie Hacking for the top step on the podium.
1st – Martin Cardenas Speaks…
"Jamie was running really well and so I had to find out where he was weaker than me. I followed him until the second from the last lap, knowing by then where I had the best options to make a pass that I could keep until the end of the race. The left-hand turn in the infield was one place where I knew I could take him and when we arrived there, with a little over a lap to go, there was traffic and I thought I could also use that to my advantage also. After I made my way around I put the traffic between us and put in a couple of fast laps. I saw that I had pulled away from him before I reached the finish line."
With these two wins, Cardenas, has a secure third place in the Daytona SportBike season’s point standings, sitting just a scant four from the lead, with his total of 142 points. Cardenas is also one of only two riders with wins, who are competing for the Daytona SportBike championship. The other rider sharing wins in the Daytona SportBike races since Daytona is Danny Eslick, riding a Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing/Richie Morris Racing Buell 1125R. Cardenas, DiSalvo and Eslick all use Öhlins suspension and the hands-on tuning skills of Öhlins USA Road Racing Manager Mike "Fitz" Fitzgerald. Of note is how disparate these two winning machines are from each other, showcasing the effect of a properly tuned suspension.