This past double-header race weekend of the AMA Pro Superbike Championships at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., saw Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark capture his first-ever, career AMA Pro Superbike podium in Saturday’s race. The following day, Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Martin Cardenas also picked up a podium finish at round three of the series.
Saturday’s Superbike race was a spectacular one for Yoshimura Suzuki’s Clark. He got a top-10 start and was able to take advantage of other riders’ mistakes. As a result, Clark finished third behind second-place finisher ADR Motorsports Suzuki’s David Anthony and winner Josh Hayes on the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha.
“It’s incredible,” said Clark about his podium finish. “This is my first podium in AMA Pro and to do it in Superbike really means a lot to me. It was definitely a race of attrition, and I probably didn’t deserve it but I’ve got to give it up to the whole Yoshimura Suzuki team for all their support and hard work, and for giving me such a great bike as the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000.”
Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Cardenas was the team’s top performer on Sunday after an early-race crash put him out of contention on Saturday. The Colombian made up for that on Sunday, getting a good start and battling with his teammate Roger Hayden for second place for most of the race. But in the end, it was Cardenas who finished second, behind winner Hayes and Hayes’ Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate Cameron Beaubier in third.
“After yesterday, this podium is a very good result for us,” said Cardenas. “I would have liked to get closer to the leader, but we gave it everything we had and I’ll happily take second today. I have to give it up to the Yoshimura Suzuki team. I’m so sorry for the crash yesterday; it caused them to have to stay very late to fix the bike last night. This podium is for them.”
Like teammate Cardenas, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Hayden crashed out Saturday, only he was running a strong second for most of the race prior to going down. Unfortunately, Hayden wound up crashing in the same turn as Cardenas and was unable to finish. On Sunday, Hayden battled with Cardenas for the runner-up podium spot for most of the race before finishing fifth.
“On the first day, I had a good pace going and was right there,” said Hayden. “But I made a mistake and lost the front end. On Sunday, I struggled to keep pace with the leader because of a severe lack of rear tire grip. I did the best I could, given the circumstances."I feel bad for the Yoshimura Suzuki team," Hayden continued. "Especially because they worked until 1:30 Sunday morning to build me a new bike. I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work. I wanted to put on a good race for them but it just wasn’t in the cards. So we’ll to go Laguna and start fresh.”
Heading into the next round of AMA Pro Superbike, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Hayes leads the title chase, with Anthony in second and Hayden in third.Tags: ADR Motorsports Suzuki, Barber Motorsports Park, Cameron Beaubier, Chris Clark, David Anthony, Josh Hayes, Martin Cardenas, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha, Motorsports, Roger Hayden, Suzuki GSX-R1000, Yoshimura Suzuki