BRASELTON, Ga. — Former series champion Martin Cardenas won his first AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike contest of the year on Saturday. The GEICO Suzuki rider set pole and ran away with the 20-lap race, although it was not without two drama-filled moments he experienced while riding alone. The second near-miss saw Cardenas, then with a five-second lead, run through the grass to keep from crashing. The Colombian quickly regrouped and set his quick lap of the race the following time around, though.
“It was enough to win this race. I thought it was going to be a big battle like always,” said Cardenas, surprised to have run much of the race by himself.
Dane Westby earned second with a brilliant ride. Westby, on board the M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki, got a poor start and charged through the top 10 to second place. The Oklahoman’s race was reminiscent of his Mid-Ohio victory last season as he continued to gain momentum throughout.
Tommy Hayden earned third in his substitute ride on the Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha. Hayden had a race-long battle with Benny Solis (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) who crashed at turn 10 on the penultimate lap. Jake Zemke, riding for the local Ducshop Ducati team, followed. Cory West (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) was solid on his way to fifth place, ahead of former AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race-winner Bobby Fong (Meen Motorsports) and Huntley Nash in his best ever GoPro Daytona SportBike result for LTD Racing.
DAYTONA 200 Winner Joey Pascarella earned eighth in his first race for SGA Racing. J.D.Beach was ninth for RoadRace Factory/Red Bull and Michael Beck (Full Tuck Racing) rounded out the top 10.
Pos. Rider Team Bike 1 Martin Cardenas Geico Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R600 2 Dane Westby M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R600 3 Tommy Hayden Graves Yamaha Extended Service Yamaha YZF-R6 4 Jake Zemke Ducshop Racing Ducati 848 5 Cory West Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R600 6 Bobby Fong Meen Motorsports Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 7 Huntley Nash LTD Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 8 Joey Pascarella Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha YZF-R6 9 JD Beach Road Race Factory/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6 10 Michael Beck Full Tuck Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 11 Austin Dehaven Triple Crown Industries Yamaha YZF-R6 12 Bryce Prince Rotobox/Nexx Yamaha YZF-R6 13 Fernando Amantini Team Amantini Kawasaki ZX-6R 14 Barrett Long Longevity Racing Ducati 848 15 David Gaviria LTD Racing