Cardenas Wins New Jersey Race for M4 Monster Energy Suzuki
NEWS September 4, 2010
Millville, N.J. (September 4, 2010) - Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki's Martin Cardenas registered yet another brilliant come-from-behind victory today at New Jersey Motorsports Park to close to within striking distance in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Championship fight.
Starting from the outside of the front row after qualifying fourth fastest at 1:23.683, Cardenas opened the contest running in the midst of a deep lead freight train typical of the unpredictable class.
Cardenas survived an early scare when a rival crashed out of the race at speed just in front of him, bringing out the red flag. A cautious restart saw the Colombian shuffled down to eighth position as the race began to take shape again, but Cardenas systematically worked his way up through the field aboard his GSX-R600 race bike, ultimately arriving at the front on lap 17 of 23.
Showing a superior capacity to lay down fast laps on worn tires, Cardenas put his head down and managed to open a small amount of breathing space en route to victory.
The win is his seventh of the season, the most of any rider in the category, which also equals his class-leading mark of 2009.
Cardenas said, "On the first start I made a good launch. I was in second, but lost some positions on the way and was in something like sixth place when a rider crashed in front of me. I was very close to him and lucky not to hit him or his bike. I didn't make a good start after the red flag because I was very cautious as it's very easy to crash in the opening turn. I started to work my way up to the front and I moved into the lead around six or seven laps from the end. I tried to put in a good rhythm and ride fast and maybe try to put a little bit of gap to the second guy. It was a small gap but it was good enough to win today.
"My bike worked really well. My rear tire was sliding a bit too much early in the race, but I think when the race went on and the grip went off for everyone, it leveled off the race, which was good for me. Thanks to M4 Monster Energy Suzuki and all the guys that helped me."
Cardenas' stunning performance saw him make a major move in the developing title fight. He made up 12 points on the leader and now sits second in the championship, just two points shy of first with just three races left in the 2010 season.
Meanwhile, John Hopkins backed up his promising American SuperBike front row qualifying position (fourth, 1:21.048) with a strong ride in the race. Getting away in sixth position, 'Hopper' guided his GSX-R1000 up to fourth position by lap 13 before coming home with a top-five result in the end, taking the checkered flag in fifth.
It was a more difficult day for Chris Ulrich. Ulrich qualified 11th fastest at 1:22.316 but expected a considerably better race result after displaying encouraging race pace. Looking capable of meeting those expectations, Chris battled up to seventh position but suffered a scary 125-mph crash out of the race on lap nine. After the contest Chris was transported to a local hospital to be checked out for precautionary reasons but apart from plenty of bruising and soreness, proved to have no further damage. He will try to race again tomorrow.
“I got a rippin’ start to the race and we had a good pace,” said Ulrich. “I found myself behind John Hopkins and another rider and I was looking to make a move for position. I had a big crash when I hit the curb and it overloaded the tire. I went down and it flipped me into the air when I hit the other curb. It wasn’t a good place to crash.
“I was happy to be wearing my Dainese chest protector and I was happy to walk away,” continued Ulrich. “I am really sore but we’re going to give it a shot on Sunday. The pace of the first eight laps was encouraging. We’ve been consistent all year, but I’m really encouraged we can stick with the lead group.”
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki will be fighting for additional honors at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sunday.
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