AMA

Birmingham: Series Sunday summary

Mladin and Cardenas Sweep AMA Pro Road Racing Weekend at Honda Superbike Classic Carter Scores AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei East Win in Firs t Star t BIRMINGHAM, Ala.

Mladin and Cardenas Sweep AMA Pro Road Racing Weekend at Honda Superbike Classic

Carter Scores AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei East Win in Firs   t
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 3, 2009) - Both Mat Mladin and Martin Cardenas turned in successful encore performances in the Honda Superbike Classic at Barber Motorsports Park on a wild weather day in central Alabama.

The day's three races were delayed by two hours and each race was shortened five laps from its scheduled distance as a band of severe storms swept through the area and tornado warnings were issued in the early afternoon.

However, not even the weather could stop Mladin's run of dominance in 2009 AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited competition on a weekend when sevens were wild for Mladin. Mladin fittingly rode the No. 7 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 to his seventh consecutive victory to open the season and extended his lead in the point standings as he looks for his seventh career American Superbike championship. Mladin leads teammate Tommy Hayden by 77 points, 220-143, after seven of 20 rounds in the 2009 championship.

Just as he did in Saturday's first race of the Honda Superbike Classic doubleheader, Mladin started from pole and surrendered the lead heading into the first turn. A lap-and-a-half later, however, the Australian muscled past leader Josh Hayes in Turn 5 and led the rest the way en route to a 2.745-second victory over Aaron Yates. It was Mladin's 79th career AMA Pro victory and moved him to within seven of Miguel Duhamel's record of 86 career wins.

"I've had seven in a row, and obviously nobody has had any more than seven before so we'll see if we can go to Infineon and get another one," said Mladin, who earned his fifth consecutive Barber Motorsports Park victory and ninth overall. "The bike worked great today, we found some stuff out this morning in the warm up. I had a completely different motorcycle this afternoon and very similar lap times to what I did this morning even with the condition of the track. It was pretty good. I'm pretty happy with the bike. We definitely made some progress this week."

The runner-up result was the best of the season for Yates on the No. 23 Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000, topping a previous best ride of fifth in the second race of the Road Atlanta doubleheader last month. Mladin, Yates and Hayden were three of the six riders utilizing the 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 for the first time this weekend and were joined on the new bikes by Blake Young (No. 79 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki), Geoff May (No. 54 National Guard Jordan Suzuki) and Chris Ulrich (No. 18 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki).

"It's been an up-and-down year for us," said Yates. "We got the '09 Suzuki a couple of weeks ago, did some riding on it and got a few things sorted out. I'm really feeling good about the bike; it's running pretty good. We had a good package in yesterday's race also, I just kind of messed up the start on that and it put us way back. It really feels good to get up here, back on the podium and show that the Jordan Suzuki guys are working hard and the new GSX-R1000 is going good."

One day after earning his first AMA Pro American Superbike podium of the season with a third-place run, Ben Bostrom duplicated that effort on the No. 2 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1. The performance moved Bostrom to fifth in the American Superbike point standings and he now trails Young by just one championship marker.

"The boys are doing a great job," said Bostrom. "They definitely built a winning bike today and the rider didn't put it all together. That's rider error. The R1 is fantastic. These guys just out-rode us today so congratulations to Suzuki, Aaron and Matt. I look forward to a great race at Infineon. The bike is great, a big thanks to the crew. I always enjoy being up here. It's a lot more fun when you're racing at the front so we're going to do our best. We were hoping to move up the ladder one step today and Aaron just beat us to it. That's all right, we have more races to go."

Bostrom finished one spot ahead of his teammate, Hayes, who came home in fourth place on the No. 4 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1. Just as he did in Saturday's first race of the American Superbike doubleheader, Hayes also led the first lap in today's final. It was his fourth consecutive top-five result. May made it two Jordan Suzuki riders in the top five with a fifth-place run on the No. 54 National Guard bike for his fifth top-five performance in his last six American Superbike starts.

