|AMA Points Leader Cardenas Hopes to Extend Win Streak at Road America
By: Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., May 24, 2012 - In four career Daytona SportBike starts at Road America, GEICO Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas has three victories and a third-place finish to his credit. It's no wonder the 29-year-old Colombian smiles broadly whenever he thinks of the historic four-mile, 14-turn layout in eastern Wisconsin and retuning for the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Subway SuperBike Doubleheader, June 1-3.
"I have a great affection for Road America," Cardenas said in his charming accent. "It's a beautiful part of the country, the fans are very involved and we've figured out how to win there. What more could a rider ask for?"
Cardenas first contested the Daytona SportBike class at Road America in 2009, finishing third and first in the two races held that weekend. He returned the following year and doubled-up, winning both events en route to the class championship at season's end.
Last year, Cardenas competed in SuperBike and was a solid fourth in both races. But now he's back in Daytona SportBike, where he leads the GoPro championship points with three victories and three No. 1 qualifying efforts this season. His 19 career victories in Daytona SportBike remain the all-time class record.
"Perhaps we can add to our total this time through," Cardenas said. "This would please us a great deal. I know for sure we will put on a great show for the fans. I hope to give them a reason to go crazy for our GEICO team.
"(Road America) is the longest course we race by quite a bit. It has nice, long straight-aways and some sweeping turns where you can stay on the throttle. It's very wide open and you can get into a nice flow. There are also quite a few areas where you can make passes. Overall, it suits my style of riding quite well. I love it."
The son of a successful cattle rancher in his native Colombia, Cardenas feels at home in the farmlands of Wisconsin. When not contesting this year's Subway SuperBike Doubleheader, he can likely be found cruising through the surrounding area, which reminds him a lot of his homeland.
"I'm sorry I can't tell you stories of the rock star lifestyle of a professional motorcycle racer because really I am most comfortable by myself at my parent's house back home," said Cardenas, who usually flies back to Columbia between races. "I have a little scooter I ride into town but that's about as exciting as it gets. Maybe that's why I enjoy the fans here so much, because they are a lot like me.
"I love to drive through the area and see the countryside. And some of my favorite restaurants on tour are very near the track. There is a very familiar feel to this place and I think that is a big part of why we do so well here."
Cardenas and several other Suzuki riders will be signing autographs on Wednesday, May 30, at FUEL Powersports in nearby West Bend, Wis., from 5-7 p.m., and fans are encouraged to stop in to meet the AMA stars in person before practice and qualifying starts Friday with riders reaching record-breaking speeds in three multi-manufacturer classes, SuperBike, SportBike and SuperSport. Each class has a race on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. A special Harley-Davidson class, the XR1200 Series, will race on Sunday prior to the second round for SuperSport, Sport Bike and SuperBike. All seven races provide fans with up-close viewing of one of the worlds most intense forms of motorsports.
In addition to the racing action, fans with motorcycles are encouraged to pre-register for a unique 'Salute to Cycles' on-track riding experience presented by Innovative Technologies. The Salute to Cycles provides participants with the rare opportunity to ride Road America and develop a true appreciation for the undulating road course where pro racers battle it out for glory and fame. Pre-race ceremonies include a fan walk, which allows fans out on the grid to see the bikes and get rider autographs.
Other fan activities include public karting and a supermoto exhibition race at the Blain's Farm & Fleet Motorplex, shows by stunt rider Jason Britton and the Dairyland Classic flat track races on Friday night in nearby Plymouth, Wis.
Tickets are still available and additional event details; ticket pricing and camping information can be found at www.roadamerica.com or by calling 800-365-7223. Races run rain or shine and kids 12 and under are free with an adult.
|Photo by Brian J. Nelson/Courtesy of GEICO Suzuki