SuperBike Top-5 for Cardenas at Road America
NEWS June 4, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
M4 Suzuki's Martin Cardenas notched up his third top-five finish of the 2011 AMA Pro Superbike season with a strong run at Road America on Saturday.
Starting from the lead position on the second row after qualifying fifth earlier in the morning, Cardenas chased the lead trio early before falling into a battle for fourth position. After scrapping with a pair of riders for a number of laps, the reigning AMA Pro Daytona SportBike champion shook his rivals and escaped to claim a clear fourth-place result.
"Not the result I was expecting," Cardenas admitted. "But to finish fourth and not crash the bike is good for now. I made a good start and ran with the front group for a couple laps but I was making a lot of mistakes and a little bit over my head. I backed down a little bit and found myself racing with a couple others. In the end I relaxed a little bit and tried to ride good but without risking too much. Fourth… it's okay.
"Tomorrow we will try again. I think we can improve the set-up of the bike a little bit and see if we've got anything for the guys on the podium tomorrow."
The team's Daytona SportBike contenders had a day packed with drama. Near the end of qualifying, Dane Westby and Santiago Villa crashed in succession in the same corner while attempting to post a fast lap when they encountered a slower rider on the racing line.
Both men had to quickly pull it together in order to compete in the afternoon's 13-lap final.
Westby, who qualified on the second row with the sixth best time at 2:21.555, fought among a large pack of riders disputing fourth position deep into the race. Towards the end, he fell off from that fight and ultimately finished in eighth.
Meanwhile, Villa, who also crashed at the end of qualifying on Friday after encountering another rider on the cool down lap, was forced to race his backup GSX-R600. The Colombian made the best of the situation and clawed his way to an eleventh-place result
Villa explained, "It was unfortunate with the crash situation but I raced on my 'B' bike which I hadn't ridden all weekend and still finished 11th. I'm fairly happy but I'm hoping to improve for tomorrow."
M4 Suzuki will conclude the Road America weekend on Sunday with the second half of the Superbike and SportBike doubleheaders.
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