Daytona SportBike Leader Cardenas Won't Let Up in his Championship Pursuit

NEWS July 12, 2012

Daytona SportBike Leader Cardenas Won't Let Up in his Championship Pursuit

Photo by Brian J Nelson

LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 12,2012) - With six wins in the first 10 AMA Pro Road Racing events so far this season, GEICO Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas has built a commanding 51-point lead in the GoPro Daytona SportBike class, but it's still not a big enough cushion for the 29-year-old Colombian to relax.

"We've got a nice points advantage right now, yes," said Cardenas, who is nearly two races worth of points (maximum of 31 per event) ahead of his nearest rival. "But it can all be gone with a blink of an eye. If something goes wrong and you can't finish a race, those extra points are gone.

"I'm just focusing on each race as they come and hopefully I'll win some more races and stay in the front in the others. If that happens, the points we earn will be enough for the championship."

This weekend Cardenas will have two opportunities to add to his lead -- and class-record victory total -- at the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. But it won't be easy as Cardenas said the 2.4-mile, 15-turn track can be hard to get a handle on at times.

"It's a tough race," Cardenas said. "The track is a little bit difficult because of the surface. It changes from one turn to another, so it's easy to lose control of the bike. I've done well there in the past and hopefully we'll get a good result this weekend."

With the heatwave that gripped the Midwest recently finally snapped, temperatures at Mid-Ohio won't be as searing as they have been at recent AMA races. No matter; Cardenas said he's ready for anything.

"I feel like I'm pretty fit right now," Cardenas said. "I don't think we're ever going to face conditions as hot as the last race in Birmingham (Ala.). It'll be hot this weekend, but I have never been a part of a race as tough as in Birmingham."

Daytona SportBike practice gets under way at 1 p.m. EDT Friday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with the first qualifier set for 4 p.m. Qualifying continues at 8:50 a.m. with the first 21-lap race of the weekend at 2 p.m. The second race will be run at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday. SPEED TV will provide coverage of the weekend starting at 2 p.m. EDT on both Saturday and Sunday.


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