AMA Sportbike: 2009 Barber results

Dyno tests for top qualifiers

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 04, 2009
M4 Suzuki racer Martin Cardenas made a race-winning pass on the second-last lap of race one and repeated the feat in race two to sweep the Barber Motorsports Park round of the AMA Daytona Sportbike class.

Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking and Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin each held the lead in the early part of race one but Cardenas and his teammate Jason DiSalvo took over in the final two-thirds.

Cardenas led for laps 7-12 of the 21-lap race before DiSalvo moved ahead on lap 13. Cardenas regained the lead with a pass on lap 19.

“This one felt really tough, because I think the track is very demanding physically,” says Cardenas. “I had a huge battle with (DiSalvo) for 10 laps or maybe more. At the beginning, I tried to put a gap to him, but I pushed and saw that I wasn’t doing much so I tried to stay in a rhythm. Two laps later, he passed me and I started to look for his stronger points. Two laps from the end, I made a move on him, put my head down and tried to ride as fast as I could. I pulled a little bit of a gap and it worked out to the end.”

Cardenas finished less than a second ahead of DiSalvo with Hacking edging Herrin for third. Hacking might have gotten a better result if it weren’t for a near-crash on lap two that dropped him down to eighth.

Severe storms and a tornado warning delayed the start of race two and shortened its length to 16 laps.

Once the racing commenced, Hacking took the early lead once again but avoided repeating his near-disaster from race one. Hacking held onto the lead until lap 15 when Cardenas made his move.

“The conditions weren’t very good, and I got to him by Lap 4 or 5,” says Cardenas. “I knew there were 16 laps, so I didn’t want to pass him and crash trying to get away, (because) maybe he would sit behind me and do the same thing that I did to him. I was going to wait until the last lap or maybe until two laps to the end, try to make a pass and then try to make a good lap and finish the race in first position. That’s what I did and this time it worked out, so I ended up winning the race but it was really tough because of the conditions.”

Despite losing out on his first victory of the season, Hacking moved into first place in the AMA Daytona Sportbike standings with a runner-up finish in race two.

“I managed to glance up at the board and noticed that Martin was in P2, and I tried a couple times to put a pretty good brake on him and kick down the lap times,” says Hacking. “But, obviously, he was able to do the same thing and match me. I couldn’t ever put anything on him and I knew there was a good possibility that I could maybe hold him off, but just gauging off yesterday’s comments where he could figure out where Jason (DiSalvo) was stronger, and he decided to wait on him, I figured that’s probably what he would do with me and it ended up turning out that way.”

AMA Pro Racing performed dyno tests on ten Daytona Sportbikes.Bruce Rossmeyer RMR Buell’s Danny Eslick beat Aprilia’s Chaz Davies for the final podium spot.

Eslick had to pass two racers on the final lap to claim third. Eslick slipped past Westby Racing’s Dane Westby and Erion Honda’s Chris Peris as the two tangled on the last lap. The incident dropped Westby to tenth and Peris to 23rd. Westby was examined at the track medical center before being transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center for evaluation.

Eslick finished eighth in race one, the first to be held under the new modified weight limit rules for the Buell 1125R. The Barber races dropped Eslick down to second in the standings but his race two podium kept him a point ahead of Cardenas.

“It was definitely a surprise,” says Eslick. “I was running just a little better than the top ten and picked a couple of guys off, and was stuck in about fifth going back and forth with Chaz (Davies). That was the pace that I was comfortable at and that was pushing it. We were all over the place, so I didn’t want to crash and give a whole bunch of points away, I just wanted to finish and get through this weekend without losing too many points and move on. Third is awesome.”

Eslick may expect to see further rule changes after AMA Pro Racing officials dyno tested ten motorcycles after the Superpole qualifier.

Individual motorcycle results will not be released, but AMA Pro Racing did say the highest weight-to-power ratio tested was 2.65 pounds per horsepower. The lowest ratio bike tested at 3.14 pounds per horsepower, for a difference of 0.49. Most notably, there was a 0.28 pounds per horsepower gap between the first and second ranked motorcycles.

The dyno tests were the first to be conducted in AMA racing, though similar tests have been held for SunTrust MotoGT racing and the Parts Canada Superbike Championship. AMA Pro Racing will examine this data, as well as other variables including lap times, aerodynamics, ram air and rider size before determining if additional modifications are required.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done this at AMA Pro Road Racing,” says Director of Competition Colin Fraser, who also heads the Canadian Superbike series. “We will analyze these variables along with a multitude of other things that affect performance on the track. The most important variable to analyze is lap time. After all, we race at the track, not the dyno.”

2009 AMA Daytona Sportbike top five standings
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Points
1st Jamie Hacking Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 146
2nd Danny Eslick Buell 1125R 143
3rd Martin Cardenas Suzuki GSX-R600 142
4th Jason DiSalvo Suzuki GSX-R600 117
5th Josh Herrin Yamaha YZF-R6 114