Larry Pegram came home sixth on the No. 72 Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing Ducati 1098R, and Jake Holden was seventh on the No. 100 Corona Extra Honda CBR1000RR. Holden once again stood in for the injured Neil Hodgson in both races of the Honda Superbike Classic.

While battling for third place on the second lap of the race, Young crashed at the exit of Turn 5, sending his No. 79 Suzuki cartwheeling down the track. He quickly made his way to a nearby ambulance and was taken to the track medical center. According to UAB Medical Center Coordinator Drew Ferguson at the track, Young was transferred to UAB Medical Center in Birmingham for further evaluation. He was awake and alert and more information will be provided as it becomes available. Young's incident brought out the safety car from Laps 6-9.

Next up for AMA Pro American Superbike is a doubleheader at the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on the weekend of May 15-17.

Cardenas Takes Third Win in Four Tries in AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL

In the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL final at the Honda Superbike Classic, Cardenas made a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap for the second straight day to record his third AMA Pro Daytona SportBike victory in the last four races.

Riding the No. 36 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600, Cardenas stalked leader Jamie Hacking throughout the race before making his move in Turn 5 on the Lap 15 of the 16-lap event. After making the pass, Cardenas put his head down and pulled away to win by 2.204 seconds over Hacking.

"The conditions weren't very good, and I got to him by Lap 4 or 5," said Cardenas, who moved to third in the Daytona SportBike point standings with the victory. "I knew there were 16 laps, so I didn't want to pass him and crash trying to get away, (because) maybe he would sit behind me and do the same thing that I did to him. I was going to wait until the last lap or maybe until two laps to the end, try to make a pass and then try to make a good lap and finish the race in first position. That's what I did and this time it worked out, so I ended up winning the race but it was really tough because of the conditions. My M4 Suzuki worked awesome and I want to thank everybody, the sponsors and the whole team."

In nearly a carbon copy of his start in Saturday's Daytona SportBike race, Hacking motored the No. 88 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R into the lead heading into Turn 1 on the opening lap. Unlike Saturday's race, however, when he nearly crashed at the end of Lap 2, Hacking held the lead until Cardenas' pass on Lap 15. Hacking wound up second, putting it on the box for the second consecutive race and the fourth time in seven races.

Despite the fact that he hasn't recorded a Daytona SportBike victory yet, Hacking has finished seventh or better in every race thus far and those consistent performances have moved him to the top of the point standings by three points, 146-143, over Danny Eslick. Cardenas trails Eslick by just one point.

"I managed to glance up at the board and noticed that Martin was in P2, and I tried a couple times to put a pretty good brake on him and kick down the lap times," Hacking said. "But, obviously, he was able to do the same thing and match me. I couldn't ever put anything on him and I knew there was a good possibility that I could maybe hold him off, but just gauging off yesterday's comments where he could figure out where Jason (DiSalvo) was stronger, and he decided to wait on him, I figured that's probably what he would do with me and it ended up turning out that way.

"He managed to step the pace up a pretty good bit when he passed me and I just wasn't able to match it today. Martin rode a great race and we pulled a pretty good gap on the rest of the field. It feels good, the Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki was working great this weekend and we got two solid podium finishes. We're really looking forward to going to the Infineon race in a couple of weeks."

Charging from 11th on the starting grid, Eslick rode his No. 9 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing/RMR Buell 1125R to a third-place result. Eslick gained two positions on the final lap of the race as Dane Westby (No. 213 Westby Racing/Kneedraggers.com Yamaha YZF-R6) and Chris Peris (No. 10 Erion Honda CBR600RR) tangled while battling for the final podium spot in the final series of turns. It was Eslick's fifth podium result from the first seven races of the season.

"It was definitely a surprise," Eslick said. "I was running just a little better than the top 10 and picked a couple of guys off, and was stuck in about fifth going back and forth with Chaz (Davies). That was the pace that I was comfortable at and that was pushing it. We were all over the place, so I didn't want to crash and give a whole bunch of points away, I just wanted to finish and get through this weekend without losing too many points and move on. Third is awesome."

