AMA Pro Racing: M4 Suzuki Laguna Report
AMA Pro Racing
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas registered a brilliant performance en route to his sixth victory of the season at Laguna Seca today. The calculating ride saw him make major headway in an increasingly intense 2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike championship fight.
Cardenas orchestrated a remarkable come-from-behind effort on Sunday, dropping down to seventh following a hectic opening lap before steadily and patiently working his way back into contention.
The Colombian settled into fifth place and waited for just the right moment to strike. With the early leader more than three seconds ahead of him at half-distance, Martin made his move, deftly slicing up to second and then tracking down first position with two blistering laps.
Martin showed a wheel of his GSX-R600 around the outside of Turn 2 and his rival crashed out under pressure, opening the door for Cardenas to run free to the checkered flag.
Martin now boasts 252 points, just 12 short of the championship lead with three doubleheaders left to determine the ’10 SportBike king.
Cardenas was thrilled to have finally won at Laguna Seca. He explained, “Since I came here the first time in ’07, it’s been my favorite track so I wanted to win here very badly. I’ve felt fast since I came here the first time but for some reason it was never possible to win until today.
Martin Cardenas says: “The race was very tough. I didn’t make a great start and lost some positions. To pass here can be difficult. You have to really plan your moves because there are not a lot of places to pass. My bike was working really good. I was in like sixth and worked my way up to second and saw the leader was a couple seconds ahead of me.”
“I put my head down, tried to do some quick laps, and caught him. He lost the front and from then on it was a lonely race for me. It was difficult to maintain the pace and the concentration because the rear tire was sliding. I really want to say big thanks to all our sponsors and my crew who worked very, very well this weekend.”
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki was a major contender in the day’s American Superbike contest as well with Jake Holden backing up his stellar qualifying form by running up front in the race. Starting from the third slot on the front row, Holden immediately moved into second position and then took over the lead aboard his GSX-R1000 on the race’s second lap.
However, repeated struggles in Turn 11 prevented Jake from running the pace he desired, relegating him to a still fine fourth place finish in the end.
The ride was the last scheduled for the Washington state-native with Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki and he showed constant improvement aboard the team’s Superbike, moving scoring two sevenths, a sixth, a pair of fifths, and ultimately today’s fourth-place ride during his time with the squad.
Jake Holden says: “I’m not completely thrilled,” Holden admitted. “I would have rather been spraying some champagne with a podium finish, but the team worked really hard and we made a big improvement from the last three rounds. I got myself way more comfortable with the motorcycle.”
“We got in the lead today and I kind of settled it in, but I had trouble with the last corner. But fourth place is fourth place and I matched my best finish in the Superbike class. It’s good but we would have liked to come home with a trophy.”
Chris Ulrich was unable to capitalize on his strong Laguna Seca form, crashing out on the third lap while running in eighth position. The miscue put to a halt a ten-race streak of top-ten finishes for the Californian who still sits seventh in the championship race with 150 points.
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki will return to action at Virginia International Raceway on August 13-15.
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki uses and endorses fine products from M4 Performance Exhaust, Monster Energy, Suzuki, Geico Powersports, Arai Helmet, Dainese Leathers, GPR Stabilizers, Hotbodies Racing, Vortex, Bazzaz Performance, Galfer Brakes, DID Chain, Roadracingworld.com, and Chicken Hawk Racing.