AMA Sportbike: 2010 Road America results

Herrin takes over championship lead

By Press Release, Jun. 07, 2010
Race One Results

Josh Herrin won a hard-fought, wild and wet AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL final in race one of the Suzuki SuperBike Doubleheader weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., beating Steve Rapp by a margin of just .008 seconds.

It was unclear who would make it to the start/finish line first at the end of any lap in the 13-lap race. Officially there were two leaders and five lead changes at the stripe, but unofficially four different riders led the field at some point around the 4.05-mile circuit, exchanging the top spot in the challenging conditions more than twenty times.

As rain drizzled down on the field, 2009 Daytona SportBike Champion Danny Eslick shot to the front of the pack from the start on the No. 1 GEICO Powersports RMR Suzuki GSX-R600 only to be passed by the No. 36 M4 Monster Energy Suzuki GXR-R600 of Martin Cardenas in turn one. Cardenas was subsequently passed by Herrin's No. 8 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 in turn two. The Colombian outbraked Herrin on the high-speed turn four section and regained the lead.

Josh Herrin took Race One by 0.008 seconds ahead of Steve Rapp.

Front-row starter Cory West quickly joined the fray, passing Herrin in turn seven and pressing on Cardenas until his No. 57 Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600 suffered a mechanical in turn eleven that ended his race. Herrin got a strong run down the back straight and took the lead again under braking in turn 12. Herrin and Cardenas were then trailed by Chris Fillmore's strong No. 55 Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600, Clinton Seller's No. 4 Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha YZF-R6 and Rapp's No. 15 Team Latus Motors Racing Ducati 848.

Cardenes and Herrin traded the lead nine times over the first four laps, Cardenas repeatedly outbraking Herrin going into turn five and Herrin retaking the first position each lap in a sprint to the start finish line coming out of the last corner. Rapp took over the lead on lap five as conditions worsened and the trio traded the top three spots numerous times over the ensuing laps before Herrin settled in to the lead again on lap nine. That same lap, the No. 4 Project 1 Yamaha of Clinton Seller surged to second position in the back section of the track over Cardenas and Rapp.

On lap 11, Seller made a deep braking pass into turn one, the lead pack dicing through turn two and going four wide down into turn three. Herrin emerged unscathed, leading the group to turn five before Rapp once again took over.

On the white flag lap, Herrin challenged Rapp going under the bridge in the high speed turn four area, making the pass stick for the final time leading Rapp to the finish.

"When I went out on the warm-up lap I felt like it was horrible then and once the race started going it got about ten times worse," said Herrin. "I was surprised at how good the tires were in it. I think that both of these guys and everybody out there that kept it up did an awesome job because it was probably the trickiest conditions I've ever ridden in. My Yamaha R6 was working great and my Graves Motorsports crew have been working hard all weekend. The Dunlop tires are awesome, it shows you how good DOT tires are."

Rapp's second place finish was his third podium of the season.

"My race was interesting from the first lap when Cory blew up his motor and oiled everybody behind him," said Rapp. "I took my Tear-Off off before the race because of the rain, so I didn't have a Tear-Off. There's oil all over me as you can see but that was interesting, the first couple of laps trying to deal with that. After that it was just three or four of us in really, really tricky conditions. It was easy following, but then when you got in front you really didn't know how fast you could go. I think that's why when someone got in front they slowed down again and it kept going back and forth. The team did great, we have five guys on our team and they had to basically rip the whole bike apart. We had an oil leak after qualifying so they worked to the last minute to get it going and it was a great bike."

Cardenas claimed the final podium spot.

"It was a great battle with these two guys," said Cardenas. "There were some great passing maneuvers but it was too risky because of the conditions. It's good to finish third and on the box is always good. I hope for a dry race tomorrow to try and get the same result or maybe a little bit better."

Fourth place went to Seller, his highest finish to date and Eslick rounded out the top five. Fillmore crashed in lap three to finish 26th. Herrin now leads Eslick in the Daytona SportBike points championship, 190-184.

Race Two Results

M4 Monster Energy Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas took his fifth AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL victory today at the Suzuki SuperBike Doubleheader Weekend at the 4.05-mile scenic Road America natural road course.

Cardenas won with a 0.276 second victory over Josh Herrin on his Team Graves Yamaha with an average speed of 102.8 MPH over the 13-lap race. Herrin was pleased with his weekend with first and second place finishes over the course of the double race weekend. Herrin extends his Daytona SportBike points lead to 18 over 2009 Daytona SportBike Champion Danny Eslick, who took seventh today on his GEICO Powersports Suzuki.

After yesterday's wet and wild Daytona SportBike race where Herrin beat Steve Rapp by 0.008 of a second, today's race was only somewhat calmer, as has been the case all season long in this AMA Pro Road Racing class.

Rapp, riding his Team Latus Motors Ducati, took the early lead and was quickly joined by a fast starting Bobby Fong on his DNA Energy Drink Ducati. These two Ducati riders looked to draft together to separate themselves from the 12 motorcycle lead pack.

Herrin, P.J. Jacobson with his Celtic Racing Suzuki, Cory West on the Vesrah Suzuki, Clinton Seller on his Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha, Danny Eslick and Seller's Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha teammate Dane Westby all battled as one big lead group in the early going. Also part of this mix was Cardenas, who in his stealthy style quietly began moving to the front.

Martin Cardenas scored a pair of podium finishes at Road America including a win in Race Two.

Fong was sidelined by a stop-and-go penalty due to a pre-race procedural mishap and another front runner, Herrin's Team Graves Yamaha teammate Tommy Aquino, suffered a late race mechanical problem which dropped him out of the lead group. Little by little, the lead group got smaller and smaller.

By lap four, Cardenas was in the lead and the die was cast as he and Herrin battled in an eight bike train, then six bikes and then, in a concerted effort on their part, it came down to just Herrin and Cardenas. Herrin commented after the race how he and Cardenas just put their heads down and worked to ride away form the rest. And it worked with the race coming down to the wire between the two of them. Herrin would lead at the finish line but Cardenas would draft past into turn one. As they exited turn three and headed down the straight to turn five, Herrin would take the position back. Onto the back straight to Canada Corner, Herrin would get back by and then as the two would blast through the last turn and up the hill to the start finish line, the cycle would begin again.

On the last lap, the two came across the line side by side, setting up for another photo finish. Cardenas held the lead as they went through turn one, then turn five, through the Hurry Downs, out of turn eight out of the Carousal down to Canada Corner. It was here the Cardenas had what looked like quite a moment as the back of his Suzuki slid out, but he gathered it all up and rode through turn 14 and up the hill to the finish line. Herrin rode as hard as he could but he just wasn't close enough to draft by Cardenas and he took a solid second, extending his points lead.

After falling back due to the battling in the pack, Rapp fought back to get by West and completed another successful weekend for Team Latus Motors by taking third. Westby finished fifth with Jacobson in sixth, Eslick in seventh and Chris Fillmore had a good day to take ninth on his Vesrah Suzuki. Fong fought back from his early stop with a strong tenth place finish at the completion of the 13 lap race. The weather wasn't an issue today as the race took place under partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low seventies.

As Cardenas rode to his fifth win, only Herrin (3) and Eslick (1) have posted wins this season and Cardenas and his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki team are starting to get very used to making a post-race stop at victory lane.

SPEED will be broadcasting same-weekend coverage of all of the season's Daytona SportBike races, with tonight's race two action airing tonight, Sunday, June 6 at 11:00 p.m. ET (8:00 p.m. PT).

The AMA Pro Road Racing series now move to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 16-18.