AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike in Birmingham this weekend
For The Tribune
The 2013 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike title fight picks back up this weekend as GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing travels to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham for the Triumph SuperBike Classic presented by America’s First Federal Credit Union.
Leading the way into Round 3 with 105 points on the strength of a victory and three runner-up finishes is Martin Cardenas (No. 36 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000). The reigning AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike king backed up his Daytona opener with what may have been an even more impressive showing at Road America; the Colombian demonstrated his ability to not just reap the rewards when defending triple champ Josh Hayes (No. 1 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1) has struggles, but challenge him outright.
Cardenas returns to the scene of his breakthrough first-career National Guard SuperBike victory this weekend, as he won in inclement conditions at Barber Motorsports Park as a class rookie in 2011. Martin has also starred at the circuit on the undercard, doubling BMP in both 2009 and 2010 in the GoPro Daytona SportBike class.
Meanwhile, Josh Herrin (No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1), the points leader coming out of the opener, should enter this weekend’s showdown full of confidence despite somewhat of a mixed outing in Wisconsin.
Herrin enjoyed perhaps his best weekend as a rookie in Birmingham a year ago, pushing Hayes for the win deep in Saturday’s Race 1 before accepting a runner-up finish. With an additional year’s worth of National Guard SuperBike experience working in his favor, Herrin should pose an even bigger threat this weekend.
Slotted in between Hayes and the leading duo of Cardenas and Herrin in the standings is Larry Pegram (No. 72 Pegram Racing Yamaha YZF-R1). The Ohioan backed up his Daytona double podium with a fourth and a sixth at Road America.
Geoff May (No. 99 Team Hero EBR 1190RS) was a factor at the track a year ago, qualifying second provisionally and then racing to a pair of four-place finishes. May has gone on record claiming that the 1190RS is the best handling bike in the field and he’ll have a chance to prove that this weekend.
This weekend’s GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing action will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network as part of the CBS Sports Spectacular. This weekend’s coverage includes live broadcasts of both AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike races, and will begin Saturday at 1:30 p.m. with the weekend Preview Show. Live coverage of AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Race 1 will air on Saturday at 3 p.m. with Race 2 slotted in for Sunday at 3 p.m. Fans can find CBS Sports Network on their TV by using the channel finder at http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder.
In addition to the live broadcasts on CBS Sports Network, AMA Pro Live will be live streaming multiple channels of behind-the-scenes video of the weekend’s activities alongside live timing and scoring. AMA Pro Live puts fans in the director’s chair, allowing them to choose from a variety of viewpoints including track cameras, paddock cameras and a press conference channel. Streaming will begin with coverage of the weekend’s practice and qualifying sessions on Friday at noon at http://www.amaprolive.com.