Challenging Day for M4 Suzuki at Infineon Raceway
NEWS May 16, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Coming off his first career AMA Superbike podium a day earlier, M4 Suzuki's Martin Cardenas managed to transform an otherwise nightmarish Sunday at Infineon Raceway into a positive result through sheer toughness and determination.
The day got off on the wrong foot almost from the start, as Martin suffered a nasty highside crash in the morning warm-up, dislocating his left shoulder. However, the Colombian had his shoulder reset and took his place on the second row of the grid fully ready to race.
Cardenas' day to another blow on the second lap as he lost the front at speed in Turn 4, an incident that brought out the red flag. He hustled back to the pits and prepared to restart the contest from the very back of the field aboard his backup GSX-R1000.
Making things more difficult still, a multi-rider incident shortly following the restart scattered men and machines across the track just in front of him, forcing Cardenas to take evasive action and run off track.
After that he put his head down and registered a calculated ride up through the field in search of maximum points. In the end Martin climbed all the way up to eighth position.
Never satisfied with anything less than victory, Cardenas said, "Not a very good result. I went into Turn 4 and I lost the front. I'm not really sure why, it was the same that time as always. I don't really know what happened.
"On the restart, I got caught behind the crash and had to run off track to avoid it. I lost a lot of time and from there on there was nothing I could do. I tried to ride a safe pace to make sure I finished to score as many points as possible."
Cardenas wasn't the only M4 Suzuki pilot to endure a trying Sunday in Sonoma. Chris Ulrich's race ended just two corners into the event as was sent flipping over his bars as the pack barreled into Turn 2. Ulrich slid through the dirt with his GSX-R1000 somersaulting alongside.
Chris was transferred to a local hospital following the fall. The veteran racer cracked two lumbar vertebrae in the crash and suffered a concussion and internal bruising. Ulrich was held for observation in ICU to make sure there was no internal bleeding.
M4 Suzuki's Sunday outing in the Daytona SportBike class was somewhat less eventful. Another once-stopped affair, Dane Westby maneuvered his way up from 12th early on to claim a solid top-ten result by taking the checkered flag eighth.
Teammate Santiago Villa improved as well, gaining a position to finish the race 14th at the conclusion of the 22-lap event.
M4 Suzuki will next head to Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, UT for the much-anticipated combined World/AMA Superbike event on Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30.
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