AMA Road Racing
Anyone watching the first five AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL races would agree that the action has never been better and that at least four of the first five races could have been won by any number of riders.
Lap after lap, pass after pass, this series has delivered excitement at every corner, yet a closer look at the standings shows that one particular rider is quietly putting his stamp of control of the class in a similar way to the 2009 season.
That rider is Martin Cardenas. Riding his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki motorcycle, Cardenas has put together three wins from five races and is on track to duplicate his season high total of seven wins from last year once again, and a great place for him to continue this trend is Northern California’s Infineon Raceway.
Cardenas captured both ends of the Infineon Raceway doubleheader race weekend in 2009 and he comes into this year’s race, May 14-16, off of his most recent double win at last month’s Road Atlanta event.
Displaying a calm confidence in his machine and team, Cardenas looks forward to getting back to Infineon Raceway but there are a number of other riders that feel they have the momentum on their side too.
One rider in that category is 2010 Daytona 200 winner Josh Herrin and his very competitive Team Graves Yamaha team. Herrin currently sits on top of the Daytona SportBike standings, just six points ahead of 2009 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion, Danny Eslick. Herrin had a second win at Auto Club Speedway and is also coming off a second place finish at Road Atlanta, so he is ready to continue his strong start to the 2010 season.
Eslick, riding his GEICO Powersports RMR Suzuki, could be mistaken for a race winner so far this year, he has run up front in every race and had a couple of likely wins snatched away at the very last minute. Either way, Eslick hasn’t lost his drive as he fights for each and every position in qualifying and in the races themselves. He hasn’t finished lower than fourth place and a win is certainly coming, sooner than later for sure!
The aforementioned Cardenas is in third place in the standings with Cory West and Dane Westby in fourth and fifth places, respectively. West has been a steady presence at the front of the pack all year long, his move from seventh to first at Road Atlanta was something to behold. His Vesrah Suzuki team has kept him at the forefront and West and his teammate Chris Fillmore will continue to take the fight to the other riders in the Daytona SportBike class.
Dane Westby with his Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha have also put together a solid string of results, a second, third and two fourth place finishes were offset by an unlucky 13th place finish at the second Road Atlanta doubleheader race dropping him down the standings, but he also has been right on the pace all year and is a threat every time he takes to the track.
This year’s Daytona SportBike class has had at least eight to ten riders going for the win every race and another rider who has been in the middle of the action is Team Latus Motors Racing Ducati rider Steve Rapp. Rapp took an excellent third place at Daytona to open the season and he had another strong run to third at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California in April. Last race out at Road Atlanta, Rapp grabbed a pair of sixth place finishes but he could have had more, he led more than once during the weekend.
Team Graves Yamaha rider Tommy Aquino has also put together a strong string of results and he took his first career Daytona SportBike pole position at Road Atlanta, showing his natural speed and ability which will bring him a win any weekend now.
Everyone loves a good action movie and Daytona SportBike rider Melissa Paris is featuring Ironman 2 graphics and leathers on her Yamaha for the May 14th-16th West Coast Moto Jam at Infineon Raceway and she and AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike points leader Jake Zemke will be taking part in the 5th Annual Grape Crushers Run with LeoVince on Thursday, May 13th. Contact leovince.comfor further information on this fun filled ride through the Sonoma Valley.
Infineon Raceway will be the site of all kinds of motorcycle action all during the AMA Pro Road Racing weekend, the West Coast Moto Jam will feature on site Motocross action, Flat track racing, two great historic motorcycle displays, an art show, track talk Q&A sessions and the beautiful Infineon Raceway girls.
Along with the Motorcycle Midway and the AMA Pro Riders Dunlop Autograph sessions, there will be something for everyone during the May 14-16 race weekend. Please go to www.infineonraceway.com for schedules and ticket information.
SPEED TV will be broadcasting same-weekend flag-to-flag coverage of both AMA Pro Daytona SportBike races from Infineon, check your local listings for the broadcast times.