AMA Sportbike: 2010 Road Atlanta results

Cardenas scores the double in Georgia

By Press Release, Apr. 19, 2010
Race One Recap

This year's AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL action could not have been more exciting and competitive.  With two winners in three races and one more rider who could have, or should have, won a race or two himself, today's first of two weekend AMA Pro Daytona SportBike races was another chapter in what has been a series of races that just keep on delivering one wild and crazy race after another!

After a rocking early morning qualifying session where any number of riders topped the time sheets, it was Friday's pole sitter Tommy Aquino on his Team Graves Yamaha that reclaimed the top spot when it looked like he would be beaten by his own Team Graves Yamaha teammate Josh Herrin and also Daytona pole position winner and reigning AMA Pro Daytona SportBike champion Danny Eslick on his bright yellow GEICO Powersports Suzuki and also M4 Monster Energy Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas. Aquino came through at the end of qualifying and he looked very strong for the race.

Under bright blue skies and warm temperatures, the standing start went off without a hitch and it was Cardenas who led the field into the uphill turn one. Aquino was in second, Herrin third, a strong starting Cory West, riding his Vesrah Suzuki was up to fourth ahead of Eslick, who was already starting his usual charge to the front.

It didn't take long for the action to start as Herrin moved up and passed Cardenas and Aquino in one move and as the front six broke away from the rest of the field, Eslick jumped up to first on lap three. These three now put on their usual show with pass after pass lap after lap, this after it was thought there weren't too many places to pass on the challenging and scenic Road Atlanta track. That theory was completely put to rest as the riders continuously made major passing moves at the top of the track at turns six and seven and also at the run down into the turn ten complex.

The man on the move in this race was West, who worked his way past Cardenas, Herrin and was all over Eslick, each passing the other and West really riding hard each and every lap. Herrin, indicative of just how hard everyone was running, just slid wide at the final turn and found himself in the gravel but in an excellent move kept his bike moving and was able to escape the gravel and rejoin the race, unfortunately back from the lead group.

Cory West (57) stays slightly ahead of Dane Westby (2).

Aquino was still part of the mix and Dane Westby, riding for local team Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha, also took a turn leading the race. At one point, Eslick got slowed by another of the many passing moves into and out of the turn ten complex that leads up to the bridge turn coming down the hill onto the front straight and it looked as if it was now between West and Cardenas.

Cardenas was able get by West on the penultimate lap and he rode very hard to make sure no one could pass him at turn ten. West tried as hard as he could, backing up the good form he really has shown all year by finishing second, followed by Eslick, who had a light touch with Aquino on the front straight with two laps left. Westby took fourth ahead of Aquino with Steve Rapp on his Team Latus Motors Racing Ducati who, while well back from the lead group, had a good race with Clinton Seller on the other Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha who finished just behind Rapp.

Herrin was a disappointed eighth, followed by Chris Fillmore on the second Vesrah Suzuki in ninth, rounding out a good day for the Vesrah Team. Taking tenth place was local Georgia rider Geoff May who, on his own team's GMR Suzuki, ran a strong race at his home track in front of friends and family.

Another rider who showed extreme courage and heart was Alex Lazo who, on his TriangleCycles.com Yamaha, rode today's race with a broken left foot. It's his second year in AMA Pro competition and he soldered through to take a worthy twenty-third place.

Race two of the double header Suzuki SuperBike Showdown at Road Atlanta will be tomorrow and if the first four races are anything to go by, it will be another chapter of must see AMA Pro Road Racing motorcycle competition.

Race Two Recap

As the afternoon sun shone on the beautiful Road Atlanta road course, the second of two AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL took to the track to see if they could improve on what was a spectacular show on Saturday.  For the many fans in attendance, the field of 31 Daytona SportBikes did not disappoint.  And at the end of another spellbinding race it was yesterday's winner, Martin Cardenas, who took the win on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki.

At the start, it was Steve Rapp on his Team Latus Motorsports Ducati that shot into the lead, but it was hard to tell as the pack behind scrambled for any opening they could find on the opening lap. In a blink of an eye, Cardenas was by Rapp into first but Rapp repaid the favor on lap two. Behind Rapp and Cardenas was a complete line of 10 to 15 motorcycles, literally on a string running up and down the hills of the 2.56-mile natural road course.

Martin Cardenas (36) has three wins in five races while Josh Herrin (8) still holds the championship lead.

Over the next ten laps, Cardenas and Rapp traded the lead with any number of riders behind them, poised to make a move as well. Team Graves Yamaha teammates Josh Herrin and Tommy Aquino took up station behind the first two and Danny Eslick riding his GEICO Powersports Suzuki, Vesrah Suzuki rider Cory West, again showing excellent form, and Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha teammates Clinton Seller and Dane Westby were all part of the action. A number of riders took turns leading, Herrin was up front for a lap, and then, in the move of the race, Cory West made a dive through the pack as they flared out for the turn ten complex and went from sixth to the lead.

Prior to that incredible move, lap after lap, the riders would go three and four wide down into the first part of turn ten, how they all made it work is a testament to the skill of the riders one and all. Things really started to heat up as the perennial charger Eslick now put himself in contention for the win by moving up from running outside of the top five to fourth position with three laps to go. In a big move up to second with one lap to go, it looked like Eslick could challenge for the win, but it wasn't to be and he slipped to fourth at the flag.

A big shuffle occurred as the group came down to the wire and Herrin was forced wide in turn twelve with three laps to go but he fought back to take another well deserved second place to keep his lead in the overall points standings. West slipped back to third but he wasn't disappointed with his second podium finish of the weekend and Eslick was fourth.

Pole position winner Aquino on his Team Graves Yamaha was fifth ahead of the early leader Rapp on his Team Latus Motorsports Ducati with Seller seventh on the Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha. Chris Fillmore took eighth on the other Vesrah Suzuki, Jake Holden was ninth on the Ducshop Racing Ducati and rounding out the top ten was Bobby Fong, who was the victim Saturday of a freak mishap when he actually fell after riding over a wayward hat on the track, which caused considerable damage to his DNA Energy Drink CNR Motorsports Ducati.

It is hard to pick which of the three AMA Pro Road Racing series provides the most excitement, but this talented, interesting and fun group of riders are doing their best to win the award! Visit http://www.amaproracing.com/ for full results and points.