Martin Cardenas talks Daytona Sportbike

Team M4 Race Results

Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas claimed a spectacular victory on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway, coming out on top of an intense AMA Pro Daytona SportBike battle.

Cardenas rebounded from a less-than-ideal start, clawing his way up through the pack aboard his GSX-R600 after getting away in seventh position. By lap six of 21 the Colombian had closed in on the lead group and spent the remainder of the contest embroiled in the tight fight for the win.

The former Spanish Supersport champ sliced his way from third to first in an instant on lap 12 and crossed the stripe first every lap thereafter despite an epic struggle for the position.

Consistently strong on the brakes at the end of the back straight and coming onto the front straight, Cardenas bounced back from his Daytona 200 disappointments to win the season’s second race by 0.679 seconds at the checkered flag.

Martin Cardenas

"It is very gratifying to come back like this," Cardenas said. "It was exactly what I wanted to do but I knew it would be very difficult because there were five or six other riders who were very fast. It was a great race.

"I got an okay start but I had a hard time working my way up and was afraid the leaders might get away. I put my head down and pushed as hard as I could and once I got up there I stayed with the leaders for the rest of the way and we passed a lot of times.

"The last eight laps or so I got the lead and tried to push hard and hoped to get a bit of a gap but it wasn’t possible. The guys were riding very fast and I was having trouble with the first chicane as I was suffering from a little bit of arm pump. It was a great battle and my bike was awesome. I want to thank my crew and all of our sponsors."

Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s American Superbike pilots John Hopkins and Chris Ulrich scored a pair of solid results for the team on Saturday as well. Like Cardenas, Hopkins was out for redemption following a difficult Daytona and was right in the mix of a multi-rider pack battling at the front over the SBK race’s opening laps.

Once things settled down, Hopkins, the former MotoGP ace, found himself locked in a scrap for sixth but fell just 0.004 short at the flag, claiming seventh position at the conclusion of the 21-lap affair.

Meanwhile, Ulrich picked up another top ten result on his Monster Energy-backed Suzuki GSX-R1000 SBK. The Californian came home in ninth after putting in a spirited challenge for eighth.

AMA Pro SuperBike | Saturday Race Results | Fontana

1. Larry Pegram (Ducati 1098R), 1:25:053; 2. Jake Zemke Suzuki (GSX-R1000), 3. Aaron Yates (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:25.068; 4. Josh Hayes (Yamaha YZF-R1), 1:24.862; 5. Blake Young (Suzuki GSX-1000R), 1:25.925; 6. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:25.221; 7. John Hopkins (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:25.268; 8. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha YZF-R1), 1:25.965; 9. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:26.430; 10. David Anthony (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 1:26.456.

AMA Pro Daytona SportBike | Saturday Race Results | Fontana

1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki GSX-R600), 1:27.450; 2. Danny Eslick (Suzuki GSX-R600), 1:27.804; 3. Dane Westby (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:27.610; 4. Josh Herrin (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:27.663; 5. Cory West (Suzuki GSX-R600), 1:28.292; 6. Tommy Aquino (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:28.547; 7. Steve Rapp (Ducati 848), 1:28.029; 8. Chris Fillmore (Suzuki GSX-R600), 1:28.768; 9. Bobby Fong (Ducati 848), 1:28.959; 10. Clinton Seller (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:28.744.

John Hopkins and Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki will be back in action on Sunday looking to add to their weekend trophy haul in the second half of the Auto Club Speedway Daytona SportBike and American Superbike doubleheaders.