It’s been more than a month since AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike rider Martin Cardenas has been aboard his front-running GEICO Suzuki, so this weekend’s American Red Cross Devils Showdown in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series at New Jersey Motorsports Park couldn’t come soon enough for the 29-year-old Colombian.
Martin Cardenas (GEICO Suzuki GSX-R 600) says: “It feels pretty good to be back on track. During the break, I rode once at my home in Medellin, but it’s not the same as here at the races. So I’m excited.”
The GoPro Daytona SportBike class hasn’t raced since Laguna Seca in late July, and Cardenas, the class points leader, said he kept his edge by focusing on keeping his body at 100 percent.
Martin Cardenas says: “It was a lot of the normal stuff. I worked on my physical conditioning in the gym and on my bicycle. It’s been important to just be healthy and ready for the race.”
Cardenas leads all riders with six wins on the season, holds a sizable 64-point lead on second-place Dane Westby and won on this 2.2 mile, 12 turn-circuit when he last rode a Daytona SportBike here in 2010.
Martin Cardenas says: “I don’t think it gives me too much of an advantage. A lot of the other guys have raced this track a lot and our competition has been very good lately. We’re going in there and hoping we can have a perfect weekend. We need to focus on starting it off right with a good effort in qualifying.
“I would be nice to win the championship before the final round, but we can’t look that far ahead. You never know what’s going to happen. It’s a good goal to have, and everyone on the team is going to try their best to achieve it.”
Practice at the American Red Cross Devils Showdown for the GoPro Daytona SportBikes gets under way at 1 p.m. EDT on Friday with the first qualifier coming at 4 p.m. Final qualifying will be at 8:50 a.m. on Saturday. Race 1 (23 laps) will start at 1 p.m. Saturday with Race 2 (23 laps) coming at 2:15 p.m. Sunday. SPEED TV will cover Saturday’s racing starting at 9 p.m. EDT and Sunday’s starting at 11 p.m.