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2012 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Since 2009, Martin Cardenas (GEICO Suzuki) has clinched victory in five of six outings at Barber Motorsports Park, including all four AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike races during the 2009 and 2010 seasons and a surprising win during his debut AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season in 2011.

Following his return to GoPro Daytona SportBike this season, the Colombian has posted up on the top spot of the podium following six of the season’s eight finals and leads the championship 206-159 over nearest rival Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing Triumph) heading into this weekend’s Triumph SuperBike Classic presented by America’s First Federal Credit Union.

Much of the points gap between DiSalvo and Cardenas is a result of the Alabama resident’s troubled runs at Road Atlanta earlier this season. Had DiSalvo earned the average of 26 points he has grabbed at each of the season’s other rounds, he would be leading Cardenas by 1 point in the championship chase heading to Birmingham.

Instead, DiSalvo has a much steeper hill to climb and will likely have his hands full with the outright GoPro Daytona SportBike win leader — Cardenas has 22 to his credit — this weekend.

Third in the points is the consistent, Suzuki-mounted Dane Westby (M4 Lucas Oil Suzuki) with 142 markers. Westby has visited the podium twice this season but is still looking to lock up a win. Lagging behind by just two points is 2010 National Guard SuperBike Race 1 winner Tommy Hayden (Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha), who was recently confirmed as the third rider in the Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha stable for the remainder of the 2012 season. Wrapping up the top five in the points is Jake Zemke (Ducshop Racing Ducati 848), whose three AMA Formula Xtreme wins here highlight his in-depth knowledge of the circuit.

Positions six through 10 in the points are locked down by J.D. Beach (RoadRace Factory/ Red Bull Yamaha), DAYTONA 200 winner Joey Pascarella (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki), Bobby Fong (Meen Motorsports Yamaha), Cory West (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) and Cameron Beaubier (Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha).

The AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike division will contest 21-lap race finals on Saturday, June 23 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, June 24 at 2:15 p.m. local time. SPEED will broadcast both race finals, with Race 1 scheduled to begin at midnight ET/9 p.m. PT on Sunday night, followed by Race 2 mid-day on Monday at noon ET/9 a.m. PT.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Point Standings (After Round 5): 1. Martin Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) – 206; 2. Jason DiSalvo (Batavia, NY) – 159; 3. Dane Westby (Tulsa, OK) – 142; 4. Tommy Hayden (Owensboro, KY) – 140; 5. Jake Zemke (Paso Robles, CA) – 124; 6. JD Beach (Philpot, KY) – 112; 7. Joey Pascarella (Vacaville, CA) – 111; 8. Bobby Fong (Stockton, CA) – 109; 9. Cory West (Eureka Springs, AR) – 97; 10. Cameron Beaubier (Roseville, CA) – 89.