Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas rung up a magnificent AMA Pro Daytona SportBike victory today at Road America to put an exclamation point on a stellar weekend.
Cardenas once again displayed his late-race brilliance, fighting his way up through a deep pack of contenders to arrive at the front and then biding his time until the inevitable last-lap chess match.
Moving into first place on the brakes on the first corner of the final lap, Martin laid down a blistering lap on worn tires about his GSX-R600, which broke open up just enough breathing space to allow him to hold strong to the checkered flag.
Cardenas took his fifth win of the season with a slim 0.275-second margin of victory. The win, combined with his Saturday podium, saw the Colombian register an important weekend for his championship hopes as he sits third at the season’s midpoint with 184 points.
Martin Cardenas says: “I made a mistake on the opening lap and had to work my way up through the pack,” Cardenas said. “Once I arrived to the first group of guys I made a couple more passes and got into the lead. I put in two fast laps and built a little bit of a lead but the guys came back and we started passing in the draft again.
“It was a very intense race to the end. I knew to win this race it would have to be on the last lap. With all the long straights, if you pass someone they can pass you back very easily in the draft. I made the move on the last lap and pushed as hard as I could and protected the inside line in the braking zones. This time it worked out and I won. It was a very good result for me and my team.”
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki also enjoyed a solid day’s work in the AMA Pro American Superbike class, with Jake Holden and Chris Ulrich both improving upon yesterday’s top-ten results.
Holden rode his #3 GSX-R1000 to fifth place after putting in a determined bid for fourth, falling less than a second short of the spot at the checkered flag. Ulrich, meanwhile, picked up ninth at the conclusion of the day’s 50-mile Superbike contest.
Following his second weekend riding with the team in place of the injured John Hopkins, Holden said…
Jake Holden says: “We progressed this weekend and made some good changes on the bike. We learned a lot and I feel we’ll be even closer to the front at Mid-Ohio. I’m still getting used to the bike and how it works, and it’s hard to test and race at the same time, but I think today’s finish was pretty good. I would have liked to be challenging for a podium of course, but I’m happy with today’s effort.”
Saturday M4 Report
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas registered a determined and heady ride in difficult conditions today at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI to claim his fifth podium result of the 2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike season.
Battling both the slippery conditions created by a persistent light rain as well as his front running rivals, Cardenas was in contention for the win deep into the contest.
The Colombian showed his bravery on the brakes repeatedly, diving into the lead on multiple occasions during the thrilling affair.
He ultimately thought better of making a final desperate bid for the win, and wisely accepted third place aboard his GSX-R600 on the final lap after just losing touch with the top two.
Martin Cardenas says: “The whole race was a little bit sketchy here and there,” Cardenas said. “At the end, the rain came down a little bit harder and it was becoming very difficult to stay on two wheels. It was a great race, but at the end I didn’t want to finish the race on the ground again so I decided to ease up on the last lap. I think third place is a good result for today and I hope for a dry race for tomorrow and hopefully we can get the same result or do a little bit better.
“It was a great battle. There were some great passing maneuvers from all of us, but it was too risky to go for the win at the end because of the conditions,” Martin added. “Like I said, it’s good to finish third. To finish on the box is always good.”
With his class-leading four victories and five podiums, Martin remains ranked third in the Daytona SportBike championship standings with 154 points.
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki also logged a pair of top-ten results in the day’s AMA Pro American Superbike contest.
Jake Holden scored his best result of the season, bettering his two seventh-place runs taken for the squad at Infineon Raceway with a strong sixth today at Road America. Jake opened the race down in ninth but worked his way up to his final position over the 50-mile contest.
Meanwhile, Chris Ulrich took his eighth top-ten result in nine races this season with today’s tenth-place finish. The consistent Californian is now ranked seventh in the AMA Pro American Superbike standings with 113 points.
Team M4 Monster Energy will be back in action on Sunday for the second half of the Road America doubleheader weekend.