AMA Sportbike: 2009 Infineon results

Cardenas takes series lead

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 18, 2009
Martin Cardenas completed his second-consecutive sweep with a pair of wins May 16-17 at Infineon Raceway, giving him five wins in the last six races.

The first race was notable for a first-lap incident that brought out the safety car for four laps. When the race resumed on lap six, it was Cardenas’ M4 Suzuki teammate Jason DiSalvo jumping ahead for a large lead. DiSalvo’s lead held until he low sided at Turn 11 on lap 10.

Bazzaz Yamaha’s Steve Rapp led for a couple of laps before Cardenas made his move, out-braking Rapp to pull in front on lap 12. Cardenas would hold on to win by 2.158 seconds.

“Things went really good and the bike worked very good since the beginning,” says Cardenas. “The heat was very tough this race for me because physically it wears you out a lot. I started seventh and had to work my way up; as soon as I got to second behind Steve (Rapp) I tried to stay a little behind him, but then I decided to pass him. I tried to put a gap on him because I know he’s really strong here. I tried my best and put a gap of one second and tried to maintain that the whole race.”

The race may have ended differently if Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking hadn’t made a mistake after the restart. Hacking briefly ran off course on Turn one after the restart and lost several positions. Once he was back on track, Hacking worked his way through the field. A final lap pass on Turn 9a slipped Hacking past Rapp for his fourth runner-up finish of the season.

“It is a little frustrating for me,” says Hacking who held the series lead going into the weekend. “I definitely would have liked to have won a lot more races, but (Daytona SportBike) is a good class for me. With the equal playing field now it’s just a little harder. I just need to step up my game and quit making the mistakes I’m making. I can’t get too antsy about winning. Without winning a race we’re doing well.”

Sunday’s Race Two had a cleaner start but a similar result.

Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin took the early lead before DiSalvo and Cardenas passed him on lap 12. The M4 duo traded the lead over the next lap with Cardenas coming out ahead.

DiSalvo made one final push on the final lap with an inside move at Turn 11 but Cardenas held on to finish ahead by 0.104 seconds.

“That was everything I had,” says DiSalvo. ”Martin ran a great race and I’d like to say congratulations to all of the M4 guys and our team owner, John Ulrich.  It was a great day and I gave everything I had but it just wasn’t enough.”

Herrin would finish third for his third podium result of the season.

Meanwhile, Danny Eslick and his Bruce Rossmeyer RMR Buell struggled in the second round after AMA Pro Racing modified the weight limits to his 1125R. Eslick finished fifth in Race one and 12th in Race Two.

The 2009 AMA Daytona Sportbike season continues June 5-7 at Road America in Elkhart Lake with Cardenas looking to extend his winning streak and his lead in the rider standings.

2009 AMA Daytona Sportbike top five standings
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Points
1st Martin Cardenas Suzuki GSX-R600 203
2nd Jamie Hacking Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R 179
3rd Danny Eslick Buell 1125R 168
4th Jason DiSalvo Suzuki GSX-R600 148
5th Josh Herrin Yamaha YZF-R6 136