Spoiler Alert: 2013 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike race 2 results from Daytona International Speedway listed belowAny residual sense of inevitability hanging over the paddock as a result of Josh Hayes’ all-conquering 2012 campaign was promptly shattered in the opening weekend of the 2013 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season.Hayes’ improbable Friday DNF disaster was doubled up on Saturday, and the three-time defending champ now finds himself in an early hole in his pursuit of a fourth consecutive crown.In contrast, Martin Cardenas celebrated a spectacular victory in his first weekend with the storied Yoshimura Suzuki squad, one-upping his Friday runner-up. He earned the win after pushing Hayes deep into the race before the Mississippian’s Yamaha expired shortly after the two took the stripe for the 12th time in the 15-lapper.Hayes leaped into the lead at the green light, but was again unable to shake his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, who again tucked right in behind on his #2 R1.Cardenas too got away with the leading Yamahas but appeared to be just barely clinging on to the front, fading to just over a second behind by lap 5. In danger of losing the lead draft, the Colombian summoned a remarkable 1:36.835 lap from his #36 GSX-R1000 (the only ’36 of the weekend) to close right back in on the escaping Yamaha pilots, apparently setting the stage for a race-long dogfight to the checkered flag.The factory Suzuki man used that building momentum to fight his way up to the lead momentarily on lap 8, but Hayes and Herrin displaced him to third once again on the following lap.However, Herrin bowed out of that battle on lap 10, running off in Turn 1. He re-entered the fray nearly ten seconds back — still in the top three but joined by the chasing Larry Pegram on the Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.Hayes managed to eke out a small bit of padding over the subsequent laps but his hard work proved for naught when smoke began to pour out from beneath his machine’s fairing and he moved aside, allowing Cardenas to power into the lead and ultimately race home to the second AMA Pro SuperBike victory of his career.Martin Cardenas (Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 SuperBike) says: “I didn’t expect a win to come this soon in the season. If Hayes didn’t have a problem I think he would have ended up first because he was a little bit faster than me today. I’ll take it anyway – anybody can have problems in each race.“I’m very happy. I want to thank very much Yoshimura Suzuki for giving me the opportunity to ride for them. This team is awesome.”Some 11 seconds back, Herrin narrowly fended off Pegram to finish second and take an early one-point championship lead over Cardenas.Josh Herrin (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 SuperBike) says: “I felt really good today compared to yesterday in the beginning of the race. I felt really comfortable sitting behind him. He’d gap me coming out of the chicane but I’d be able to close back up to him every time going into Turn 1. Whenever Martin started dicing it up with us it got pretty crazy. It was fun, it went from just sitting there to having to think about it and be real smart.“I just didn’t pull up hard enough on the lever going into Turn 1 and went into neutral. I was lucky I was able to save it and regroup and hold off Larry to the end.”Pegram leaves Daytona with a pair of thirds, his first two trips to podium since the 2010 season.Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 SuperBike) says: “It was pretty uneventful today until the end; I had a lot of fun racing with Josh Herrin. I’m not looking forward to the (angry) Josh Hayes that will show up at Road America. We can say whatever we want, but he was the guy to beat in both races and had some bad luck. I’m sure when we show up at Road America he’ll be fighting. But hey, we’ll take it.”National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden bounced back from yesterday’s DNF with fourth after edging new Jordan Suzuki teammate Danny Eslick to the stripe.Cardenas’ Yoshimura Suzuki teammate, Chris Clark, beat Team Moto Venezuela PC 4×4 Kawasaki’s Robertino for sixth, while Chris Fillmore finished eighth after earlier running in a pack with Clark and Pietri. That pack also included M4 Broaster Chicken Racing’s Chris Ulrich, who ultimately finished a bit further back in ninth, and Motosport.com Motul Fly Racing’s David Anthony, who ran into troubles late and finished a lap down in 12th).Spaniard Bernat Martinez rounded out the top ten on the Team TJA Valencia Suzuki GSX-R1000.Triple champ Hayes leaves Daytona with just two points to his name, one for pole and one for leading the most laps today. Meanwhile, Herrin boasts 56 and Cardenas 55.That deficit promises to make for an exciting campaign for fans and a new challenge for Hayes, who won last year’s championship by a 154-point margin.Saturday’s AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike race will be aired on SPEED Sunday, March 16, 2013 at 9 p.m. EST/ 6 p.m. PST.2013 Daytona AMA SuperBike Results, Race 2:
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.