Davies picked up his best result of the season to date with a fourth-place ride on the No. 57 Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Team Aprilia RSV1000R. Michael Barnes made it two Buells in the top five with a fifth-place performance on the No. 34 GEICO Powersports/RMR/Buell Racing Buell 1125R.

The last-lap incident sent Westby to the track medical facility and later to UAB Medical Center in Birmingham for further evaluation. No. 32 Roadracingworld.com/Suzuki GSX-R600 rider Santiago Villa was also transferred to Birmingham's UAB Medical Center for evaluation after an incident in Turn 1 just after taking the checkered flag. According to Ferguson, both riders were awake and alert before being transported to the hospital, and further updates will be provided as they are available.

Carter Takes AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei East Win in Firs t Star t

In his first-ever AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei start, Garrett Carter earned a convincing victory over polesitter Russ Wikle in the 12-lap AMA Pro SuperSport East final under conditions that were wet at the start of the race and got progressively drier throughout.

Riding the No. 31 Ridersdiscount.com/Woodcraft Yamaha YZF-R6, Carter chased down Wikle on Lap 4 and claimed the lead from the Suzuki rider on the short straightaway between Turns 6 and 7. Carter set sail from there, cruising to a 4.291-second victory in the race, which was shortened by five laps due to weather delays. Immediately after celebrating his SuperSport victory, Carter jumped back on his No. 31 Garrett Carter Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 and competed in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike final.

"It was a really good race," said Carter. "It was pretty wet at the start of the race. I think we were all still getting our feel for it, so I wasn't out there right at the start, but I got a pretty good feel for it halfway through the race, put my head down and got by quite a few guys. Wikle was running at a really good pace and I thought that once I got by him I was going to show him some stuff and he was going to hang with me, but luckily I pulled a gap on him. Within five or six laps I saw an eight-second lead so I cooled it down a little bit and brought it home. It was definitely a really good race. Wikle was definitely on pace and I think if he would have gotten going pretty good, he would have been with me the whole race. Luckily, I got away from him and got the win."

Wikle, who hails from nearby Huntsville, Ala., earned his best SuperSport result of the season with a second-place run aboard the No. 5 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki GSX-R600. It was Wikle's second trip to the podium in the season's first three races, as he also finished third in the season-opener at Daytona in March. He is now third in the AMA Pro SuperSport East point standings with three of nine races complete.

"Well I knew that starting from pole, I was definitely going to have an advantage over everybody and I was able to get a real good start," said Wikle. "Since everyone was behind me, I knew that everyone was going to have to get by so I just made myself wide. I think I led the first lap or two, maybe. When Garrett got by me, he was really flying, so I was able to learn a couple of things from him. It was just a good race, I tried to keep my head smart and came out second."

Finishing third was Huntley Nash on the No. 15 Arai/Racing Sport Services Yamaha YZF-R6. It was also a season-best result for Nash, whose previous best run this season was a fifth-place outing in Daytona.

After winning last time out at Road Atlanta, Leandro Mercado finished fourth in the Honda Superbike Classic aboard the No. 92 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-R6. Mercado is now second in the SuperSport East championship standings. Joey Pascarella completed the top five with a fifth-place ride on the No. 25 Shoei/Shift/TCX/LTD Racing Yamaha YZF-R6. Pascarella leads the point standings by 13 points, 62-49, over Mercado.

-credit: ama

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Larry Pegram , Miguel Duhamel , Aaron Yates , Michael Barnes , Chris Peris , Blake Young , Chris Ulrich , Jake Holden , Garrett Carter , Martin Cardenas , Santiago Villa , Leandro Mercado , Russ Wikle , Dane Westby , Huntley Nash , Ben Bostrom , Josh Hayes , Joey Pascarella , Danny Eslick