DOUBLE VICTORY FOR CARDENAS AND M4 MONSTER ENERGY SUZUKI
NEWS April 20, 2010
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki's Martin Cardenas was in spectacular form again on Sunday, orchestrating a virtual repeat of Saturday's triumph to complete the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike doubleheader sweep with another win today at Road Atlanta.
Despite Saturday's success, Cardenas and his crew put their heads together and improved his GSX-R600 for Sunday, bettering his machine over the front section of the course while retaining its capabilities on the back straight and into the hard-braking Turn 10 chicane.
If anything, Sunday's race was even more thrilling, with close to ten riders challenging at the front and positions being swapped multiple times per lap. Despite the constant shuffling, the Colombian managed to stay in a position of strength throughout.
Cardenas led early, settled into the fight during the middle stages of the race, and then once again made an epic escape over the final two laps.
He took full advantage when his rivals slowed up one another disputing second. The Colombian broke free at the tail end of the race to claim his third win of the 2010 season with a 1.683-second margin of victory at the checkered flag.
After scoring his tenth career AMA Pro win, Martin said, "Today we made a change on the bike to make it more agile and I was feeling much, much stronger. At the beginning of the race until the middle I tried to push as hard as I could and thought maybe I could break away. But when I saw that it wasn't possible and all the guys were still on my tail, I decided to slow the pace a little and try to see what was going on.
"The battle with a few of the guys was really good and two laps from the end I made a move. I was a little bit lucky because the guys behind me had a little bit of an issue with each other and I was able to get a gap. I maintained it for the last two laps and won again. It was a great race."
Cardenas' double victory sees him jump into third in the championship standings with 103 points.
As was the case in SportBike, Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki's Sunday in the American Superbike class was similar to Saturday's effort. John Hopkins made yet another spirited charge up through the field and Chris Ulrich secured another solid top-ten result.
Hopkins didn't get an ideal start, dropping to eighth following the opening lap and then running off course in Turn 10 on the following circulation. However, he didn't give up, putting his head down and slicing his way back up the order.
Coming from several seconds back, Hopkins closed in on the scrap for fifth with just four laps remaining and quickly worked past both riders to claim the position at the checkered flag.
Ulrich registered another measured ride, settling into eighth early and holding the spot for the remainder of the 20-lap final. Chris now sits sixth in the championship standings with 76 points on the strength of five top-ten rides in six races while Hopkins is ninth at 62.
"I think I rode pretty well this weekend but we got behind from the get-go," Ulrich admitted. "We got it a bit wrong on the first day and we really didn't catch up until today. We made a big gearing change and a little chassis change for the race and kind of rolled the dice because my pace just wasn't there yesterday or this morning. It paid off in the race and we were quite a bit better, but we needed to be where we ended up today on Friday morning and then refine it from there.
"But to struggle a little bit like we did this weekend and get out of here with two top tens is a good performance and we gained some points and moved up in the championship."
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki will next head to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA on May 14-16 for Round 4 of the 2010 AMA Pro Road Racing season.
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